(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...

(Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1952): The death of a bureaucrat: foretold by an x-ray; preceded by reckoning; mocked at the dead man's own wake. Life coming and going: only as meaningful as we make it, and that's all that matters. In the end, people will make of you what they...

(Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1950): In which one of John Ford's biggest fans anticipates printing the legend by a full decade and modernism emerges as the art house's defining architecture. Something happened in the forest that day. That much we know. There was clearly a death, but from murder or...