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2011, 114 min, Spain, Dir: Enrique Urbizu

Enrique Urbizu's explosive neo-noir centers on hardened cop Santos Trinidad (Jose Coronado), an alcoholic who, after a tense bar brawl, shoots three people dead. The fourth opponent in the fight (Karim El-Kerem) makes it out alive, leaving Trinidad to track down the sole breathing witness to his impulsively heinous crime. From here, the expertly crafted crime film shifts into cat-and-mouse mode, alternating between police procedural (as investigative detective Helena Miquel pursues Trinidad) and stalker thriller as the crooked cop hunts down his incriminating prey. Winner of the 2012 Goya Award for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor. In Spanish with English subtitles.

2012, 96 min, Spain, Dir: Alberto Rodríguez

In advance of the 1992 World Exhibition in Seville, four cops are asked to clear the streets of drug trafficking; among them are Angel (Mario Casas) and Rafael (Antonio de la Torre). But the streets they work hold both dangers and temptations, and the bribery, violence and intimidation these two men encounter on the job put them on very different paths. Strong lead performances and a nuanced script ground this stylish film noir/cop thriller, which is based on real-life incidents. UNIT 7 also benefits from outstanding cinematography, its gritty tones ramping up the intensity of the moral conflict (and some pretty spectacular chase sequences). Winner of the Goya for Best Cinematography. In Spanish with English subtitles.

1967, Sony Repertory, 134 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

This starkly masterful adaptation of Truman Capote’s true-crime classic emerges as one of the finest films by director Richard Brooks (THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, THE PROFESSIONALS). Robert Blake and Scott Wilson etch startlingly vivid portrayals of killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, two small-time thieves whose bungled home invasion robbery evolved into a slaughter of the helpless Clutter family. Charles McGraw and Jeff Corey are likewise superb as Smith’s and Hickock’s fathers. With John Forsythe as doggedly methodical head investigator Alvin Dewey. Nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director and Screenplay (Brooks), Best Cinematography (Conrad Hall) and Best Music (Quincy Jones).

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