THE THIN MAN
1934, Warner Bros., 93 min, USA, Dir: W.S. Van Dyke

Adapting the Dashiell Hammett novel, W.S. Van Dyke helms the first and best in what was to become one of MGM’s most successful franchises of the 1930s. William Powell and Myrna Loy are transcendentally flighty as the carefree rich couple Nick and Nora Charles - a wise-cracking, hard-drinking detective and his heiress wife, a gal who aspires to fight crime, too (along with their terrier, Asta). Their partying lifestyle is interrupted when friend Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O’Sullivan) asks them to help find her father, an inventor who has been missing for three months. Set over Yuletide in New York City, the pair piece together clues while barhopping and hitting holiday cocktail parties (which always seem to be crawling with Nick’s former shady underworld acquaintances). Watch for hungover Nick shooting ornaments off the tree on Christmas morning! Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
1967, Sony Repertory, 122 min, USA, Italy, Dir: Franco Zeffirelli

Franco Zeffirelli's first feature as a director and initial foray into Shakespeare serves as a vehicle for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, whose talents (and offscreen passion) are perfectly suited to the bard's tale of sexual rivalry. Nino Rota's superb score and Oswald Morris' lush cinematography add to the sense of sweeping romantic spectacle.


MADLY IN LOVE
SMOORVERLIEFD
2010, Kinepolis Film Distribution, 90 min, Belgium, Dir: Hilde Van Mieghem

Sort of a tonal first cousin to American director Nancy Meyers, director Hilde Van Mieghem paints a hectic if delightful roller coaster portrait of a family of women dealing with love at many points on its spectrum: first crushes, lust, affairs, baby fever, and indestructible love. Official selection at the Palm Springs International Film Festival 2011. "Sex, lies and AMELIE-like cinematic tricks...a carnal variation on musical chairs." - Variety. In Dutch with English subtitles.


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