The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, May 13-19

05/13/2015 8:50 AM |

comfort of strangers

The Comfort of Strangers (1990)
Directed by Paul Schrader
Ian McEwan’s slim, killingly ambiguous novel is the raw material for this equally brutal rendition by a dream team with music by Angelo Badalamenti, photography by Dante Spinotti, screenplay by Harold Pinter and duds by Armani. Christopher Walken is the white-suited devil who overshares with tourist couple Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson about his severe upbringing (a father with a white mustache who “brushed it black… mascara”) and predatorily seizes on Everett’s godlike man-meat beauty and the couple’s codependent vulnerability. Walken’s oily charm camouflages a fascistic, misogynistic worldview born in childhood, as this languid Mediterranean gabfest maunders towards its sinister finish, like an Éric Rohmer nightmare. Justin Stewart (May 18, 8pm at IFC Center’s “Celluloid Dreams,” with introduction by costar Helen Mirren and post-screening Q&A with Schrader)