miller's crossing

Can’t make it down to Lincoln Center for the final few screenings of “NYFF: Opening Act”? Well, then, what better way to gear up for the 51st New York Film Festival (underway in just a few days) than by watching selections from past editions in the comfort of your own home?  Joseph Pomp culled together a list of 50 films now streaming on Netflix Instant, including 8 by directors with new films in this year’s main slate.


1. Miller’s Crossing (1990) – The Coen Brother’s moody gangster period piece made for a notoriously unpopular Opening Night film when it premiered thirteen years ago.  Featuring poetic autumnal photography (by none other than MIB mastermind Barry Sonnenfeld) and the sort of breakthrough performance for Gabriel Byrne that we anticipate Inside Llewyn Davis providing for Oscar Isaac, this is top-shelf Coen.

2. Being John Malkovich (1999) – After a decade of killing it on the skate and music video fronts, Spike Jonze won critics’ hearts with this mindfuck of a debut (for him and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman both).  Shame on you if you haven’t seen this yet, but you have the next few weeks, until Her makes its world premiere as the Closing Night film.

3. Bloody Sunday (2002) – Before the Jason Bourne films, Paul Greengrass (director of this year’s opening night film, Captain Phillips) made a name for himself with this unflinching look at the eponymous day of killings in 1972 in Northern Ireland.

4. S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003) – Documentarian Rithy Panh (whose new film, The Missing Picture, is also about the Khmer Rouge) interrogates the genocidal regime of the Cambodia of his childhood.

5. Woman is the Future of Man (2004) – If you’re not a fan already, Hong Sang-soo is your new best friend in world cinema.  Often considered a Korean response to Eric Rohmer, he makes films about the relationships between men and women, about neurotic intellectuals, culture clashes, and about time and filmmaking itself.  Both this and Nobody’s Daughter Haewon are indispensable, magical, but also realist, romantic comedies.

6. White Material (2009) – A dreamscape about an outsider (Isabelle Huppert) in Cameroon, also the country of Claire Denis’ 1990 debut.  Read Max Nelson’s review of her new film, Bastards, over at Film Comment.

7. Police, Adjective (2009) – A Cannes prize-winning unraveling of the police procedural film by Romanian New Wave luminary Corneliu Porumboiu, whose new film When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism makes its U.S. premiere this week.

8. Bluebeard (2009) – Catherine Breillat reworked Charles Perrault’s classic fairytale for this brief but memorable film that stars Lola Créton (Something in the Air, Bastards).  Her new film, Abuse of Weakness, adapted from her own novel, sees her returning to more personal territory.

9.  A Woman is a Woman (1961)

10. Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968)

11. Tristana (1970)

12. Xala (1974)

13. My Brilliant Career (1979)

14. Vernon, Florida (1981)

15. Marlene (1983)

16. 28 Up (1984)

17. Monsieur Hire (1989)

18. Lovers on the Bridge (1991)

19. Calendar (1992)

20. The Crying Game (1992)

21. Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1993)

22. The Piano (1993)

23. The Scent of Green Papaya (1993)

24. The Snapper (1993)

25. Carrington (1995)

26. Georgia (1995)

27. Strange Days (1995)

28. Nobody’s Business (1996)

29. The Apostle (1997)

30. The General (1998)

31. Kippur (2000)

32. The Taste of Others (2000)

33. My Mother’s Smile (2002)

34. 21 Grams (2003)

35. Keane (2004)

36. Methadonia (2005)

37. Something Like Happiness (2005)

38. The Sun (2005)

39. Bamako (2006)

40. The Go-Master (2006)

41. Paranoid Park (2007)

42. Gomorrah (2008)

43. Tony Manero (2008)

44.  Life During Wartime (2009)

45.  Meek’s Cutoff (2010)

46.  My Joy (2010)

47.  Silent Souls (2010)

48.  Tuesday After Christmas (2010)

49 . Corpo Celeste (2011)

50 . The Kid with the Bike (2011)