THE BIG BLUE
LE GRAND BLEU
1988, Gaumont, 138 min, France, Dir: Luc Besson

Sea lover Luc Besson lets his devotion to all things oceanic, particularly the experience of diving, run the full gamut of emotions here, making the water a character in and of itself. His very personal film is part mystical quest, part bittersweet romantic comedy, with Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr), who lost his diver father to the ocean, obsessed with proving himself more dolphin than man. Johanna (Rosanna Arquette) meets and falls in love with him while she is on a trip to Peru. She begins to follow Jacques on his mission, journeying to Taormina, Italy, where he will compete against childhood friend Enzo (Jean Reno) for a deep-sea free-diving championship (diving without oxygen tanks). “The real star of the film, however, is the third corner of the love triangle, the sea itself. Sumptuously captured by Besson's camera, and brought to life by Eric Serra's haunting score, it is sometimes beautiful and calm, other times dark and threatening. … There are so many reasons to love this film, and an opportunity to catch it in all its soaring majesty on the big screen should not be missed.” – Ben Stephens, Edinburgh University Film Society.


IRON MAN
1951, Universal, 81 min, USA, Dir: Joe Pevney

Jeff Chandler stars as Coke Mason, a Pennsylvania coal miner who is talked into becoming a boxer by his gambler brother (Stephen McNally). Coke’s wife (Evelyn Keyes) thinks her husband’s violent streak can make them millionaires, not caring that’s he’s becoming a villain in the public’s eyes. In the end, Coke fights for the title against … Rock Hudson! Based on the novel by W.R. Burnett and featuring Jim Backus, Joyce Holden and James Arness.


VARSITY PUNKS
2017, 101 min, USA, Dir: Anthony Solorzano

Senior A.J. Montoya (Cody Esquivel) is his high school’s star quarterback until he breaks his hand. In desperation, AJ realizes that his only shot at athletic glory is to team up with his longtime rivals - the cross country team, quirky misfits that have the potential to win big under the guidance of their coach (Efren Ramirez), a likable slacker who is chasing a big win of his own. Shot in El Monte, California, this teen comedy-sports drama hybrid will resonate with viewers whether they’re former jocks, nerds or something in between.


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