Hank’s Recommendations 1/13/15

hank_paperFor a good bet try the staff recommendation shelves on the way (to your right) to the Top Hit area. I’ve recently changed my pics; here are three of them. You can’t lose!

A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT

In A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, two brothers rebel against their stern minister father (Tom Skerritt) in different ways: one (Craig Schaefer) as a writer, the other (Brad Pitt) as a charming daredevil challenging the world. Oscar-winning director Robert Redford captures the majesty of the Montana Wilderness and the strength of the American family in this acclaimed adaptation of Norman Maclean’s uniquely affecting memoir.

CAST AWAY

In CAST AWAY, an unusual and deep film, a FedEx systems engineer’s ruled-by-the-clock existence abruptly ends in a harrowing plane crash that leaves him isolated on a remote island. Tom Hanks offers one of his most absorbing performances in this life-changing adventure of body and spirit.

CAPE FEAR

In one of his two most menacing roles (NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is the other one, reviewed next week), Robert Mitchum plays a sociopathic ex-con determined to exact a terrible – and terribly legal – revenge on both the attorney (Gregory Peck) who put him away and the attorney’s family. CAPE FEAR is a masterpiece of tension-building, shock and suspense that eclipses the later De Niro remake.

New post-summer film series, “Great Beach and Water Movies,” starts Mon., Sept. 29

River_Runs_Through_It_WebA little fun in the water can raise serious waves of issues. This poetry of cinema—chosen from among Best Video owner Hank Paper’s all-time favorite films—will provide a raft of excitement, suspense and introspection, leading to optional discussions afterward. Have fun and learn! Coffee and Wine Bar available to facilitate your attention and participation.

Seating is limited; reservations recommended: $35 for the series of six screenings; $7 for each screening. Sign up for the entire series or for particular films. The screenings start at 7 PM.

The Schedule:

• Sept. 29: A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT

(1992, USA) Two brothers rebel against their stern minister father (Tom Skerritt) in different ways: one (Craig Schaefer) as a writer, the other (Brad Pitt) as an irresistible daredevil challenging the world. Oscar-winning director Robert Redford captures the majesty of the Montana Wilderness and the strength of the American family in this acclaimed adaptation of Norman Maclean’s uniquely affecting memoir.

• Oct. 6: CAST AWAY

(2000, USA) In this unusual and deep film, a FedEx systems engineer’s ruled-by-the-clock existence abruptly ends in a harrowing plane crash that leaves him isolated on a remote island. Tom Hanks offers one of his most absorbing performances in this life-changing adventure of body and spirit.

• Oct. 13: CAPE FEAR (Original version)

(1962, USA) In one of his two most menacing roles (his role in The Night of the Hunter is the other, shown later in the series), Robert Mitchum plays a sociopathic ex-con determined to exact a terrible – and terribly legal – revenge on both the attorney (Gregory Peck) who put him away and the attorney’s family. A masterpiece of tension-building, shock and suspense that eclipses the later De Niro remake.

• Oct. 20: DELIVERANCE

(1972, USA) In director John Boorman’s stunning man vs. nature adventure, four “weekend warriors” (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox), set off on a fun-filled white water rafting escapade down a mystery-laden Georgia river that turns into a white knuckle wilderness of terror, putting them all on the knife edge of survival. Adapted by James Dickey from his novel and nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, this film draws us in with the force of a raging current – an unforgettable piece of film-making that made Burt Reynolds the world’s leading box office star overnight.

• Oct. 27: THE SWIMMER

(1968, USA) In this unique movie filmed in New Canaan, CT, a charismatic and mysterious man, after a summer away, decides to swim in a succession of his neighbors’ pools that lead to his home, a succession that winds up telling his life story. Engaging poolside encounters with an interesting cast of characters lead to a shattering revelation in this film that, once seen, is never forgotten.

• Nov. 3: THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

(1955, USA) A Depression-era itinerant preacher and widow-slayer (Robert Mitchum) stalks two young children who alone know his true identity, as well as where some bank robbery loot, which the preacher seeks, is hidden. The only film directed by Charles Laughton, this stand-alone masterwork of eerie expressionistic beauty is part Grimm faery tale, part coming-of-age salvation story – a poetic battle of good vs. evil featuring a sublimely sinister Mitchum and a stunningly radiant Lillian Gish in a screenplay written by the legendary James Agee.

“Revenge” film series continues with “Cape Fear” (1962) on Mon., Oct. 28, at 7 PM

In the tradition of “What Would You Do? Ethical Dilemmas in Great Films” and “Can We All Get Along? Culture Clash in Great Films,” Best Video and Temple Beth Sholom have been presenting “Revenge: Will the Cycle Be Unbroken,” a six-film series that began on Oct. 7. Members of Best Video’s staff share with owner Hank Paper and Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic of co-sponsors Temple Beth Sholom the duties of introducing the films and leading the post-screening discussions. All the screenings begin at 7 PM.

Reservations are highly recommended for these screenings; in previous series, most of the showings have been sold out or near capacity. Admission is $5 per film.

“Revenge: Will the Cycle be Unbroken” remaining schedule:

Mon., Oct. 28: “Cape Fear” (original, starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum; Rob Harmon presenting, 1962, USA) Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) is out of jail and out to get revenge on the attorney who helped secure his conviction on rape and assault charge eight years before. Gregory Peck plays Sam Bowden, the former prosecutor who desperately tries to protect his family from Cady’s escalating campaign of vengeful terror. In 1962, New York Times critic Bosley Crowther wrote, “A cold-blooded, calculated build-up of sadistic menace and shivering dread is accomplished with frightening adroitness in J. Lee Thompson’s melodrama “Cape Fear,” which clubbed its way into the Victoria and the Trans-Lux Eighty-fifth Street yesterday. And the word on it is: don’t take the children. If you want to be horrified, that’s your business. But don’t expose the youngsters to the ordeal of watching this film.”

Mon., Nov. 4: “In the Bedroom” (Rabbi Scolnic presenting, 2001, USA) Matt (Tom Wilkinson) and Ruth Fowler’s (Sissy Spacek) son Frank, shortly to leave for college, gets involved with an older woman who is separated from her husband and seeking a divorce. After the estranged husband kills Frank in a jealous rage, the Fowlers painfully wait for the legal system to bring justice. But if the legal system fails, what then?

Mon., Nov. 11: “The Searchers” (Hank Paper presenting, 1956, USA) Named by the American Film Institute as the greatest American Western film of all time, “The Searchers”—starring John Wayne and directed by John Ford—plumbs themes of obsession, revenge and racism. In a foreshadowing of the revisionist Westerns of the 1970’s, Wayne plays a character marked by deep moral ambiguity. Filmed amid the glorious landscape of Monument Valley, “The Searchers” is itself a monument to American myth-making.

All screenings start at 7 PM.