Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not Seeming, but Being

Throughout this month I'll be doing a series of articles on Bergman and his films. I hope you'll keep up and join in the discussion.

I've heard it said that Ingmar Bergman's films are no longer as relevant as they once were, which is as dispiriting a statement of modern culture (and especially modern cinephilia) as I've ever heard. And, for someone like me, who not only worships Bergman but is ready, a little too willing, and hopefully able to defend classic cinema to the death, it's practically a rallying cry.

My fascination with Bergman began with a single image, and ironically it wasn't precisely one from his films, but rather the portion used by The Criterion Collection for their glorious Fanny and Alexander box set. It was to this image that I attached all manner of hopes and aspirations and aesthetic concerns. I'd wander the aisles of Newbury Comics, a frequent haunt for me and my college chums, occasionally picking up this box set, turning it over, constructing the film I imagined it to be, which as it happened, turned out very differently than the film it actually was.

I started watching Bergman aspirationally, I'll freely admit that, and what he and his films gave me was something far beyond what I ever imagined within the walls of Newbury Comics. He gave me a personal vision of faith and spirituality that I'd never heard and only suspected might exist, one driven by an ongoing struggle with the otherworldly that was nevertheless grounded in very real, human concerns.

The Fanny and Alexander I imagined was much different from what I actually saw, and what you'll have the opportunity to actually see if you live in the Los Angeles area. The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica is holding a four-day, seven-film retrospective over the first week of March, featuring some of Bergman's very best films. Of particular interest to me is the double feature of Wild Strawberries and Persona, my two absolute favorite Bergman films, and two films that are near ends of the spectrum across which Bergman ran, on March 8th. Aside from some dream sequences, Wild Strawberries is a pleasant, surprisingly warm treat, often very funny, displaying a nostalgia much more common to his early work, but with the experience of diving straight through his own soul in The Seventh Seal, made the year before, already behind him. While much of his early work involved emotional repercussions of direct confrontation, Wild Strawberries is really about the burden of what isn't said, and how we attempt to overcome the vast accumulation of that.

That the Aero put it on a double bill with Persona (pictured above) is all kinds of fascinating, but will provide a very rewarding evening for all involved. Persona is Bergman at once at his most radical and most direct. As with many of his films, it became the archetype of a certain flavor of the "European art film" that would go on to be mocked, parodied, and imitated for decades (hell, (500) Days of Summer did TWO Bergman parodies), but if one can shut out the post-modernist noise, what's onscreen is still one of the most emotionally harrowing experiences the cinema has to offer. At times sensual, at others tragic, always mysterious, Persona uses an intriguing shell - a young nurse (the beautiful Bibi Andersson) is assigned to care for an actress (Liv Ullmann, in the first of her many collaborations with Bergman) who, for whatever reason, refuses to speak, at an isolated summer house on an island - to get at questions of identity, memory, repression, guilt, reality, and the medium of film itself, but refuses to settle on answers. As another writer put it, "I don't understand this movie. I don't have to."

Wild Strawberries and Persona show at 7:30pm on March 8th. But let's go back to the beginning.

On March 1st at 7:30pm, they'll be showing The Virgin Spring and Hour of the Wolf. The former won Bergman his first Oscar in the foreign language category (he'd win twice more, and be nominated another nine, including notices for direction, screenplay, and picture, a feat unthinkable for a foreign language film in the modern awards environment), and would go on to inspire a Wes Craven horror film over a decade later. It's also the rare film that Bergman directed, but did not write, working instead from a very fine screenplay by Ula Isaksson. Working in the tradition of parable that Bergman often flirted with, but rarely engaged with so directly, The Virgin Spring is also the kind of film that draws narrative tension from an unsuspecting audience, so I'll simply say that its engagement with themes of revenge and morality in a religious context are deeply felt and thoroughly examined in astonishingly brief running time (like most Bergman films, it runs under 100 minutes). The ending still retains the power to devastate.

Hour of the Wolf is one of Bergman's few headfirst dives into surrealism and horror, even as its emotional terrain is not so different from Persona or Shame (not playing at the Aero, but well worth checking out). Liv Ullmann stars as a woman whose husband (Max von Sydow) is encountering increasingly horrific visions, which he believes to be demons. The manner in which Bergman navigates the horror is exceptional on levels both thematic and aesthetic, directly confronting the imagery as often as he teases it, and it becomes painfully clear that much of what we see is directly tied to Bergman's own consciousness (not that this is an unfamiliar phenomenon in his work).

