The Lighter Side...of Homicide

Rational people tend to agree that murder is no laughing matter. Such accepted moral wisdom, however, places no restrictions on cinematic lampooning. In honor of murderous mirth, Take-Up Productions' latest retrospective, the Lighter Side...of Homicide, offers four films that portray bloodshed from a peculiarly capricious perspective. The showcase launches with The Thin Man (June 9), the first film in a revered franchise of charming detective yarns featuring Nick and Nora (William Powell and Myrna Loy), a charismatic couple that solves each caper amid cocktails and screwball banter. Less widely seen, Lady on a Train (June 16) takes the familiar thriller premise of a disbelieved murder witness and cleverly subverts expectations with absurd plot twists and musical passages. Killing gets a more serious treatment with Laura (June 23), an Otto Preminger-directed noir involving a murdered woman and the three obsessed men who haunted her life (including the always dubious Vincent Price). Saving the most ridiculous for last, Murder by Death (June 30) spoofs the whodunit chestnut in which all of the suspects are in the same mansion, with a bizarre variation wherein the eccentric ensemble cast (including Truman Capote) portrays famous fictional sleuths. Go ahead, just try not to laugh in the face of death. (Pictured: Murder by Death)
Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: June 9. Continues through June 30, 2011

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