THE WILD BUNCH
1969, Warner Bros., 145 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

Saddle up for director Sam Peckinpah’s magnificent, ultra-violent Western, starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates and Jaime Sanchez as a band of doomed outlaws trying to outrun history. A film that forever changed the way violence was depicted and perceived in the movies. Co-starring Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, L.Q. Jones, Bo Hopkins and Strother Martin. “The movie was photographed by Lucien Ballard, in dusty reds and golds and browns and shadows. The editing, by Lou Lombardo, uses slow motion to draw the violent scenes out into meditations on themselves. Every actor was perfectly cast to play exactly what he could play; even the small roles need no explanation. Peckinpah possibly identified with the wild bunch. Like them, he was an obsolete, violent, hard-drinking misfit with his own code, and did not fit easily into the new world of automobiles, and Hollywood studios.” - Roger Ebert


AGE OF CONSENT
1969, Sony Repertory, 103 min, Australia, Dir: Michael Powell

James Mason is at his crotchety, hard-drinking best as Rabelaisian artist Bradley Morrison, sojourning on a remote isle off the Great Barrier Reef to try to jumpstart his dried-up muse. He finds inspiration unexpectedly in the form of nubile free spirit Cora Ryan (a delightful, gorgeous Helen Mirren in one of her earliest roles), an outspoken teenager living with her alcoholic harridan of an aunt (Neva Carr-Glynn). With a great turn by Jack MacGowran (CUL-DE-SAC, FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS) as Mason’s ne’er-do-well friend and Harold Hopkins as Mirren’s smitten, wannabe beau. Mason’s character was based on painter Norman Lindsay, famous for his sumptuous paintings of voluptuous nudes in natural settings.


BLACK NARCISSUS
1947, Park Circus/MGM, 99 min, UK, Dir: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s exquisite (and surprisingly erotic) drama of spiritual devotion and earthly temptation stars the luminous Deborah Kerr as a nun nearly overwhelmed by the physical beauty of her new Himalayan home, and the worldly charms of rugged David Farrar. Widely hailed as one of the most visually stunning films ever made (courtesy of Jack Cardiff’s Oscar-winning cinematography). Co-starring Sabu, Jean Simmons, Flora Robson. "Color, sex, exotic locations - it was a big hit in austerity-stricken England!" - Michael Powell


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