Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles ★★★★★

Habit, "the most imperious of all masters," analyzed six ways from Sunday as a time bomb with a 201-minute-long fuse. Bressonian lampoons of Julia Child cooking shows, a masterpiece of absences, a prisoner polishing the bars of her own cage until a missed hour causes the universe to shift. Far from a release, orgasm is the ultimate loss of control.

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