(Andrzej Wajda, 1957)
Wajda drew heavily from his own experiences during the war as a member of the resistance in order to craft his rough and intense account of the Warsaw uprising.
Kanal is a film that takes place in the shadows, both literally and figuratively, as it follows a group of desperate fugitives as they make their way through the sewers of a city. We have a hunch that each and every one of them is going to wind up in a hole.
(Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 2001)
A film that is both documentary and allegorical in nature, created by one of the masters of Iranian cinema. An Afghan woman who was born in Canada but spent her childhood in Kandahar receives a message from her sister in Kandahar that she is about to commit suicide; the Afghan woman then embarks on a perilous journey across Afghanistan to find her sister.
The film gained notoriety because it featured Hassan Tantai, also known as David Belfield, who is wanted in the United States for the 1980 murder of an Iranian diplomat who supported the Shah of Iran.
The Karate Kid
(John G. Avildsen, 1984)
Ralph Macchio plays the role of a victimized child who realizes he needs to toughen up. Macchio is able to become a student of the local handyman, who also happens to be an expert in martial arts. After several months of practice, he is now prepared to take on the tough competition in the area.
The drama reaches its pinnacle at the All Valley Karate Championship, where the main character, Elisabeth Shue, is seen sporting an impressive pair of knee-high socks.
(Lodge Kerrigan, 2004)
Kerrigan’s sparse and astonishing story, which takes place in the concrete fringes and transportation inter-zones of New York City, is haunted by the ghost of a boy who went missing.
The protagonist, who suffers from mental illness and is portrayed by Damian Lewis, is the primary focus of the film’s camerawork. He develops an uneasy friendship with a young girl and her unhappy mother.
(Ken Loach, 1969)
In the absence of industry, the name Ken Loach has become synonymous with British cinema (the name Mike Leigh is another common shorthand), and the well-acclaimed film Kes is a significant part of the reason for this association.
It is in the greatest of positions for British naturalism: midway between the gutter and the stars. It is an unvarnished narrative of a lonely Barnsley child who finds a taste of freedom when he gets to teach a kestrel.
(From Larry Clark’s work in 1995)
Larry Clark remade the teensploitation film from the 1950s with an unflinchingly voyeuristic lens, with the assistance of a young skateboarding scripter named Harmony Korine, and with Chloe Sevigny in the main role as an aspiring independent film queen.
He touched on severe societal issues, such as HIV, drug use, and sexual activity by minors. A lively and moral view of the youth of the early 1990s gave birth to a new generation of grim teen films.
Killer of Ship
(1977, Charles Burnett)
In Charles Burnett’s UCLA dissertation film, which was immediately hailed as a milestone in American (not just African-American) cinema, Italian neo-realism is enhanced with bleakly poetic black-and-white cinematography and arrives in 1970s Watts.
However, the film was lost to us for 30 years due to rights issues regarding its stunning soundtrack of blues, gospel, and 70s black pop.
(1989, John Woo)
This Hong Kong thriller caused numerous deaths while raising the bar for gunplay in movies. Although the story, about a morally upright assassin (Chow Yun-fat), has some clunky parts, the movie is nonetheless relentlessly action-packed thanks to director Woo’s much-copied dynamic camerawork and deft choreography.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
1976‘s John Cassavetes
This is the director’s male equivalent to A Woman Under the Influence’s tale of female breakdown, a shapeless but immensely captivating Cassavettes melodrama about a strip club owner in hock to the mob for gambling debts, a disorganized monologue on manly self-destruction. It was Ben Gazzara at his best.
Kind Heart and Coronets
(1949, Robert Hamer)
The sourest of the Ealing comedies, sending Dennis Price’s vengeful bastard son on a quest to kill the D’Ascoyne family’s riches heirs. As the numerous victims, Alec Guinness dons a variety of personas, most notably the arrogant suffragette who “falls to earth in Berkeley Square.”
(1933; Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schroedsack)
Visit Skull Island. Take the “natives” on. If you can, get through the experience. And hope for the sake of decency that the Kong guy leaves Anne Darrow some clothes.
This is what the intention behind the innocent experience was. An updated version of Beauty and the Beast, where the movie producer is the most terrifying monster.
King of New York
(1990; Abe Ferrara)
Unintelligible Christopher Walken gets released from prison with a determination to control the drug trade in New York so he can start funding hospitals and aid initiatives for the city’s underprivileged.
Walken, who is a hybrid of a modern-day Robin Hood and Pablo Escobar, maintains an implacable, unblinking stillness as extreme violence rages amusingly, or perhaps satirically, all around him.
Kiss Me Deadly
(1955, Robert Aldrich)
The pinnacle of cinema noir, with its outrageously off-kilter perspectives, horrifying chiaroscuro, creative savagery, and leering sexual innuendo. Robert Aldrich’s combative, sardonic, and most violent work is KMD, which marries the classic detective story with the grave issues of 1955, particularly the atom bomb, or as Mike Hammer refers to it, “the great whatsit.”