A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT
LE FOND DE L’AIR EST ROUGE
1977, Icarus Films, 180 min, France, Dir: Chris Marker

As brilliant as it is indescribable, GRIN WITHOUT A CAT looks at the rise and fall of the worldwide revolutionary movement, from France in May 1968, to the anti-Vietnam riots in the United States, to the terrible Soviet crushing of the Prague Spring. The French title of the film is untranslatable in English; roughly, it means "Revolution Is in the Air," a metaphor at once wistful and ever-hopeful. Given the current world situation, GRIN WITHOUT A CAT is, now more than ever, an epic event not to be missed. In one of the film’s many high points, Marker dissects the famous Odessa Steps sequence in BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN - a revolutionary landmark that never actually occurred.


DEATH WATCH
1980, Westchester Films, 117 min, United States, Dir: Bertrand Tavernier

Shot in Glasgow, Scotland, this unsettling drama takes place in a future where fatal illness is as rare as voyeurism is rampant. Besieged by reporters after she has been diagnosed with an incurable disease, Romy Schneider takes off with acquaintance Harvey Keitel - unaware that a camera has been implanted in his eye to film her final days for a reality show. With Harry Dean Stanton (as a ratings-hungry TV exec) and Max von Sydow.


A DRY WHITE SEASON
1990, Park Circus/MGM, 97 min, USA, Dir: Euzhan Palcy

In this blistering drama, Donald Sutherland plays Ben du Toit, a schoolteacher in South Africa, whose eyes are opened to the brutality of apartheid when a black acquaintance is murdered by the police. To bring those responsible to justice, du Toit enlists a human rights attorney (Oscar-nominated Marlon Brando, who emerged from a near-decade retirement to take the role). With Susan Sarandon.


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