The hole nine yards 

THIS WEEK’S PICK: Ace in the Hole (Criterion): Billy Wilder, always ahead of his time, outdid himself with this portrait of news-media cynicism that foretold the era of 24-hour coverage of every girl-in-a-well and high-profile meltdown. Wilder may have been shamed by the drama’s lack of commercial success, but star Kirk Douglas should have a copy of the film bronzed: His cold-hearted performance has aged well enough to outweigh some better-known (but not better-acted) roles in his past.

The Films of Luc Moullet (Facets): One of the French New Wave’s founding members is anthologized here: Seven films ranging from intellectual comedy to cinema-besotted romance, plus a few weirdo docs by the film critic who never quite made a name for himself on these shores.

Woman is the Future of Man (New Yorker): World-cinephiles who have caught on to hot Korean talents like Chan-wook Park and Ki-duk Kim can get in on the ground floor with director Sang-soo Hong, a director who hasn’t yet received much attention despite this festival favorite about a skewed love triangle.

Robert Rauschenberg’s Open Score (Microcinema): First in a series documenting nine 1966 art/theater/music NYC happenings, this one offers the painter experimenting with sound technology, trippy film projection, and, um, a live tennis match.

SUMMER VERHOEVEN CAMP: Starship Troopers (Sony), Showgirls (MGM), Basic Instinct (Lionsgate): A trio of hot-weather sleazefests, the third now offering its every scandalous frame on Blu-ray, that will stop at nothing — nothing! — to remind you what filmmaker Paul Verhoeven was doing before he returned to semi-legitimacy with Black Book

More by John DeFore



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