ROUNDERS
1998, Park Circus/Miramax, 118 min, USA, Dir: John Dahl

Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) loses his money in a poker game against Russian gangster Teddy “KGB” (John Malkovich). Under pressure from his girlfriend (Gretchen Mol), he quits gambling - until his friend, Lester “Worm” Murphy (Edward Norton), gets out of prison and needs to pay off an old debt to Teddy. One of the best poker movies ever made, this underrated gem costars John Turturro, Famke Janssen and Martin Landau.


GUMMO
1997, Warner Bros. , 89 min, Dir: Harmony Korine

With strains of his nihilistic youth-culture script for Larry Clark’s KIDS, Harmony Korine’s directorial debut moves out of the city to wander the post-apocalyptic fallout of a suburban Midwestern landscape recently ravaged by a tornado. Weaving between the day-to-day lives of various poverty-stricken small-town outcasts, GUMMO’s scattershot structure and varied shooting styles present a collage of American themes on the precipice of an unpredictable new millennium, ultimately yielding a movie that Gus Van Sant called “both bracingly realistic and hauntingly dreamlike.”


CRADLE WILL ROCK
1999, Buena Vista, 132 min, USA, Dir: Tim Robbins

Based on a still-relevant true story, CRADLE finds writer/director Tim Robbins passionately examining the growing political skepticism and abandonment of arts support in 1930s New York City. Controversy arises over an Orson Welles theatrical production of Mark Blitzstein’s pro-union musical and a politically-charged Diego Rivera mural commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller. With an all-star cast (including Emily Watson, Susan Sarandon, Vanessa Redgrave, Bill Murray, John Cusack and many more), CRADLE brings to life some of the 20th century’s most significant figures.


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