SLAVES OF NEW YORK
1989, Sony Repertory, 124 min, USA, Dir: James Ivory

In a rare departure from class-centered period pieces, Merchant Ivory captures the perennial predicament of the struggling artist in 1980s Manhattan. When hat designer Eleanor (Bernadette Peters) finds herself in a one-way relationship with womanizing artist Stash (Adam Coleman Howard), there seems little hope for improvement. Only the prospect of having her work included in a major fashion show promises to empower Eleanor and set her on the path to success. Adapted by Tama Janowitz from a collection of her short stories, SLAVES OF NEW YORK is colored with the bright palette of its time, to which Peters adds the verve and quirkiness that have become her trademarks.


CHILD'S PLAY
1988, Park Circus/MGM, 87 min, USA, Dir: Tom Holland

Andy Barclay has a new playmate who’s in no mood to play. Young Andy is thrilled to get the hottest new toy - until he learns his doll is possessed by the spirit of a psychotic criminal! Can Andy convince the adults in his life that “Chucky” (voiced by an exceptionally creepy Brad Dourif) is out to get him before it's too late? Chris Sarandon and Catherine Hicks star in this horror classic which spawned an entire Chucky franchise, and which does double duty as a shrewd satire on consumerism and its effect on children.


THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
1993, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, 76 min, USA, Dir: Henry Selick

Two holidays collide as Jack Skellington, the leader of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town and decides he’d like to play Santa for a change - but with ghosts, ghouls and goblins helping him, Christmas turns more scary than merry. Tim Burton co-produced and wrote the story (based on characters he’d dreamed up while a Disney animator a decade earlier), and his charmingly creepy sensibility oozes from every frame of this wildly imaginative stop-motion fantasy. Featuring the voice talents of Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman and Catherine O’Hara.


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