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Cul De Sac -- The fact that there isn't a single likeable character in Cul de Sac does not diminish its artistic value in the least. Ageing, furtively kinky Donald Pleasence is married to sexy young Francoise Dorleac. The couple's hermitlike tranquility is shattered when wounded gangsters Jack MacGowan and Lionel Stander invade their home and hold them hostage. As Dorleac urges her tremulous husband to do something, the two criminals begin behaving in a fashion that can only inadequately be described as eccentric. Drawing upon two of Polanski's favorite themes-isolation and latent insanity--Cul de Sac actually improves upon each viewing, assuming that the viewer has the intestinal fortitude to sit through it once. La Jetee -- The movie that inspired Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys, Chris Marker's La jetée is a landmark of science-fiction filmmaking, a 28-minute masterpiece told almost entirely in still frames. Set in a post-apocalyptic near-future, it tells the story of an unnamed man whose vivid childhood recollections make him the perfect guinea pig for an experiment in time travel. After a lengthy and nightmarish period of conditioning, he is sent into the past, where he falls in love with a woman whom he once saw on a pier. At the experiment's conclusion, he is visited by an advanced race, who offer him the opportunity to journey into their future world, but he instead requests that they send him permanently into the past, where he can remain with the woman of his dreams. A singular experience.

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ODY7822 Cul-De-Sac/La Jetee DVD (1966/Donald Pleasence/1961/Chris Marker) $24.95