Browse our education events. Use film and TV in my classroom. Read research data and market intelligence. For the bucket list: a selection of some of the best thrillers ever made. How many have you seen? As in his better-known A Separation , Asghar Farhadi renders moral questions as nail-biting as a Fast and Furious car chase. Pivoting among a large ensemble of characters, Farhadi retains absolute command of his inquest into sexual repression and social conformity. A one-armed stranger gets off. A pulsating and memorably sleazy blockbuster , packed with sex and violence.
As brutal as a Michael Mann thriller, without a drop of blood spilt. Lang holds the shot on the hob as the boiling pot is removed. Explicit, no. Set against the patriotic American bicentennial, it builds to a memorably tragic conclusion and folds into itself with a startling sense of self-awareness. Among the subtlest of great thrillers, Le Boucher is meticulous, psychologically probing and deeply suspenseful.
The only film on our list with a sex educator on set probably. Best of all, the gay relationship is part of the film, not the whole film. And it feels genuinely sexy. Sex education money well spent. Characters may be thinly sketched, but the scenario is effectively nightmarish, and Russell drives the narrative through raw emotion alone. Atmospherically set in s London watch out for a cameo from The Zombies , this unsettling missing-toddler case sees thriller master Otto Preminger experiment with lacing psychological thrills and social realism. Two years before Psycho ripped open film grammar, this layered masterpiece pored over similar psychosexual fissures — shockingly for an Egyptian film in But where Hitchcock crept into interior recesses, Youssef Chahine — who also plays a lame, tormented newspaper seller — made his film a communal trauma echoing with the tumult of newly republican Egypt.
Robert Mitchum plays a force of brute evil in this disturbing family-in-peril chiller. His lecherous ex-con Max Cady begins a campaign of terror on the household of the lawyer Gregory Peck whose testimony sent him down. A Christmas Carol reworked as a heist thriller. The irony, of course, is that the sinner — charming to the staff, brutally honest with Fordyce — offers salvation. A stylish two-hander , simmering with tension.
Gene Hackman is exceptional as a paranoid surveillance expert, while Walter Murch and Art Rochester were Oscar-nominated for the evocative sound design. Fred Zinnemann was likely more famous for his westerns and romantic dramas than his thrillers, but he tackled big material in this political drama: the attempted assassination of French president Charles De Gaulle. Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill play the grieving couple whose recuperative sailing trip takes a deadly turn after they rescue a marooned man. Full of vertiginous peril, guess-the-psycho gameplay and fish-out-of-water fun, Deadly Pursuit was once the stuff that video-rental dreams were made of.
The daddy of all weekend-gone-wrong survival thrillers stars Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds as Atlanta businessmen who get more than they bargained for on a canoe trip through the wilderness. Harrowing stuff, and a haunting film about our desecration of the land. The wife and mistress of a repulsive man team up to remove their mutual problem, but disposing of the corpse is more difficult than they anticipate.
A crime movie that encourages the audience to side with the murderers. Famed for its audacious, rapid dialogue, dripping with sexual innuendo, Double Indemnity places insurance salesman Fred MacMurray in the path of ice-blonde aspiring widow Barbara Stanwyck. Directed by Billy Wilder as a series of confessional flashbacks, from a script co-written by Raymond Chandler and adapted from a James M. Cain story, this is film noir at its finest. Nothing can be trusted and nothing stays still for long in this slick, excessive and hugely influential paranoid thriller.
As commuter David Mann Dennis Weaver is randomly targeted by an unseen trucker, Spielberg utilises the isolated location and universal fear of the unknown to deliver a tense David and Goliath-esque thriller. Sniffy, but — with hindsight — dead right. The thrill of his revolution, however phony, endures.
One is one of the best thrillers of all time, the other stars Steven Seagal. Rebecca De Mornay is suitably unhinged as the nanny wreaking bloody havoc on the family she believes responsible for the death of her husband and unborn child. With Lemming to follow, director Dominik Moll looked peerless for a brief spell in the early s. No cliffhangers or races-against-the-clock here. No beheadings either. The Headless Woman unfolds in a state of foggy concussion, with the facts hanging tantalisingly out of reach.
Echoes of They Drive by Night and The Wages of Fear reverberate around this testosterone-fuelled study of the risks taken by pittance-paid truckers. Seething with macho resentment, Stanley Baker leads an exceptional cast of British acting stalwarts including Sean Connery and Patrick McGoohan who ably square up to the reckless action sequences and no-nonsense realism.
Someone is sending them surveillance videos of their Paris apartment. High and Low , set in s Yokohama, offers a true test of nobility. The adventure lies in seeing which way a good man will turn, and whether he can retain his goodness, despite its absence around him.
