NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
2020, Focus Features, 95 min, UK/USA, Dir: Eliza Hittman

When 17-year-old Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) looks at herself in the mirror, she can see the signs of pregnancy beginning to manifest in her body. As a minor in rural Pennsylvania, she cannot obtain an abortion without parental consent. That leaves her to consider the age-old methods women have turned to when confronting unintended pregnancies. Though Autumn keeps mum about her dilemma, her distress is clear to her cousin and best friend Skylar (Talia Ryder), who sees her every day at school and at their part-time jobs as cashiers. With the address of a Brooklyn clinic in hand, the cousins board an early morning bus bound for New York City. But their trip takes an unexpected turn when Autumn learns that a one-visit procedure isn’t possible. As the cousins navigate two fraught days and nights in an unfamiliar and overwhelming city, their journey becomes one of profound solidarity, compassion and friendship. Winner of the Silver Bear Jury Grand Prix at the Berlin International Film Festival.“At once dreamlike and ruthlessly naturalistic, steadily composed yet shot through with roiling currents of anxiety, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS is a quietly devastating gem.” - Andrew Barker, Variety.


THE DEVIL STRIKES AT NIGHT
NACHTS, WENN DER TEUFEL KAM
1957, Beta Film, 97 min, West Germany, Dir: Robert Siodmak

The greatest practitioner of Hollywood noir (PHANTOM LADY, THE KILLERS, CRISS CROSS, et al), returned to Germany in the 1950s to finish his career; this powerful film was his payback to the Nazis who chased him from his homeland. Based on the true story of murderer Bruno Lüdke, it’s a tense policier that also explores how those who did not flee the Reich struggled to maintain their integrity and morality in the face of overwhelming corruption and evil.


FLY-BY-NIGHT
1942, Universal, 74 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Don’t miss this little-seen gem, one of the first Hollywood efforts of noir maestro Robert Siodmak. Shifting with Hitchcockian aplomb between suggestive light comedy and thickly shadowed suspense, Siodmak stuffs two features’ worth of stylish set pieces into a sprightly running time, making this as good as wartime B picture as anything produced in the era. Richard Carlson’s and Nancy Kelly’s romance-on-the-run chemistry, laced with witty innuendo (and plenty of Kelly’s fine gams) is reminiscent of Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll in THE 39 STEPS. Great fun, and surprisingly sexy for its time.


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