THE VAST OF NIGHT
2019, 89 min, Dir: Andrew Patterson

Over the course of one exhilarating night in New Mexico during the 1950s, a young switchboard operator and a DJ attempt to uncover the mystery behind a strange frequency while the residents of their town are focused on a crucial high-school basketball game. What they uncover not only sends them down a rabbit hole of gargantuan proportions but also threatens humanity in ways they could never imagine. Channeling the aesthetics of classic sci-fi films, but doing it in a way that is wholly unique, Patterson’s wildly imaginative debut is awash with long single takes and intriguing one-on-one interviews, and features incredible lead performances by Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz.


THE SLEEPING CAR MURDER
COMPARTIMENT TUEURS
1965, French Institute, 90 min, France, Dir: Costa-Gavras

A virtually lost and forgotten jewel in the crown of French crime films, Costa-Gavras’ (Z, MISSING) suspenseful debut feature is a genuine classic. Six people share a sleeping compartment on a Paris-bound train. After they arrive, one of them is found strangled, and before long, the killer starts knocking off the remaining passengers. Yves Montand is superb as a harried police inspector coming down with the flu, who doggedly follows up every lead. Red herrings abound and the twists and thrills are masterfully executed. Enormously influential on not just other French crime films that followed but the Italian giallo thriller genre as well. With a dream cast that includes Michel Piccoli, Simone Signoret, Jacques Perrin, Catherine Allegret and Jean-Louis Trintignant.


2010: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT
1984, Warner Bros., 116 min, USA, Dir: Peter Hyams

Adapted from Arthur C. Clarke's follow-up novel, this underrated sequel to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY follows a joint U.S.-Soviet mission sent to discover what happened to the Discovery spacecraft. Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Bob Balaban and Helen Mirren lead the team of astronauts, with Keir Dullea and Douglas Rain (the voice of HAL 9000) returning from the original film. “This is a good movie. … Once we have freed 2010 of the comparisons with Kubrick's masterpiece, what we are left with is a good-looking, sharp-edged, entertaining, exciting space opera.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


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