A race against the clock. The final shootout romps through the town, leaving a trail of burned out barns and panicked horses in its wake. A psychopath takes two friends captive after they offer him a ride, tormenting them mentally and turning them against each other, on a trip across the Mexican border. Inspired by the story of spree killer Billy Cook, The Hitch-hiker is a brutally chilling movie, and the first film noir to be directed by a woman, former actor Ida Lupino. The girl cried wolf, the pack turned on its own.
A textbook example of the all-star conspiracy thriller. Director and co-writer Erik Skjoldbjaerg expertly utilises his atmospheric Norwegian location for this tense murder mystery. Stellan Skarsgard is Swedish murder investigator Jonas Engstrom, who, struggling to cope with the 24 hours of daylight, makes a terrible mistake that has dramatic implications on the case.
Christopher Nolan helmed an English language remake in A veteran Italian star of spaghetti westerns, Gian Maria Volonte plays a nasty, calculating police chief in this vicious satire of police corruption. When the chief kills his mistress, he leaves a trail of clues in his wake to see if he can actually get arrested for his crime.
Petri and Volonte shared a leftist sensibility, and here they work to ferociously indict the endemic hypocrisy of the Italian powers-that-be. Due for an imminent remake, Ittefaq — shot by Yash Chopra in 28 days as a distraction from a postponed project — was not typical Bollywood. It opts for sleuthy fun over noirish brooding every time, fired up by a feverish Rajesh Khanna performance that kickstarted his career. Vidya Balan — who already had a strong track record of female-centric works — turns Kolkata upside-down as a pregnant woman searching for her husband in the wake of a terrorist attack.
Ambiguity is the name of the game in the first of Alan J. In Klute , he combines old-timey noir tropes and a thoroughly liberated attitude towards sex in the story of a high-class call girl Jane Fonda who helps a careworn detective Donald Sutherland to solve a mysterious homicide. Why try to hide it? How tell about it? No word will ever ease my father's lot There was always plenty of butter and cheese on our table.
Buttered bread, like an eternal symbol, was never out of my childish hands. One of the main sources of income of the Jewish population of the town was from the manufacture of clothing that was sold throughout the Russian Empire. They also made furniture and various agricultural tools. This caused the creation of Jewish market-villages shtetls throughout today's Eastern Europe, with their own markets, schools, hospitals, and other community institutions.
Chagall wrote as a boy; "I felt at every step that I was a Jew—people made me feel it". I feel panicky, especially in front of butchers' windows. There you can see calves that are still alive lying beside the butchers' hatchets and knives". My death would be futile. I so wanted to live". Get along! Most of what is known about Chagall's early life has come from his autobiography, My Life. In it, he described the major influence that the culture of Hasidic Judaism had on his life as an artist. Chagall related how he realised that the Jewish traditions in which he had grown up were fast disappearing and that he needed to document them.
Vitebsk itself had been a centre of that culture dating from the s with its teachings derived from the Kabbalah. Chagall scholar Susan Tumarkin Goodman describes the links and sources of his art to his early home:. Chagall's art can be understood as the response to a situation that has long marked the history of Russian Jews.
Though they were cultural innovators who made important contributions to the broader society, Jews were considered outsiders in a frequently hostile society Chagall himself was born of a family steeped in religious life; his parents were observant Hasidic Jews who found spiritual satisfaction in a life defined by their faith and organized by prayer.
In Russian Empire at that time, Jewish children were not allowed to attend regular schools or universities. Their movement within the city was also restricted. Chagall therefore received his primary education at the local Jewish religious school, where he studied Hebrew and the Bible.
At the age of 13, his mother tried to enroll him in a regular high school, and he recalled, "But in that school, they don't take Jews. Without a moment's hesitation, my courageous mother walks up to a professor. A turning point of his artistic life came when he first noticed a fellow student drawing. Baal-Teshuva writes that for the young Chagall, watching someone draw "was like a vision, a revelation in black and white".
Chagall would later say that there was no art of any kind in his family's home and the concept was totally alien to him. When Chagall asked the schoolmate how he learned to draw, his friend replied, "Go and find a book in the library, idiot, choose any picture you like, and just copy it". He soon began copying images from books and found the experience so rewarding he then decided he wanted to become an artist. He eventually confided to his mother, "I want to be a painter", although she could not yet understand his sudden interest in art or why he would choose a vocation that "seemed so impractical", writes Goodman.
