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F.T.A.
1972, 96 min, USA, Dir: Francine Parker

Produced by Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, F.T.A. is a witty and moving film that chronicles opposition to the Vietnam War. Fonda and Sutherland, along with Holly Near, Michael Alaimo, Rita Martinson and Len Chandler, entertained American troops with a satirical revue called (in the polite version) “Free the Army.” The original theatrical release was curtailed under somewhat mysterious circumstances so the film was never widely seen and reemerges now as an essential piece of cinema and social history.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
1992, 20th Century Fox, 86 min, USA, Dir: Fran Rubel Kuzui

Writer Joss Whedon would bring Buffy and friends to television with even greater success five years later but this big-screen original remains loads of fun. Spoiled L.A. teen Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson) is skeptical when an older man named Merrick (Donald Sutherland) tells her that she’s destined to kill the undead, but when vampire leader Lothos (Rutger Hauer) and his deputy (Paul Reubens, in a very effective turn from his Pee-wee Herman persona) cross her path, Buffy goes into action. Luke Perry costars as her eventual ally, with an impressive array of future stars (including Hilary Swank and an uncredited Ben Affleck) joining them in the halls of Hemery High School.


DON'T LOOK NOW
1973, Paramount, 110 min, Dir: Nicolas Roeg

Director Nicolas Roeg’s atmospheric adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s story is a haunting meditation on the consequences of repressing traits inside us that could mean the difference between life and death. Antiquities restorer Donald Sutherland and wife Julie Christie, in mourning after the accidental drowning of their young daughter, journey to Venice during the off-season to help renovate a church. But their encounter with two strange sisters, one of whom is a blind clairvoyant, pulls them into shadowy back alleys and deserted canals and onto the radar of a warped serial killer terrorizing the city. A brilliant variation on Italy’s homegrown giallothriller genre then enjoying success in early 1970s European cinema.


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