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Modern Masterpieces

Modern Masterpieces

MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART

Jia Zhangke China, 2015

Fenyang, 1991: Shen Tao, a dance instructor, has two suitors, choosing Zheng, an entrepreneur-to-be, with a note of regret. 15 years later, the couple’s son, Dollar, visits his now-estranged mother. By 2025, lives Dollar in Australia, forgetting both his native country and mother.

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DOGTOOTH

Yorgos Lanthimos Greece, 2009

A festival hit nominated for an Academy Award, Dogtooth is a darkly comic insight into a surreal world of parental control gone mad. As shocking and brutal as it is humorous, elegant and entertaining, Greek auteur Giorgos Lanthimos’ film is bold and inventive cinema.

JOINT SECURITY AREA

Park Chan-wook South Korea, 2000

After a shooting in the DMZ leaves two North Korean military officers dead, a South Korean sergeant stands accused. With both sides offering radically different accounts, it’s up to a Swiss-Korean envoy to unravel the twisty truth.

THE TURIN HORSE

Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky Hungary, 2011

Forget the explosions of blockbusters: the most truly apocalyptic vision of the decade comes from Hungarian master Béla Tarr. The Turin Horse, his swan song, is a spiraling journey to the brink of existence, a ferociously evocative masterpiece that is one of the key films of the century thus far.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA

Nuri Bilge Ceylan Turkey, 2011

Turkey’s pre-eminent auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan took home the Grand Prix prize from the Cannes Film Festival with this hypnotic, slow-burning neo-noir. In Ceylan’s trademark visual rhythms, mysteries stack upon mysteries in an enigmatic journey through a landscape, a murder, and a chiaroscuro night.

IDA

Paweł Pawlikowski Poland, 2013

For his first film made in his native Poland, writer-director Paweł Pawlikowski (Cold War) crafted the character study Ida: a personal and pensive historical drama, carefully composed and exquisitely rendered in black-and-white. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Feature.

AQUARIUS

Kleber Mendonça Filho Brazil, 2016

Clara, a vibrant former music critic, cancer survivor, willing lover and widow, is the only remaining apartment owner in a beautiful building targeted for demolition by luxury developers. As the builders’ tactics to remove Clara become hostile, Clara proves to be a force to be reckoned with.

WINTER SLEEP

Nuri Bilge Ceylan Turkey, 2014

After Once Upon a Time in Anatolia won the Grand Prix, Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan captivated the Cannes jury once more with this Palme d’Or winner: a rich, Chekhovian drama flush with exquisite beauty.