In it for the long haul? Get comfy and self-isolate
with these staff recommended epics.
(183m/205m) Appearing here in the director’s preferred 183-minute cut as well as the 205-minute version that was originally suppressed by Soviet authorities, the masterwork Andrei Rublev is one of Tarkovsky’s most revered films, an arresting meditation on art, faith, and endurance.
(300m) A follow-up to the 2001 award-winning show "The Blue Planet," this natural history series sees Sir David Attenborough return as narrator and host. A breathtaking exploration of the world's vast oceans, hourlong episodes capture animals and other living organisms in their natural habitat, presenting viewers with a fascinating insight into what life is like underwater.
(320m) Blending interviews with some of the world's great historians, economists, anthropologists, and social critics with on-the-ground footage shot in twenty-two countries, CAPITALISM questions the myth of the unfettered free market, explores the nature of debt and commodities, and retraces some of the great economic debates of the last 200 years.
(583m) This masterwork by Krzysztof Kieślowski is one of the twentieth century’s greatest achievements in visual storytelling. Originally made for Polish television, Dekalog focuses on the residents of a housing complex in late-Communist Poland, whose lives become subtly intertwined as they face emotional dilemmas that are at once deeply personal and universally human.
(495m) Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical—yet far from cynical—perspective. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama.
(180m) A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is Chris Marker's epic film-essay on the worldwide political wars of the 60's and 70's: Vietnam, Bolivia, May '68, Prague, Chile, and the fate of the New Left.
(266m) Jean-Luc Godard transformed the face of cinema with his prolific, influential and revolutionary body of work which includes such classics as Breathless, Weekend and Contempt just to name a few. Hugely ambitious in scope, the series covers a wide range of topics from the birth of cinema to Italian neo-realism to Hollywood and beyond. A dazzling montage of sight and sound, HISTOIRE(S) DU CINEMA features a diverse array of film extracts, the voices of – among others – Juliette Binoche and Alfred Hitchcock, and an eclectic music soundtrack ranging from Beethoven to Leonard Cohen.
(336m) In a stunning performance, Sandrine Bonnaire portrays Joan of Arc in this epic about the 15th century teenager who led the French army into battle in this two part series made for French television by Jacques Rivette. Also available on blu ray
(466m) When the most important friend in her life seems to have disappeared without a trace, Elena Greco, a now-elderly woman immersed in a house full of books, turns on her computer and starts writing the story of their friendship. Based on the bestselling series by Elena Ferrante.
(165m) This entirely African American-conceived and produced ensemble drama is the result of a collaboration of a pair of pioneering Black artists: writer Ishmael Reed and filmmaker Bill Gunn. Originally intended to air on public television in 1980, it went unseen for many years; the original tapes have been carefully restored by Kino Lorber and the film is now available in its full-length version for the first time in decades! Also available on Blu-ray!
(300m) From the frozen tundra in the north to the dry forests of the equator, Sir David Attenborough narrates a compelling view of the planet. "Planet Earth" was the first natural history documentary to be filmed in high definition, and now a decade later improved technology has made it possible to capture further details, from elusive animal behaviors to previously inaccessible remote landscapes. Also available on DVD
(550m) Over a decade in the making, Claude Lanzmann’s nine-hour-plus opus is a monumental investigation of the unthinkable: the murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazis. Using no archival footage, Lanzmann instead focuses on first-person testimonies (of survivors and former Nazis, as well as other witnesses), employing a circular, free-associative method in assembling them. The intellectual yet emotionally overwhelming Shoah is not a film about excavating the past but an intensive portrait of the ways in which the past is always present, and it is inarguably one of the most important cinematic works of all time.
(273m) In the last years of director, Claude Lanzmann's life, he decided to devote a film to four women from four different areas of Eastern Europe with four different destinies, each finding herself improbably alive after war’s end. Survivors of unimaginable Nazi horrors during the Holocaust, they tell their individual stories and become crucial witnesses to the barbarism they experienced. Each possesses a vivid intelligence and a commitment to candor that make their accounts of what they suffered through both searing and unforgettable. Also available on Blu-ray!
(916m) The Story of Film: An Odyssey is an unprecedented cinematic event, an epic journey through the history of world cinema that is a treat for movie lovers around the globe. Guided by film historian Mark Cousins, this bold 15-part love letter to the movies begins with the invention of motion pictures at the end of the 19th century and concludes with the multi-billion dollar globalized digital industry of the 21st. The Story of Film: An Odyssey heralds a unique approach to the evolution of film art by focusing on the artistic vision and innovations of filmmaking pioneers.
(163m) Raúl Ruiz’s most ambitious literary adaptation and considered his greatest cinematic achievement. An Official Selection at both the Cannes and New York Film Festivals and starring an outstanding cast of international film stars, including Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich, Emmanuelle Beart, and Vincent Perez, Ruiz’s Time Regained distills all of Marcel Proust’s iconic In Search of Lost Time into a single epic feature. Also available on Blu-ray!
(121m/171m) Four decades into an already legendary career, Terrence Malick realized his most rapturous vision to date, tracing a story of childhood, wonder, and grief to the outer limits of time and space. Since you have the time, why not tuck in to the new extended version of the film featuring an additional fifty minutes of footage! Also available on Blu-ray!
(287m) Conceived as the ultimate road movie, this decades-in-the-making science-fiction epic from Wim Wenders follows the restless Claire across continents as she pursues a mysterious stranger in possession of a device that can make the blind see and bring dream images to waking life. Presented here in its triumphant 287-minute director’s cut, Until the End of the World assumes its rightful place as Wenders’ magnum opus, a cosmic ode to the pleasures and perils of the image and a prescient meditation on cinema’s digital future. Also available on Blu-ray!
(422m) At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates of three souls collide amid the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars. Employing a cast of thousands and an array of innovative camera techniques, director Sergei Bondarchuk conjures a sweeping vision of grand balls that glitter with rococo beauty and breathtaking battles that overwhelm with their expressionistic power. As a statement of Soviet cinema’s might, War and Peace succeeded wildly, garnering the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and setting a new standard for epic moviemaking.
(212m) Originally made for German television, this recently rediscovered, three-and-a-half-hour labyrinth is a satiric and surreal look at the world of tomorrow from Rainer Werner Fassbinder.