(Mervyn LeRoy, 1940) · Initially agreeing to the leading-lady role of Myra on the knowledge that Olivier would star as the male lead, Leigh instead ended up acting opposite Robert Taylor, who she believed was a poor fit for the role. Despite these issues, the pair created enough chemistry on screen as a down-on-her-luck ballerina and her lover, a soldier who is presumed dead but turns out to be alive, to make this film director Mervyn LeRoy’s favorite among his own work.
runtime: 108 min format: 35mm
(Frederick Wiseman, 1986) · This film comes from Wiseman’s 1986 tetralogy about the education of people with disabilities, one of his most ambitious projects. Shot at the Alabama School for the Blind, it’s filled with scenes of quiet triumph, as children and adolescents make hard-earned strides towards self-sufficiency. The director doesn’t idealize his subjects, however, but he presents them as fully human, and numerous scenes display his antiestablishment humor.
runtime: 132 min format: 16mm
(Orson Welles, 1947) · Welles as a seaman (and aspiring writer) finds himself caught in the crossfires of a murder plot with the eponymous seductress Elsa and her unscrupulous husband (a lawyer no less). The legendary climax in the Hall of Mirrors is only one of the many breathtaking sequences. True to the film's doomed love story, Welles was mid-divorce with star Rita Hayworth during filming, lending an intimate irony to this film noir with hints of black comedy.
runtime: 87 min format: DCP
(Umberto Lenzi, 1974) · Lenzi's sleaziest and arguably best film was billed as “an experience in psycho-sadism you will never forget.” No kidding. Almost Human is a headlong immersion into the psyche of the last person you'd ever want to cross paths with, indelibly played by Tomas Milian. He has no qualms about killing or betraying anyone on a whim, especially after kidnapping a rich man's daughter. Squirming disgust of man pairs with true beauty in scene and theme music.
runtime: 99 min format: 35mm
(Peter Weir, 1977) · In Peter Weir's even-more-uncanny follow-up to Picnic at Hanging Rock, an inexperienced lawyer (Richard Chamberlain) defends a group of Aboriginal men accused of murder during a freak rainstorm. In way over his head, he begins to dream of an upcoming apocalypse. Coincidence? Or is an ancient evil haunting the Dreamtime breaking through into our world? Armageddon's just around the psychic corner as the boundaries between reality and nightmare crumble.
runtime: 106 min format: 35mm
(Stanley Kubrick, 1987) · Born out of a desire to make a Holocaust film, Kubrick settled upon Vietnam to revisit the glory days of Paths of Glory. Kubrick's poetic episodes of new recruit training serve as a harrowing meditation on dehumanization in this tale. Former U.S. Marine Drill Instructor Ermey was originally hired as a technical advisor, but landed the role of Hartman, largely improvising his vicious insults and demeaning breakdown of each new recruit.
runtime: 116 min format: 35mm
(Damian Chazelle, 2014) · Trading a shank for a baton, J.K. Simmons’ turn as Terrence Fletcher recalls his role as Neo-Nazi inmate Vern Schillinger of Oz. The most terrifying screen villain of 2014, he still sells moments of tenderness between bouts of physical and emotional violence. Fletcher justifies the abuse as the only way to motivate young jazz musicians, in this case, a drummer played by Miles Teller. Simmons won the 2015 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
runtime: 108 min format:DCP
(Frank Tashlin, 1957) · Tashlin hits his peak with this satire of the advertising world, in which low-level adman Rock (Tony Randall) is eager to gain the fabled key to the executive washroom. Needing a celebrity endorsement for Stay-Put Lipstick, he approaches starlet Rita Marlowe (Jayne Mansfield), who’ll only sign on if he pretends to be her boyfriend. From the opening credits’ mock commercials to a film legend’s surprise appearance at the climax, this one is not to be missed.
runtime: 93 min format: DCP