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My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 11/27-12/4/15
ON NETFLIX: Since Spotlight has hit the theaters and is the front runner for the Best Picture at the Oscars, perhaps it’s time to visit the first film of writer/director Tom McCarthy The Station Agent. A character study of a small person who likes to walk train tracks (Peter Dinklage); the owner of a food van (Bobby Cannavale); and an artist who is recovering from a tragedy (Patricia Clarkson), who lives all come together in a remote location in New Englan.
ON HULU: A Short Film about Killing is a full length version of the episodes from the great ten part film The Decalogue (the shorter film is called Thou Shalt Not Kill). Written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz and the director Krzysztof Kieslowski, it’s a bleak and unflinching look at capital punishment that so affected Poland, the government put a five year moratorium on death penalty.
SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT: A restored print of The Army of Shadows will be playing this week at the Laemmle Royale. Adapted from a novel by Joseph Kessel by writer/director Jean-Pierre Melville, it follows a group of resistance fighters during WWII. What makes the film so powerful is the difficult moral questions that the characters must decide on in a distinctly amoral situation. Perhaps Melville’s greatest film, and he did Le Cercle Rouge, Bob la Flambeur and Le Samourai. Not to be missed.
FIRST RUN and OPENING: Creed, The Good Dinosaur, The Danish Girl, Mustang, The Wonders, Brooklyn, Carol, James White, Legend, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2, Room, Spotlight, Trumbo
REVIVAL AND ART HOUSES:
AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Egyptian: Rear Window, 11/27; Gone With the Wind, 11/28
AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Aero: Singing in the Rain, 11/27; Gun Crazy, He Ran All the Way, 11/28; Spartacus, 11/29; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Crime and Misdemeanors, 12/4
LACMA: High Society, 12/1
NEW BEVERLY: The Dirty Dozen, 11/27-28
UCLA ARCHIVES at the Hammer Museum: A Face in the Crowd, The Naked Kiss, 11/30
CINEFAMILY at the Silent Movie Theater: Rocco and his Brothers, 11/27-12/2