600. Lacombe, Lucien (1974) Dir. Louis Malle, 138 mins.
The film is about a French teenage boy during the German occupation of France in World War II. Buy
599. Repulsion (1965) Dir. Roman Polanski, 105 mins.
The plot focuses on a young woman who is left alone by her vacationing sister at their apartment, and begins reliving traumas of her past in horrific ways.
598. Stromboli (1950) Dir. Roberto Rossellini, 107 mins.
Shot in English, Stromboli was one of four films Ingrid Bergman made with her future husband and neo-realist director, Roberto Rossellini. She stars as Lithuanian war-refugee Karin, who marries Italian fisherman, Antonio, so she can get out of a hellish internment camp. He takes his new bride back to his native volcanic island off the coast of Sicily, Stromboli, but despite her efforts to fit in, the locals reject her and soon she comes to regard the island as a bigger prison than the one she left. With investment from RKO and despite the international box office attraction of Bergman, the film was a financial failure. This was not helped by the star’s off screen affair with Rossellini while making the film or the onscreen leaving of her husband which caused the studio to hugely cut the film to appease American morals and the Production Code. However, Bergman shows her true ability as an actress revealing a vulnerability missing from her earlier work, perhaps because of her complex relationship with Rossellini and her own struggles fitting in with a new culture having left the Hollywood mainstream and her family. Her work with Rossellini may have been less gratifying to her than her Hollywood success, but with Stromboli her acting ambitions had brought her the leading role in an enduring work of visual and psychological poetry.
597. The Given Word (1962) Dir. Anselmo Duarte, 91 mins.
The only film by a Brazilian director to win the Palme d’Or, The Given Word follows Ze do Burro, who considers his donkey to be his best friend. So, when the beast falls ill, Ze swears an oath that if his donkey recovers, he will carry a cross across the country and give his land to the poor.
596. The Pied Piper (1986) Dir. Jiří Barta, 53 mins.
The story is an adaptation of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a fairy tale originated in medieval Germany.
595. War and Peace (1967) Dir. Sergei Bondarchuk, 453 mins.
An epic adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel that centres around the lives of two families during Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia.
594. The Beaches of Agnès (2008) Dir. Agnès Varda, 110 mins.
The film is an autobiographical essay where Varda revisits places from her past, reminisces about life and celebrates her 80th birthday on camera.
593. Vive L’Amour (1994) Dir. Tsai Ming-liang, 118 mins.
The film is about three people who unknowingly share an apartment in Taipei.
592. Paisan (1946) Dir. Roberto Rossellini, 134 mins.
Set in the Italian Campaign during World War II when Nazi Germany was losing the war against the Allies.
591. Our Hospitality (1923) Dir. John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton, 73 mins.
Released by Metro Pictures Corporation, the film uses slapstick and situational comedy to tell the story of Willie McKay (Buster Keaton), who gets caught in the middle of the infamous “Canfield”–”McKay” feud, an obvious satire of the real-life Hatfield–McCoy feud.
590. The South (1983) Dir. Victor Erice, 95 mins.
El Sur (The South) is the story of Estrella (Iciar Bollain), a little girl from Southern Spain who has been uprooted to the North. Estrella maintains a sentimentalised attachment to the region of her birth, an attachment manifested in her love for her father (Omero Antonutti). The girl’s rose-coloured memories are shattered when she learns that her beloved dad once carried on affair with a Southern woman and that the flames of passion still smoulder within him. Buy
589. World on a Wire (1973) Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 204 mins.
Shot in 16 mm and made for German television as a two-part miniseries, it follows a cybernetics engineer who uncovers a conspiracy in a corporation specializing in virtual reality.
588. One Cut of the Dead (2017) Dir. Shin’ichirô Ueda, 97 mins.
Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie film in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility when they are attacked by real zombies.
587. My American Uncle (1980) Dir. Alain Resnais, 126 mins.
A college professor uses the crises in three lives to illustrate his theories about human behavior.
586. Ill-Fated Love (1978) Dir. Manoel de Oliveira, 262 mins.
The story of an unhappy love affair between the children of two feuding aristocratic families in Oporto in the 19th Century.
585. Kiss Me Deadly (1955) Dir. Robert Aldrich, 104 mins.
This film noir stars Ralph Meeker as Mickey Spillane’s anti-social private eye Mike Hammer. After he and a hitchhiker are kidnapped by thugs, the semiconscious Hammer helplessly watches as the girl is tortured to death. Seeking vengeance, Hammer searches for the secret behind the girl’s murder. Buy
584. The Florida Project (2017) Dir. Sean Baker, 111 mins.
The plot follows a six-year-old girl living with her rebellious mother in a motel in Kissimmee, Florida as they try to stay out of trouble and make ends meet, so they may keep one step ahead of impending homelessness. Watch
583. The French Connection (1971) Dir. William Friedkin, 104 mins.
It tells the story of New York Police Department detectives named “Popeye” Doyle and Buddy Russo, that are based on two real life narcotics detectives.
582. Princess Mononoke (1997) Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 134 mins.
Princess Mononoke is set in the late Muromachi period (approximately 1336 to 1573) of Japan and includes fantasy elements. The story follows the young Emishi prince Ashitaka’s involvement in a struggle between the gods of a forest and the humans who consume its resources.
581. The Heiress (1949) Dir. William Wyler, 115 mins.
Based on Henry James’s novel Washington Square, the film is a period drama about a naive spinster (Olivia de Havilland) who falls in love with a handsome young man (Montgomery Clift), despite the objections of her emotionally abusive father (Ralph Richardson) who suspects the man of being a fortune hunter. While de Havilland is clearly too beautiful for the role, she rightly bagged her second Oscar. In fact, the film’s a good example of what happens when everyone brings their A game. William Wyler directs brilliantly, Richardson is as good as he’s ever been and Clift looks every inch the Hollywood star.