The Late Movies: New York Times Critics' Picks

Ransom Riggs

One of my favorite new features on the NYTimes website are videos by film critic A.O. Scott in which he discusses and dissects some of his (and my) favorite films. Not new releases, but classics and oldies-but-goodies that folks who aren't cinema geeks may not have seen. They're quick, fascinating peeks that make me want to run out and rent whatever's being discussed every time. Here are some of the best.

I love Rushmore, and I love hearing people who love Rushmore talk about Rushmore. Take it away, A.O.

As long as we're thinking about school, here's Scott's clever analysis of The Graduate.

And as long as we're in the 70s, let's take a look at The Deer Hunter.

And as long as we're looking at movies from the 70s about troubled young men with guns, we should probably talk about Dog Day Afternoon.

Here's my favorite X-rated movie, Midnight Cowboy. Now you'll understand why George Costanza was so excited about owning Jon Voight's car.

A fascinating film that seems to have more in common with the existentialist literature of the 50s than the racing films of the 60s and 70s, Two-Lane Blacktop was always a favorite around the halls of my alma mater, USC film school, since it was directed by one of our favorite instructors, Monte Hellman. It is also, weirdly, James Taylor's only starring movie role. (He says about ten words in two hours.)

Looking on the bright side of life, here's Monty Python's Life of Brian.

One of my absolute favorites, Annie Hall. (I'm into leather.)