The Best Old Movies On a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, April 8-14

04/08/2015 9:46 AM |

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To Sleep with Anger (1990)
Directed by Charles Burnett
Like Burnett’s masterwork Killer of Sheep, this tale of a tight-knit but embattled African-American family in the late 80s is a finely detailed work of poetic realism, but To Sleep With Anger is shot through with a strain of surrealism as well. The hard-won bourgeois stability of Gideon’s (Paul Butler) and Suzie’s (Mary Alice) tidy home is threatened when their old friend Harry (a mesmerizing Danny Glover) comes to stay. A devil who can see into your soul and homes in on the dark parts, Harry is a semi-mythical figure who turns out to be the poison that acts as a purge, bringing together the family he almost blows up. There are layers of African-American history and heartbreak in this near classic of generational conflict and the West African sense of community that proved strong enough to survive even slavery. Elise Nakhnikian (Apr 13, 8pm at IFC Center’s “Queer/Art/Film”)