PANDORA’S BOX
DIE BÜCHSE DER PANDORA
1929, Janus Films, 110 min, Germany, Dir: G.W. Pabst

As Henri Langlois once thundered, “There is no Garbo! There is no Dietrich! There is only Louise Brooks!” Here she proves it with one of the wildest performances of the silent era, as the dancer-turned-hooker Lulu who attracts men like moths to a candle. Politicians, titans of industry and the aristocracy are all part of the milieu Lulu inhabits as the story begins; her eventual descent to a criminal underworld underlines the fragility of German society between the wars. The combination of Brooks and director G.W. Pabst (“It was sexual hatred that engrossed his whole being with its flaming reality,” she once said) is still astonishing.


KICKING AND SCREAMING
1995, Lionsgate, 96 min, Dir: Noah Baumbach

For 20-something Grover (Josh Hamilton), everything is about to change. College is over, career prospects are slim and girlfriend Jane (Olivia d’Abo) is moving to Prague. Grover hasn’t the vaguest idea where his future is headed and he’s not alone; together, Grover and his friends digest the dissonance between the sheltered campus they’ve called home for four years and the adult world that lies ahead. Wry and realistic, this feature directorial debut from Noah Baumbach established his distinctive point of view as a filmmaker while winning praise from the Washington Post as a “hilariously insightful comedy.”


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.


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