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Thursday, January 30, 2014

February Film Club

Hello everyone, thank you to everyone who made it out for Last Year at Marienbad.  Already we find ourselves at the second month of the year, and with it comes another film.  Don't worry, this one isn't as complicated as the last one.  For the month of February we will be watching the feature debut of director Sidney Lumet:  12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose.  Written and produced by Rose himself and directed by Sidney Lumet, this trial film tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they deliberate the guilt or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt.  In the United States, a verdict in most criminal trials by jury must be unanimous.  The film is notable for its almost exclusive use of one set:  with the exception of the film's opening, which begins outside on the steps of the courthouse followed by the judge's final instructions to the jury before retiring, a brief final scene on the courthouse steps, and two short scenes in an adjoining washroom, the entire movie takes place in the jury room.  12 Angry Men explores many techniques of consensus building, and the difficulties encountered in the process, among a group of men whose range of personalities adds intensity and conflict.  Apart from two of the jurors swapping names while leaving the courthouse, no names are used in the film.

The film today is viewed as a classic, highly regarded from both a critical and popular viewpoint:  Roger Ebert listed it as one of his "Great Movies", and the film currently holds an enviable 100% "Certified Fresh" rating on (click link for more info) out of 45 critical reviews.

This is one of the films that if you haven't seen it, you must, and if you have seen it, you should see it again.  I think we can get some really good conversation going from this film.  Hope to see you there!

Here's the trailer:

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