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selects his three titles

A monthly focus on the profound impact of film. Photographer and artist Jack Pierson



Paper Moon (1973) Peter Bogdanovich

“Paper Moon remains most effortlessly magical, a bittersweet black-and-white Depression-era comedy in which real-life father and daughter Ryan O’Neal and Tatum O’Neal bootstrap their way across America selling Bibles to grieving families, aided by lying their butts off. Nine-year-old Tatum’s Oscar-winning performance is one of the most captivating yet unsentimental roles to make a child star, and the whole film is serenely confident in its storytelling, armed with the roguish charm of on-screen con artistry.” (Ian Mantgani BFI)

Fat City (1972) John Huston

“John Huston’s sun-drenched neo-noir is a grim saga of has-beens and would-be’s, starring Stacey Keach as the former and Jeff Bridges as the latter. Set in the fading California town of Stockton, the elder and younger boxers train together in the hopes of achieving something beyond the realms of their decaying surroundings. But alcohol and false hope prove equally treacherous. With a melancholy soundtrack from Kris Kristofferson, Fat City has a real air of existential malaise.” (Christina Newland BFI)

Heat (1972) Paul Morrissey

“Continuing his examination of fading society, Morrissey turns to fame and travels from New York to Los Angeles for this outrageously funny but almost painfully sharp comedy. The film has a hilariously tortured plot that feels like a porn movie. Combining the torrid situations with such desperate characters, it's so much fun to watch that you never want it to end, right up to the gonzo climactic twist on Sunset Blvd. Everyone has a story here, and Morrissey uses his standard understated direction to get intriguing performances from his cast." (Rich Kline)

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