1993, Universal, 99 min, USA, Dir: Joe Dante

In this laugh-filled valentine to B-movie ballyhoo, John Goodman stars as Lawrence Woolsey, a filmmaker eager to exploit current events and such dubious cinematic advances as “Atomo-Vision.” During the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, he brings his new movie MANT ("Half man, half ant, all terror!") to Key West, Florida. The shifting relationships of the local high school kids add a nostalgic glow to MATINEE’s mix of Cold War paranoia and pop-culture schlock, right up to the climactic screening of Woolsey’s magnum opus. Cathy Moriarty is wonderful as the showman’s mistress/star.

2011, Dikenga Films, 95 min, USA, Dir: Steve Balderson

In this film set against the backdrop of the 1969 moonwalk, a group of suburban housewives hold dinner parties to test out their new casseroles. As boozy flirtation begins to dominate the gatherings - and more than recipes start getting swapped - the story shifts from stylized humor to a drama about irresponsibility, selfishness and damaged people. Balderson’s film bursts with dazzling color and outstanding performances from Susan Traylor, Kevin Richardson (the former Backstreet Boy in his big screen debut), Daniela Sea and Pleasant Gehman. Winner of five Independent Vision Awards including Best Picture.

1960, 76 min, Czechoslovakia, Dir: Frantisek Vlacil

A forerunner of the Czech New Wave, Vlacil creates a touching allegory for the universal craving for freedom in his visually stunning first feature, infusing two parallel stories with powerful psychological connections. A homing pigeon released in Belgium flies across Europe toward a young girl who waits by the sea. A lonely boy in Prague wounds the bird with his gun and then remorsefully nurses it back to health, reluctant to set it free. With Katerina Irmanovova, Anna Pitasova. In Czech with English subtitles.

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