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We’d love to give Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films to every one of our friends for Christmas. But unfortunately, given its $850 list price (or $650 as currently discounted by Amazon), that’s not going to happen.

If you do the math, though, this beautifully produced box set is actually a pretty great deal: $17 per DVD (or $13 with Amazon’s discount) for 50 of the greatest foreign movies ever made, including Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Rashomon, Truffaut’s The 400 Blows and Jules and Jim, Fritz Lang’s M, and G. W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box, the stunning Louise Brooks silent film. (Click HERE and scroll down for the complete list.)

The set comes with an elegant, illustrated 200-page book with background on each of the films, and a brief essay by Martin Scorsese outlining the extraordinary role the Janus film distribution company has had since it began introducing foreign masterpieces to American theatrical audiences in 1956.

Essential Art House is all the obvious things — a film school in a box, a way to wean yourself off fugue-state TV-staring without having to lean on Netflix, a gift that keeps on giving — but it’s also a testament to the gut-punch awesomeness of the best art. Discover or rediscover even a portion of the films here and you’ll be reminded once again that great cinema can be life-altering.

“>BUY Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

No purchase is necessary to enter or win the sweepstakes. The sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. For official sweepstakes rules, click HERE. Void where prohibited by law.

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