Man On A Swing + Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (Joel Grey in person!)

Man On A Swing – 4:30pm
Fresh off an Oscar win for Cabaret, Joel Grey gives a terrifying, hilarious and inscrutable turn in Man On A Swing, a jewel in the crown of paranoid ‘70s conspiracy thrillers. Odds are good that David Fincher had this gripping film with occult overtones in mind when he made Zodiac, for this true-crime tale is brisk, efficient and all-too-real. When a young woman is discovered smothered to death inside her car at a supermarket parking lot, police chief Cliff Robertson withholds key facts from the press to sift out false leads — and then gets a phone call from Grey, a factory worker who claims to be clairvoyant and who knows an awful lot about the case’s hidden particulars. Grey’s a real wonder to watch here as a sort of jittery, slightly domesticated version of Cabaret’s Emcee. Man On A Swing marked another quirky success for Frank Perry (The Swimmer, Last Summer, Play It As It Lays), one of his era’s most undervalued directors. And, this one may sport a PG rating, but remember — that’s a Seventies PG, which means this is still really creepy, intense stuff.
Frank Perry, 1974, digital presentation, 110 min.

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins – approx. 7:30pm
After the fantastic one-two of Cabaret and Man On A Swing, Joel Grey hung tight to his New York theater roots, only coming back to Hollywood for sporadic film roles. What lured him back was a doozy of a good time: the chance to play a martial arts master in a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the hugely popular Destroyer series of spy novels! A kind of American James Bond saga with Marvel-style supervillains in the mix, the Destroyer books starred the hero Remo Williams, a rough-’n-tumble former cop tapped by a secret agency to fight robotic, telekinetic and undead baddies — and trained by the Korean kung fu badass Chiun. Here, Fred Ward (always one of our favorite film gruffians) is Remo — and Grey (in a Golden Globe-nominated performance) is Chiun, taking a role that might have been mere caricature in the hands of a lesser actor into way loftier territory. Grey turns on the burn and steals the show, utilizing his finely honed skills as both a comedian and a dancer to create an unforgettably fluid and hilarious fighting wizard.
Dir. Guy Hamilton, 1985, 35mm, 121 min.

Watch the trailer for “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins”!
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