The next night will be the first I'll attend (I'll be seeing a Robert Bresson double feature at LACMA on the 1st), when the Aero will present one of Bergman's most indelible works - Cries and Whispers. This is the film in the series I've seen least recently (only once in the fall of 2007), so I cannot recall specifics, but on a pure aesthetic level, this really, truly demands a big-screen experience. Unleashing bold, assaultive reds in a film about a dying woman (Harriet Andersson) and her two sisters (Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin) who have come to care for her, this is in many ways Bergman's most direct confrontation with death, both in the horror of facing it directly and the appreciation of life it inevitably engenders. While The Seventh Seal saw Bergman question mortality on an intellectual level, this is the work of a man who has seen all his fears realized, and is deeply thankful to have emerged on the other side.

The film they've paired with it, Autumn Sonata, is not a favorite of mine, though your mileage may vary and at the very least, the chance to see Cries and Whispers on the big screen is well worth the price of admission alone. Sonata does boast the only collaboration between Bergman and Ingrid Bergman (star of Casablanca, to whom Ingmar was not related), and her final performance. She plays a concert pianist who comes to stay with her daughter (Ullmann again), to whom she has not been the most attentive mother. Ingrid Bergman gives an amazing performance, far different from her screen persona of the 40s and 50s, but I've always felt Ullmann was perhaps too fragile and the dramatic strategies Ingmar Bergman employs are very forced, even for him. Still, as always, he digs at some issues rarely explored onscreen, and if you're there for Cries and Whispers already (and why wouldn't you be), another 90 minutes ain't much to spare.

On Sunday, March 4th, they'll be showing a film I've only kind of seen - 1982's Fanny and Alexander. Now let's make no mistake, I've SEEN the five-hour cut of Fanny and Alexander three times with my complete and undivided attention. I LOVE the five-hour cut to an extent that is almost incommunicable. No other Bergman film gives me as total joy as it, though, concerning as it does the rather harsh circumstances in which its titular characters (children, at that) are raised, it is not a thoroughly joyful experience. It is Bergman's most directly autobiographical film, and its liberties from his own upbringing are as telling as the tangible realities, but it's the perspective he lends it that makes it truly special. Bergman was in his sixties when he made it, but few other films understand and appreciate a child's point-of-view as he does here. The world is still one in which magic lingers at the edges for Alexander, though the unknowable is still as frightening as it is intriguing, and his emotional navigation through a life determined by others is so honest and pure I tend to well up just thinking about it.

I've never actually seen the three-hour theatrical cut, which is what the Aero is showing at 7:30pm that day, and could not speak to its effect, but should it be half the film its five-hour version is, its power is incomparable.

And that'll just about do it. To reiterate, the schedule, while can also be found here, goes like this (all start at 7:30):

March 1st - The Virgin Spring and Hour of the Wolf
March 2nd - Cries and Whispers and Autumn Sonata
March 4th - Fanny and Alexander
March 8th - Wild Strawberries and Persona

As Bergman's principle preoccupation was the notion of some supernatural force outside of the tangible aspects of life (or "God," though his concern was not always so specific), I wonder if the reason Bergman's films lack relevance (rather, a perceived relevance) is that the debate on God is more or less settled. Atheism and agnosticism are no longer considered radical or exotic standpoints; if anything, religion is now considered the outlying belief of the culturally educated person (i.e. the kind of person who would be most likely watch Bergman's films). The idea of grappling with the idea of God and His teachings, never mind religion, is so far removed from our culture. One either believes, or one does not. Either one are "fine," though each side tends to approach the other suspiciously, and religion is one of those topics you simply don't talk about, least of all seriously, and least of all with people with whom you disagree. It's not polite.

Or maybe it's just that they're damned hard films to watch, I don't know. I'm not going to lie and say Cries and Whispers or Persona are terribly entertaining, and certainly not easy, but then again, I would hate to pay and spend time exclusively with "easy" experiences. I certainly find them intellectually and emotionally exhilarating, so there's that, and I can nearly guarantee that any honest encounter, free of the irony or self-awareness that accompanies so much of modern culture, with an Ingmar Bergman film will leave you in some way changed. One cannot be numb to such experiences, lest one cease to truly live.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Again for Battleship Pretension, I share some thoughts on The Criterion Collection's new Blu-ray release of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's magnificent World on a Wire.

