(Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japan, 1964): Using sand as the operative metaphor for the instability of identity and futility of escape, Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes blends a modernist cinematic sensibility with a near noir account of fate and desire at the bottom of a big hole. At the...

(Sergio Leone, Italy/Spain/West Germany, 1964): "There's money to be made in a place like this." So speaks the stranger (Clint Eastwood) of the desert shithole he's just ridden into on the back of a mule. The town, pretty much two rows of bleached buildings facing a...

(Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1966): As ravishing as Lawrence of Arabia yet infinitely more inscrutable and ambitious, Andrei Tarkovsky's second film aims to place the making of art both in the context of sweeping historical forces and insurgent spiritual resistance. As notorious for its troubled release history -- Soviet...

(Lindsay Anderson, UK, 1968): If revolution was widely presumed necessary by 1968, Lindsay Anderson's If...

(Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria, 1966): There was no shortage of anti-colonialist revolutionary theory in circulation during the 1960s, but I doubt any of it -- save maybe Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth -- had the viscerally inciting impact of Gillo Pontecorvo's still-incendiary The Battle of Algiers. Scrutinized with equal --...

(Alain Resnais, France, 1961): Modernism's great Egyptian tomb of a movie, as strenuously inscrutable as ancient hieroglyphics, deliberately prowled as though a labyrinth of sacred secrets, and populated by ghosts of the dead. If it sits as stubbornly in its historical moment as the statuary on...

(Michael Powell, UK, 1960): The London street corner where a hooker lingers beneath a streetlamp is as phony looking as any New York avenue concocted by Stanley Kubrick in Eyes Wide Shut nearly forty years later, but the effect is considerably more sinister, instantly establishing...

( Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea, France, 2009): The madness on display in Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno, a pastiche assembly of the unfinished 1964 film noir the notoriously perfectionistic director of Quai des Orfevres and Diabolique nearly lost his mind and life in the making, is nothing if not methodical. Intended by the infamously...

(John Boorman, USA, 1967): The image of Lee Marvin, perched on the rocks surrounding Alcatraz, about to slip into the deathly waves rolling between him and the city of San Francisco rising in the distance, suggests a primal force on the move: a monster on...

(Arthur Penn, USA, 1967): Of those movies that suggested an undeniable countercultural infiltration of the moviegoing mainstream by 1967, Bonnie and Clyde is the one that still stands as vital, beautiful and dangerous. Watching it, you can still feel the period's undercurrents surging, and its combustible alchemy of sex, violence...