QUEEN OF EARTH
2015, IFC Films, 90 min, USA, Dir: Alex Ross Perry

Catherine (Elisabeth Moss) enters a dark period in her life after her father, a famous artist whose affairs she managed, dies and she is dumped by boyfriend James (Kentucker Audley). Catherine heads out to her best friend Virginia's (Katherine Waterston) lake house for some much-needed relaxation but is soon overcome with memories of time spent at the same house with James the year before. As Catherine reaches out to Virginia for support, Virginia begins spending increasing amounts of time with a local love interest, Rich (Patrick Fugit), and fissures in the relationship between the two women send Catherine into a downward spiral of delusion and madness. A bracing, eerie look at the deep bonds of friendship and the horrific effects of such bonds being frayed.


SWIMMING POOL
2003, Focus Features, 102 min, France/UK, Dir: François Ozon

A British mystery author, a summer house in the South of France and a poolside escapade gone awry are the basic ingredients of this Hitchcockian thriller starring Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier. The Palme d’Or competitor has no shortage of Ozon twists and turns as it depicts the commission of a single mistake and the efforts of two women to contain that mistake.


THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS
1946, Warner Bros., 88 min, USA, Dir: Robert Florey

Volatile (and dead) concert pianist Francis Ingram (Victor Francen) has left his Italian estate to his American nurse (Andrea King), much to the chagrin of an avaricious brother and nephew. Peter Lorre is the dead musician’s astrology-obsessed, mentally unbalanced librarian who becomes convinced that his late employer’s left hand - now missing from the corpse - is creeping about the villa, bent on murdering all those who oppose Ingram’s last testament. The rest of the household, including King’s paramour Robert Alda and police commissioner J. Carrol Naish, soon become convinced he may be right. The over-the-top Max Steiner score ably punctuates the deranged proceedings.


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