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Tightrope

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 8 p.m., Dryden Theatre

James Card’s famously inclusive approach to film curation was firmly rooted in his own broad personal taste. Case in point: Card’s great admiration for Clint Eastwood, a “genre” actor and filmmaker whose work, Card realized early on, often transcended mere formula. Exquisitely shot by Eastwood’s longtime cinematographer Bruce Surtees and directed by Richard Tuggle (although it’s said Eastwood, having grown impatient with Tuggle’s slow pace, eventually took over), this twisty—and twisted—thriller works as both a gripping neo-noir and a disturbing psychological portrait of a cop who’s begun to lose his moral center. Eastwood is excellent as Wes Block, a tormented New Orleans police detective hunting for a sadistic serial killer in the nocturnal underbelly of the Big Sleazy—a terrain Block knows a bit too well. As the body count rises, the killer’s emerging profile becomes a dark reflection of Block’s own distorted desires.