The Long Goodbye, playing on the MGM Movie Channel on Sunday
Only a few newly featured ones this week, but some really interesting ones. TCM has Technicolor showcase The Thief of Bagdad on Tuesday and British spy drama Night Train to Munich on Wednesday, then look out for Lynch’s Wild at Heart (which many people dislike but I love to bits) on Thursday on Sundance, and the MGM movie channel has Altman’s classic revisionist detective film The Long Goodbye on Sunday.
Monday, May 30
3:40pm – MGM – Platoon
Best Picture and Director Oscar winner for 1986, a physically and psychologically brutal examination of combat in Vietnam through the eyes of a young volunteer who finds he’s not valued in his unit due to inexperience and then ends up at odds over an illegal killing in a raid.
1986 USA. Director: Oliver Stone. Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe.
6:00pm – MGM – Blood Simple
The Coen Brothers’ first feature is already a pretty good indication of their style – a noirish thriller with a black comedy edge where everything goes more and more wrong the more people try to fix their mistakes. When the “mistakes” involve murder, leaving evidence at murder scenes, and having the worst time ever trying to get rid of a body, you’re in for a good time at pretty much every character’s expense.
1984 USA. Director: Joel Coen. Starring: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh.
(repeats at 8:00pm on the 5th)
7:50pm – Sundance – The Motorcycle Diaries
Part biography and part travelogue following a young Ernesto Guevara on a four-month motorcycle trip around South America, a trip that contributed to Guevara’s later revoluationary ideals and actions as Che.
2004 Argentina/USA. Director: Walter Salles. Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna, Mercedes Moran.
(repeats at 2:50am on the 31st)
8:00pm – TCM – The Best Years of Our Lives
One of the first films to deal with the aftermath of WWII, as servicemen return home to find both themselves and their homes changed by the long years of war. Director William Wyler and a solid ensemble cast do a great job of balancing drama and realism without delving too much into sentimentality.
1946 USA. Director: William Wyler. Starring: Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Herbert Russell, Cathy O’Donnell.
8:00pm – MGM – Fargo
Still one of the Coen Brothers’ best films, despite over a decade of mostly good films in the intervening years. Dark comedy is not an easy genre, and Fargo is the gold standard, blending shocking violence and a noir-ish crime story with comical inept criminals and a perfectly rendered performance from Frances McDormand.
1996 USA. Director: Joel Coen. Starring: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi.
(repeats at 10:00pm on the 5th)
10:30pm – IFC – The Dreamers
Bernardo Bertolucci’s love letter to the French New Wave, with American Michael Pitt heading to Paris just in time to join the ’68 Cinematheque riots, becoming friends and eventually lovers with a siblings Louis Garrel and Eva Green, a pair of fellow cinephiles. Bertolucci draws on Band of Outsiders and Jules and Jim especially, as well as the history of the era and his own sensibilities. It loses me personally a bit in the eroticism of the second half, but the first part is fantastic.
2003 France/UK/Italy. Director: Bernardo Bertolucci. Starring: Michael Pitt, Louis Garrel, Eva Green.
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