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SWIMMING POOL
2003, Focus Features, 102 min, France/UK, Dir: François Ozon

A British mystery author, a summer house in the South of France and a poolside escapade gone awry are the basic ingredients of this Hitchcockian thriller starring Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier. The Palme d’Or competitor has no shortage of Ozon twists and turns as it depicts the commission of a single mistake and the efforts of two women to contain that mistake.


THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS
1946, Warner Bros., 88 min, USA, Dir: Robert Florey

Volatile (and dead) concert pianist Francis Ingram (Victor Francen) has left his Italian estate to his American nurse (Andrea King), much to the chagrin of an avaricious brother and nephew. Peter Lorre is the dead musician’s astrology-obsessed, mentally unbalanced librarian who becomes convinced that his late employer’s left hand - now missing from the corpse - is creeping about the villa, bent on murdering all those who oppose Ingram’s last testament. The rest of the household, including King’s paramour Robert Alda and police commissioner J. Carrol Naish, soon become convinced he may be right. The over-the-top Max Steiner score ably punctuates the deranged proceedings.


THE VAST OF NIGHT
2019, 89 min, Dir: Andrew Patterson

Over the course of one exhilarating night in New Mexico during the 1950s, a young switchboard operator and a DJ attempt to uncover the mystery behind a strange frequency while the residents of their town are focused on a crucial high school basketball game. What they uncover not only sends them down a rabbit hole of gargantuan proportions but also threatens humanity in ways they could never imagine. Channeling the aesthetics of classic sci-fi films but doing it in a way that is wholly unique, Patterson’s wildly imaginative debut is awash with long single takes and intriguing one-on-one interviews, and features incredible lead performances by Sierra McCormick and Jake Horowitz.


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