2002, Miramax Films, 123 min, USA, Canada, Mexico, Dir: Julie Taymor

This biopic of Mexican surrealist artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) is a beautiful work of art in itself. Channeling the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage to famed muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) into her work, Kahlo struggled for recognition but only received it after her death; today her portraits are among the most valuable ever painted in Latin America. With Geoffrey Rush as Leon Trotsky. Production designer Felipe Fernandez del Paso was nominated for an Oscar for his brilliant and memorable work on the film.

1936, Warner Bros., 176 min, USA, Dir: Robert Z. Leonard

In this epic, spectacular fictionalized biography of Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld (William Powell) with original music by Walter Donaldson and Irving Berlin, we follow the rise and fall of an irrepressibly ambitious businessman as he relentlessly cultivates stars and ultimately creates the glamorous, leggy Ziegfeld Follies. With breathlessly lavish production numbers that define the grandeur of the 1930s MGM musical, THE GREAT ZIEGFELD must be seen on the big screen! With Luise Rainer, Myrna Loy, Fanny Brice, Virginia Bruce and Ray Bolger.

1983, Janus Films, 136 min, France, Poland, West Germany, Dir: Andrzej Wajda

Directed by Andrzej Wajda while in exile, the Polish filmmaker's French-language debut is an adaptation of "The Danton Affair," written in the 1920s by Communist playwright Stanislawa Przybyszewska. After the French Revolution, Paris suffers under the Reign of Terror as the government of the ruthless Maximilien de Robespierre (Wojciech Pszoniak) intimidates all opponents. Georges Danton (Gérard Depardieu), former friend of the leader, seeks an end to the bloodshed and, joined by Camille Desmoulins (writer-director Patrice Chéreau in his first acting role), attempts to bring peace to the streets of the capital. For his efforts, Danton is imprisoned, and awaits the guillotine with steely resolve. In French with English subtitles. "I do not know of any play or movie that has ever come so close to suggesting the fascinating complexity of the French Revolution." - Andrew Sarris, Village Voice

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