Wladimir and Курт. Journey through Germany and Russia searching for relatives
The young Chagall explained, "There's a place in town; if I'm admitted and if I complete the course, I'll come out a regular artist. I'd be so happy! Due to Chagall's youth and lack of income, Pen offered to teach him free of charge. However, after a few months at the school, Chagall realized that academic portrait painting did not suit his desires. Goodman notes that during this period in Imperial Russia, Jews had two basic alternatives for joining the art world: One was to "hide or deny one's Jewish roots".
The other alternative—the one that Chagall chose—was "to cherish and publicly express one's Jewish roots" by integrating them into his art. For Chagall, this was also his means of "self-assertion and an expression of principle. Chagall biographer Franz Meyer, explains that with the connections between his art and early life "the hassidic spirit is still the basis and source of nourishment for his art.
Years later, at the age of 57 while living in the United States, Chagall confirmed this when he published an open letter entitled, "To My City Vitebsk":. Why did I leave you many years ago? You thought, the boy seeks something, seeks such a special subtlety, that color descending like stars from the sky and landing, bright and transparent, like snow on our roofs.
Where did he get it? How would it come to a boy like him? I don't know why he couldn't find it with us, in the city—in his homeland. Maybe the boy is "crazy", but "crazy" for the sake of art. You thought: "I can see, I am etched in the boy's heart, but he is still 'flying,' he is still striving to take off, he has 'wind' in his head. I did not live with you, but I didn't have one single painting that didn't breathe with your spirit and reflection.
In , he moved to Saint Petersburg which was then the capital of the Russian Empire and the center of the country's artistic life with its famous art schools. Since Jews were not permitted into the city without an internal passport, he managed to get a temporary passport from a friend. He enrolled in a prestigious art school and studied there for two years.
Chagall was an active member of the irregular freemasonic lodge, the Grand Orient of Russia's Peoples. While in Saint Petersburg, he discovered experimental theater and the work of such artists as Paul Gauguin. Bakst moved to Paris a year later. Art historian Raymond Cogniat writes that after living and studying art on his own for four years, "Chagall entered into the mainstream of contemporary art.
His apprenticeship over, Russia had played a memorable initial role in his life. In My Life , Chagall described his first meeting her: "Her silence is mine, her eyes mine. It is as if she knows everything about my childhood, my present, my future, as if she can see right through me. In , Chagall relocated to Paris to develop his artistic style. Art historian and curator James Sweeney notes that when Chagall first arrived in Paris, Cubism was the dominant art form, and French art was still dominated by the "materialistic outlook of the 19th century".
But Chagall arrived from Russia with "a ripe color gift, a fresh, unashamed response to sentiment, a feeling for simple poetry and a sense of humor", he adds. These notions were alien to Paris at that time, and as a result, his first recognition came not from other painters but from poets such as Blaise Cendrars and Guillaume Apollinaire. Some days he "felt like fleeing back to Russia, as he daydreamed while he painted, about the riches of Slavic folklore, his Hasidic experiences, his family, and especially Bella".
He would spend his free hours visiting galleries and salons, especially the Louvre ; artists he came to admire included Rembrandt , the Le Nain brothers, Chardin , van Gogh , Renoir , Pissarro , Matisse , Gauguin , Courbet , Millet , Manet , Monet , Delacroix , and others. It was in Paris that he learned the technique of gouache , which he used to paint Belarusian scenes. He also visited Montmartre and the Latin Quarter "and was happy just breathing Parisian air.
Chagall was exhilarated, intoxicated, as he strolled through the streets and along the banks of the Seine. Another completely new world that opened up for him was the kaleidoscope of colours and forms in the works of French artists. Chagall enthusiastically reviewed their many different tendencies, having to rethink his position as an artist and decide what creative avenue he wanted to pursue. However, "night after night he painted until dawn", only then going to bed for a few hours, and resisted the many temptations of the big city at night.
Many of his works were updated versions of paintings he had made in Russia, transposed into Fauvist or Cubist keys. Chagall developed a whole repertoire of quirky motifs: ghostly figures floating in the sky, Their "undertone of yearning and loss", with a detached and abstract appearance, caused Apollinaire to be "struck by this quality", calling them "surnaturel!
But Sweeney notes that others often still associate his work with "illogical and fantastic painting", especially when he uses "curious representational juxtapositions". Sweeney writes that "This is Chagall's contribution to contemporary art: the reawakening of a poetry of representation, avoiding factual illustration on the one hand, and non-figurative abstractions on the other".
Chagall took 40 canvases and gouaches, watercolors and drawings to be exhibited. The exhibit, held at Herwarth Walden's Sturm Gallery was a huge success, "The German critics positively sang his praises. After the exhibit, he continued on to Vitebsk, where he planned to stay only long enough to marry Bella. However, after a few weeks, the First World War began, closing the Russian border for an indefinite period.
