|The Ruling Class - A Tribute
to Director Peter Medak In Person
films will screen at the Egyptian March 11 &
One of the most fascinating and still criminally-underrated
directors to emerge from the British film scene of the mid-1960s, Hungarian-born Peter
Medak (b. 1937) has brought a bracing, hard-edged realism and a ferocious satirical
bite to such films as THE RULING CLASS, THE KRAYS, LET HIM HAVE IT and ROMEO IS BLEEDING.
Medak has managed to transform genre material into his own particularly exhilarating take
on the British class system and the ways in which people are assaulted and
sometimes annihilated by the turbulent forces around them, and inside their own
We are thrilled to welcome director
Peter Medak to the Egyptian and Aero Theatres for the first major Los Angeles
Retrospective of his films - !
Thursday, March 17 7:30 PM
THE RULING CLASS, 1972, Keep
Films/United Artists/Avco-Embassy & Stuart Lisell Films, 141 min. Director Peter
Medaks savage satirical masterpiece stars Peter OToole in one of
his greatest performances, as a lunatic British aristrocat whos happy in the belief
that hes Jesus Christ until everyone around tries to cure him of his
delusion, with tragic results. One of the most merciless portraits of the British class
system ever put on film, with terrific supporting performances from Alastair Sim, Coral
Browne, Carolyn Seymour and many others.
Friday, March 18 7:30 PM
THE CHANGELING, 1980, a Joel B.
Michaels/Garth Drabinsky Production. Produced by Joel B. Michaels and Garth Drabinsky, 109
min. Director Peter Medaks superb ghost story has been recently re-discovered
for what it is: one of the most chillingly effective portraits of the supernatural made in
the past 25 years (the French-Canadian title, LENFANT DU DIABLE, gives an even
better sense of the films eerie beauty.) George C. Scott stars as a musician
grieving over the recent deaths of his wife and daughter, who moves into a drafty old
mansion only to find it inhabited by the spirit of a young and very restless ghost.
A connoisseurs delight, and very rarely screened, so dont miss it here! With
Trish Van Devere. [Note: the only screenable print of the film is slightly faded; because
of its rarity were including it here.] Discussion
following film with director Peter Medak
>> Also playing at the Egyptian on March 12.
Saturday, March 19 5:00 PM
A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG, 1972,
Columbia (Sony), 106 min. Director Peter Medak adapts the acclaimed Peter
Nichols play about Bri (Alan Bates) and Sheila (Janet Suzman), a married
couple resorting to black humor to get through the daily care of their daughter, a
virtually brain-dead child with zero chance of recovery. Brilliantly reconciles the
minds way of coping with unbearable suffering in unexpected ways and cuts to the
heart of the seemingly unresolvable question of euthanasia. Discussion
between films with director Peter Medak.
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian on March 11.
Saturday, March 19 8:00 PM
THE KRAYS, 1990, Miramax, 119 min. During
the 1960s, the Kray Bros. were the London underworlds answer to the Beatles
and the Rolling Stones: violent, incendiary, undeniably sexy. Director Peter
Medaks exhilarating recreation of the Krays rise to power stars real-life
brothers Gary Kemp and Martin Kemp of the band Spandau Ballet. Using
stream-of-consciousness/dream sequences as well as conventional narrative, this
superlative gangland saga focuses as much on their formative childhood, family life and
the affect on people close to them as the bonecrushing violence. Billie Whitelaw as
mother Violet and Kate Hardie as Frances, the emotionally fragile spouse to one of
the brothers, are standouts in an exceptional cast.
LET HIM HAVE IT, 1991, Fine
Line (New Line Cinema), 115 min. Peter Medak followed up his portrait of The Krays
with a brilliant true life story of 1950s London, focusing on arguably the most notorious
criminal trial and conviction of the era. 19-year-old Derek Bentley (a riveting Christopher
Eccleston) is sucked into a life of crime by even younger, charismatic Chris Craig
(Paul Reynolds). A policeman is murdered by underage Craig, and, while he receives a
relatively minor sentence, his adult accomplice Derek is sentenced to death. A scathing
examination of the mid-20th century British justice system as well as an
environment that encourages a life of crime for directionless youth. Derek's name was
finally cleared by the British court system 45 years later, which was very much due to the
film being screened for the members of Parliament. It caused an outrage and started a
sequence of hearings and a retrial which finally led to his posthumous pardon. The film
also stars Tom Courtenay, Eileen Atkins. Director
Peter Medak to introduce the screening.
>> Both films also playing at the Egyptian on March 12.
Sunday, March 20 5:00 PM
NEGATIVES, 1968, 90 min. Peter
Medaks compelling directorial debut follows the antics of a middle
class young couple (Peter McEnery, Glenda Jackson) and the strange roleplaying
games they resort to serial murderer Dr. Crippen and his wife, WW1 air ace Baron
von Richtofen et.al.-- to make their boring, marginal lives bearable. Also starring Diane
Cilento. [Note: the only screenable print of the film is slightly faded; because of
its rarity were including it here.]
ROMEO IS BLEEDING, 1993,
MGM/UA, 108 min. Director Peter Medaks blistering, phantasmagoric neo-noir
thriller stars Gary Oldman as Jack, an on-the-take NYC cop blithely stashing away
an illicit nest egg unbeknownst to his devoted wife (Annabella Sciorra). However,
when mafia boss Don Falcone (Roy Scheider) coerces Jack into trying to assassinate
Russian hitwoman Mona (a scarily demonic Lena Olin), the rugs pulled out from
under him, and his fragile house of cards collapses aroud his ears. Wildly entertaining.
Also starring Juliette Lewis, Will Patton and James Cromwell. Discussion between films with director Peter Medak. An Aero