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My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 12/11-18/15
ON NETFLIX: Written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (based on a novel by Uzodinma Iweala), Beasts of No Nation is not an easy movie to always sit through. The plot revolves around Agu, a pre-teen who, during a civil war, is abducted by some guerillas and forced/manipulated into becoming a warrior for their side. The ending is possibly a bit too hopeful for the subject matter; it’s unclear that the story has really earned it. But it’s a very well done, well written and powerful story about the situation in some unstable countries in Africa.
ON HULU: Blind Chance is one of writer/ director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s finest films, as well as one of his most influential. A young man drops out of medical school and runs to catch a train. His story is played out three ways: if he makes the train; if he doesn’t make the train with no repercussions; if he doesn’t make the train and gets in trouble with the authorities. A haunting, beautiful film with one of the most shocking endings in film.
FIRST RUN and OPENING: The Big Short, Bleeding Heart, Boy and the World, Christmas Again, In Jackson Heights, Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words, Chi-Raq, Janis: Little Girl Blues, Theeb, Hitchcock/Truffaut, Youth, Creed, Brooklyn, Carol
REVIVAL AND ART HOUSES:
AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Egyptian: The Manchurian Candidate, The Man With the Golden Arm, 12/11; Ocean’s 11, 12/12; Guys and Dolls, 12/13; Auntie Mame, 12/16-17; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Scrooged, 12/18
AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Aero: The Last of the Mohicans, The Age of Innocence, 12/11; Pulp Fiction, 12/12; White Christmas, Holiday Inn, 12/18
LACMA: M, 12/11; Holiday, 12/15
NEW BEVERLY: Crimson Peak, Brides of Dracula, 12/11-14; Fiddler on the Roof, 12/16-17
UCLA ARCHIVES at the Hammer Museum: The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity, 12/12; Kiss Me Deadly, M, 12/13; Chicago, Applause, 12/18