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Reservoir Dogs (1992) Directed by Quentin Tarantino Tarantino’s revelatory gut-punch of a first feature, now 25 years old, has profoundly influenced crime movies. It established snappy dialogue on life’s banalities, 1970s nostalgia, extreme casual violence, vintage noir tribute, and foul-mouthed jokes as staples of the genre that endure to this day. The tone is set in the legendary pre-credit sequence, with the color-codenamed gang of veteran thieves eating at a diner. Mr. Pink (Buscemi) whiningly questions...
To Sleep with Anger (1990) begins innocuously, as a portrait of a Black American family with Southern roots that has been transplanted for some time to Los Angeles. Older bearlike patriarch Gideon (played by Paul Butler) pines for the affections of his spouse, the midwife Suzie (Mary Alice), who disputes with him over how he treats their adult sons. Junior (Carl Lumbly), who has long been seen as the correct, hard-working one, is resentful...
In a Lonely Place (1950) Directed by Nicholas Ray Humphrey Bogart never topped the character he played in this bleak noir, an alcoholic, vindictive writer who may or may not have murdered a girl he takes home one night. Ray’s direction consistently pulls focus onto the savage glint in the actor’s bared teeth and flop sweat, but the director also hones in on Bogie’s hangdog sadness. A subsequent, non-starter romance with Gloria Grahame presents a modernistic...
"Story by Lana and Dad," reads an end-titles credit in Alexandre Rockwell's Little Feet, which opens tomorrow at IFC Center. In the film, Rockwell's real-life younglings Lana and Nico set off on a barely hourlong dyssey to return their lonely goldfish to bigger waters; that the fish is a proxy for the (fictional) kids’ own dead mother surfaces and recedes throughout, approximating the resilience of a bereft but distractable child. (Rockwell himself, the director...

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