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  • Punishment Park

    Punishment Park

    Shot in a documentary style, with non-actors cast partly according to their political sympathies, Punishment Park imagines a near-future where due process in America has been suspended as a response to increasing civil unrest, and the fates of political dissidents are instead determined by tribunal. Otherwise facing lengthy prison terms, the newly convicted opt for three days in Bear Mountain National Punishment Park, in which they must traverse a pitiless desert terrain to win their freedom, all the while outmaneuvering…

  • The Exiles

    The Exiles

    Neglected for decades prior to its re-release in 2008 as a co-presentation of writer Sherman Alexie and filmmaker Charles Burnett, Kent Mackenzie’s The Exiles recounts a day in the life of a group of Native American twentysomethings who have migrated from Arizona to Los Angeles. Set in Bunker Hill, or rather a version of the neighborhood that has long since vanished, the picture drifts from story to story, from bar to rooming house to streets humming with neon, and what…

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  • A Brighter Summer Day

    A Brighter Summer Day

    A deeply personal epic comparable in scope and impact to the Godfather movies and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America, Yang’s extraordinary memory film stretches tautly over four hours of screen time and more than 100 speaking parts. Set in the early 1960s (Yang’s own teenage years) and inspired by the true story of Taiwan’s first juvenile homicide case, the film follows rebellious teenager Xiao Si’r (the debut role of Chen Chang, years before appearing in Happy Together

  • Au Hasard Balthazar

    Au Hasard Balthazar

    Bresson patiently studies the lives of a donkey and its occasional owner (Anne Wiazemsky in her debut role) in rural France. Rendering a world oppressed by exploitative, cruel relationships, Au hasard Balthazar evokes a rich tension between formal rigor and the tragic, parallel narratives personified by its two principal non-actors. Bresson, who used solely nonprofessionals in front of the camera since 1951’s Diary of a Country Priest, was reportedly upset when Wiazemsky went on to pursue an acting career (she…