Sorry for the relatively low output as of late, but I have a big slate of writing assignments for March that I've been prepping, which should keep things mighty lively around here, particularly if you're as fond of Ingmar Bergman as I.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Experience

One thing I didn't get to in my review of Kino's DVD-only (and, it must be noted, outstanding) release of Fritz Lang's The Spiders (now posted at Battleship Pretension) is the rather odd phenomenon of seeing newly-minted, digital intertitles inserted into the film. This certainly does one the favor of translating the German intertitles to English without the use of pesky subtitles, but I wonder if the aesthetic interruption is actually greater than one for language.

Here, for example, is an early subtitle that demonstrates the default state of things (Kino changes their design to accommodate written notes as well, which is pretty sweet):

And here are three consecutive frames from that same scene, a social dinner engagement in which people speak only in exposition:

This is the best method I could conceive of to illustrate that this is not the most pristine print (this is actually one of the cleaner sections), which for the purposes of presenting the film, is in many ways appropriate considering it was made in 1919 (and, for those of us who love the medium, a real treat). But the image does flicker and flutter, damage marks fly across the screen, frames are missing, and it is in every way a very lived-in print. But it also sets up certain expectations of the viewing experience that are then gravely disrupted by Kino's choice to go with new digital intertitles.

It obviously doesn't totally wreck the whole affair, and the disc still gets a hearty recommendation, but it is a curious decision that I think could have benefitted from some elaboration. Perhaps the intertitles that accompanied the print (likely the only one in existence) were too damaged to even be read, or they were missing altogether. Maybe it is a larger, purposeful decision to honor legibility over consistency.

Anyway, I was quite high on the disc as a whole, which demonstrates how exceptional DVD still remains as a format, and for more on that, I would urge you onto Battleship Pretension.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oscar-Nominated Shorts (Live Action and Animated)

Shorts programs are always a bit of a mixed bag, which should be expected. Even in a selection as carefully curated as you'd hope the Oscar contenders would be, there are bound to be a few duds - after all, if you were to watch all nine Best Picture contenders, you'd probably come out wondering how a few got in there (and if you didn't, well...hey, to each their own I guess). But I'm more than happy to report that the crop this year is, on the whole, a very satisfying one.

As much as animated films are seen as the province of children, I actually found this year's selection far darker than the live-action division, which in turn was filled with stories of hope, redemption, and humor. Oh, sure, you have animated films such as Pixar's La Luna, about a young boy going on what appears to be his first fishing trip, but takes a whimsical turn towards celestial sanitation, and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a film about the power of the written word that relies on very little of it (even if it is a little satisfied with itself for doing so). La Luna in particular is extraordinary, and combined with its lighter subject matter and Pixar's reputation, it'd be hard to imagine it not taking the Oscar, and it'd be easy to say "oh, well, the Academy just likes their light, fluffy stuff" if the film wasn't in turn so damn great. It's a true big-screen experience as well, so those fortunate enough to see it in such an environment will be richly rewarded.

We'll get back to the animation, to end on a positive note, but on the live action end, looking over the list, I am once again struck by the considerable sameness of the batch. Pentecost and Time Freak are sort of two of a kind, taking rather irreverent and very funny looks at big topics - coming of age in a religious upbringing for the former, quantum physics for the latter, but have the incalculable benefit of being on the rather short side. It's not that I have places to be or whatever (although...), but most "shorts" running upwards of 30, 45 minutes tend to feel like abbreviated features, shortchanging the drama they're intent on introducing and making the most out of the few shooting locations their budgets would allow.

Of those films, we have three - Raju, The Shore, and Tuba Atlantic. The first two are unfortunately the most disposable of the bunch. Raju is the yearly "important topic concerning the third world" film, this time looking at orphanages that trade in kidnapped youth. That it manages to wring any drama from its subject is noteworthy, but once again, it's too short to really land except on a conceptual level, and in that case, a commercial for its cause would be equally effective. You get no sense of the protagonists as characters, so they stand in merely for stock types, and not a terribly endearing one - white people who simply must adopt a child from the third world. It is, however, much better than The Shore, a film about regret and redemption that decides to become a wacky chase comedy about three-quarters of the way through for little reason and deadly effect. It is what you fear when you enter any shorts program - taking much more time than any of the others, and wasting nearly all of it.

