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2018, 108 min, UK/USA, Dir: Jim Hosking

Jim Hosking’s follow-up to THE GREASY STRANGLER is every bit as crazy as you would expect. Lulu Danger’s (Aubrey Plaza) unsatisfying marriage takes a strange turn when a man from her past comes to town to perform a mysterious event called “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only.” Lulu’s world is populated with grotesque characters who say and do stupid things, and while each of their stories could be its own film, all the disparate elements come together for an absolutely insane finale. Director Hosking has a knack for off-kilter comedy, expertly balancing Lynchian small-town desolation with Jared Hess-style absurdity, and Plaza’s terrific central performance ensures that for every gross joke there’s an unexpectedly tender moment that lends depth and compassion to this bizarre world.

2016, IFC Films, 99 min, Dir: André Øvredal

At the scene of a grisly familial massacre, a small-town Virginia police crew realizes its seemingly open-and-shut case is anything but when the nude corpse of a mysterious woman is unearthed in the basement. Seasoned coroner Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and his adult son, Austen (Emile Hirsch), are about to call it a night at their family-owned morgue/crematorium when the sheriff arrives with the Jane Doe in tow. Layer by layer, their forensic examination reveals evidence of inhuman internal injury belying Jane Doe’s eerily serene exterior; the they get closer to the truth of her death, they find themselves faced with their own mortality.

2008, Focus Features, 128 min, USA, Dir: Gus Van Sant

Director Gus Van Sant’s acclaimed biopic of one of America’s first openly gay public officials, Harvey Milk, brings both the man and his 1970s San Francisco milieu back to life. Sean Penn is perfectly cast as Milk, whose fearlessness in the face of prejudice brought him from a Castro St. camera shop to City Hall - where he was assassinated in 1978, along with Mayor George Moscone, by former Supervisor Dan White (superbly played by Josh Brolin). MILK was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two of them for Penn’s lead performance and Dustin Lance Black’s original screenplay. With James Franco and Emile Hirsch.

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