American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for Over 80 Years!

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Series Compiled by: Chris D.
Special Thanks to: Michael Schlesinger & Susanne Jacobson/SONY REPERTORY; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROTHERS; Todd Wiener/UCLA FILM AND TELEVISION ARCHIVE; Emily Horn/PARAMOUNT REPERTORY; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; RIALTO PICTURES; Stuart Lisell; Katy Haber and Don Haber/BAFTA; Lucy Taylor/UK FILM COUNCIL.

 

SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

 

 

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< May 19 - 31, 2006 >>>

Angry Young Cinema: The Original British New Wave

 

Discuss this series with other film fans on:
http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

 

Some screenings in this series will take place at the Aero Theatre May   11 & 24.

 

 

Post-war European cinema in the 1950’s and early 1960’s - especially movies hailing from England, France and Italy - had some universal things in common contrary to their obviously different stylistic and cultural approaches. Much like the impact of WWII on American cinema (seen most dramatically in downbeat film noir, the Method Acting revolution and later in 1960’s New Hollywood), there was a fresh quest for emotional truth, social relevance, realistic human behavior and down-to-earth stories about individualistic, working class people. Italy really got there first in the late 1940’s by way of the neo-realist movement, with both the UK and France erupting simultaneously in the late 1950’s with their own respective New Waves. In England, "Angry Young Cinema," "Kitchen Sink Cinema," and "Free Cinema" were some of the descriptive titles for this startling explosion of tell-it-like-it-is movies, virtually all filmed in high contrast, ashen black-and-white and often adapted from theatrical (John Osborne, Harold Pinter, et.al.) or literary (Alan Silitoe, David Storey, et.al) source material. Three monumental filmmakers – Tony Richardson, Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson - took the lead, first when they co-founded the groundbreaking film journal, Sequence, and subsequently when their directing careers in film shorts and plays mushroomed into full-blown dramatic features. Tony Richardson launched the notable initial foray in 1958 with LOOK BACK IN ANGER with Reisz following in 1960 with SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING and Anderson in 1963 with THIS SPORTING LIFE. There were also directors like Jack Clayton, originally known for more traditional fare, who took advantage of the new climate of freedom with trailblazers like ROOM AT THE TOP (1959). And we haven’t even mentioned other great directors like John Schlesinger (BILLY LIAR, DARLING). The films became famous for their acting, too, with thespians like Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Julie Christie, Tom Courtenay, Rita Tushingham, Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch, Laurence Harvey, Dirk Bogarde, Mary Ure turning out what remain, to this day, arguably their most accomplished, mesmerizing performances. Please join us for this look back at some of the best films from the era, as well as the final double feature (Lindsay Anderson’s IF… and Michael Winner’s I’LL NEVER FORGET WHAT’S ‘IS NAME) representing Angry Young Cinema transformed into an even more revolutionary, stream-of-consciousness organism.

 

 

Friday, May 19 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THIS SPORTING LIFE,1963, Sony Repertory, 129 min. Director Lindsay Anderson’s astonishing debut feature remains one of the most perfectly realized examples of the then-hitting-it’s-peak Angry Young Cinema. Richard Harris gives his greatest performance as a defiant, uncomplicated rugby star on his way to the pinnacle of the game. However, the sport’s brutality, the behind-the-scenes politics, as well as Harris’ uncompromising honesty slowly sour things. Even worse, his tragically-mismatched love affair with embittered widow, Rachel Roberts, seems headed for an even harsher end. The film’s desolate climax is guaranteed to coax moist eyes from even the most hardened viewer. Harris won Best Actor at Cannes, and he and Roberts were both nominated for Oscars. Produced by Karel Reisz. "…lucid, realistic stuff as tough and genuine as the rough rugby star on whom it is centered."- A.H. Weiler, New York Times

>> Also playing at The Aero, May 24.

THE GIRL WITH GREEN EYES, 1964, Sony Repertory, 91 min. Desmond Davis had been the cameraman on three of director, Tony Richardson’s most esteemed efforts (TASTE OF HONEY, LONG DISTANCE RUNNER and TOM JONES), and Richardson served as the executive producer on this, Davis’ directorial debut. Quiet Rita Tushingham and gabby Lynn Redgrave, two young friends working in Dublin, encounter worldly, middle-aged writer, Peter Finch, and Tushingham is immediately smitten. Age difference, religion, Tushingham’s parents and Finch’s secretiveness soon take their toll on the couple in this bittersweet love story. Script by Edna O’Brien from her novel, The Lonely Girl. Winner of the Golden Globe for Best English Language Foreign Film.

