Striking the balance between harsh vibes and exceptional cinema, I’m pleased to announce our next program at the Roxy: The Film Stage has teamed with Chapo Trap House‘s Movie Mindset for Fidelio, a one-week, four-film program on the 1%’s malevolent influence, deep-state connections, and sexual corruption (fun edition).

It begins with Saturday, August 3’s double-bill of Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York and a 25th-anniversary presentation of Eyes Wide Shut on 35mm; the following week brings prints of Clint Eastwood’s delightfully absurd (or not?) potboiler Absolute Power and Roman Polanski’s late-career triumph The Ghost Writer. Each title has at least one encore, and in a couple cases represents first theatrical showings in recent history. Just remember the password.

The Film Stage readers and Chapo listeners receive a discounted $12 ticket with mention of our program at the Roxy’s box office. (Don’t be shy––their employees are very nice.) We look forward to seeing you at the movies.

Welcome to New York
Saturday, August 3 at 6:00pm
Monday, August 5 at 7:00pm

Abel Ferrara’s dramatized account of Dominique Strauss-Kahn engendered controversy the second it premiered, not least for a threatened lawsuit from its thinly disguised subject. Though among the harshest works in Ferrara’s scorched-earth filmography, Welcome to New York is also a remarkable showcase for Gérard Depardieu (eerily presaging the actor’s current legal entanglements) and a granular, nearly journalistic detail of political power in horrible play.

Eyes Wide Shut on 35mm
Saturday, August 3 at 8:30pm
Sunday, August 4 at 6:00pm
Monday, August 5 at 9:30pm
Tuesday, August 6 at 9:30pm

Stanley Kubrick’s final film largely met befuddled disinterest upon release in 1999. 25 years hence it seems nearly incontestable as one of this director’s supreme achievements––a work that still feels unresolved and irreconcilable, every viewing some new opportunity to peek into incomprehensible horrors either among your community or within yourself. Just remember the password.

Absolute Power on 35mm
Wednesday, August 7 at 7:00pm
Thursday, August 8 at 9:45pm
Friday, August 9 at 5:00pm
Saturday, August 10 at 5:15pm

What would’ve seemed a hilariously paranoid vision of the American Presidency in 1997 was strangely vindicated just one year later; from 2024’s vantage, Absolute Power is almost utopian for its vision of justice served in the highest corridors of power. The enforcer is none other than Clint Eastwood, who leads and directs this gem of his airport-thriller period, featuring an absurd collection of disguises and Gene Hackman as an arrogant, criminal Commander in Chief.

The Ghost Writer on 35mm
Wednesday, August 7 at 9:30pm
Thursday, August 8 at 5:00pm
Friday, August 9 at 9:45pm
Saturday, August 10 at 7:45pm

One of Roman Polanski’s greatest films also holds an odd mirror to his own sins and circumstances. The director is at home in this perfectly tuned thriller about evading charges and extradition treaties––one whose story of an outsider sucked into the terrifying whirlpool does more than a bit to echo Chinatown––but its thrills are largely an excuse for conspiracy du vibe: wintry skies, deeply enviable beachside real estate, sweaters, suit jackets, athleisure, and a playful Alexandre Desplat score handily supplant plot. Just as few movies have used Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, or Olivia Williams better, almost nothing from the last decade matches The Ghost Writer for pure entertainment.

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