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1960, Janus Films, 143 min, Italy/France, Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni invented new film grammar with this masterwork. An iconic and challenging piece of 1960s cinema, and a gripping narrative on its own terms, L'AVVENTURA concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily, and the search taken up by her disaffected lover (Gabriele Ferzetti) and her best friend (Monica Vitti, in her breakout role). Antonioni’s controversial international sensation is a gorgeously shot tale of modern ennui and spiritual isolation. The audience during the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival infamously shouted “CUT! CUT! CUT!” in multiple scenes; no one is shouting cut now.

1962, Gaumont, 90 min, France/Italy, Dir: Marcel Bluwal

A highly fruitful collaboration between actor-director Robert Hossein and hard-boiled novelist Frédéric Dard (THE WICKED GO TO HELL, BLONDE IN A WHITE CAR) comes to an end with this spooky sendup of ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS, where ex-con Hossein returns to his old criminal haunts on Christmas Eve only to hook up with a mysterious, alluring woman (Lea Massari) whose circumstances become more complicated and bizarre as the evening progresses. In the midst of the “elevating” terror, one senses director Bluwal’s tongue subtly in cheek.

1972, CCFC, 99 min, France, Dir: René Clement

This adaptation of David Goodis’ novel Black Friday concerns a crook on the lam (Jean Louis Trintignant) who crosses paths with a Montreal gang plotting a big score - led by noir stalwarts Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray. “Froggy” (as Ryan dubs our hero) decides to join in the heist and, of course, ends up neck-deep in danger. An odd and invigorating French-Canadian-American production, this is a rarely screened homage to noir on both the page and screen, sparked by a devilish script from author Sébastien Japrisot (The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun). English dubbed version.

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