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SPOTLIGHT's Film Curation Archives

Spotlight: Biopics

A notoriously difficult genre to do well, biopics nevertheless hold an enduring appeal. In addition to capturing a period of years, sometimes decades, in a scant few hours, they also extend the promise of real insight, and the possibility of knowing someone we otherwise would not. This week we offer some of our favorites.

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Spotlight: First Features, Part II

In Part II of our First Features Spotlight, we focus on films released this millennium, from directors like Andrey Zvyagintsev, who has built a substantial body of work since his 2003 debut with The Return, to Panah Panahi, son of Jafar Panahi (whose first film was included in First Features, Part I), who made his debut with Hit the Road just last year, in 2022.

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Spotlight: First Features

A first film is a singular moment in a director’s career — sometimes taking the tentative first step down a long path, sometimes announcing the arrival of a fully-formed vision and sensibility. The disparate films collected here represent the debut features of some of the great directors of the last 100 years.

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Spotlight: Anti War Films for Armistice Day

Armistice Day, which marks the beginning of the end of WWI, known at the time as the war to end all wars, occurs this year in the midst of devastating conflict. In recognition, we present anti-war films from around the world, about conflicts past and present, from a variety of perspectives.

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Spotlight: There's Something Wrong with This House!

Enter if you dare: spooky staircases, dark hallways, and creaking floorboards lie ahead! To celebrate Halloween, this week we present stories of haunted houses, where characters are menaced by ghostly terrors, nightmares-turned-real, and the malevolent architecture itself.

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Spotlight: Spaghetti Westerns

October is Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month, a good opportunity to recognize the Italian incarnation of that quintessentially American genre, the Western. Borrowing the conventions of the genre, the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s and 70s employ them differently and to different ends, creating something new.

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Spotlight: Catherine Deneuve

Happy birthday Catherine Deneuve! With more than 100 credits to her name, the grande dame of French cinema has been nominated for the César for Best Actress 14 times, and won twice, and has worked with many of the major European directors of the 20th century.

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Spotlight: New Polish Cinema

The New Polish Cinema arose out of a newfound freedom and independence from Stalinist censorship in the years after the Polish October of 1956. This freedom led to the exploration of formerly taboo subjects such as politics and sexuality, as well as formal experimentation with narrative and cinema.

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Spotlight: Directors: Werner Herzog

A maverick director of fiery narratives and boldly stylized documentaries, Werner Herzog is a seemingly unstoppable force whose filmmaking career began when he stole a camera from school in 1961, came into its own in the New German Cinema movement of the 1970s and '80s, and has been going strong ever since.

SEE ALL: Directors: Werner Herzog