1988, Park Circus/MGM, 87 min, USA, Dir: Chris Blum

Singer-songwriter Tom Waits takes the stage for this superb concert film, shot in San Francisco and Los Angeles while he was touring behind his Franks Wild Years album. Working with one of his best bands (including guitarist Marc Ribot), Waits’ take on blues and jazz is off-kilter, flecked with humor (in between-song vignettes) and altogether gripping.

1993, Warner Bros., 187 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Working from short stories by Raymond Carver, director Robert Altman creates a funny, tragic and wholly original portrait of Southern Californians whose lives intersect in surprising ways. The cast is one of Altman's best: Matthew Modine, Julianne Moore, Buck Henry, Lily Tomlin, Tom Waits, Andie MacDowell, Jack Lemmon, Lili Taylor and Robert Downey Jr. are just a few of the stars in this masterpiece.

1983, Universal, 94 min, USA, Dir: Francis Ford Coppola

Director Francis Ford Coppola again adapts an S.E. Hinton novel, reuniting with Matt Dillon. Shot in black-and-white with stylized use of color and professed to be among Coppola’s personal favorites, it’s grittier and more phantasmagorical than THE OUTSIDERS. Here, Dillon plays Rusty James, a young gangbanger who looks fondly back on the days of yesteryear when his loner brother, Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), held court as the king of the street toughs. With a young Diane Lane as Rusty’s sweetheart. Look out for Dennis Hopper as the boys’ ne’er-do-well father and William Smith as one of the meanest small-town cops in movie history. Costarring Chris Penn, Nicolas Cage and Tom Waits.

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