NEXT STOP, GREENWICH VILLAGE
1976, 20th Century Fox, 111 min, USA, Dir: Paul Mazursky

Writer-director Paul Mazursky takes a semi-autobiographical look at his days as an aspiring actor in 1950s New York in this engaging dramedy. Against the advice of his mother, fresh-faced Lenny Baker moves to Greenwich Village, where he falls in with a surrogate family of oddballs as he chases stardom. Along with such veteran performers as Shelley Winters, Lois Smith and Lou Jacobi, aspiring actor Bill Murray made his big screen debut in a brief, uncredited role here.


THE BIG BLUE
LE GRAND BLEU
1988, Gaumont, 138 min, France, Dir: Luc Besson

Sea lover Luc Besson lets his devotion to all things oceanic, particularly the experience of diving, run the full gamut of emotions here, making the water a character in and of itself. His very personal film is part mystical quest, part bittersweet romantic comedy, with Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr), who lost his diver father to the ocean, obsessed with proving himself more dolphin than man. Johanna (Rosanna Arquette) meets and falls in love with him while she is on a trip to Peru. She begins to follow Jacques on his mission, journeying to Taormina, Italy, where he will compete against childhood friend Enzo (Jean Reno) for a deep-sea free-diving championship (diving without oxygen tanks). “The real star of the film, however, is the third corner of the love triangle, the sea itself. Sumptuously captured by Besson's camera, and brought to life by Eric Serra's haunting score, it is sometimes beautiful and calm, other times dark and threatening. … There are so many reasons to love this film, and an opportunity to catch it in all its soaring majesty on the big screen should not be missed.” – Ben Stephens, Edinburgh University Film Society.


MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
1987, Park Circus/MGM, 106 min, USA, Dir: Gary Goddard

“I have the power!” A battle fought in the stars comes to Earth as the popular Mattel toy line comes to the big screen. After stealing a cosmic key, Skeletor (a perfectly cast Frank Langella) seizes control of the planet Eternia and is on the brink of ultimate power – unless He-Man (played by living action figure Dolph Lundgren) and his allies (including a pre-“Friends” Courteney Cox) can stop him. Elevated by Bill Conti’s epic score, this underrated fantasy courses with pulpy energy - Marvel Comics artist Jack Kirby was reputedly a source of inspiration. With Billy Barty, Meg Foster, Jon Cypher and Chelsea Field.


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