Werner Herzog has access to the most interesting material, (Encounters at the End of the World, Grizzly Man,) and able to insert himself into his documentary films in a delicate manner. He's well suited to explore and share the world's oldest known paintings in the Chauvet Cave of Southern France.
Official Site: http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/cave-of-forgotten-dreams

BODY HEAT (1981)


After 30 years, this film still rocks. Great acting, characters, tight script and directorial debut of Lawrence Kasdan.
Bertrand Tavernier's adaptation of early french novelist Madame de La Fayette's short story is sumptuous and relevant. It's long, and the battle scenes lack the Hollywood / Hong Kong treatment, but it's so gorgeous, and the characters are fascinating: and French! Loved it.
Official Site: http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/the-princess-of-montpensier
Joan Crawford as a bitter disfigured blackmailer who, with the help of a cuckold plastic surgeon, played by Melvyn Douglas, transforms herself. Directed by George Cukor: wonderful! On TCM.
As Josef von Sternberg had Marlene Dietrich, Yimou Zhang had Gong Li. This film has it all; story with depth, beauty, 1930's Shanghai gangsters, great performances. If you're unfamiliar with the work of Yimou Zhang Shanghai Triad is a great place to start!

Official Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/classics/shanghai/index.html
Jules Dassin directed some great films; Brute Force, The Naked City, Night And The City, Rififi. Novel and screenplay by A.I. (Buzz) Bezzerides. Lee J. Cobb & Richard Conte tussle in the market district of San Francisco. Realistic noir style with romance featuring the struggles of long haul truckers.

Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/939-thieves-highway



Can't remember the last "adult" film I saw in a theater. There's so much to say about Tree of Life, and it's impossible to be objective as I had the great fortune to work on The Thin Red Line. To any Terrence Malick detractors, I encourage you to look at the evolution of his films, and compare them to other directors from the American New Wave movement. It's stunning, and I'm amazed and grateful that an experimental film can be made and distributed in Hollywood.



Only Mike Leigh can make geezers and biddies so interesting. Ta!
Official Site: http://www.anotheryear-movie.com/
Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Another_Year/70139376?trkid=496624#height2470



Not as visually rich as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, genius Cinematographer Roger Deakins teams up with the never boring Coen Bros. and a perfect cast to keep the western genre alive. The dialogue feels authentic initially, only to grow tiresome by end: my lone complaint about an otherwise entertaining film.

Official Site: http://www.truegritmovie.com/
Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/True_Grit/70142543?trkid=496624#height1893
Jean Renoir's french poetic realism "film noir" about love, madness and locomotives adapted from Émile Zola's novel. Tragic. Suspenseful. Magnificent trains. Don't be put-off by the opening title roll-up: this is a master work!

Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/773-la-bete-humaine
Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/La_Bete_Humaine/70012503?trkid=496624#height1933