November 27, 2019: A fantastic, under-appreciated ’70s mystery!

SLEUTH (1972)

dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz

December 11, 8:30 PM


Alamo Drafthouse DTLA

In a low-key way, Sleuth is one of the strangest and most surprising movies made in the ‘70s. This two-hander stars Michael Caine as Milo Tindle, the younger lover of a woman who is married to the pompous and successful novelist Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier). We never see her; instead, the film leans in to observe the men engage in a battle of wits, determination, and violence. Sleuth defies classification as it gives Olivier and Caine two hours to tear into a dense script, each trying to assert dominance over the other.

The film plays as part of the Alamo Drafthouse’s series dedicated to movies that inspired Knives Out. The program also includes Deathtrap (which is like Sleuth’s fraternal twin, with Caine stepping into something like the Olivier role) and Robert Altman’s magnificent Gosford Park, among others. It’s worth noting, too, that Sleuth is not the easiest movie to see, and this is a restored print from the Academy Film Archive which has only been run once before.

35mm |  INFO + TICKETS




dir. Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn

Opens November 29 — Array

A bold single-take style fosters an exploration of the effects of trauma in this real-time story about two very different Indigenous women who spend an uneasy afternoon together. Pregnant 19-year old Rosie flees her abusive home life and is offered help by 30-something Áila (played by co-director Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers). Theirs is not an easy pairing, as their different backgrounds and perspectives add tension to what began as a well-meaning intervention on Áila’s part. This is playing at distributor Array’s own space, a terrific new campus in Filipinotown with an intimate 50-seat screening room. Check Array’s page for a variety of screenings which will be followed by conversations with filmmakers Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn and star Violet Nelson.



dir. David Cronenberg

November 29, 2:00 PM – New Beverly Cinema

Considering how perceptive David Cronenberg has been about media and technology and their effect on human interaction (in films like Videodrome, The Fly, and Crash), of course he made the defining video game movie. eXistenZ seems, at first, like a baffling set of nested narratives, but ultimately becomes a commentary on all the weird factions and brand worship that define a significant section of the gaming community. Basically: Cronenberg made the Gamergate movie 15 years before that culture war kicked off — and since many of the tactics and camps of Gamergate have come to define the cultural-political landscape of 2019, eXistenZ might be among the director’s most important films.



dir. Toshiya Fujita

December 4, 7:30 PM – Arclight Hollywood

At birth, Yuki Kashima is charged with avenging the many injustices endured by her mother. She goes about this task with limb-severing gusto, which makes for Grand Guignol entertainment that has influenced many filmmakers, most notably Quentin Tarantino. But Lady Snowblood is focused on a lot more than the visual allure of violence, and this is a film in which revenge is not nearly as simple as striking down the people who have done wrong: It is a revenge movie crafted as a stark, gory tragedy.



dir. Penelope Spheeris

December 6, 11:59 PM – Nuart Theatre

Mid-’80s teen killer movies with a strong musical influence (a sub-sub-genre that Netflix should include in the ol’ algorithm) are typically represented by River’s Edge. Penelope Spheeris’s The Boys Next Door also deserves to be a standard-bearer. This grim crime story has a matter-of-fact style that lends an air of uncomfortable authenticity to the violent actions of two just-graduated young men. The lead performances from Maxwell Caulfield and Charlie Sheen are among each actor’s best, working in concert with Spheeris to make the malcontent outsiders interesting without demanding unjustified sympathy.


Leave a Reply