CITY OF HOPE
1991, Sony Repertory, 129 min, USA, Dir: John Sayles

Director John Sayles demonstrates both his talent for characterization and his insightful approach to social issues with this ambitious ensemble piece. Vincent Spano plays the son of a contractor involved in a bitter property dispute that threatens to tear apart the New Jersey city where he lives, while Joe Morton plays an idealistic city councilman struggling to build a constituency. Their stories extend into the lives of dozens of supporting characters across race and class lines, all of whom are fully developed and painfully real. A thoughtful and moving portrait of early 1990s American life that is unfortunately even more relevant today in its vision of urban corruption and political maneuvering.


SONG TO SONG
2017, Broad Green Pictures, 145 min, USA, Dir: Terrence Malick

The Austin, Texas, music scene is the setting for acclaimed writer-director Terrence Malick’s drama of intersecting love triangles. Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender lead the star-studded ensemble cast, while a “who’s who” of alternative music artists (including Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Arcade Fire) appear in cameos. Frequent Malick collaborators Emmanuel Lubezki (cinematography), Jack Fisk (production design) and Jacqueline West (costumes) give this exploration of obsession and betrayal a rich visual component.


MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
2016, Warner Bros., 112 min, USA/Greece, Dir: Jeff Nichols

In this provocative sci-fi thriller, Roy (Michael Shannon) spirits his young son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) away from a religious cult; the boy has mysterious powers that inspire worship - and fear. Soon Roy and Alton find themselves on the run from a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the federal government, as father and son cross the country to discover Alton’s ultimate purpose. Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver costar.


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