Contemporary Cinema

Contemporary Cinema

A selection of 21st-century films from around the globe.

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Contemporary Cinema
  • The Girl and the Spider

    Directed by Ramon Zürcher and Silvan Zürcher | 98 mins | 2021
    An apartment move-out produces an exquisite ballet of curious personal dramas and fraught relationships (new and old) thanks to the whisker-sensitive filmmaking of the Zürcher brothers. Set amid nosy neighbors, it’s a fine-grained cros...

  • Rat Film

    Directed by Theo Anthony | 82 mins | 2016
    “There ain’t never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it’s always been a people problem.” First looking at patterns of rat infestation in Charm City, Anthony unveils the history of segregation, redlining, and environmental racism that have shaped the city f...

  • Western

    Directed by Valeska Grisebach | 121 mins | 2017
    Tensions rise during a work stoppage when a group of German laborers erecting a hydroelectric plant in rural Bulgaria suddenly find themselves with time to get into trouble in Grisebach’s patient, tonally precise, naturalist drama, which thoughtfull...

  • A Touch of Sin

    Directed by Jia Zhangke | 130 mins | 2013
    Jia’s jarringly to-the-moment wuxia film, based on scandalous stories from around Mainland China circulated via Weibo posts, focuses on four individuals in four provinces pushed towards violence by rampant injustice—including one who returns home to Chong...

  • Archipelago

    Directed by Joanna Hogg | 114 mins | 2010
    Young Edward (Tom Hiddleston) is lured into a holiday in Cornwall by his mother and aunt, whose motives are as mysterious to the unmoored Edward as he is to himself. Looking on this atomized family with typically patient reserve, Hogg offers an ethnograph...

  • Exhibition

    Directed by Joanna Hogg | 104 mins | 2013
    Two married, childless fifty-something artists (Viv Albertine of the Slits and Liam Gillick) share an austere modernist townhouse and a crushing sense of ennui in Hogg’s third feature, a study in second-nature cohabitation that’s as precise in its rigorou...

  • Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami

    Directed by Sophie Fiennes | 115 mins | 2018
    One doesn’t have to do much to make a film about the towering, tempestuous Jamaican-born Grace Jones visually stunning and frequently outrageous, but Fiennes goes above and beyond in this documentary portrait of the powerful and pansexual glam-pop diva...

  • Hard To Be A God

    Directed by Aleksei German | 177 mins | 2013
    The final film from German, a giant of Russian cinema who died before its release, is a headlong wallow in medieval muck, a grotesque epic adapting Arkady and Boris Stugatsky’s underground science-fiction classic which follows a team of undercover scie...

  • I Killed My Mother

    Directed by Xavier Dolan | 96 mins | 2009
    Dolan earned enfant terrible status with his loosely autobiographical directorial debut, a raw, raucous coming-of-age comedy-drama starring Dolan himself as 16-year-old growing up in suburban Montreal with a single mother (Anne Dorval) whom he loves and h...

  • L'Intrus

    Directed by Claire Denis | 130 mins | 2004
    One of Claire Denis’s most ambitious, complicated, and exhilaratingly daring films charts an itinerary traveling from the snowy Alps to Korea to Tahiti, following an old mercenary (Michel Subor, from Le Petit Soldat and Beau travail) in search of both a ...

  • Lady Vengeance

    Directed by Park Chan Wook | 115 mins | 2005
    The capper of Park’s “Revenge Trilogy” follows a woman wrongfully imprisoned for kidnapping and killing a six-year-old boy, as she meticulously lays the groundwork for an elaborate plan of retribution, then sets it into merciless motion on her release....

  • Long Day's Journey Into Night

    Directed by Bi Gan | 140 mins | 2019
    Beginning as a kind of atmospheric, neon-drenched film noir fever dream, Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey into Night follows Huang Jue as he returns to his hometown of Kaili for his father’s funeral, then sets off on the trail of an old flame (Tang Wei), traveling...

  • Millennium Mambo

    Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien | 107 mins | 2001
    A seductive submersion into the techno-scored neon nightlife of Taipei, Hou’s much-misunderstood marvel follows an aimless bar hostess drifting away from her blowhard boyfriend and towards a suave, sensitive gangster. A transfixing trance-out of a mov...

  • Mountains May Depart

    Directed by Jia Zhangke | 126 mins | 2015
    A simple love triangle between three young people living in Fenyang—Jia’s much-revisited and filmed hometown—lays the foundations for an epoch-spanning triptych, describing the past, present, and future of three characters (including leading lady Zhao Tao...

  • Pasolini

    Directed by Abel Ferrara | 87 mins | 2014
    The quotidian Roman life and the imaginary worlds of Pier Paolo Pasolini intermingle in Ferrara’s retelling of the final days in the life of the 50-year-old filmmaker, writer, and public intellectual in a lovely, haunting bricolage that includes text from...

  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

    Directed by Park Chan Wook | 129 mins | 2002
    Fired from his factory job, the deaf, gentle Ryu finds work in the underworld—and begins on a path that will end in an explosion of visceral violence. A brutal, claustrophobic film of escalating desperation, illustrating with grim logic how an ordinary...

  • The Projectionist

    Directed by Abel Ferrara | 81 mins | 2019
    Ferrara’s fond, often funny portrait of Nicolas “Nick” Nicolaou, a Cypriot immigrant who got his start in movie houses working in the Times Square porno theaters in the 1970s and has held on into the 21st century as an independent exhibitor in spite of ov...

  • Unrelated

    Directed by Joanna Hogg | 100 mins | 2007
    Anna (Kathryn Worth) arrives in Tuscany to visit her school friend Verena (Mary Roscoe), Verena’s cousin, and her new husband—but to the dismay of all, 45-year-old Anna seems more interested in spending time with the trio’s teenaged kids (including a youn...

  • It Felt Like Love

    Directed by Eliza Hittman | 82 mins | 2013
    There’s not a single false moment in It Felt Like Love, Never Rarely Sometimes Always director Hittman’s feature debut about a sexually inexperienced south Brooklyn teenager (Gina Piersanti) who’s embarrassed to fess up to everything she doesn’t know abo...

  • Songs My Brothers Taught Me

    Directed by Chloé Zhao | 93 mins | 2015
    The feature debut of Zhao, future winner of Best Director Oscar for Nomadland, Songs My Brother Taught Me is an understated yet deeply felt naturalistic drama about life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, focused on two siblings (Jashuan ...

  • Hannah Arendt

    Directed by Margarethe von Trotta | 113 mins | 2012
    In her sixth teaming with von Trotta, a sublime Barbara Sukowa plays philosopher and writer Arendt, in Jerusalem to report on the 1961 trial of Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker—the assignment that will produce her famous coi...

  • Navigators

    Directed by Noah Teichner | 85 mins | 2022
    Teichner’s tragicomic essay film describes the unlikely voyage of the ship dubbed the “Soviet Ark” which, five years after being used by the United States government to deport 249 radicals and anarchists, would become part of Buster Keaton’s 1924 comedy ...

  • Il Buco

    Directed by Michelangelo Frammartino | 93 mins | 2012
    In rugged Calabria, Italian speleologists explore the depths of the Bifurto Abyss, Europe’s deepest cave, reaching 700 meters below the Earth’s surface—their excavations drawing the attention of a shepherd on the nearby Pollino plateau, whose ...

  • Life and Nothing More

    Directed by Antonio Méndez Esparza | 114 mins | 2017
    Spanish-born Esparza’s acclaimed sophomore feature is a delicately drawn, urgently emotional neorealist depiction of contemporary life lived at the precipice of despair, concerning a struggling single mother (Regina Williams) raising two kids i...