(Boris Ingster, 1940) · Often cited as the first "true" film noir of the classic period (1940-1959), Stranger on the Third Floor features an innocent protagonist falsely accused of a crime who is desparate to clear himself. Reporter Michael Ward is the key witness to a murder and is soon accused of a similar crime himself. Print courtesy of the Library of Congress
runtime: 64m format: 35mm
(John Sayles, 1991) · A film to which Roger Ebert granted the rare perfect star rating, John Sayles' City of Hope captures the entire essence of living life in an urban setting. Through the examination of more than three dozen characters, Sayles offers a look into the crime, political machinations, the cost of individual apathy, and the follies of late capitalism of the fictitious New Jersey metropolis Hudson City. Painting an expressionistic fresco of urban life, Sayles was able to foreshadow the cult classic The Wire that would define the next decade of television.
runtime: 129m format: 35mm
(Andy Warhol, 1966) · Up on the fourth floor loft of Warhol's NYC Factory in 1966, The Velvet Underground and Nico gather under Warhol’s "direction" for a long and loose improvisational jam session. His camera in frenetic sync (or better, discord) with the band's playing as it zooms into/moves across their faces--a pale, shades-wearing Lou Reed on guitar, and Nico and her son in the room's center--Warhol captures a document (and only decent footage) of the band that was arguably first to perform to the hazy tune of "alternative."
runtime: 103m format: 16mm
(Dario Argento, 1985) · Overshadowed by his earlier classic Suspiria, Dario Argento's underrated, horror giallo Creepers stars Jennifer Connelly in her first leading role as a student who has been transferred to a remote Swiss boarding school. There, she discovers along with a split personality, she has a unique telepathic ability to communicate with insects, which may be able to help her discover the serial killer who has been butchering women at and around the school.
runtime: 83m format: 35mm