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Ghost in the Shell (1995) Directed by Mamoru Oshii Released on the same day in Japan, the United States and elsewhere, this animated film searches deep for what is common to us all: what it means to be human, to have a conscience, feelings… a soul, if you wish. These questions and philosophical musings are filtered through the non-race-specific female cyborg protagonist, who’s the muscle of a public security agency in charge of catching the hackers...
Night of the Shooting Stars (1982) Directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani Sensing German betrayal, half a Tuscan town’s villagers strike out at night for the front, hoping to evade their untrustworthy occupiers and reach the incoming American troops. Sculpted from memories (their own and those shared with them) and set into motion by an opening-scene wish, the Taviani brothers’ La Notte de San Lorenzo weaves a magical, seamlessly incongruous yarn: melodramatic, tragic, folksy, hyperbolic, and...
Metropolitan (1990) Directed by Whit Stillman “You don't have to read a book to have an opinion on it.” No filmmaker has ever captured precocity as precisely as Stillman, whose characters’ hyperarticulate naïveté (and quaint preoccupation with sexual virtue) could hardly inspire a response other than the filmmaker’s own pleasure in dialogue playful for its own sake, and lovingly indulgent endings. Stillman’s subsequent Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco and Damsels in Distress would treat...