1942, dir. Michael Curtiz. Outranked only by Citizen Kane on the American Film Institute's Top One Hundred list, Casablanca is WWII's most memorable romance. It also provided many of the Warner Brother's "usual suspects" with their most memorable roles. Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains, S. Z. Sakall, Conrad Veidt, and Dooley Wilson are part of the talented ensemble led by Paul Henreid, Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in the film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1942. We've played it before, and we'll play it again, Sam. 102 min.
1941, dir. John Huston. Considered by many to be the first and finest example of detective film noir, Huston's masterful adaption of Dashiel Hammett's hard boiled thriller was also his directorial debut. The Maltese Falcon paved the way for numerous screen versions of novels by Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler, Hammett, and other lesser knowns. Humphrey Bogart is flawless as detective Sam Spade. His adversaries, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Elisha Cook Jr., and, of course, the charmingly devious femme fatale, Mary Astor, are equally memorable in this tantalizing tale of greed and deception. 101 min.
1998, Writer/director Todd Solondz describes his new film "Happiness" as "a series of intertwining love stories, stories of connections missed and made between people, how people always struggle to make a connection, and to what degree they succeed or don't." Set and filmed in the American suburbs of New Jersey where Solondz grew up, "Happiness" follows a complex storyline woven through the lives of almost a dozen central characters, It explores the "demonic side of our nature," in Solondz' words. Suburbia is an environment he is drawn to less for the underlying darkness, which many filmmakers have looked at in recent years, than for the chance to "honestly examine the appeal of living in this kind of world," he says, "how it pulls on us and perhaps pushes us away." 134 mins.
1998, dir. Marc Levin. Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Camera d'Or at Cannes. Set in a war-zone housing project known as Dodge City and in the infamous Washington, D.C. city jail, Slam tells the story of Ray Joshua, a talented young poet and rapper who is busted on petty drug charges and sucked into the black hole of the criminal justice system. In jail, Ray meets Lauren, a volunteer teaching a writing class for prisoners. She encourages Ray to use his gift to give voice to the anguish of a generation of young men who have been thrown away. A gritty, inspiring portrait of urban poverty and the redemptive power of art, "Slam... seizes hold of your imagination," wrote Sundance juror Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly. "It's the kind of movie that makes you believe in movies." 103 mins.
1982, dir. Ridley Scott. Harrison Ford stars in this jagged, futuristic thriller as an authorized exterminator of androids gone awry. Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah star as a pair of renegade robots whose physical prowess forces Ford out of the role of hunter and into the role of hunted. Sean Young plays the love-struck cyborg. Scott's space-age L.A. is a smoky, neon-drenched landscape seething with danger and decay. A stunning film adaptation of Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" 117 mins
1980, dir. Martin Scorsese. Based on the life of Jake LaMotta, the middleweight champion whose duels with Sugar Ray Robinson were a legend in the 1940s and '50s. Boxing is the arena, not the subject; the film is essentially a story of jealousy, suffered by LaMotta for his wife, Vickie (Cathy Moriarty). The closest relationship in the film is between Jake and his brother Joey (Joe Pesci). Pesci's performance is the counterpoint to De Niro's, and its equal; their verbal sparring has a kind of crazy music to it. Scorsese's most brooding work is a masterpiece of technical brilliance shot in vibrant tones of black and white, with excruciatingly observant dialogue and almost mythical boxing sequences. 129 mins
Local independent filmmaker, Scott Loughrey's
will play for a week. Keep checking this site for details.
WHITE LIGHTA Color Performance each Saturday at 7:00