LADY COCOA
1975, AGFA, 93 min, United States , Dir: Matt Cimber

After testifying in court against her gangster boyfriend, Lady Cocoa (Lola Falana) gets a 24-hour day pass out of jail to go enjoy the high life in Las Vegas. But her boyfriend (legendary Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene) has other plans. Lady Cocoa not only has to worry about the dwindling hours of her freedom, she has to worry about whether she’ll survive them.


THE SHAWSHANK REDEPMPTION
1994, Warner Bros., 142 min, USA, Dir: Frank Darabont

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is a young and successful banker who is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. Set in the 1940s, the film shows how Andy, with the help of his friend Red, an inmate entrepreneur played by Morgan Freeman, turns out to be a most unconventional prisoner. Based on the Stephen King short story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.”


THE YAKUZA
1975, Warner Bros., 112 min, USA, Dir: Sydney Pollack

Sydney Pollack directs this potent, poignant thriller that blends American neo-noir and the then-peaking Japanese yakuza film genre. Robert Mitchum is a world-weary private eye who joins up with a taciturn kendo instructor (yakuza movie icon Ken Takakura), who has a wartime obligation to Mitchum. Likewise, Mitchum owes past wartime comrade Tanner (Brian Keith) a favor as well, and it’s a humdinger: Rescue Tanner’s kidnapped daughter in Japan. A labyrinthine plot is set in motion, and soon Mitchum and Takakura become embroiled in a horrifying series of double crosses and mixed signals that result in a trail of bloody retribution. Adapting the story by Leonard Schrader, Paul Schrader and Robert Towne wrote the moody screenplay. Co-starring Richard Jordan (THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE), Keiko Kishi, Herb Edelman, Eiji Okada. The sleek production design by Stephen B. Grimes not only evokes the spartan Japanese lifestyle but also amply reflects an atmosphere where cold, serpentine violence can strike from the darkness like a coiled viper. “Mitchum is at his laconic leaden-eyed best as the private eye who is forced to team up with a reformed criminal played by Takakura, an icon of the Japanese gangster genre … there are enough double-crosses to satisfy the most jaded fans of the genre.” – Channel 4 Film (U.K.)


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