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As if to top last summer's revival of Expose Me, Lovely, this summer Doc will present three features from the golden age of American hard-core filmmaking: the old-fashioned melodrama Roommates (1981) screens Wednesday 7/2; Take Off (1973), Lovely director Armand Weston's episodic spoof of classic Hollywood cinema, plays Wednesday 7/30; and the dreamy psychodrama Through the Looking Glass (1976) is on Wednesday 8/6. If you catch only one of these, make it Roommates. The director of that movie, Chuck Vincent, was a singular figure, an openly gay filmmaker who worked in straight hard-core for the creative freedom it allowed him. His films, which often function as subversive critiques of heterosexual relations, can be surprisingly nuanced in their acting and mise-en-scene—making Vincent the closest exploitation cinema ever got to producing a George Cukor.
There are several untouchable classics on the calendar—among them Samuel Fuller's Park Row (on Wednesday 7/9), Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water (on Friday 7/18), and Frank Borzage's History Is Made at Night (on Wednesday 8/27)—in addition to some fine, albeit underrated films of the past decade. Of the latter category, I most look forward to revisiting Mysterious Skin (on Friday 7/25), which I consider Gregg Araki's best film to date, and Poison Friends (on Thursday 8/7), a nervy French drama by Arnaud Desplechin's frequent writing partner Emmanuel Bourdieu.