ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS
1955, Universal, 89 min, USA, Dir: Douglas Sirk

Jane Wyman, a lonely widow with two spoiled, almost grown children (William Reynolds, Gloria Talbot) as well as a circle of snobbish, upper-middle-class friends, suddenly finds herself falling in love with her gardener (Rock Hudson). Director Douglas Sirk examines the curious cultural barriers we set up for ourselves regarding love, skewering age and class differences in the process as well as championing fearless independence of the individual spirit - something that was not so common in the 1950s. One of the most subversive love stories of 20th-century cinema and a prime inspiration for Todd Haynes' acclaimed FAR FROM HEAVEN.


AMERICA, AMERICA
1963, Warner Bros., 174 min, USA, Dir: Elia Kazan

This sprawling epic about a young Greek, Stavros (based on Kazan’s uncle), living with his family in Turkey circa 1900 and obsessed with emigrating to America, is one of Kazan’s most moving, personal films. Kazan molds a talented cast of relatively unknown performers into a powerhouse ensemble: Stathis Giallelis is perfect as Stavros, with able support from John Marley, Lou Antonio, Joanna Frank and the underrated yet terrific Frank Wolff. Be sure to catch this masterpiece on the big screen. "May be Kazan’s most accomplished work." - Time Out New York


2 DAYS IN PARIS
2007, Samuel Goldwyn Films, 96 min, France, Dir: Julie Delpy

A Parisian getaway becomes anything but romantic for a high-strung New York couple in Julie Delpy's smart, sexy comedy about how opposites attract - and then slowly drive each other crazy. Marion (Delpy) is a French photographer and Jack (Adam Goldberg) is an American interior designer. After a less-than-idyllic vacation in Italy, they stop off in Paris for two days, where Jack is flummoxed by a new language and culture - and a bevy of Marion’s flirtatious ex-boyfriends. As the cultural divide between them grows, will these two days in Paris become their last as a couple, or the beginning of a richer life together? Written, directed and edited by Delpy, it is an insightful, bitingly funny dissection of contemporary relationships that rings true in any language.


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