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October Retromania - 35mm Double Feature

Friday, Oct. 26th THE EXORCIST @ 9:00 PM followed by DEVIL'S ADVOCATE @ 11:30 PM


THE EXCORCIST (1973) @ 9:00 PM:

Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the little boy in the 1949 incident into a little girl named Regan, played by 14-year-old Linda Blair. Suddenly prone to fits and bizarre behavior, Regan proves quite a handful for her actress-mother, Chris MacNeil (played by Ellen Burstyn, although Blatty reportedly based the character on his next-door neighbor Shirley MacLaine). When Regan gets completely out of hand, Chris calls in young priest Father Karras (Jason Miller), who becomes convinced that the girl is possessed by the Devil and that they must call in an exorcist: namely, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow). His foe proves to be no run-of-the-mill demon, and both the priest and the girl suffer numerous horrors during their struggles. The Exorcist received a theatrical rerelease in 2000, in a special edition that added 11 minutes of footage trimmed from the film's original release and digitally enhanced Chris Newman's Oscar-winning sound work.

"The Exorcist, like most memorable Hollywood movies, gains its power from the way it mixes opposites: new-style realism and sexual radicalism, old-style horror and religion. How odd it now seems that one of the most ferociously pro-Catholic films of its era should have been attacked as anti-Catholic, or that a film so saturated with religious feeling should have been dammed as immoral and irreligious in intent. But four-letter words often offend professional moralists more than content and, thanks to Blatty, Friedkin and McCambridge, "The Exorcist" contains some of the most memorable obscenities in any movie.

It has much more, though. Even after almost three decades of increasing movie overkill, it's a thriller that really thrills, a shocker that really shocks. And it's still a movie that can scare the hell out of us."

Courtesy - Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

DEVIL'S ADVOCATE (1997) @ 11:30 PM:

Supernatural forces hover over the courtroom in this devilish drama adapted from the novel by Andrew Neiderman. Attorney Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) doesn't heed the Bible-based warnings of his mother (Judith Ivey), who views New York City as "the dwelling place of demons." Instead, he leaves Gainesville, Florida, with his wife Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) to put his legalistic skills to the test at a leading Manhattan law firm run by John Milton (Al Pacino). It all goes smoothly -- with Milton urging them to stay, putting Kevin on a $400-per-hour salary, and moving the couple into a luxurious apartment in his own building on Fifth Avenue -- where Mary Ann falls under the influence of neighbor Jackie (Tamara Tunie). After Kevin defends a weird animal sacrificer (Delroy Lindo, uncredited), he moves up to an important case with an apparent murderer, real-estate tycoon Alexander Cullen (Craig T. Nelson). Ignored by Kevin, the troubled Mary Ann has some disturbing experiences, verging on the occult, while Kevin, at work, becomes attracted to redhead Christabella (Connie Neilsen). Dazzled by his entrance into paradise, Kevin doesn't grasp who handed him this Big-Apple success. Could it be...Satan? The film features demonic creatures by Rick Baker. Cameos (Senator Alfonse D'Amato, Don King, others) add to the ambiance of ambition and power in the canyons of Manhattan.

"Surprises don't get any greater than The Devil's Advocate. After months of Al Pacino's appearing in coming attraction trailers, red-eyed, calling himself "Beelzebub," the movie opens in theaters today, and it's not what anyone could have expected. Pacino's red eyes are gone. "Beelzebub" has been left on the cutting-room floor. And "The Devil's Advocate" is a sharp, suspenseful and completely satisfying movie.

The movie's greatest strength is that it becomes more complex and rewarding as it goes along. Just when you expect spurts of blood and an operatic chorus to start chanting, The Devil's Advocate daringly settles in for a Bernard Shaw-like long conversation between the devil and the young man. It's a seduction, it's a dance, and it's one of the best-written scenes in an American film this year. The devil tempts him with worldly riches and a beautiful woman and tells him something we'd all like to hear: "Your vanity is justified." Whoever said doing the right thing was supposed to be easy?"

Courtesy - Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle



Virtual cinema: 

No screenings currently scheduled.

Directed by: 
William Friedkin
1973, 1997
Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Al Pacino, Keanu Reaves, Charlize Theron
Screenplay by: 
William Peter Blatty, Jonathan Lemkin, Tony Gilroy

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