Genre: Biographical Martial Arts Drama
Director: Herman Yau (The Legend Is Born: Ip Man)
Starring: Anthony Wong, Gillian Chung, Jordan Chan, Eric Tsang, Marvel ChowThe Story: Biopic about the final years of legendary martial arts master Ip Man. The Lowdown: While there isn't a shortage of action — with three standout sequences — this biographical film is really more of a drama. Beautifully designed and photographed with a masterful performance from Anthony Wong.
Genre: Neo-noir Crime Thriller
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Brad PittThe Story: A lawyer gets involved in a drug deal that goes bad — very bad. The Lowdown: A strikingly original collaboration between director Ridley Scott and writer Cormac McCarthy has proven that personal filmmaking can still exist in mainstream film. What this sharply divisive film does not prove is that there's much market for it. Unrelentingly grim (with doses of bitter humor), layered, disturbing and, yes, flawed, but I found it compelling.
Genre: Film Noir Thriller
Director: Frank Tuttle
Starring: Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, Robert Preston, Laird Cregar, Tully Marshall, Marc LawrenceIn Brief: Frank Tuttle's This Gun for Hire (1942) is the film that catapulted Alan Ladd to stardom, established Ladd and Veronica Lake as a screen team and is just plain as close to a perfect representation of film noir as you're likely to get. A slick, Americanized update of Graham Greene's 1936 novel, the film bristles with electric performances and cinematic panache in its story of espionage, double-crosses and a very odd quasi-romance between an entertainer and a psychotic hired killer.
Director: Lee Hirsch (Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony)
Starring: Alex, Ja’Maya, Kelby, David Long, Tina Long, Kirk SmalleyThe Story: A documentation of a wide array of bullying -- and its consequences -- in America’s public high schools. The Lowdown: Despite offering little in the way of solutions (not to mention some factually dubious bits), this is a documentary that still packs an emotional punch.
Director: William Wyler
Starring: Margaret Sullavan, Herbert Marshall, Frank Morgan, Reginald Owen, Eric BloreIn Brief: A scintillating, but not frequently screened, classic comedy with a charming performance from Margaret Sullavan. Sullavan goes from resident in an orphan asylum to usherette in a Budapest movie theater to the "good fairy" of the title in bringing success to poor lawyer Herbert Marshall. Smart script from Preston Sturges smoothly directed by William Wyler.
Genre: Dark Romantic Comedy
Director: Preston Sturges
Starring: Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee, Lionel Stander, Barbara Lawrence, Edgar KennedyFilm historian Peter Loewer and Pack Library will screen Unfaithfully Yours at 6 p.m on Tuesday, April 26, in the newly renovated Lord Auditorium.
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