ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA
BIR ZAMANLAR ANADOLU'DA
2012, The Cinema Guild, 157 min, Turkey, Dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

From the pre-eminent Turkish director of somber human dramas comes an unlikely road movie. Police are conducting an investigation across Anatolia’s haunted landscape to find the remains of a murder victim. The main suspect has confessed and is cooperating, but he was too intoxicated at the time of the killing to remember the location of the body. As the search draws on, tensions escalate, and individual stories slowly emerge from the weary small talk of the men. At once epic and intimate, Ceylan’s latest explores the twisted web of truth, and the occasional kindness of lies.


FLESH+BLOOD
1985, Park Circus/MGM, 126 min, Dir: Paul Verhoeven

It’s 1501, and the world is full of mercenaries, peasants and pestilence. True to its title, Paul Verhoeven presents the darkest of ages, a brutally realistic story of the struggle for life, complete with rape, murder, starvation and the Black Death. Rutger Hauer, in one of his finest roles, portrays the leader of a band of mercenaries, who seeks revenge for a nobleman’s (the excellent Jack Thompson) betrayal by kidnapping and brutalizing his son's (Tom Burlinson) bride to be. Jennifer Jason Leigh shines as the strong willed Agnes. Based in part on unused material for the Dutch TV series "Floris," which Gerard Soeteman, Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer collaborated on in 1969. Watch for the amazing performance by Susan Tyrell as an onlooker to one of the films most brutal and controversial scenes. The late Basil Poledouris contributes perhaps his best score. Although Verhoeven later denied any connection, some critics at the time of release pointed out allegorical similarities to Patty Hearst’s abduction by the SLA.


A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN
1969, CineLife Entertainment, 86 min, USA, Dir: Bill Melendez

The Peanuts gang makes its big-screen debut in this gentle comedy about success, failure and resilience. After a Little League baseball loss, Charlie Brown fears he’ll never win at anything - until Linus encourages him to enter the school spelling bee, putting him on the path to the national championship in New York City. The creative team of Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson gives this animated hit a similar feel to their classic TV specials (though a late-1960s visual style crops up occasionally), and jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi earned an Oscar nomination for the score.


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