BLAST OF SILENCE
1961, Universal, 77 min, USA, Dir: Allen Baron

This engrossing independent production from late in the classic noir era, shot entirely in New York, tracks a stoic hitman (played by director Allen Baron himself, who also wrote the script) returning to his home turf for what’s meant to be a quick, efficient assignment. Fate, guilt and double crosses intervene. Like Kubrick’s THE KILLING and Wendkos’ THE BURGLAR, this film represents the transition from studio noir to independently produced “neo-noir.”


SISTERS
1973, Janus Films, 92 min, USA, Dir: Brian De Palma

Margot Kidder is Danielle, a beautiful model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When a hot-shot reporter (Jennifer Salt) suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously ensnared in the sisters’ insidious sibling bond. A scary and stylish paean to female destructiveness, De Palma’s first foray into horror voyeurism is a stunning amalgam of split-screen effects, bloody birthday cakes and a chilling score by frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann.


5 IS THE PERFECT NUMBER
5 E’ IL NUMERO PERFETTO
2019, Playtime, 100 min, Italy/Belgium/France, Dir: Igor Tuveri (Igort)

Based on Igort’s (né Igor Tuveri) most famous graphic novel, 5 IS THE PERFECT NUMBER is a hyper-stylized noir thriller set in crime-ridden 1970s Naples. Toni Servillo stars as retired hitman Peppino Lo Cicero, who is devastated by the sudden murder of his only son. Unable to trust anyone in this criminal underworld, Peppino returns to his violent trade and embarks on a bloody quest for revenge. Nominated for Best Film (Venice Days) at the Venice Film Festival 2019.


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