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Kenneth Turan's film picks: 'If a Tree Falls,' 'Honeymoon Killers'

July 20, 2011 |  5:03 pm

If a Tree Falls

More than both of them being excellent, what unites "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" and "Honeymoon Killers" is the fact that Thursday is the only night you can still see them.

Marshall Curry's "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front," on the last night of its run at the Nuart in West Los Angeles, is one of the best documentaries of the year. It not only expertly chronicles the rise and fall of that controversial organization, it illuminates the unexpected drama and complexities behind one of its key figures, activist Daniel McGowan.

"The Honeymoon Killers," Leonard Kastle's 1970 low-life serenade playing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is a film as heartless as its protagonists (played by Shirley Stoler and Tony Lo Bianco), and that's saying a lot. Based on the true story of the notorious Lonely Hearts Killers, executed in Sing Sing on March 8, 1951, this picture's implacability and refusal to compromise are as startling as ever.

RELATED:

'If a Tree Falls' review

Ian Birnie's farewell LACMA film series is a model program

More critic's choice films from Kenneth Turan

-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic

Photo: A scene from "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front." Credit: TJ Watt /Oscilloscope Laboratori


 
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