Tuba Atlantic is something else altogether. True, it relies on sort the sort of pat structure of a dying man going through the stages of grief while a young woman accompanies him (this is, for what it's worth, nearly the same set-up as an episode of Scrubs), but it's also completely bizarre. The dying man lives on the Norwegian shore, and is obsessed with destroying all the seagulls in his vicinity. Oh, and he also built a giant tuba with which he hopes to send messages to his brother living in America. So as predictable and dramatically flat as the film often is, y'know, the old man also pulls out a comically large weapon to mow down every damn bird he can see. So there's that.

Getting to the darkest of the bunch, we'll have to return to the animated division.

A Morning Stroll proved surprisingly cynical about our social trajectory, unfortunately relying on sentimentality for a bygone era and cheap jokes about the current one (it is, however, extraordinarily well-done on a technical level). Sunday and Wild Life are surprisingly downbeat, and the latter was perhaps my favorite of the bunch. It concerns an Englishman who, in the early 20th century, moves to Canada to become a rancher, more in love with the idea of the lifestyle than the fact of it. The former is about the titular day in a small town and its eventual suffocation of the young protagonist. Both use a purposefully rough, handcrafted style to evoke their rural settings, and have a very weird, bent sense of humor that I found at once intensely personal and incredibly pleasing.

The whole bunch play theatrically in over two hundred theaters in the U.S. and Canada starting today, and even if some are a bit of a slog, the ones that are great are so great, and short films are very much worth supporting. Get some.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Haywire (dir. Steven Soderbergh)

With the more films he makes, I become more and more convinced that Steven Soderbergh approaches his career as a studio director in the 1940s and 50s may have, with all the benefits of modern technology at his disposal. He simply takes what's in front of him, and makes a aesthetically personal version of that kind of film, highlighting all its intrinsic attributes with his distinct vision.

With Haywire, he's approaching the spy thriller, but not even the high-minded spy thriller - this is more like a Steven Segal story than Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or even the Bourne films. This is standard-issue double-cross/revenge stuff, but better-cast and shot with Soderbergh's incredible eye for composition and rigor in the edit bay. He packs more information into a few seconds with editing that's both very rudimentary yet pleasingly fluid, and it's only when the fight scenes start that he holds back, taking in all of the action in as full a frame as possible. It's strange that this less-is-more approach would be as propulsive and thrilling as it is, but there you go.

The film is "about" Mallory (Gina Carano), an agent for a private firm contracted by the U.S. government to take care of all those covert black-ops jobs that private firms in movies do. Right away, we find out she's been betrayed, and in a series of flashbacks, we're caught up to speed until we have enough information to dive forward. The structure is particularly interesting here, as Soderbergh is pretty fleeting with his storytelling during the flashbacks, becoming more direct with his chronology once we're back to the "present." It's an interesting tact, and it makes for a hell of a ride, turning the usual problem with flashbacks (that it's just stuff that's already happened, and is automatically robbed of cinema's intrinsic immediacy) on its head by making them what they are - memories and stories, highlighting the big moments but glossing over the details.

I put "about" in quotes above, because it's like, who cares about Mallory? A lot has been made of Gina Carano's performance, namely that it's a) wooden, and b) fake. Fake you say? Apparently! See, Carano isn't really an actress, per se (other than the fact that she's now starred in a major motion picture, but shhhhh don't tell anyone), but made her name as an MMA fighter (like those guys in The Warrior), and there's a mandate somewhere that all non-actors must actually be secretly unbelievably talented to justify their employment. There's even a lot of speculation out there, for which I cannot find corroboration, that Carano's voice was actually dubbed by Laura San Giacomo, and, well, maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. I guess I don't really see why that matters all that much in examining the film as a whole (besides, it worked for Bicycle Thieves).

