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As a small encore to our New Hollywood series from the year
2000, were presenting two weeks of some of the best, most provocative and
groundbreaking films from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. While two weeks
seem like barely enough time, and, as a result, hardly representative of the wide
diversity of exciting movies that spontaneously erupted from the era, weve gone out
of our way to look for intriguing pictures that do not get projected as often on the big
screen as their more famous cousins. Although we love em, this time around no FRENCH
CONNECTION, no GODFATHER, no AMERICAN GRAFFITI, no CHINATOWN, no well, you fill in
the blank! The great, incendiary masterpieces from the period that were box office smashes
are consequently more accessible and more easily available on DVD and at repertory
screenings. Although a few of the films from our program have been released on DVD in the
last couple of years, most of them have not. For whatever reason, though often as good and
as critically acclaimed as others more well-known, most of these films have not remained
as prominent in the pop culture public consciousness. From our mini-tribute to
trailblazing director Frank Perry (including the much-requested PLAY IT AS IT LAYS,
DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE and the impossibly rare LADYBUG, LADYBUG) to
Arthur Penns strangely dreamlike neo-noir MICKEY ONE with Warren Beatty,
Jerry Schatzbergs PUZZLE OF A DOWNFALL CHILD with Faye Dunaway, Richard
Rushs GETTING STRAIGHT with Elliot Gould, John Hustons FAT CITY,
Aram Avakians END OF THE ROAD, John Boormans POINT BLANK and
Michael Ritchies PRIME CUT (the last two starring Lee Marvin), these are
revolutionary cinematic treasures that could not have been released without the
go-for-broke atmosphere of the letting-it-all-hang-out New Hollywood.
Wednesday, March 15 7:30 PM
Identity And Love in The New Hollywood
PUZZLE OF A DOWNFALL CHILD,
1970, Universal, 105 min. Jerry Schatzberg (SCARECROW), who at one time had worked
as a high-fashion photographer, directed this intimate portrait of a supermodel near the
end of her tether. Holed-up at a cottage by the sea, Lou Sand (Faye Dunaway)
recalls her past in the fast lane in a fractured-time kaleidoscope of bittersweet
memories. Excellent Dunaway is supported by a formidable cast, including Roy Scheider,
Viveca Lindfors, Barry Primus, Barry Morse. NOT ON VIDEO!
LOVING, 1970, Columbia (Sony Repertory), 89
min. Dir. Irvin Kershner. Successful illustrator, Brooks (George Segal)
catches the approaching-middle- age-blues and it impacts everyone around him, especially
his lovely wife, Selma (Eva Marie Saint) as well as his two daughters and his
mistress (Janis Young). With great support from Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn.
in the direction of actors, judgment about scenes, and everything that happens
in the camera
a fine and gratifying film." Roger Greenspun, New
>> Also playing at the Aero, March 12.
Friday, March 17 7:30 PM
Frank Perry Tribute Double Feature:
PLAY IT AS IT LAYS, 1972,
Universal, 99 min. Director Frank Perry (DAVID AND LISA) delivered many edgy
psychological classics, and none is more deserving of rediscovery than this
rarely-screened adaptation of Joan Didions bestseller, with a screenplay by Didion
and her late husband, John Gregory Dunne. Tuesday Weld is at her best as fiercely
intelligent Maria, an ex-model on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In-the-closet producer
Anthony Perkins is her only friend and Adam Roarke her estranged, director husband
trying to jumpstart his career out of the biker-film ghetto. A scathing portrait of
Hollywood in the early 1970s. NOT ON VIDEO!
>> Also playing at the Aero, March 8.
THE SWIMMER, 1968,
Columbia (Sony Repertory), 94 min. One of the most unjustly neglected figures of the New
Hollywood, director Frank Perry made 10 low-key, razor-sharp dissections of modern
morals and relationships between 1962 and 1975. Based on John Cheevers acclaimed
novel, THE SWIMMER follows vigorous, middle-aged Burt Lancaster on a metaphoric
journey swimming from backyard pool to backyard pool, headed towards a "home"
that may no longer exist. A nostalgic portrait of regret and despair lying beneath the
gemlike surface of suburbia, featuring one of Lancasters finest performances.
>> Also playing at the Aero, March 8.
Saturday, March 18 7:30 PM
Frank Perry Tribute Double Feature:
DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE, 1970,
Universal, 104 min. Director Frank Perrys brilliant comedy-drama satirizing
the psychological rat race of a middle class married couple in New York City, circa 1970. Carrie
Snodgress performance as abusive Richard Benjamins isolated wife is
one of the standout portrayals of the New Hollywood. As Snodgress marriage continues
to disintegrate, she takes a lover (Frank Langella) to fill up the emotional
vacuum. Before long, she finds that this solution is no solution at all. Frank
Perrys spouse and frequent writing collaborator, Eleanor, adapts the best-selling
novel by Sue Kaufman. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Alice Coopers performance
in a swinging party scene. "
great movie making." Roger
Greenspun, New York Times. NOT ON VIDEO!
