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Alphaville (1965)

Futuristic visual designs do not always mesh so well with low-budget location shooting, but for a postmodern master of cinematic form like Jean-Luc Godard, such delightful incongruity only strengthens his deconstruction of film noir and science-fiction genres in Alphaville, which both examines and becomes an act of rebellion against artistic censorship in its very construction.

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Men (2022)

Alex Garland’s nightmarish journey through a troubled widow’s mind and her retreat to a town of identical strangers elusively edges towards a disturbing culmination of its lush stylistic flourishes and grotesquely absurd imagery, floating Men along the eerie rhythms that pass through spiritual and mythological iconography.

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Black Girl (1966)

In its acute examinations of racial oppression, Black Girl stands proudly as a tentpole of both African cinema and Ousmane Sembène’s directorial career, evoking the stylistic sensibilities of the French New Wave while forming a sensitive, post-colonial allegory that leads us through one Senegalese woman’s memoirs into her traumatic experience as a domestic slave.

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Erin Brockovich (2000)

It takes a truly charismatic movie star to command the screen the way Julia Roberts does as Erin Brockovich’s titular beauty queen turned lawyer, delivering whip-smart takedowns and monologues while on her pursuit of justice, and together with Steven Soderbergh energetically infusing an infectious passion into this gripping biopic.

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The Last Picture Show (1971)

It might be a barren beauty which infests the deteriorating Texas oil town of The Last Picture Show, but as we grow to understand the small lives and histories dotted through its community, Peter Bogdanovich also sensitively paints it out as a tactile landscape of feeble dreams and disappointments.

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