FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

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In Raining Stones, Bob’s desperate attempts to raise the necessary capital to pay for his daughter’s First Communion dress makes him turn to more and more questionable means. Your choices, then, for what we’ll be screening on Tuesday 9 October are out of three films which also deal with economic concerns during particularly hard times. Up for the vote are:

Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, USA, 1978)

Richard Gere and Brooke Adams star as Bill and Abby: lovers who travel to the Texas Panhandle of 1916 to harvest crops for a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard). Pretending to be brother and sister, Bill encourages Abby to claim the fortune of the dying farmer by tricking him into a false marriage. Terrence Malick’s second film (after Badlands) is arguably his masterpiece: as ravishingly beautiful piece of cinema as it’s possible to get. And Ennio Morricone’s haunting score isn’t too shabby either.

Grapes of Wrath (John Ford, USA, 1940)

Henry Fonda stars as Tom Joad, patriarch of an Oklahoma family who lose their farm during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and light out to California in search of employment as migrant workers. Based on John Steinbeck's 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, John Ford’s Dust Bowl Epic earned him the Academy Award for Best Director and is generally considered one of the greatest movies of all time. A true American Classic.

Stroszek (Werner Herzog, Germany, 1977)

Bruno S. stars as the titular Stroszek: an alcoholic Berlin-based busker who, upon being released from prison, joins his elderly friend and a prostitute in their dream to leave Germany and seek a better life in Wisconsin, USA. Populated by non-actors and written by Herzog specifically with his “muse”, Bruno S., in mind, Stroszek is, in the words of critic Roger Ebert, “one of the oddest films ever made.” It is an utterly unique (or utterly Herzogian) look at the emigrant experience in America. (It also featured in our recent screening of 24 Hour Party People as the film Ian Curtis was watching immediately prior to taking his own life. Make of that what you will…)