Oh, sure, it gives you the ability to pick apart the bits and pieces and say well maybe Carano isn't as talented as all that, but, for me, Mallory works as a screen presence. Is she convincing as a real person? Here and there. Not totally. But neither are a lot of screen presences, and Mallory isn't exactly designed to show off anyone's range, and the film isn't exactly designed to be all that concerned with who Mallory is or what makes her tick. She's designed to be a bullet-train both in physical force and personality, and Carano brings the former with so much power I suspect she may very well take on that train (she definitely challenges Tom Cruise for the "best screen runner" title). Mallory may not be a terribly compelling character, but she's a wonderful construct.

And that is what the film is about - physical confrontation and human infallibility in the face of it. While most action films are intent on showing a hero who has everything under control, even when the circumstances fail them (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, for example, relied on failing technology just a few too many times), Haywire draws tension and thrills from Mallory's slip-ups and circumstantial run-ins. You get a nice, durable plot structure on which to hang it, but this is what we're watching, these are the performance bits that matter - how Carano, as an action star, handles herself in physically-demanding situations.

That it's all wrapped up in Soderbergh's rich-yet-spare shooting approach just makes it a beautiful cinematic experience. Elliptical, jazzy, sexy, and throttling, Haywire is the film everyone said Drive was, and so much more.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Criterion on Hulu: Turtles, Rats, Islands, and Humans in Mon oncle d'Amerique

My love for the work - and work ethic - of Alain Resnais took hold even before I'd seen his films. Like many other films - Magnolia, L'Avventura, Persona, among others - Last Year at Marienbad was one I had a distinct vision of in my head long before I'd seen it (I'll have to write about my experience with Magnolia sometime, come to think of it). That vision was no matter of expectations, for what could one really expect from any description of Marienbad? Rather, it's the way the film's few familiar images repeat through your head, the way you imagine them intersecting and interacting, the intangible qualities governed by performance and shot length and music and all that.

This is, of course, Marienbad's lasting contribution to the pop culture consciousness (and honestly, the fact that only the people produce shadows is the least compelling aspect of it), but the film is filled with imagery as mysterious and potent as any in the history of the medium.

That Marienbad was almost exactly the film I'd imagined (and so much more) is a testament to both the elasticity of my vision for it, and the even more slippery nature of the film itself. Nevertheless, Resnais took on in my head the sort of rarified quality one cannot associate with many others. For one, as an auteur, he's very difficult to nail down. It's easy to say he's a more aesthetically-driven director than a thematic one, but as refined and captivating as his mise-en-scene is, I think that sells him more than a little short.

Mon oncle d'Amerique is as slippery a film as any other, refusing to come to any distinct conclusion while eliciting thousands. The film's entire first half-hour is composed entirely of interviews with its three main characters - René (Gérard Depardieu), a businessman on the eve of a new opportunity; Janine (Nicole Garcia), an activist who becomes a stage sensation almost by chance; and Jean (Roger Pierre), an intellectual and politician who quickly begins an affair with Janine. Once it settles into what one might term a "normal" rhythm for a film, it hardly ends its investigation.

The film is not a direct adaptation of a novel, but it is based on the writings of Henri Laborit, a French physician and philosopher, who also appears in the film. His input elucidates many of the characters' motivations and beliefs by finding their roots in biology and lab tests, which I know sounds painfully droll, but actually figures into a modern movement of intertwining the inexplicable with the provable that I find endlessly fascinating (see also: Nostalgia for the Light). Resnais chiefly uses fight-or-flight studies involving rats, and interconnects them in some ways so delightfully characteristic of him.

I mean, that's not normal.

But it's this slightly detached view, bemused vision of humanity that I find so invigorating about Resnais' work. As much as Stanley Kubrick gets knocked for taking a God's-eye-perspective of his stories and characters, Resnais almost does him one better. Resnais isn't only interested in how we meagerly fit into the world order, but also in how the present meagerly fits into the timeline of our lives. In Mon oncle d'Amerique, we might be following a couple on an island, but we're also in the man's childhood, and we're also being debriefed on scientific experiments. Resnais explored this sort of flattened chronology in 1968's Je t'aime, Je t'aime, about a man selected for a time travel experiment, who starts to relive moments from his life in seemingly random order.