 

Saturday, May 20 – 7:30 PM

Julie Christie/John Schlesinger Double Feature:

DARLING, 1965, Avco-Embassy & Stuart Lisell Films, 128 min. Dir. John Schlesinger. Julie Christie sets off fireworks in her Academy Award-winning performance as a common girl in swinging London who achieves supermodel stardom while breaking the hearts of intellectual writer, Dirk Bogarde and decadent cad, Laurence Harvey. Finally, Christie seems destined for a fairy tale ending when she weds Italian nobility - but sometimes fairy tales aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The costume design and Frederic Raphael’s incisive script also won Oscars. "…a slashing social satire and also a devastating spoof of the synthetic, stomach-turning output of the television-advertising age—it is loaded with startling expositions and lacerating wit."-- Bosley Crowther, New York Times

BILLY LIAR, 1963, Rialto Pictures, 98 min. John Schlesinger (MIDNIGHT COWBOY) had already directed two other films, but this biting comedy-drama raised his visibility as a force to be reckoned with. Tom Courtenay is wonderful as the frustrated, imaginative young man prone to flights of fancy. Which also leads him to lie about nearly everything, whether he feels he needs to or not, something that gets him in hot water with his stern father and his two very different girlfriends, not to mention his undertaker bosses. His fast wit make his ambitions as scriptwriter for a TV host seem almost plausible. But when finally confronted with an opportunity to leave home and go to London with free-spirit friend, Julie Christie (in her stunning feature film debut), we’re left to wonder whether Billy’s Walter-Mitty-ish dreams are models for the future or an escape from reality.

>> Also playing at The Aero, May 11.

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 24 – 7:30 PM

OUTFEST WEDNESDAYS

PHAEDRA, 1962, Sony Repertory, 115 min. Director Jules Dassin’s dazzling update of the Greek tragedy by Euripedes focuses on Greek shipbuilding tycoon Raf Vallone’s marriage to the fiery Melina Mercouri and what happens when Vallone’s grown son, played by Anthony Perkins, enters the already volatile mix. Perkins and Mercouri begin a torrid affair that will potentially leave the family empire in ruins. Jacques Natteau’s starkly gorgeous black-and-white cinematography is a marvel to behold, enhancing the already mesmerizing, at times delirious, dramatic pyrotechinics on display. Discussion and booksigning following with Charles Winecoff, author of Anthony Perkins: Split Image (and senior writer on "E! True Hollywood Story").

 

 

Thursday, May 25 - 7:30 pm

2 by Tony Richardson

LOOK BACK IN ANGER, 1958, Sony Repertory, 99 min. Director Tony Richardson, with the aid of screenwriter Nigel Kneale, adapts John Osborne’s scorched-earth play and sows the seeds of what many consider the first exponent of Britain’s then-new Angry Young Cinema. Richard Burton is a volatile force of nature, a frustrated musician living in near-poverty with his upper-middle class wife, Mary Ure. His pent-up rage, sometimes taken out on his delicate spouse, causes untold anguish and leads to an affair with Ure’s sensual friend, Claire Bloom. Will Burton come to his senses before driving away the one person most devoted to him? Burton, Bloom and especially sensitive Ure are breathtakingly good, wringing every bit of truth and pathos from a superb drama.

LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER 1962, Warner Bros., 103 min. As he did in ANGER, director Tony Richardson once more perfectly captures the ashen, grey atmosphere of working class England, a kingdom of crushed dreams. Tom Courtenay is the oldest son of his large, nearly impoverished family. When his father dies, he is pushed over the brink into a hopeless rat race of trying to live up to his new role as breadwinner. Caught after robbing a bakery, he’s sent to a reform school run by tradional, yet fair governor, Michael Redgrave. Recognized as a potential long distance runner during soccer, Courtenay’s soon offered the opportunity to compete, something that could lead to a brighter future…or not. NOT ON DVD!

 

 

Friday, May 26 - 7:30 pm

2 by Jack Clayton:

THE PUMPKIN EATER, 1964, Sony Repertory, 110 min. Director Jack Clayton is now best-remembered for THE INNOCENTS, his interpretation of Henry James classic ghost story, Turn Of The Screw. However, he was also responsible for two of the best, most acclaimed films of the British New Wave. Anne Bancroft is luminously beautiful as a depressed, intelligent upper middle class housewife who can’t seem to stop having children, something that is driving her screenwriter husband (Peter Finch) round the bend. Harold Pinter’s acid-tongued script, along with director Clayton, paints one of the most brilliantly poignant portraits ever of what it’s like to be married. Bancroft received the Best Actress award from Cannes and the Golden Globes, as well as an Oscar nomination for her portrayal (yes, it equals if not surpasses her turn as Mrs. Robinson in THE GRADUATE!). With James Mason, Sir Cedric Hardwicke. NOT ON DVD!

ROOM AT THE TOP, 1959, 118 min. Along with LOOK BACK IN ANGER, director Jack Clayton’s unflinching profile of lower class Laurence Harvey’s climb to the top of his prospective father-in-law’s company really started the ball rolling on a frank, new realism in British cinema. Like many of the other films in this series, we get to see the humanity, vulnerability and fear behind even the most unprincipled behavior, lending a dimension to motion pictures that has had a lasting impact. Harvey’s inner struggle, whether to go through with his marriage to his boss’s sweet, young daughter, Heather Sears, or remain loyal to his devoted, middle-aged mistress, Simone Signoret, is heartwrenching. Enormously controversial in England when originally released due to it’s frank treatment of sex and adultery. Signoret won Best Actress at the Oscars as well as at Cannes, and Neil Paterson won Best Screenplay Oscar.

