Movie marathoners, rejoice! For The Beacon has a culty, crimey double feature coming up this Friday that shan’t be missed. They’ve paired two thriller masterpieces from the ’80s: William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. and Michael Mann’s Manhunter. The man of the hour is William Petersen, who brings a seedy-yet-sultry demeanor to both films as the perfectly imperfect cop whose dedication to his job gets the best of him.
First up is To Live and Die in L.A. It finds Petersen as Richard Chance, a detective navigating a dusty-looking Los Angeles, hot on the trail of a genius counterfeiter played by Willem Dafoe. In this version of the city, the days are hotter, the nights are darker, and no dollar bill can be trusted. The thrilling car chase at the center of the movie is perhaps one of the best ever captured on film.
Next, Mann’s neo-noir Manhunter is the first time Thomas Harris’ character Hannibal Lecter ever appeared on the silver screen, creepily embodied by a top-tier Brian Cox. Here, Petersen plays Will Graham, a psychologically tortured former FBI agent and serial killer profiler who gets called to do just One Last Job. The highly stylized and reality-bending film was critically and commercially maligned when it first came out, but has since enjoyed a cult resurgence. Very rarely does a double feature pairing two excellent masterworks starring Petersen come around. You’d be a fool not to go!
To Live and Die in L.A. and Manhunter are screening back-to-back at The Beacon Cinema on Friday, Jun 17 at 8 pm.