BOB LE FLAMBEUR
1956, Rialto Pictures, 98 min, France, Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville

Inspired by John Huston’s THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, Melville’s classic film is less a true noir than (in the director’s words) “a comedy of manners” - a romantic meditation on Montmartre, faithless women, old pros and casinos waiting to be knocked over. Suffused with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, BOB was “a letter to a Paris which no longer existed.”


RAN
1985, Rialto Pictures, 160 min, Japan, Dir: Akira Kurosawa

In Akira Kurosawa's epic and existential samurai/Noh theater rendition of Shakespeare's "King Lear," a once-merciless and bloodthirsty Lord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai) leaves his kingdom to his three sons. As Hidetora attempts to enjoy retirement in his twilight years, he is dropped into a nightmarish hell when filial squabbling and betrayal erupts. In Japanese with English subtitles.


THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY
LE FANTÔME DE LA LIBERTÉ
1974, Rialto Pictures, 104 min, France/Italy, Dir: Luis Buñuel

Surreal even by Buñuel standards, this loosely connected series of Monty Pythonesque sketches thumbs its nose at the conventions of storytelling as well as those of bourgeois society. Buñuel and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière dream up dirty pictures of French architecture, poker-playing monks, celebrity snipers, fox-hunting tanks and more, setting the table for a banquet of free-wheeling satire. In French with English subtitles.


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