LADYBUG, LADYBUG, 1963, Columbia
(Sony Repertory) 82 min. The release date was well in advance of the birth of the New
Hollywood, but this shattering little drama is ample evidence why director Frank Perry
was one of the prime progenitors of the era once it finally dawned. His second feature
film, after the acclaimed DAVID AND LISA, was inspired by the fear and terror of the Cuban
Missile Crisis. A school principal and staff receive warning of an impending nuclear
attack, and, unable to confirm the details, they decide to walk all of their young pupils
to their nearby homes. Impossibly hard to see today, despite glowing reviews when it was
originaly released, Perry once more collaborates with his wife Eleanor in adapting a story
by Lois Dickert. With a great cast including William Daniels, Jane Connell, James Frawley
and all those great kids. NOT ON VIDEO!
Sunday, March 19 6:30 PM
FAT CITY, 1972, Columbia (Sony
Repertory), 100 min. John Huston, his versatility truly liberated by an evolving
New Hollywood cinema, directed this gritty, slice-of-life adaptation of Leonard
Gardners novel about two boxers, one na´ve neophyte (Jeff Bridges), and one
on his way down (a brilliant Stacey Keach) with his perpetually drunken mate (the
great Susan Tyrell). The faithful evocation of street life in northern California
Stockton, its working class heroes and skid row flophouses, where dreams and hopes get
crushed out like cigarette butts, is priceless. Also co-starring Candy Clark and Burgess
PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK, 1971,
20th Century Fox, 110 min. Then-newcomers Al Pacino and Kitty Winn are
a junkie Romeo and Juliet in director Jerry Schatzbergs harrowing,
near-documentary study of heroin addiction on the streets of New York City. Joan Didion
and John Gregory Dunnes economic, compassionate screenplay plots the
couples self-destructive spiral with relentless logic that is neither patronizing
nor preachy. A gutwrenching, surprisingly overlooked classic that would never find major
studio release today. NOT ON VIDEO!
Discussion between screenings with Actor Alan
Vint (PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK) who played Narcotics Detective Hotch.
Wednesday, March 22 7:30 PM
Lee Marvin Double Feature:
POINT BLANK, 1967, Warner Bros., 92
min. Director John Boormans second feature film really put him on the
New Hollywood map and changed the look of action movies for years to come. This hardboiled
neo-noir (adapted from The Hunter, the first of a series of novels by Richard
Stark) retains the gritty frissons of the best pulp thrillers but is also a brain-twisting
deconstruction of narrative. Brilliant from beginning to end, with Lee Marvin as a
master thief seemingly back from the dead, out to get payback on the best friend that
betrayed him (John Vernon) as well as the shadowy Mob moneymen behind the scenes. With Angie
Dickinson, Carroll OConnor, Keenan Wynn.
PRIME CUT, 1972, Hollywood Classics,
88 min. Director Michael Ritchie was renowned for his biting satires on American
life (THE CANDIDATE, THE BAD NEWS BEARS), and here he serves up one of his most
subversive. Lee Marvin stars as an expert enforcer, hired by the Irish mob to lower
the boom on a homicidal pair of renegade brothers (Gene Hackman, Gregory Walcott)
and their meatpacking operation in Kansas City. Zeroing in on the sunny midwest, Ritchie
takes potshots at all forms of soul-destroying consumer excess, skewering a culture that,
at its worst, puts young women on the same level as cattle. A perfect melding of
hard-as-nails gangster saga with dark, dark humor. And as an added bonus, we get to see a
very young, enchanting Sissy Spacek in her debut film! Actress
Angie Dickinson will appear for discussion between films.
Thursday, March 23 7:30 PM
Arthur Penn Double Feature:
NIGHT MOVES, 1975, Warner Bros., 95
min. Dir. Arthur Penn. Gene Hackman plays an ex-football star-turned-private
eye whose life unravels when he finds his wife Susan Clark has been unfaithful.
Adding to Hackmans mid-life crisis, his job finding a missing teenager (Melanie
Griffith in her first real role) goes abruptly sour in a nightmarish labyrinth of
betrayals and sudden death. One of the best neo-noirs, NIGHT MOVES builds to a
bonechilling, expertly orchestrated climax. With Jennifer Warren, James Woods.
