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Since its release almost four decades ago, Jacques Tati’s Playtime (1967) has aged like a fine wine. It started life as a critical punching bag and slowly gained recognition as an exquisitely detailed (and very funny) vision of a bland and ultimately bleak modern distopia.

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Easy Rider

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I was saddened to read that Dennis Hopper died today at the age of 74. Obituaries are starting to appear here and there, and most share a view of his career as erratic and uneven.

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Mulholland Drive

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I first saw Mulholland Drive with my friend Rana in her tiny Tokyo apart­ment. The film ended at mid­night and by the time we grew tired of analyzing its many twists and turns, we realized day­light had already crept in through her curtains.

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When Psycho was released in 1960, it was criticized for twisting and bending the conventions of the preceding decades of cinema completely out of shape. Then bit by bit it was revealed that director Alfred Hitchcock was correct at every bend.

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The Godfather

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From start to finish, The Godfather (1972) is a masterpiece of pacing and mood, and an excellent example of how the established relationship between cinema and architecture can be upheld while being used in completely fresh and exciting ways.

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Taxi Driver

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Martin Scorsese is widely considered the most influential American filmmaker of the last thirty years, and this is due in large part to his ability to capture the hectic energy of the city in which he grew up. In many ways, Taxi Driver (1976) is his most effective movie: an unrelenting portrait of angst, nihilism, and the debilitating effects of urban life on the psyche.

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