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Staff Pick: KANOPY

Graziella’s Pick: KANOPY

If you are a serious movie buff, or better if you are a serious FILM buff and you want to escape the standard Hollywood fare with its related Rom-Coms and superheroic action packed entertainment, then you should check out the CRITERION collection on KANOPY. They have a very good selection of masterpieces of classical cinema.
Save maybe 5 I have seen them all and I find it difficult to select any one over another however here are some recommendations to start….
Often there is no action, no car chases, no soapy romances and sometimes not even a happy ending.
Rashomon 1950 by Akira KUROSAWA (Japan)
First Asian film to make a big hit in the West and academy award winning, Rashomon’s take on the relativity of truth is so famous that the expression “Rashomon effect” was created.
Tokyo Story 1953 by Yasujiro OZU (Japan)
Slow, sentimental and shot as if seen by a person sitting on a tatami mat, it relates the slow dissolution of family values in Japanese postwar culture.
Cléo de 5 à 7 1962 by Agnès VARDA (France)
The godmother of the French New Wave makes a film in which a woman moves from being an object to be looked at to being a subject who owns the look.
The battle of Algiers 1966 by Gillo PONTERCORVO (Italy/France)
A relatively ‘objective’ depiction of a crucial moment in the Algerian independence war with a great soundtrack by award winning Ennio Morricone.
Pather Panchali 1955 by Satyajit RAY (India/Bengal)
The first art film from the Indian subcontinent. It took 2 years to make because the director had to find the money to continue shooting. Shot on location with no professional actors, the life of an impoverished Indian village was a far cry from Bollywood depiction. Pather Panchali is the first film of a trilogy.
Playtime 1967 by Jacques TATI (France)
Gently sarcastic and subtly funny, Playtime is a virtually silent depiction of Modernity, its spaces and buildings, its faces and behaviors, and its myths and fetishes.
Il Posto 1961 by Ermanno OLMI (Italy)
Shot at the beginning of the so-called Italian economic miracle, it is an endearing portrayal of a shy young man from the country who gets a job (Il Posto) in the big city.
Breathless 1960 by Jean-Luc Godard (France)
The most accessible and famous film by Godard the most (in)famous director of the French New Wave.
Bicycle Thieves 1948 by Vittorio De Sica (Italy)
One of the films that put Italian Neo-realism on the map, it  was shot on location in Rome, takes place in 24 hours and has non professional actors. Gone with the wind producer David O. Selznick alerted to the economic potential of Neo-realism offered De Sica (the director) 100 million Lira provided he cast Cary Grant in the lead role. When you watch the film just try to imagine what Cary Grant’s presence would have done to the ‘realism” of this film.

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