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Stalker (1979) Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky This is a beautiful restoration, with Tarkovsky’s previous feature Solaris to follow, courtesy of Mosfilm. Now a “quasi-private” venture, the studio outlived the USSR by adapting successfully to an environment of economic, rather than historical, materialism—meaning that it trades on the many Soviet-era classics it once produced, including Stalker and Solaris. Happily, nothing like the sci-fi apparatus of the earlier film exists in Stalker, though it too is an adaptation...
How to Be Loved (1963) Directed by Wojciech Has In Has’s masterful melodrama, a Polish radio-show personality, Felicja, takes a plane to Paris. During the flight, she reminisces about her experiences in Nazi-occupied Warsaw during World War II. Has, whose passion was to make time vividly felt in cinema, moves fluidly between Felicja’s flight conversations and jitters and her reminiscences: In the latter, we see her as an aspiring ingénue, whose theatrical career dreams are interrupted...
Opening Night (1977) Directed by John Cassavetes A drag of a cigarette. A hefty swig of booze. Amid murmurs of anticipation, renowned actress Myrtle Gordon, in the late summer of her career, makes her entrance on stage at the Orpheum Theater. She is starring in Second Woman, and her adoring fans await what’s to be an unforgettable performance. Cassavetes helms his ninth film, as ever, with a fluid camera, though this time around the movie...
A Bucket of Blood (1959) Directed by Roger Corman Before he gallivanted into the world of Edgar Allan Poe, Corman made this hysterical, grim comedy highlighting his distaste for the art world and obsession with the macabre. The immortal Dick Miller stars as hapless Walter Paisley, the busboy who wants nothing more than to be accepted by the chichi bohemians at The Yellow Door Cafe. After the slaughter of his landlady’s cat, Paisley creates an avant-garde...

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