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  • Caravaggio

    Like the aesthetically suspect filmmaker of Jean-Luc Godard's Passion, Derek Jarman devotes much of this free-form meditation on the life and art of Caravaggio (1986) to creating living tableaux of the baroque master's most famous paintings, though the literalizing question of whether the impersonations are “real” enough (they are for the most part, the Deposition staging uncannily so) tends to obscure the subtler things Jarman's doing here. more...
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  • The Color of Pomegranates

    Sergei Paradjanov's stylized tribute to Armenian poet and folk hero Sayat Nova proceeds in the manner of a grave, arcane rite, as if the flattened figures of some ancient pre-Renaissance fresco had miraculously been brought to life. more...
  • Elena et les Hommes

    Recut and retitled Paris Does Strange Things for its American release, Jean Renoir's period sequel (1956) to his equally colorful French Cancan argues for a vision of the past as luminous sensory remembrance. more...
  • Faces of Women

    This 1985 debut feature by Ivory Coast director Desiré Ecaré gathered some attention for its steamy sexuality (the film was banned in its native country), though Ecare ultimately seems more concerned with establishing connections between economics and emerging African feminism than in providing erotic kicks (not surprisingly, the feminism that emerges owes more to tribal traditions of gender solidarity and rivalry than to modern ideological consciousness). more...
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  • Flowing (NR)

    Brimful and elusive, like the Heraclitean river that forever moves while standing still, Mikio Naruse's 1956 masterpiece, about a geisha house come on hard times (and not incidentally running athwart modernizing currents in Japanese culture), poises at the indefinable edge of variation and stasis, between evanescent incident and immutable form. more...
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  • The Makioka Sisters (NR)

    Kon Ichikawa's 1983 film of the celebrated Tanizaki novel tells the story of four sisters in 1920s Japan, the elder two loyal to old traditions, the younger ones drifting toward Western lifestyles. more...
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  • Manhunter (R)

    After creating Miami Vice, Michael Mann returned to the action-movie fray with this 1986 story of an FBI investigator (William L. Petersen) on the trail of psycho killer Hannibal Lecter (Brian Cox). more...
  • My Life as a Dog

    Lasse Hallstrom's slight Swedish comedy (1985) about a boy growing up in the 50s who copes with life's many problems by identifying with Laika, the world's first dog astronaut. more...
  • Platoon (R)

    Oliver Stone's fictionalized memoir of the Vietnam war (1986) attempts to re-create, as viscerally as possible, the harrowing realities of combat—blood and guts and traumatized emotions splayed out like freshly exploded corpses in a minefield. more...
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  • Raising Arizona (PG-13)

    Joel and Ethan Coen's 1987 Road Runner comedy in overdrive, about a convenience-store bandit (Nicolas Cage) who swipes the infant son of an unfinished-furniture tycoon, then has a hard time holding on to the kid. more...
  • River's Edge

    Something very odd about this 1986 feature: a teen problem drama fighting David Lynch battles with its own right-thinking consciousness. more...
  • Round Midnight (R)

    Bertrand Tavernier's perenially heavy mood seems especially well suited to this indigo-shaded story (1986) of a black American sax man (Dexter Gordon) living and performing in Paris in the late 50s, though the point here is the music (enlarging on Tavernier's well-known affection for American blues-jazz idioms): the not-quite-satisfactory relationship Tavernier concocts between Gordon's alcoholic musician and a chirrupy young Frenchman who becomes his self-appointed protector seems little more than a dramatic excuse for the performances that flow around it. more...
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