Much more so than his considerable accomplishments with composition and camera movement, Resnais' most defining trait is his editing. Although he hasn't taking an editorial credit since his short film years in the 40s and 50s, his touch in that department is unmistakeable. He knows exactly how to set up certain recurrent images, and when to precisely drop them back into his God's-eye-view timeline. Resnais has stated that he had an early feeling that "there was something important in cinema, which was the manipulation of time through editing," which has carried him through his entire career. It's not a simple matter of condensing or elongating the narrative, but in how time itself is a construct.

His editorial acumen and omniscient perspective doesn't end merely with time. By interconnecting the past and present, then mixing them together with philosophy, nature, and anything else that suits him (the last sequence here is pretty wonderful), he puts everything on an equal plain. One might say, then, that Resnais doesn't have much love for his characters, an often-cited necessity in filmmaking, but I don't really see how that became such a defining element to creating viable art. There are all kinds of emotions to be stirred, observations to be made, and ideas to be expressed that have nothing to do with how much anyone (the artist or the audience) "relates" to the piece's subjects. Resnais' films are as great an example of that as, say, Picasso's paintings. Even when he finds relatable material, as when René is pitted against a coworker for his own job following a merger, he doesn't take long to draw direct comparisons between his plight and that of a lab rat; both answer to the sound of a bell.

But that's just the lighter observation, a more amusing tangent. Resnais' real objecting is much more spiritual, direct, and resonant. He truly invests his characters with depth of feeling, pausing to observe René as he separates from his wife, perhaps forever, to further his career hundreds of miles from his home. Their embrace is not an amusing curiosity, but it's hardly embellished either - it's just filled with sorrow. But as genuinely moving as his human drama often is, it's just as wrenching to see a man struggle with his marriage, or health problems, or career stalling as it is to see a rat trapped in an electrified compartment, or a turtle grappling with having its world turned literally upside down. It's a bold bet, but it's one worth making. His point is not that human suffering is immaterial, but that it is inherent to the biological order of the world.

Mon oncle d'Amerique is available in HD on Hulu Plus through The Criterion Collection. To try Hulu Plus and get two weeks free, click here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kill List (dir. Ben Wheatley)

Jay and Shel are having marital troubles. He's a former soldier clearly wrestling with what he has seen and done in service of his country, and can't seem to resolve his myriad emotional or financial issues. They have a son, who he loves unconditionally. They have friends who they get together with regularly - Gal and his girlfriend Fiona. And then Gal offers Jay a job. And then it turns out Jay and Gal have guns. And Shel is setting up lodging for them. And they're meeting with shady businessmen who give them a list.

There are a lot of films that purport to be "nightmarish," but few that truly capture the slippery horror of a true nightmare. The thing is that nightmares don't offer the release granted by most horror films; the release only comes when you wake up. But sometimes it doesn't even come then. Sometimes you remain so affected by this feeling of being gradually pushed towards more and more horrific imagery and acts that you're in a bit of a daze for a few hours, sometimes the rest of the day. You can't imagine how anything you saw could have been put in front of you, or how you got from one moment to the next, although the feeling that it's all part of a larger whole is undeniable.

So Kill List is kind of like that. Co-writer/director Ben Wheatley's initial talent is evident in how he barely teases at his protagonist's circumstances, only fully divulging information a few minutes after you kind of have it figured out for yourself. It sounds like a feeling of redundancy would set it, but the result is quite different - it feels more like a confirmation and a deepening of some horrible truth you'd always suspected, but could never prove. Or want to prove. But what's really rough about the film is that Jay's mental problems are only what get him and Gal into the horror that will follow. And I can't totally shake the outside force that they start to encounter, or how Wheatley unleashes it.

Wheatley's third act is almost unbearably terrifying, and as repulsed and shocked as you may have been at the violence that preceded it, he assures you that a greater menace always lurks somewhere. His camerawork becomes at once assaultive and elliptical, giving you enough of a glimpse of the terror without letting you see enough of it to understand. And his sound design...oh, those sounds. As viscerally, aurally threatening as nails on a blackboard, but without the playful nature. If one can imagine such a thing.

Dense, unsettling, and suffocating, Kill List is a true nightmare, but all the more indispensable for it.

Kill List opens Friday, February 3rd at Cinefamily in Los Angeles and the IFC Center in New York. I don't have information on further release dates in other cities, but hang in there, folks - this is really worth seeing with an unsuspecting audience.


Thirst (Ingmar Bergman, 1949)

Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)