Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Color By Picture

Blue Velvet

An innocent man (Kyle MacLachlan) gets mixed up in a small-town murder mystery involving a kinky nightclub chanteuse (Isabella Rossellini) and a kidnapper (Dennis Hopper) with a penchant for snorting helium in this moodily surreal mystery from writer-director David Lynch. One of the most critically acclaimed movies of the 1980s, the film inspired a generation of independent filmmakers by taking a dark look at the lives of everyday Americans.

A Clockwork Orange

In this Stanley Kubrick classic based on Anthony Burgess's novel, teenage miscreant Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) wanders aimlessly amid a bleak, futuristic urban landscape, drinking drugged milk and listening to Beethoven with his fellow "droogs." But he also spends his time stealing, raping and beating innocent people in nihilistic orgies of violence, all in an attempt to get his nightly kicks.

The Purple Rose of Cairo

Stuck in a dead-end job and saddled with an abusive husband, Cecilia (Mia Farrow) depends on the movies for her escape. She sees one picture, The Purple Rose of Cairo, so often that the film's star (Jeff Daniels) walks off the screen and into her life … and promptly falls in love with her. Writer-director Woody Allen's touching romantic comedy bagged a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and was nominated for a host of foreign and critics' awards.

How Green Was My Valley

Recounted via the memories of the Morgan family's youngest son (Roddy McDowall), director John Ford's gentle masterpiece (which won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director) chronicles 50 years in the lives of a close-knit clan of Welsh coal miners. As the years pass, the Morgans try to survive unionization, a lengthy strike and a mining accident; meanwhile, their hometown and its venerable traditions slowly disintegrate.

The Pink Panther

Arriving at a posh resort with her precious "Panther" -- a large, priceless diamond with the image of a leaping feline inside -- sexy princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale) meets the debonair Sir Charles (David Niven), who happens to be a professional thief. Enter the ever-incompetent Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers), the clumsiest inspector ever to trip over a case. Can he stop Charles's attempts to relieve the princess of her diamond?

The White Ribbon

A year before World War I, a series of strange and brutal pranks threaten to shatter a northern German town's orderly existence. But the residents' response may have even more disturbing implications for the future. Celebrated Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke helms this Golden Globe-winning, sumptuously photographed black-and-white drama that stars Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Tukur and Theo Trebs.