It’s hard to resist a Tuesday film series for a gray, frigid February whose cheery title is “Long Nights, Bright Paranoia.” It’s especially hard when it has been programmed with as much film savvy as John Massier’s Tuesday film series at 7 p.m. in Hallwalls.
We’re two films into it already. The first two were William Cameron Menzies’ “Invaders from Mars” from 1953 and, this past Tuesday, John Frankenheimer’s “Seconds.”
When you interviewed Frankenheimer, he was always happy to acknowledge that “Seconds” was one of the best films he’d made in his life that wasn’t called “The Manchurian Candidate” (the unquestioned masterpiece in the Frankenheimer canon).
Massier’s first-rate February series resumes brightening our lives with paranoia at 7 p.m. today when the Hallwalls film will be Alex Proyas’ 1998 film “Dark City.” The film, directed by the director of “Crow” never quite made a star of Rufus Sewell but it seemed to me at the time “a wild, dazzling sci-fi extravaganza” that “reinvents German cinematic expressionism with an able assist from expressionism’s irrational cousin, surrealism.” (Some of the images are almost direct steals from the great Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte.” The bad guys are floating aliens in oversize fedoras. Also featured in the cast are Keifer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly and William Hurt.
Closing it out at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 will be a showing of Alan J. Pakula’s parnoid 1974 beauty “The Parallax View” starring Warren Beatty as a reporter who wants to know why all the reporters who happened to be there when a senator was assassinated seem to be dying. That leads him to a multinational corporation called “The Parallax Corporation” which seems to be capable of anything and everything.