By Chloe Lawson
CALGARY – February is interconnected with the concept of love, which is shown in a variety of forms in films being shown this month. Grab a date (or yourself) to experience these classic noir/drama/thrillers firsthand at your local theatre.
The first glance of Ayako Murai (Isuzu Yamada), in her slanted white hat, one may think she is the wife of a rich man. Kenji Mizoguchi brings to the screen the story of a switchboard operator turned prostitute to keep her father out of jail and brother in school. Murai becomes the mistress of her boss Sumiko Asai (Yôko Umemura) who has been pursuing her endlessly. Through this frank portrayal of sex work, we experience the tumultuous decisions Murai must make and the rejection she must accept.
Espressokino presents Osaka Elegy at The Roasterie on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 8:00 PM
Living by one’s true nature can be difficult due to upbringing and “screwed up” genes, according to felon H.I. McDonnough (Nicholas Cage). In this dark comedy Joel Cohen shows life through the revolving door of the justice system. H.I. meets his wife, Ed (Holly Hunter) an officer who routinely takes his mugshots. The honeymoon phase ends abruptly when Ed is informed she cannot have children. The only logical decision? To kidnap a baby. H.I. takes pride in his new role of felon father by being chased and shot at for stealing Huggies for their abducted son, Nathan Jr.
Raising Arizona screens at Eau Claire Market Cinema Friday, Feb. 2 at 9:15 PM
A tape recorder starts playing and the voice speaking creates a sense of familiarity. In this 1971 neo-noir crime-thriller, Jane Fonda plays call-girl Bree Daniels who lives in New York City. A picturesque family man goes missing and there is reason to believe Daniels is the only connection. John Klute (Donald Sutherland) plays a private detective who follows Daniels through the city built on her beguiling profession. As an audience we feel as lost in the labyrinth of sexual deviance and darkness as our leading characters who attempt to connect the dots.
Calgary Cinematheque presents Klute at The Plaza Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:00
THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI
What way would better represent crippling Hollywood romance than a director/estranged husband demanding the leading star to terminate her symbolic red hair? In this film noir of smoke and funhouse mirrors Orson Welles plays Michael O’Hara who becomes spellbound with the striking blonde Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth) after her husband hires him as one of his seamen. Among the dark depths of the unpredictable ocean the two discover love, murder, and that everybody is somebody’s fool.
The Lady from Shanghai will screen at the Globe Cinema on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
STRANGER THAN PARADISE
A young woman places her two bags down and turns on her cassette player. She continues walking down the desolate street as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins belts out “I Put a Spell on You”. This Jim Jarmusch flick tells the tale of Willie (John Lurie) who takes in his Hungarian cousin, Eva (Eszter Balint) in battered early ‘8os’ borough of NYC. Willie’s friend, Eddie (Richard Edson) joins them on a road trip to paradise, aka Florida. With dry amusement we watch human existence as this film takes us into its subjective realm. Like Eddie says, “You come someplace new and everything looks just the same.”
Stranger Than Paradise screens at the Globe Cinema on Saturday, Feb. 24.Calgary Cinematheque, classic noir, drama, Eau Claire Market Cinema, Espressokino, film, Globe Cinema, KLUTE, OSAKA ELEGY, RAISING ARIZONA, STRANGER THAN PARADISE, THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, The Plaza Theatre, The Roasterie, thrillers