2007, Paramount, 157 min, USA, Dir: David Fincher

Based on the true story of the serial killer who terrorized San Francisco in the late 1960s, this engrossing mystery stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the manhunt; Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. are the police inspector and reporter, respectively, on the same mission. With a meticulous attention to detail (and plenty of foreboding atmosphere courtesy of Harris Savides’ cinematography), this may be the last word on a case that remains officially unsolved.

2002, Rialto Pictures, 170 min, France/Germany/Spain, Dir: Bertrand Tavernier

Inspired by the memoirs of filmmaker Jean-Devaivre, this rich drama serves as a love letter to moviemaking while illuminating a painful period of French history. During the 1940s German Occupation, Devaivre (played here by Silver Bear winner Jacques Gamblin) and screenwriter Jean Aurenche (Denis Podalydès) struggle to continue making films without selling their souls to the Nazis.

1969, Milestone Films, 251 min, France/Switzerland/West Germany, Dir: Marcel Ophuls

This two-part look at the collaboration between the French government in Vichy and the Nazis during WWII is one of the most devastating films ever made. In a series of interviews with both supporters and opponents of the French-German arrangement, Ophuls revolutionized the art of nonfiction filmmaking. Famously featured in Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL, the film received an Oscar nomination in 1971 for Best Documentary Feature.

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