Series/Festivals

Week of September 17, 2003

Cutter's Way. Ivan Passer. Bone (Jeff Bridges) stumbles onto a murder scene, but he's so laid-back that he'd prefer not to get involved; his friend Cutter (John Heard, in an uncharacteristically raw performance) is a drunken, bitter, one-legged Vietnam veteran who seizes Bone's discovery -- and his identification of a local business leader as the prime suspect -- as an opportunity to rectify all that he's suffered. As a mystery plot, it doesn't add up to much, but the film makes up for its narrative shortcomings by the sheer force of its grimy atmosphere. Just as the original cycle of noir films tapped into an implacable sense of dread in the aftermath of World War II, Cutter's Way was the first and most explicit of the neo-noir films to link corruption and decay to the disheveled state of post-Vietnam, post-Watergate American culture -- Jimmy Carter's famous "malaise." With great ensemble performances and a deep sense of defeat, Cutter's Way turns self-pity into authentic tragedy. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 23, in the Lewis Room of the Fontbonne University Library. (Robert Hunt)

Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary. Guy Maddin. After garnering acclaim with his mini-masterpiece The Heart of the World, Canadian cult auteur Guy Maddin has beautifully transposed the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's interpretation of Bram Stoker's classic tale from stage to screen. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, September 19-21, in Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487. NR

Stealing Beauty. Bernardo Bertolucci. After her mother commits suicide, nineteen-year-old Lucy (Liv Tyler) travels to Italy to haver her picture painted -- or, rather, to solve a riddle in her mother's diary and to renew her friendship with Niccolo Donati, a young boy with whom she fell in love during her last visit. Part of Webster University and Bar Italia's Under the Stars series, the film will screen after sundown on Monday, September 22. Tickets are $35 and include a three-course meal, with seating commencing at 6 p.m. For reservations or more information, call the Bar Italia Events Manager at 314-361-7010. NR

 
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