November – December 2015
“If 99 Homes is a scolding look at a society gone astray, it is also a minor masterpiece of suspense.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times
Set amidst the backdrop of the 2008 housing market catastrophe, Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), a hard-working and honest man, can’t save his family home despite his best efforts. Thrown to the streets with alarming precision by real estate shark Mike Carver (Michael Shannon), Dennis, out of work and luck, is given a unique opportunity—to join Carver’s crew and put others through the harrowing ordeal done to him in order to earn back what’s his. Delicately training his eye on the rigorous details, the reliably astute Ramin Bahrani imbues his characters with icy complexity to achieve his compassionate portrait of a man whose integrity has become ensnared within an all-too-relevant American crisis. With precision and care, Bahrani’s provocative character study applies all the cinematic tools at his disposal to explore the ethical dilemma at the heart of man’s struggle to reach higher—by whatever means necessary. – Sundance Film Fest.
In such acclaimed films as Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, and Goodbye Solo, American director Ramin Bahrani created compassionate portraits of ordinary people struggling to survive within a society that does little to aid them. Set amid the US housing-market meltdown of the last decade, his latest feature, 99 Homes, is his most compelling to date: an intimate and moving chronicle of a family that has become one of the many casualties of a culture of relentless consumption and economic overextension. – Toronto Film Fest.
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Directed by Ramin Bahrani, 2015. USA. 112 mins.
Fri, Nov. 27 – Thurs, Dec 3
Back from the pen, homme dur Jean Servais first belts around his ex-girlfriend Marie Sabouret, then rejoins copain Carl Möhner and cohort Robert Manuel, who’ve got a little jewel store smash-and-grab job lined up — but Servais wants the whole works. With the aid of freshly imported safecracker “César the Milanese” (director Dassin billed as “Perlo Vita”), the resulting classic heist — a legendary 30-minute sequence with no dialogue or music — provided a usable blueprint for real-life professionals (causing outright bans in some countries) — but then, another of Sabouret’s ex-boyfriends wants a big cut. A world-wide smash, Rififi raised eyebrows for its excessive gunplay, décolletage, and dope use — all of which led to its condemnation by the American Legion of Decency. Blacklisted Hollywood exile Dassin turned a potboiler by milieu specialist Auguste Le Breton into an existential thriller that earned him Cannes’ Best Director prize and set the standard for screen robberies for decades to come — from his own Topkapi to Mission: Impossible — while “Rififi” was subsequently stolen for titles of non-related thrillers. Philippe Agostini’s all-weather location shooting provides an invaluable time capsule of Paris in the 50s, with the late Magali Noël warbling the title song. Approx. 118 mins. DCP.
“THE BEST OF ALL HEIST MOVIES! Rififi mirrors the arcs of the criminal lives it examines: It seduces you in, and then won’t let you out cleanly. THIS IS TOUGH-GUY NOIR OF THE HIGHEST PROOF.”
– Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
Read full review here
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“A NOIR MASTERPIECE!”
– Andrew Sarris
“THE BEST FILM NOIR I’VE EVER SEEN!”
– Francois Truffaut
“The underworld equivalent of a sublime French meal… As Rififi goes on, it becomes as savage as Reservoir Dogs, The Killing, or any of the other dozens of films over which it still casts a shadow.”
– Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
“JUST ABOUT FLAWLESS! For lovers of tough-guy moviemaking, Rififi really means perfection. A genre movie brought off so keenly that it defines that genre’s strengths and limits… As a director, Mr. Dassin has perfect pitch. When anything disrupts the film’s dry yet convivial tone — like Tony beating his ex-lover for taking up with that nightclub owner in his absence — it registers as a troubling portent, not a dramatic miscue. The movie has been criticized for its astringency: no spontaneous emotion, no tender or playful impulse, goes unpunished. But that’s what gives the film its hardscrabble integrity. Mr. Dassin seduces you into thinking that you’re joining four underworld musketeers. Then he shows you there’s no room in this band for carefree camaraderie.”
– Michael Sragow, The New York Times
Reserved yoga instructor May (Biel) lives a peaceful, clean-living life with her boyfriend. But her carefully maintained equilibrium is thrown out of balance when she discovers her long-lost biological sister Shiva (Mamet), a street-smart yet naive young woman caught working the streets and trapped in an abusive relationship. May feels compelled to rescue the hapless Shiva but as she takes steps to pull Shiva back from the edge she finds herself increasingly drawn out of her sedate world and deeper into Shiva’s chaotic one.
Directed by Diane Bell. 2015. 80 mins. Starring Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet.
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