THE LONG GOODBYE
1973, Park Circus/MGM, 112 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Robert Altman deconstructs the private-eye genre while somehow remaining faithful to the spirit of the original Raymond Chandler novel (aided by screenwriter Leigh Brackett, who helped adapt Howard Hawks’ THE BIG SLEEP). Elliott Gould is a smart-aleck, slightly inept Philip Marlowe, a detective seemingly more concerned about feeding a cat than solving a case. He gets drawn into a labyrinth of deceptions and double crosses by friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton), a beautiful rich woman (Nina Van Pallandt) with a drunken, genius writer of a husband (Sterling Hayden in a tour de force portrayal), a quietly menacing psychiatrist (Henry Gibson) and a sociopathic gangster (Mark Rydell). Altman rips aside the slick veneer of the Southern California good life, revealing the smog-drenched, corrupt underbelly like few other directors before or since.


THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS
1974, Universal, 109 min, USA, Dir: Steven Spielberg

An ambitious blend of madcap slapstick and downbeat social commentary, starring Goldie Hawn and William Atherton as a latter-day Bonnie & Clyde.


HEAVEN’S GATE
1980, Park Circus, 219 min, USA, Dir: Michael Cimino

After his Academy Award-winning triumph with THE DEER HUNTER, Director Michael Cimino broadened and deepened his epic vision of America with this elegiac Western. Kris Kristofferson is a sheriff caught in the middle of mounting tensions between affluent landowners and newly arrived homesteaders in 1890s Wyoming; complicating matters is a burgeoning love triangle among Kristofferson, his paramour Ella (Isabelle Huppert) and hired gun Christopher Walken. In Cimino's hands the personal, political and historical intersect to powerful effect, with a majesty more apparent than ever in this stunning new restoration personally supervised by the director.


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