Armchair Cinephile 

PICK OF THE WEEK:
Breathless
(Criterion)

Movies don’t get much more influential than Jean-Luc Godard’s landmark, which put the French New Wave on the map. And influential films don’t get much more fun than Breathless, which oozes good-humored cool and self-conscious sex appeal in the form of leads Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg.

Days of Heaven
(Criterion)

Texan Terrence Malick, among the least prolific and most admired filmmakers around, earned a place in the history books with this wheat-field-set romantic triangle, whose golden photography is spoken of with reverence by just about anyone who knows anything about cinematography.

 

Battleship Potemkin
(Kino)

You know that great staircase scene in The Untouchables, where the cops shoot it out with gangsters while a baby carriage tumbles toward its doom? It’s a blatant lift from (I mean “homage to”) this silent-era classic by Sergei Eisenstein.

The Sopranos
Season 6, Part II
(HBO)

I still think splitting a TV season into two parts on DVD is a tease and a rip-off for fans, but at least this time it reflects the series’ actual divided broadcast schedule, which culminated in that big series finale that people couldn’t stop talking about.

Burt Lancaster: Signature Collection (Warner Bros.): Though not as fashionable these days as less-macho screen idols, Lancaster was always watchable. The swashbucklers in this set hail from the ’50s, with the exception of oddball 1973 entry Executive Action, scripted by blacklisted hero Dalton Trumbo.


More by John DeFore

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