A year later he married Bella Rosenfeld and they had their first child, Ida. Before the marriage, Chagall had difficulty convincing Bella's parents that he would be a suitable husband for their daughter. They were worried about her marrying a painter from a poor family and wondered how he would support her. Becoming a successful artist now became a goal and inspiration. According to Lewis, "[T]he euphoric paintings of this time, which show the young couple floating balloon-like over Vitebsk—its wooden buildings faceted in the Delaunay manner—are the most lighthearted of his career".
In , Chagall began exhibiting his work in Moscow, first exhibiting his works at a well-known salon and in exhibiting pictures in St. He again showed his art at a Moscow exhibition of avant-garde artists. This exposure brought recognition, and a number of wealthy collectors began buying his art. He also began illustrating a number of Yiddish books with ink drawings. He illustrated I.
Peretz 's The Magician in The October Revolution of was a dangerous time for Chagall although it also offered opportunity. Chagall wrote he came to fear Bolshevik orders pinned on fences, writing: "The factories were stopping. The horizons opened. Space and emptiness. No more bread.
Journey through Germany and Russia searching for relatives
The black lettering on the morning posters made me feel sick at heart". This resulted in his founding the Vitebsk Arts College which, adds Lewis, became the "most distinguished school of art in the Soviet Union". It obtained for its faculty some of the most important artists in the country, such as El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich. He also added his first teacher, Yehuda Pen.
Chagall tried to create an atmosphere of a collective of independently minded artists, each with their own unique style. However, this would soon prove to be difficult as a few of the key faculty members preferred a Suprematist art of squares and circles, and disapproved of Chagall's attempt at creating "bourgeois individualism".
Chagall then resigned as commissar and moved to Moscow.
It was set to begin operation in early with a number of plays by Sholem Aleichem. For its opening he created a number of large background murals using techniques he learned from Bakst, his early teacher. One of the main murals was 9 feet 2. One critic at the time called it "Hebrew jazz in paint". Chagall created it as a "storehouse of symbols and devices", notes Lewis.
Famine spread after the war ended in The Chagalls found it necessary to move to a smaller, less expensive, town near Moscow, although he now had to commute to Moscow daily using crowded trains.
100 thrillers to see before you die
In , he worked as an art teacher along with his friend sculptor Isaac Itkind in a Jewish boys' shelter in suburban Malakhovka , which housed orphaned refugees from Ukrainian pogroms. After spending the years between and living in primitive conditions, he decided to go back to France so that he could develop his art in a more comfortable country.
Numerous other artists, writers, and musicians were also planning to relocate to the West. He applied for an exit visa and while waiting for its uncertain approval, wrote his autobiography, My Life. In , Chagall left Moscow to return to France. On his way he stopped in Berlin to recover the many pictures he had left there on exhibit ten years earlier, before the war began, but was unable to find or recover any of them. Nonetheless, after returning to Paris he again "rediscovered the free expansion and fulfillment which were so essential to him", writes Lewis.
With all his early works now lost, he began trying to paint from his memories of his earliest years in Vitebsk with sketches and oil paintings. He formed a business relationship with French art dealer Ambroise Vollard. This inspired him to begin creating etchings for a series of illustrated books, including Gogol 's Dead Souls , the Bible, and the La Fontaine's Fables.
These illustrations would eventually come to represent his finest printmaking efforts. He instead stayed in France, "painting ceaselessly", notes Baal-Teshuva. However, Raynal was still at a loss to accurately describe Chagall to his readers:. Chagall interrogates life in the light of a refined, anxious, childlike sensibility, a slightly romantic temperament His imagination, his temperament, no doubt forbid a Latin severity of composition.
He made repeated trips to the countryside, taking his sketchbook. I should like to recall how advantageous my travels outside France have been for me in an artistic sense—in Holland or in Spain, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, or simply in the south of France. There, in the south, for the first time in my life, I saw that rich greenness—the like of which I had never seen in my own country.
In Holland I thought I discovered that familiar and throbbing light, like the light between the late afternoon and dusk. In Italy I found that peace of the museums which the sunlight brought to life. In Spain I was happy to find the inspiration of a mystical, if sometimes cruel, past, to find the song of its sky and of its people. And in the East [Palestine] I found unexpectedly the Bible and a part of my very being. After returning to Paris from one of his trips, Vollard commissioned Chagall to illustrate the Old Testament. Although he could have completed the project in France, he used the assignment as an excuse to travel to Israel to experience for himself the Holy Land.
