LADYHAWKE
1985, Warner Bros., 121 min, USA, Dir: Richard Donner

Rutger Hauer is perfectly cast as dashing knight Etienne Navarre, with Michelle Pfeiffer as his beautiful true love Lady Isabeau. Navarre is cursed to take the form of a hawk by day. When Navarre rescues a young thief named Mouse (Matthew Broderick), events are set in motion that will bring justice to the wicked and reunite the cursed lovers in this enthralling medieval epic. Great supporting work by veteran actor Leo McKern as Father Imperius the Monk, and a very young Alfred Molina. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro makes stunning use of the Italian locations, and The Alan Parsons Project-produced rock score, which some thought dated at the time, actually ages quite nicely.


LEGEND
1985, Universal, 89 min, USA, Dir: Ridley Scott

Tom Cruise stars as the mischievous, pure-of-heart boy bent on rescuing ethereal heartthrob Mia Sara from the sensual snares of demon Tim Curry and his goblin horde. A master of the otherworldly, Scott creates one of his most intoxicating fantasy realms in LEGEND, aided by superb production design from Assheton Gorton and wonderfully grotesque make-up from Rob Bottin. "A fairy tale produced on a grand scale, a classic tale of the struggle between darkness and light. " – Variety


THE TREE OF LIFE
2011, Fox Searchlight, 139 min, USA, Dir: Terrence Malick

A young boy's troubled upbringing in the 1950s and the creation of the Earth are depicted with psychedelic reverence in Terrence Malick's visually operatic meditation on existence. Hunter McCracken stars as Jack, a Waco youth grappling with his relationship with his bristling father (a clench-jawed Brad Pitt, never better) while forming a close unit with his mother (Jessica Chastain, in a radiant performance) and younger brothers (Laramie Epler and Tye Sheridan). Powerful music by Mozart, Bach and Berlioz (to name only a few) accents the consummate soundtrack, while the designs of famed special effects artist Douglas Trumbull (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY) offer a staggering and kaleidoscopic crash course on the evolution of the universe. Director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki’s lyrical cinematography is perfectly harmonious with Malick’s poetic style. With Sean Penn.


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