 

 

Saturday, May 27 - 7:30 pm

Albert Finney/Karel Reisz Double Feature:

SATURDAY NIGHT & SUNDAY MORNING, 1960, Sony Repertory, 90 min. Karel Reisz had already directed the acclaimed documentary WE ARE THE LAMBETH BOYS, when this smoldering tale of a smart-mouthed rake in a Northern England factory town became his breakthrough debut feature. It likewise cast a spotlight on Albert Finney in his first leading role as Arthur, a human fireball burning a swath through the female population, including married Brenda (Rachel Roberts) and easygoing Doreen (Shirley Anne Field). Whether his career of seduction proves his downfall or ultimate salvation, the audience must decide. Like many other "kitchen sink" dramas, this is an unflinchingly honest depiction of the plight of women in the working class world.

>> Also playing at The Aero, May 24.

NIGHT MUST FALL, 1964, MGM (Warner Bros.), 105 min. It’s Angry Young Man as budding psychopath, with Albert Finney as a charming, working class serial killer. Director Karel Reisz adapts Emlyn Williams famous play, and, contrary to some opinions, this underrated version is far superior to the first 1937 film. Finney (who also produced) is riveting as the canny sociopath who is irresistable to women, of any age. Things come to a head when he’s employed as a companion by his girlfriend’s boss, the affluent Mrs. Bramson (a great Mona Washbourne). Chilling and disturbing, from the opening scenes of Finney running naked through the forest with an axe to the nervewracking climax. Atmospherically photographed in stunning black-and-white by Freddie Francis. NOT ON DVD!

 

 

Sunday, May 28 - 6:30 pm

Double Feature:

A TASTE OF HONEY, 1961, 100 min. Rita Tushingham is marvelous as Jo, a poor, unwed mother still in her teens, pregnant by Black sailor, Jimmy (Paul Danquah), and left in the lurch. She decides to leave her mother (Dora Bryan) and home, moving in with young, gay Geoffrey (Murray Melvin). Tony Richardson directs from Shelagh Delaney’s script (adapted from her play), delivering an uncompromising, perceptive film about the hopes and disappointments of youth, especially those on the lower end of the economic ladder. Tushingham and Melvin won Best Actress and Actor respectively at Cannes. NOT ON DVD!

THE L-SHAPED ROOM, 1963, Sony Repertory, 125 min. Dir. Bryan Forbes. Leslie Caron was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in this drama about Jane, an independent, young French woman who becomes pregnant and has to wait out her term in a seedy boardinghouse. Brock Peters, Tom Bell, Cicely Courtneidge are some of the tenants who share their experiences with her. "One of the film’s pleasures lies in discovering each character as Jane comes to know them…we meet real people who we come to care for, gradually discovering traits that could later be tossed into easy baskets: lesbian, struggling writer, prostitute, jazz musician. Themes of abortion, sexuality, race and class…filmmakers today rarely confront all of them in a single film, yet they are treated here with a frank charm." - Jayson Elliot, Permission Magazine NOT ON DVD!

 

 

Wednesaday, May 31 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature

IF…1968, Paramount, 111 min. Dir. Lindsay Anderson. More than any other film of the era, IF... perfectly represents the international spirit of youthful rebellion in the late sixties, metamorphosing the angry young working men from earlier films like LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER and Anderson’s own THIS SPORTING LIFE into revolutionary iconoclasts, establishing a balance between broader, pop culture movies like WILD IN THE STREETS and Jean-Luc Godard's apocalyptic WEEKEND. Boarding school student, Travis (Malcolm McDowell) is one of the great screen outsiders, a poetic, rebel individualist and sensitive wild man. Director Anderson imbues him with an emotional honesty and intellectual depth rarely seen in films about youth. NOT ON DVD!

I’LL NEVER FORGET WHAT’S ‘IS NAME, 1967, Universal, 99 min. Dir. Michael Winner. One of the great lost films of the sixties. Commercials director Oliver Reed just can't stomach his job's hypocrisy any longer – he appropriately smashes his desk to bits with an axe in the opening moments! so he tries to break away from Machiavellian boss Orson Welles and rediscover his true roots working for a "small literary journal." Unfortunately for him, it’s the middle of Swinging 60’s London, and he’s pursued/distracted by girlfriends, mistresses and soon-to-be ex-wives, while struggling to figure out just what he wants from life. Lured back to mercenary marketing by Welles, Reed delivers an ultimate finger-in-the-eye to crass advertizing with a subversive anti-commercial satirizing the industry’s bad-faith venality. Co-starring Wendy Craig, Marianne Faithfull and Carol White.