Rack Focus


Born in Flames
(First Run)

Lizzie Borden’s 1983 indie is generically science fiction, set 10 years after the Second American Revolution has established a democratic socialist government. But it’s tough to think of another movie more rooted in the time and place of its origin—in this case, Koch-era New York. Feeding off the nascent energies of punk rock, rap, and underground radio, Borden’s freely edited film engages thorny political questions of theory and practice, race and gender in a manner that could be called dialectical (that the movie ends with the bombing of the World Trade Center is only the most obvious sign of how things have changed). It’s a heady time capsule and a corrective to the formal timidity of recent political cinema, even if the film’s radical vision seems to uncomfortably presage the subsequent fragmentation of the left.


George Clooney won an Oscar for his portrayal of a CIA operative in Stephen Gaghan’s convoluted oil thriller. Extras include deleted scenes.