MICKEY ONE, 1965, Columbia (Sony
Repertory), 93 min. This one is so far ahead of its time... we still probably havent
caught up to it. Released right before the New Hollywood really erupted, it was films like
this that paved the way, making the road a little less rough for the more famous
trailblazing pictures that followed. Nightclub comic Warren Beatty, on
the run from the Mob, flees to Detroit hoping to start a new lifebut gangsters are
less of a problem than his own personal demons. Dazzlingly shot by Ghislain Cloquet and
featuring Stan Getz on the soundtrack, this is a bold and unique achievement for Beatty
and director Arthur Penn, who two years later would reteam for a little item called
BONNIE AND CLYDE. Written by Alan M. Surgal and co-starring Alexandra Stewart, Jeff Corey,
Franchot Tone and Hurd Hatfield. NOT ON VIDEO!
Friday, March 24 7:30 PM
GETTING STRAIGHT, 1974, Columbia
(Sony Repertory), 124 min. Director Richard Rush (THE STUNT MAN) directs this
classic tale of Harry Bailey (Elliot Gould), a Viet-Nam vet who is intent on
earning his masters degree in English. But hes caught between the establishment and
student protesters, something that causes him escalating consternation as he finds himself
unable to trust anyone from either side. Rush manages to capture both the frustration and
euphoria of a chaotic era without resorting to stereotypes. The great cast includes Candice
Bergen as Harrys girl, Jan, and Jeff Corey as his mentor, Professor Willhunt.
Also co-starring Robert F. Lyons, Cecil Kellaway, Max Julien, Brenda Sykes and Jeannie
Berlin. NOT ON VIDEO!
DRIVE, HE SAID, 1972, Columbia
(Sony Repertory), 90 min. Jack Nicholsons directorial debut--initially
rated X for a car-seat sex scene and some locker-room exposure--stars William Tepper as a
college basketball player who feels "disillusioned and disconnected," especially
with so many classmates going off to die in Nam. (Well, there is a sexy
professors wife [Karen Black] to "console" him.) Bruce
Dern gives the performance of his career as the teams take-no-prisoners
coach, and appearing in small roles are no less than Robert Towne, Henry Jaglom, David
Ogden Stiers, Cindy Williams, Michael Warren and Charles Robinson. A typically dense,
thought-provoking drama from the BBS folks, scripted by Nicholson and Jeremy Larner (and
an uncredited Towne) from Larners prize-winning novel. "Nicholson deftly
illustrates the background cynicism of big time sports against the more obvious cynicism
of college life." Variety. NOT ON
VIDEO! Due to certain images and subject matter, no one under 17 will be admitted to this
screening. Discussion in between films with director, Richard Rush and cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs (GETTING STRAIGHT).
Saturday, March 25 7:30 PM
END OF THE ROAD, 1970, Allied
Artists, 110 min. Director Aram Avakian and screenwriters Terry Southern (THE MAGIC
CHRISTIAN) and Dennis McGuire adapt John Barths celebrated novel. Stacey Keach
is Jake Horner, a college graduate suffering from periodic catatonia who ends up being
treated by maverick psychiatrist, James Earl Jones (think Malcolm X channeling
Wilhelm Reich and Arthur Janow) at his makeshift sanatorium. Once rehabilitated, Jake gets
a job at a small college and, although becoming friends with macho, scoutmaster colleague,
Joe (Harris Yulin), he is soon engaged in an affair with Joes sensitive wife, Rennie
(Dorothy Tristan). A bizarre, alternately tragic/funny cry in the wilderness of the late
sixties that is long overdue for rediscovery. "
the strength and horror of
the film came in its merging madness with the normal world
visionary effort, an attempt to lead us into certain aspects of the contemporary nightmare
and leave us there to wander in the dark."- Roger Ebert, Chicago-Sun Times.
NOT ON VIDEO!
LIBERATION OF L.B. JONES,
1970, Columbia (Sony Repertory), 102 min. Like fellow old school filmmaker
John Huston, director William Wyler proves himself up to delivering on the promise
of a more open New Hollywood with this scorching look at racism and hypocrisy in a small
Southern town. Roscoe Lee Browne throws off sparks as rich, black undertaker, L.B.
Jones, a man cuckolded by an amoral wife (an incandescent Lola Falana) and one of the
towns meanest white cops (Anthony Zerbe). When Jones decides he wants a divorce, he
suddenly finds himself taking the brunt of escalating harassment from Zerbe, who wants to
keep his affair with a black woman a secret. Lee J. Cobb is the towns D.A., a
decent man with an ingrained streak of racism. Barbara Hershey is
Cobbs daughter and Lee Majors, her idealistic lawyer husband. With a superb Yaphet
Kotto as an angry fugitive with his own axe to grind. Sterling Silliphant and Jesse
Hill Ford wrote the screenplay (from Fords novel). A surprisingly unflinching,
tell-it-like-is movie. Due to certain images and subject
matter no one under 17 will be admitted to this screening.