KAPURUSH (Satyajit Ray, 1965)

A tea plantation manager, Bimal Gupta, offers a night’s shelter to Amitabha Roy, whose car has broken down nearby. Gupta’s marriage to Karuna, who is young, like Amitabha, seems to be one of his defenses—drinking excessively seems another—against life’s boredom. A coward, he variously exploits Karuna for his own managerial ends rather than setting her […]

I HIRED A CONTRACT KILLER (Aki Kaurismäki, 1990)

The preeminent Finnish filmmaker, Aki Kaurismäki, was 33 years old when he made his seventeenth film, I Hired a Contract Killer, in English, in London. A deadpan comedy in the same spirit as his Finnish work, this is an extraordinary effort—indeed, perhaps the best film comedy of the past twenty years save Otar Iosseliani’s Monday […]