He arrived there in February and ended up staying for two months. Chagall felt at home in Israel where many people spoke Yiddish and Russian. According to Jacob Baal-Teshuva, "he was impressed by the pioneering spirit of the people in the kibbutzim and deeply moved by the Wailing Wall and the other holy places". Chagall later told a friend that Israel gave him "the most vivid impression he had ever received". Wullschlager notes, however, that whereas Delacroix and Matisse had found inspiration in the exoticism of North Africa, he as a Jew in Israel had different perspective.
As a result, he immersed himself in "the history of the Jews, their trials, prophecies, and disasters", notes Wullschlager. She adds that beginning the assignment was an "extraordinary risk" for Chagall, as he had finally become well known as a leading contemporary painter, but would now end his modernist themes and delve into "an ancient past". He walked the streets of the city's Jewish quarter to again feel the earlier atmosphere.
He told Franz Meyer:. I did not see the Bible, I dreamed it. Ever since early childhood, I have been captivated by the Bible. It has always seemed to me and still seems today the greatest source of poetry of all time. Chagall saw the Old Testament as a "human story, She points out that in one of his early Bible images, "Abraham and the Three Angels", the angels sit and chat over a glass of wine "as if they have just dropped by for dinner". He returned to France and by the next year had completed 32 out of the total of plates.
By , at the beginning of World War II, he had finished However, Vollard died that same year. Baal-Teshuva writes that "the illustrations were stunning and met with great acclaim. Once again Chagall had shown himself to be one of the 20th century's most important graphic artists". Each picture becomes one with the event, informing the text with a solemn intimacy unknown since Rembrandt. Anti-Semitic laws were being introduced and the first concentration camp at Dachau had been established. Wullschlager describes the early effects on art:.
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The Nazis had begun their campaign against modernist art as soon as they seized power. Beginning during about twenty thousand works from German museums were confiscated as "degenerate" by a committee directed by Joseph Goebbels. After Germany invaded and occupied France, the Chagalls naively remained in Vichy France , unaware that French Jews, with the help of the Vichy government , were being collected and sent to German concentration camps, from which few would return.
Chagall had been so involved with his art, that it was not until October , after the Vichy government, at the behest of the Nazi occupying forces, began approving anti-Semitic laws, that he began to understand what was happening. Learning that Jews were being removed from public and academic positions, the Chagalls finally "woke up to the danger they faced". And it is in the dragging-out of the war at enormous expense, until the democracies are tired or bored or split that the main hopes of Germany and Japan must reside.
It did not take the form of flaring battles and glittering achievements, it manifested itself through statistics, diagrams, and curves unknown to the nation, incomprehensible to the public. A whale wallowing on the beaches! There were neither snow-shoes nor skis - still less skiers. We must do our best. Thus began this ramshackle campaign. The Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the future of Christian civilization. This day, you are to take part in an offensive of such importance that the whole future of the war may depend on its outcome.
The Poland of the Versailles Treaty will never rise again. My confidence in you knew no bounds. You have not disappointed me" - June 5th, "You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down. It would be a wonderful thing for all of humanity if both peoples would renounce force against each other forever. The German people are ready to make such a pledge. And it wants peace also owing to the realization of the simple primitive fact that no war would be likely essentially to alter the distress in Europe.
The principal effect of every war is to destroy the flower of the nation. Germany needs peace and desires peace! We shall adhere to it unconditionally. We recognize Poland as the home of a great and nationally conscious people. We're being crushed by the enemy weight. We are facing very difficult days, perhaps the most difficult that a man can undergo" - November 3rd, "The enemy must be annihilated before he reaches our main battlefield.
We must stop him in the water, destroying all his equipment while it is still afloat!
This man cannot be tolerated in our vicinity. Either he disappears or we march! But they didn't do it. Last enemy blockhouse in our hands. A complete breakthrough! Victorious Italian troops crossed the Greco-Albanian frontier at dawn today! These conferences called by the ringing of a bell are not to my liking. The bell is rung when people call their servants. And besides, what kind of conferences are these? It is a question of life and death. Tanks and their crews were shelled and burned, whole regiments of infantry encircled.
Entire battalions of troops, the spearhead of the Red Army, were cut off from their reinforcements and supplies. Therein lies the destiny of the world. We were fighting on our last line and it has been breached. I am helpless, I cannot intervene. This fleet will be utterly crushed with one blow at the very beginning of hostilities. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up. World War 2 Events Chronological Order. Invasion of Poland Battle of the River Plate Battle of the Atlantic Winter War Invasion of Norway Invasion of France RAF Bombing Campaign Dunkirk Battle of Britain