In an age when film has become a commodity easily bought and traded online, it's nice to be able to appreciate a classic work as it was meant to be seen -- on the silver screen. That's the real beauty of the Denver FilmCenter's ongoing Rare Imports Series, which features new, refurbished 35 mm prints of groundbreaking foreign films. Tonight at 7 p.m., it's Henri-Georges Clouzet's 1953 nail-biter The Wages of Fear, starring Yves Montand as Mario, a French/Corsican expat living in an isolated South American oil town darkened by the exploitative Southern Oil Company. When fire breaks out in the oil fields, Mario is one of a group of local friends chosen to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin needed to stop the fire and cap the burning well under nearly impossible circumstances.
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What follows is like a slow walk through a minefield, a series of sequences Roger Ebert once said "deserve a place among the great stretches of cinema." Far be it from us to act as spoilers, but at the very least, believe us when we suggest you go into this flick expecting the road to be bumpy.
Wages of Fear repeats at 2 p.m. tomorrow and on Saturday, March 17; to reserve tickets, $7 to $9.75, in advance, go to www.denverfilm.org or call 303-595-3456. And be forewarned: A stiff drink might be called for after the show.
Tue., March 13, 7 p.m.; Wed., March 14, 2 p.m.; Sat., March 17, 2 p.m., 2012