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Dark Matters: The Films of William Friedkin

Thursday, September 12, 2013
7:00 p.m. To Live and Die in L.A.
William Friedkin (U.S., 1985)

When Richard Chance’s partner, a fellow Secret Service agent, is murdered, darkness descends on pastel-painted LaLaLand. All bets are off as Chance (William “CSI” Petersen) vengefully dogs the days of counterfeiter Rick Masters, portrayed by a well-etched Willem Dafoe. Once again, Friedkin effaces the thin blue line—there’s little difference between perpetrator and pursuer except for a badge. Smog-stained sunsets encase the toxic mayhem below in Robby Müller’s striking cinematography. It’s a SoCal where nothing is what it seems: cons carouse with artsy cool and cops crave kinks. But unlike Masters’s fake bills, To Live and Die in L.A. is the real thing.

—Steve Seid

• Written by Friedkin and Gerald Petievich, from his novel. Photographed by Robby Müller. With William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, John Turturro. (116 mins, Color, 35mm, From Park Circus)