1960, Dir. François Truffaut. French with English subtitles. Reclusive Charlie (Charles Aznavour) is a skilled concert pianist whose role in his wife's suicide has led him to hide from his past by playing in a seedy bistro surrounded by gangsters. He is befriended by a woman who tries to restore him to his former glory. This comedie noire has become a French New Wave classic. Duration: 84 minutes
1982. Director Chris Marker, the cinema's globetrotter/essayist par excellence, expands his defiantly eclectic vision in SANS SOLEIL to create his best film to date. Refiltering and synthesizing sounds and images with astonishing fluidity, Marker dissolves the distinctions between fiction and non-fiction film, offering the viewer the extraordinary sensation of simultaneously spanning the globe and being enclosed within someone's mind. Duration: 110 minutes
1950, dir. John Huston, starring Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, and Marilyn Monroe. The original heist film, inspiring many remakes including THE KILLING, RESERVOIR DOGS, and THE USUAL SUSPECTS. This suspenseful thriller tells the story of a group of small-time criminals who engineer a million dollar jewelry heist. A vivid and bitter commentary on social hypocrisy and alienation, THE ASPHALT JUNGLE focuses on the characters themselves, their motivations, and the details of their profession. This classic 1950 film won John Huston two Oscar nominations for his screenplay and direction. It also features Marilyn Monroe's first speaking role. Duration: 112 minutes
1952, dir. Vincente Minelli. Cast: Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame, Gilbert Roland, Leo G Carroll, and Sammy White. Produced by John Houseman, the film won five Academy awards in 1952. Under the direction of Vincente Minelli, this typical Hollywood "inside story" chronicling the ruthless rise of an aggressive producer, loosely based on Val Lewton, becomes a fascinating study of a man destroyed by the 50's success ethic, left broke, alone, and slightly insane. Unusually strong performances by Douglas as Minnelli's manic Everyman and supporting characters Lana Turner and Dick Powell. Duration: 118 minutes.
1951, dir. Christian Nyby, prod. Howard Hawks, stars Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan. In this sf/horror landmark, scientists in the arctic uncover a frozen alien being. When the creature accidently thaws, they are forced to fight for their very survival. The movie won its classic status from its dark, dreary, and isolated atmosphere, paranoid plot and vivid characterizations. Duration: 87 minutes
1951, dir. Robert Wise, stars Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal. Klaatu, a civilized alien, comes to uncivilized Earth to warn its inhabitants of the threat that they are to themselves and to other worldly civilizations. Klaatu's purpose is to get this message across to the leaders of the world, lest violent action be taken against Earth by the planets Klaatu represents. A true classic; a landmark science fiction film and one of the very few early science fiction movies created for an adult audience. Is also one of the first science fiction movies with an anti-nuclear theme. Second only to FORBIDDEN PLANET as the best '50's sci-fi movie. Duration: 88 minutes
1997, dir. Martin Scorsese. With the unadulterated joy of a child at play, a giggling two-and-a-half-year-old handles a number of objects that litter his table. To the boy, this is nothing more than a simple diversion. To the gathering of monks who surround him, watching and appraising this unprepossessing child, it is a sacred process of insightful divination. In 1937, this child, from a rural family in Tibet, was recognized as the fourteenth reincarnation of the Buddha of Compassion. Exalted as the latest in the lineage of Dalai Lamas, this young boy would be positioned to lead Tibet through its most unsettling period of political strife and spiritual adversity. When Mao Zedong's Chinese communist army began ravaging his homeland in 1950, the Dalai Lama stood alone on the world stage, refusing to sacrifice the Buddhist principle of nonviolence throughout his country's long resistance. Duration: 130 mins.
1992, dir. Alexandre Rockwell. Aldolpho (Steve Buscemi) is an aspiring movie writer/director who has penned the 500-page script to a film called UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER. Needing money to pay the rent, Aldolpho offers to sell the script for a few hundred dollars. Enter Joe (Seymour Cassel), who, much to Aldolpho's surprise, is not so much interested in buying the script as in producing the movie. So, with Aldolpho's help, Joe sets out to raise the $250,000 budget - through a variety of crimes, including theft and drug dealing. While Aldolpho is uncertain about Joe's methods, his desire to make the movie overcomes his scruples, not only because he wants to see his work on film but because he wants to put his beautiful next-door neighbor Angelica (Jennifer Beals) in a starring role. Duration: 93 minutes
1993, a film by Reinhard Jud. James Ellroy, author of L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, has transcended the crime genre to become one of America's most daring and original writers. Shot before the publication of his autobiography, MY DARK PLACES, this film is a visual tour of the corrupt, paranoid L.A. of Ellroy's books. As intense a screen presence as any of his characters, Ellroy makes a mesmerizing tour guide as he drives around his hometown in an old Cadillac convertible, stopping at the site of the famous Black Dahlia murder that obsessed him as a child, the expensive houses he used to break into, and the area where his mother was brutally killed. More than just a portrait of the writer, it is a journey into the dark side of America. Duration: 90 minutes
1997, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and based on Elmore Leonard's 1995 bestseller RUM PUNCH, JACKIE BROWN is at once a comic crime caper and a story of real people who occasionally step over the line of legality. Jackie (Pam Grier) supplements her meager income as a stewardess by smuggling cash into the U.S. for gunnrunner Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) -- until the day an ATF agent (Michael Keaton) and an LA cop (Michael Bowman) bust her at the airport. As the cops pressure her to help them bring down Ordell, Jackie confronts Ordell's confederates, Louis Gara (Robert De Niro) and Melanie Ralston (Bridget Fonda) who have agendas of their own. By appearing to cooperate with both sides, Jackie arrives at a bold, almost foolhardy plan to outfox everyone and walk away with a half million dollar payday. Duration: 151 minutes
1983, dir. Francis Coppola. Based on S.E. Hinton's popular novel, this is a story about kids from the wrong side of the tracks. Two opposing groups, the Greasers and the Socs, continually fight for their "turf". With a bounty of brats, including C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, Glenn Withrow, and Diane Lane. Duration: 91 minutes
1973, dir. Martin Scorsese. Scorsese's early masterpiece, set in New York's Little Italy, features a tremendous cast headed by Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro. Keitel, an aspiring mobster, finds his Catholic background, his love for a young woman and his attachment to an irresponsible friend hindering his fledgling Mafia career. Well-integrated into the story is a superlative `60s soundtrack. Scorsese's gritty portrayal of gangland life and his superlative photographic and editing techniques have made this bristling drama often imitated but rarely equalled. Duration: 110 minutes
WHITE LIGHTA Color Performance each Saturday at 7:00