Cinefamily Editions Presents

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Naked

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1/26 - 7:30PM
$12/free for members

Like a fiery street preacher, Naked barges into your space and your psyche, insistently haranguing you and demanding attention. In Mike Leigh’s all-too-human miserablist drama/void-black comedy, crude misanthrope Johnny (David Thewlis) squats at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and lambasts his way through the streets of London, ranting about space, God, evolution, The Odyssey, the Apocalypse – anything to anyone who’ll listen, especially if they have cigarettes. It’s a fascinating portrait of a deeply intelligent, horribly cruel and pessimistic character – at home in a film that sulks in theatrical existentialism and kitchen sink realism. Thewlis’s mesmerizing performance and Leigh’s top-notch storytelling are almost able to humanize this ugly outcast – not with redemptive clichés, but with rare and shocking emotional integrity most artists would flinch at.

Dir. Mike Leigh, 1993, 16mm, 126 min.

Zodiac

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2/9 - 7:30PM
$12/free for members

Steeped in one of California’s most notorious unsolved serial murder cases (and we have a few) is Zodiac, the understated but terrifying psycho-thriller from old pro David Fincher (Se7en, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Knitting the swinging pastiche of a liberated 60s San Francisco – Haight Ashbury, anyone? – with the little we know of the gruesome murderer who taunted police and press from the anonymity of assumed bohemia, Fincher deals in both truth and fiction in his retelling of the story of a newspaper cartoonist (lamp-eyed Jake Gyllenhaal, of course) whose amateur quest to find the Zodiac may prove to be a path of no return.

With an ensemble cast of knockouts (Robert Downey Jr., Chloe Sevigny, and Mark Ruffalo), sweeping visual odes to classic California, and a near-perfect score that collides bright cozy oldies with plenty of uneasy piano, Zodiac lifts the gilded petals of flower power and slowly exposes the quiet, sodden evil that crept beneath all that peace and love – reminding us (and years of cipher-breaking Redditors) that not all killers will be caught.

Dir. David Fincher, 2007, 35mm, 157 min.

California Split

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2/23 - 7:30PM
$12/free for members

Nobody captures the smoggy, smoked-out hangover that is Los Angeles better than Robert Altman did in the ‘70s. With his shaggy ambling muse Elliot Gould along for the ride, Altman mapped the sunburnt terrain with a bemused, amused accuracy that makes any L.A. stoner sigh with satisfaction. Gould and George Segal bounce wildly off one another in California Split – an exploration of compulsive gambling that ranks alongside Nashville and McCabe & Mrs. Miller as one of Altman’s finest works. Gould is the devil-may-care wild man, living on couches and a diet of cereal; Segal is a successful magazine publisher, the man with something to lose. Working with one of his most finely-tuned acting ensembles (including Bert Remsen, Gwen Welles and a very young Jeff Goldblum), Altman captures the sumptuously seedy side of the Southland without ever sacrificing the grace and dignity that these poor souls deserve. A feast of detail and subtle characterization, California Split is best experienced in the theater, where, like the gaming floor, you never really know what time of day it is.

Dir. Robert Altman, 1974, 35mm, 108 min.

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