Saturday & Monday: "Last Tango In Paris"

Nov. 28 and 30

Rated X when it came out and featuring lots and lots of sex, which involves, among other things, some S&M and a rather infamous scene involving a stick of butter, "Last Tango In Paris" is, in its own way, the reason why we have all those goofy sexy movies on Cinemax and smart-dumb sex flicks like "9 ½ Weeks" or "Basic Instinct." But the story of a grieving older man (Marlon Brando) who lost his wife to suicide and a younger woman (Maria Schneider) who enter into a brief anonymous sexual relationship in which the older man intends to, for the moment, try and fuck his pain away is a singular depiction of grief. And in that sense, it employs sex—it doesn't use it—to get to a kind of unabashed loneliness and shameless rage that engulfs us when people we love or think we love die. It's great and features Brando in one of the last performances in which he has strikes the right balance between brooding and bonkers. We'd be remiss if we didn't comment on the oh-so-stupid ending of this one that says "women are terrible" in a Godard's "Breathless" way, but hey, the rest of it will devastate you. 11 a.m. on Nov. 28, 7 p.m. on Nov. 30, The Charles Theater, 1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3464,, $9.50. (Brandon Soderberg)

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