SIN CITY
2005, Dimension Films, 124 min, USA, Dir: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Director Robert Rodriguez - with a little help from Quentin Tarantino - turned graphic novelist/co-director Frank Miller’s neo-noir tales of dark doings in Basin City into one of the most visually striking films of recent years. An anthology of several short stories (“The Hard Goodbye,” “The Big Fat Kill,” “That Yellow Bastard” and “The Customer Is Always Right”), SIN CITY features an all-star ensemble cast including Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Josh Hartnett, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro. The violent crime thriller was one of the first films shot on a digital backlot, with most of the sets (and color accents to the high-contrast B&W cinematography) added in post-production to create a look of glittering grime.


BLACK HAWK DOWN
2001, Sony Repertory, 143 min, USA, Dir: Ridley Scott

This true story of the Battle of Mogadishu, the longest sustained ground battle involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War, earned Oscars for Best Editing and Sound. An elite force of 120 American Delta units and Ranger infantry were dropped into Mogadishu on October 3, 1993, to abduct two lieutenants of the Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Instead, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, resulting in a 15-hour battle that left 19 Americans and hundreds of Somalis dead. With Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore.


THE VIRGIN SUICIDES
1999, Paramount, 97 min, USA, Dir: Sofia Coppola

For her feature directorial debut, Sofia Coppola adapted the Jeffrey Eugenides novel of adolescent repression and rebellion in an upper-class Detroit suburb in the 1970s. A group of local boys are mesmerized by the mysterious Lisbon sisters, who are kept on a short leash by overprotective parents James Woods and Kathleen Turner. When one of the girls (Kirsten Dunst) strikes up a relationship with one of the guys (Josh Hartnett), it sets in motion a chain of events that ends in tragedy.


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