1979, Janus Films, 163 min, Soviet Union, Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky

A sci-fi tale that unwinds in the environs of the soul takes the form of a nightmarish quest for nothing less than truth itself. A writer (Anatoli Solonitsin) and a scientist (Nikolai Grinko) follow a shaven-headed "stalker" (Aleksandr Kadjanovsky) into forbidden territory, a dangerous wilderness known as the Zone. Tarkovsky forces - or perhaps allows - "reality" to yield up abstract images of startling originality, and his vision of landscape is nothing less than truly mystical - these are places to be found only in humankind's spiritual Baedeker. On top of everything else, Tarkovsky was a director who truly grasped the aesthetic power of color, and this unforgettable pilgrimage is bathed in eerie sepia hues.

1993, Sony Repertory, 125 min, USA, Dir: Jonathan Demme

In one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to deal with AIDS, Tom Hanks stars as a young attorney suffering from the disease who must retain a small-time lawyer (Denzel Washington) to lead a wrongful termination suit against his former employer. This acclaimed drama costars Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Antonio Banderas and Joanne Woodward, and earned Oscars for Hanks' moving performance and Bruce Springsteen's original song "Streets of Philadelphia."

1980, Janus Films, 104 min, West Germany/Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

Made during Bergman’s self-imposed exile in Germany, this drama offers a lacerating portrait of a troubled marriage and a complex psychological analysis of a murder. Unhappily married businessman Peter nurses fantasies of murdering his wife, Katarina, until a prostitute becomes his surrogate prey. In the aftermath of the crime, Peter and Katarina’s psychiatrist and others attempt to explain its roots. This compelling film moves seamlessly between dream and everyday reality, between lurid color and austere black and white, and the acting by the German cast is superb.

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