• Secret Sunshine

    Secret Sunshine

    Lee Chang-dong’s stunning saga of grief and catharsis is built around a fearless central performance from Jeon Do-yeon (Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival)—one of the most wrenching and mesmerizing tour de forces since Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence. She plays socially awkward piano teacher who, with her young son, relocates from Seoul to her late husband’s hometown of Milyang for a fresh start. But another unthinkable tragedy soon sends her into an emotional tailspin and a desperate…

  • Spring in a Small Town

    Spring in a Small Town

    The oft-cited crowning achievement of classic Chinese cinema is a mesmerizing portrait of female desire and subjectivity that ranks alongside Brief Encounter and the works of Mikio Naruse. Married to a depressed, chronically ill man, housewife Yuwen (Wei Wei) is quietly suffocating in a provincial village when an old flame unexpectedly walks back into her life. So begins a wrenching internal struggle between marital fidelity and erotic yearning that plays out with supreme restraint on screen, but which boils over…

  • Cairo Station

    Cairo Station

    The longtime leading light of Egyptian cinema, Youssef Chahine established his international reputation with this bombshell psychosexual shocker. The director stars as Qinawi, a simpleton newspaper hawker whose obsession with a sultry cold-drink seller (Hind Rostom, the “Marilyn Monroe of Arabia”) leads to tragedy of operatic proportions on the streets of Cairo. Blending elements of neorealism (a grim, grubby evocation of working-class life and socioeconomic struggle) with deep-dish noir-melodrama (lust, jealousy, madness, and murder), Cairo Station represented something startlingly new in Arab cinema: here was raw, populist poetry splashed across the screen with blood-and-guts savagery.

    Playing on December 27 & 29.

  • Insiang

    Insiang

    Filipino cinema’s watershed work—and the first to screen at the Cannes Film Festival—is a wildly perverse mother-daughter saga, a revenge tragedy of ancient Greek proportions, and a gut-punching look at life on the margins of Manila. Insiang (Hilda Koronel) is the meek, put-upon daughter of the slums who endures abuse from everyone in her orbit: her insensitive boyfriend (Rez Cortez); her bitter, harpy mother (Mona Lisa); and her mother’s sleazy younger lover (Ruel Vernal). But after she’s raped, Insiang’s timidity…

  • Make Way for Tomorrow

    Make Way for Tomorrow

    You’re going to need tissues for this one… The most heart-piercingly human tale of the 1930s (and the inspiration for Ozu’s Tokyo Story) follows the trials of an elderly, resolutely old-fashioned couple (Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi) who, after they lose their home, are forced to live separately with their oh-so-busy adult children. Sensitively directed by the ever-empathetic Leo McCarey as part of a remarkable mid-’30s run that included The Awful Truth and Ruggles of Red Gap, Make Way for…

  • Gaslight

    Gaslight

    A young opera singer haunted by the memory of her aunt’s murder marries a handsome pianist and settles down in her relative’s long-abandoned, overstuffed London mansion, where footsteps echo in the attic, gaslights dim, and secrets come to light… George Cukor’s celebrated noir-melodrama is a deeply ambiguous study of psychological abuse, anchored by a terrific cast (Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and an 18-year-old Angela Lansbury in her first film role) and suffused with a sense of creeping dread. At its…

  • The Long Day Closes

    The Long Day Closes

    One of the greatest films of the 1990s, Terence Davies’s sublime memory piece is at once a dreamily poignant evocation of childhood’s end, a richly textured musical of everyday life, and a singular fusion of narrative and avant-garde storytelling. Set amid a lovingly re-created 1950s Liverpool, the film is a free-flowing fountain of impressions both wondrous (the cinema, holiday celebrations, mother) and painful (school, bullies, loneliness) that together form a portrait of a young gay boy (Leigh McCormack) coming of…

  • Brief Encounter

    Brief Encounter

    What begins as a chance meeting in a railway-station tearoom becomes a cherished weekly tradition for saucer-eyed Celia Johnson’s prim-and-proper suburban housewife and Trevor Howard’s charming-but-married doctor as they share furtive lunches, trips to the cinema, and an afternoon of rowboating. It all seems so innocent until… Set to the swelling strains of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, David Lean’s Noël Coward adaptation is nothing less than one of the most achingly romantic films ever made. It’s also a piercing…

  • Limelight

    Limelight

    In his last American film, Charlie Chaplin synthesized a lifetime’s worth of memories, experiences, and wisdom into a miraculously moving, bittersweet summation of his art and worldview. In a story set amid the London music halls of his youth, Chaplin plays Calvero, the rummy, washed-up clown whose final gift to the world is to give a suicidal ballerina (Claire Bloom) a new lease on life. At once heart-burstingly life-affirming, and serenely accepting of aging and death, Limelight stands as a…

  • Magnificent Obsession

    Magnificent Obsession

    Everything came together—the advent of widescreen filmmaking, a star-making performance from Rock Hudson, and a story so far-fetched it was practically begging for Sirk’s Brechtian approach—in the first of the director’s extraordinary Technicolor melodramas. Hudson is a devil-may-care playboy who inadvertently widows and then blinds the local doctor’s wife (Jane Wyman), before giving up his reckless ways to become a surgeon in hopes that he might cure her. Through his command of color, composition, and mise-en-scène, Sirk transforms this most outré of premises into a luminous, metaphysical exploration of fate and spirituality.

    Playing on December 24 & January 1 in 35mm.

  • The Age of Innocence

    The Age of Innocence

    Adapting Edith Wharton’s 1925 novel about a secret passion within the enclosed social universe of 19th-century New York struck many as an odd departure for Martin Scorsese. Upon release in 1993, The Age of Innocence was greeted with equal amounts of admiration and puzzlement, but today it feels like one of Scorsese’s greatest achievements—as visually expressive as it is emotionally fine-tuned. A magnificent lament for missed chances and lost time, the stunning movie features an extraordinary cast led by Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder.

    Playing on December 24 & 29.

  • All About My Mother

    All About My Mother

    Among the most perfect creations in the Almodóvar canon, All About My Mother conjures a rich, kaleidoscopic universe of unforgettable women. Brimming with references to classic melodramas, including All About Eve, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Cassavetes’ Opening Night, it follows the sojourn of nurse Manuela (Cecilia Roth) who, following the tragic death of her teenage son, travels from Madrid to Barcelona, where she joins a community of dispossessed women, including a troubled actress (Marisa Paredes), an outspoken prostitute (Antonia…