THE CAT O’NINE TAILS
IL GATTO A NOVE CODE
1971, AGFA, 112 min, Italy/France/West Germany, Dir: Dario Argento

This second entry in Dario Argento’s “Animal Trilogy” found the young talent further refining his distinctive style and cementing his reputation as master of the giallo. When a break-in occurs at a secretive genetics institute, a blind puzzle-maker (Karl Malden) overhears an attempt to blackmail an institute scientist shortly before the robbery; he teams up with intrepid reporter Carlo (James Franciscus) to crack the case. Soon the bodies pile up, and the two amateur sleuths find their own lives at risk. Worse still, the puzzle-maker’s niece (Cinzia De Carolis) is in the killer’s sights. Featuring another nerve-jangling score by the great Ennio Morricone, THE CAT O’ NINE TAILS remains one of Argento’s most suspenseful and underrated films.


TALK TO HER
HABLE CON ELLA
2002, Sony Pictures Classics, 112 min, Dir: Pedro Almodóvar

One of Pedro Almodóvar’s most acclaimed films, TALK TO HER is the surprising, altogether original and quietly moving story of the spoken and unspoken bonds that unite the lives and loves of two couples. Two men (Benigno and Marco) almost meet while watching a dance performance, but their lives are irrevocably entwined by fate. They meet later at a private clinic where Benigno is the caregiver for Alicia, a beautiful dance student who lies in a coma. Marco is there to visit his girlfriend, Lydia, a famous matador, also rendered motionless. As the men wage vigil over the women they love, the story unfolds in flashback and flash forward as the lives of the four are further entwined and their relationships move toward a surprising conclusion. Starring Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin and Rosario Flores.


LONE STAR
1996, Warner Bros., 135 min, USA, Dir: John Sayles

Chris Cooper plays an easygoing Texas sheriff who discovers unpleasant truths about his town and his own past in this intricately plotted murder mystery. Displaying his usual talent for ensemble characterization, director John Sayles follows nearly a dozen major players (Kris Kristofferson, Frances McDormand and Matthew McConaughey are among the film's many talented actors) as their stories intersect and raise questions about political corruption, multiculturalism, and other contemporary issues.


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