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My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 10/9-16/2015
ON NETFLIX: Laura, the classic film noir based on the book by Vera Caspary and directed by Otto Preminger, is one of the most enjoyable thrillers from that period. A woman is murdered and the detective involved falls in love with her through her portrait and her history as told to him by a vicious gossip columnist who was her mentor and who loved her as well. Though Gene Tierney as the title character and Dana Andrews as the investigating officer can’t quite make the romance convincing (they were never the greatest of actors), the supporting cast, Clifton Webb (nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) as the Wenchell like columnist; Vincent Price (in what I think is his best performance) as a gigolo; and Judith Anderson as a wealthy matron more than willing to pay for his services, make the movie as a triumvirate of some of the nastiest characters in film. And the screenplay gives them the wit to do it.
ON HULU: Based on a book by Elmore Leonard, Life of Crime is a fun, if perhaps minor, comic thriller about a kidnapping that doesn’t go according to plan. Written and directed by Daniel Schechter, it stars John Hawkes as the head of the gang; Jennifer Anniston as the one abducted; and Tim Robbins as the husband who doesn’t care if he gets his wife back or not.
FIRST RUN and OPENING: The Final Girls, Taxi Tehran, Victoria, The Martian, Labyrinth of Lies, Pawn Sacrifice
REVIVAL AND ART HOUSES:
AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Egyptian: 1925 Phantom of the Opera, 10/10; Dog Day Afternoon, 10/10; A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Serpent and the Rainbow, 10/11; The Assassin, 10/12;
AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Aero: What We Do In the Shadows, 10/15;
LACMA: Ghost of Frankenstein, 10/13
UCLA ARCHIVES at the Hammer Museum: The Night of the Hunter, Macbeth, 10/16
NEW BEVERLY: Day of the Dead, The Crazies, 10/14-15; Cruising, Seven, 10/16-17
CINEFAMILY at the Silent Movie Theater: The Thin Man, 10/11; Goodnight Mommie, 10/11-14, 16