|The Ruling Class: A Tribute To
Director Peter Medak In Person
these films will take place at the Aero March 18 -
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 - !
Friday, March 11 7:00 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.
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 endure 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. Discussion
in between films with director Peter Medak.
>> Both films also playing at the Aero on
Saturday, March 12 5:00 PM
New 35 MM Print!
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. Discussion following with director Peter
>> Also playing at the Aero on March 19.
Saturday, March 12 8:00 PM
London Crime Double Header:
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, 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. Introduction to films by director
>> Both films also playing at the Aero on