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THE PLAYER (Robert Altman, USA 1992, 1., 5. & 7.3.) Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) is a Hollywood studio executive who decides which of the countless pitches he hears will be made into films. Thus, he not only has friends. When he starts receiving anonymous death threats, he thinks that an aspiring screenwriter he rejected might be to blame. He kills him in a tussle, but the threats do not stop. Altman's brilliant satire about the vanities and moods in Hollywood, which features dozens of cameo appearances by celebrities, starts out with an eight-minute plan-sequence of tracking shots, pans and zooms in the studio and parking lot. While the camera follows new groups of people, two men talk excitedly about the most famous long takes in film history.

THE FRENCH CONNECTION (William Friedkin, USA 1971, 2. & 5.3.) This New Hollywood classic is a masterfully-staged thriller about two police officers in New York who hope to nail an international drug ring. It is a fictional adaptation of a work of non-fiction that comes across as extremely authentic in its depiction of New York's dirty underbelly. In one of the most famous chases in film history, a car races against the elevated train above, and suspense mounts thanks to the brilliant use of parallel montage.

LA RÈGLE DU JEU(The Rules of the Game, F 1939, 3. & 8.3.) Jean Renoir's masterpiece depicts upper class life in a country estate: receptions, living room chatter, hunting, amorous entanglements both up and downstairs. What begins as a comedy soon becomes a sarcastic danse macabre and the rules of the game are revealed to be self-destructive conventions. Jean Renoir worked less with montage but experimented with lending spaces depth of field, as well as with composition and optical effects.

SHOCK CORRIDOR(Sam Fuller, USA 1963, 4. & 6.3.) A B-movie psychodrama by a true Hollywood independent who was once described as being an "authentic American primitive".The ambitious newspaper reporter Johnny Barrett is bent on winning the Pulitzer Prize and commits himself to a mental institution to solve a murder. A veritable tour de force through the hollows of daily life in the clinic ensues, with Sam Fuller making it clear that the clinic represents a larger social phenomenon: America is ill. He uses staccato montage to depict shock treatment and the thoughts of the patients become color dream fantasies in an otherwise black and white film. (mg/al)

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