Waterloo Bridge (dir. James Whale, 1931): A refreshingly different pre-code film from the afore-discussed Red-Headed Woman and Baby Face, this one sticks to your basic melodrama motifs, very D.W. Griffith style but minus the epic scope. WWI bombs dropping on London form the catalyst for the melodrama, ending up with feel reminiscent of A Farewell to Arms (which came a year later) and the like.
The Dangerous Thread of Things (dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 2004): Typical but atypical Antonioni. Great to see some of those big shots of alienation and juxtaposition again, along with perfectly square and perfectly diagonal angles like only a Neorealist who loves Eisenstein can pull off. Dialogue is atrocious. This probably would have worked better not as a silent film, but without any talking. Hard to see what the big guy is getting at, but apparently he sees his “sickness of eros” as having some kind of hedonistic cure.
Broken Blossoms (dir. D.W. Griffith, 1919): A case study of any issue within a hundred miles of gender, this one is a tight, cohesive, and theoretically pornographic (in its etymological sense) excuse to watch a bunch of people die: the macho male “ideal,” the helpless damsel, and the aww-aren’t-you-sweet foreigner who attempts to rescue said damsel before coming to his own pathetic end. So much for proselytizing Buddhism and spreading world peace; the poor devil goes from missionary to creep, in the end making life even worse for poor Lucy and her pure-evil father/husband figure Battling Burroughs. We have Griffith to thank or to blame for so many of these now-common features of narrative cinema. Check it out here.