Escape from New York. 1981. USA. Directed by John Carpenter. Screenplay by John Carpenter and Nick Castle. With Kurt Russell, Isaac Hayes, Lee van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence. 4K DCP. 99 min.
Way, way in the future, in the year 1997, convicted bank robber Kurt Russell is sent to rescue President Donald Pleasance from Manhattan Island, now a river-to-river maximum security prison for the world’s undesirables. “It feels perfectly positioned between Hollywood’s ’70s-era political cynicism and the dawning age of the blockbuster. The movie proudly wears its affection for crusty Sergio Leone archetypes and countdown-clock suspense sequences; Carpenter was Tarantino long before Tarantino was” (Joshua Rothkopf).