Week of September 10, 2003

Casablanca. Michael Curtiz. Free screening of 1942 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman at 8 p.m. Friday, September 12, in Memorial Park Plaza on Meramec and Carondelet at the Clayton Government Center. NR

Ms. 45. Abel Ferrara. It's usually described as "a feminist version of Death Wish," but "a Catholic schoolgirl's version of Taxi Driver" is closer to the mark when it comes to classifying Abel Ferrara's genuinely disturbing Ms. 45, a film that plays revenge fantasies and horror elements off of each other so coolly that the viewer may be left as emotionally confused as the troubled monster/heroine, a deaf teenager who, after being raped twice in the same afternoon, becomes an avenging angel/serial killer. Played with uncanny brilliance by the then-seventeen Zoë Tamerlis, Ferrara's Thana lashes out at any form of male aggression while simultaneously becoming more aware of her lonely life, her exploitative job and her own sexuality. Simultaneously working with minimal dialogue, just enough New York color to maintain realism and a musical score that acts as an atonal counterpoint to Thana's paranoia, Ms. 45 sets up its targets like a routine urban thriller but subtly lures you into sharing Thana's angry, unsettled view. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 16, in the Lewis Room of the Fontbonne University Library. (Robert Hunt)

Señorita Extraviada. Lourdes Portillo. Chilling documentary studies a horrific case of serial killing that has gone unchecked for over a decade. Hundreds of women have been kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered in Juárez, Mexico, a scant ten miles from El Paso. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, September 12-14, in Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487. NR

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