New contemporary galleries film program
A film series, screening in conjunction with the new contemporary galleries, featuring the John Kaldor Family Gallery, looking at a new generation of filmmakers who emerged between the late 1960s and the late 1970s.
A confusing war in Vietnam, the Watergate scandal and an explosion in private surveillance all contributed to growing public paranoia in the United States. Reflecting the tumultuous times of the late 1960s a new generation of filmmakers came to prominence in Hollywood – a generation that stood out because of its anti-establishment and counter-cultural values. Tapping into the zeitgeist, they introduced startling subject matter and groundbreaking techniques that set their films apart from studio traditions and influenced the way major studios subsequently approached filmmaking.
In the mid 1960s, as old Hollywood professionals retired – in particular the traditional studio bosses – studios were struggling to produce films that accorded with the changing social values of their audiences. As a result bankruptcy loomed. The once-powerful MGM Studios sold off its assets, abandoned filmmaking and diversified into other areas. Compelled to take risks, other studios began to encourage new filmmakers and a new audience rose to greet their work.
Celebrate this unusual period in American film history by taking advantage of this rare opportunity to see these films as their makers intended – on the big screen in sparkling 35mm prints.
Image: The graduate (6 & 10 July)
Wednesdays 2pm & 7.15pm
29 June – 14 August 2011
+ Saturday 16 & 30 July 2011, 2pm
Note: Tickets are issued at the Domain Theatre for Wednesday evening and Sunday screenings one hour before the starting time. Latecomers will not be admitted.
Location: Domain Theatre
Related exhibition: New contemporary galleries
Bonnie and Clyde
Dir: Arthur Penn 1967
111 mins 35mm colour Rated M
Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway
In 1967 Bonnie and Clyde ushered in one of the most innovative and controversial eras in Hollywood film. Arthur Penn’s glaringly believable account of the famed criminal duo (played with unrelenting force by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway) had an immense impact. Under Penn’s energetic direction, this was one of the first gangster films to depict graphic violence, turning the genre inside out, combining comedy, bloodshed, pathos and social commentary.
“With its weird landscape of dusty, derelict towns and verdant highways, stunningly shot by Burnett Guffrey in muted tones of green and gold, it has the true quality of folk legend.” – Tom Milne
New 35mm print
Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Courtesy Roadshow
Wednesday 29 June 2011 2pm – 3:51pm
Wednesday 29 June 2011 7:15pm – 9:06pm
Sunday 3 July 2011 2pm – 3:51pm
Dir: Mike Nichols 1967
108 mins 35mm colour Rated M
Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman
Mike Nichols won an Academy Award for his innovative direction of this touching, witty, unsettling and unforgettable film about a young man, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman in his first major role) attempting to chart his future and develop his own set of values. He falls in love with Elaine (Katherine Ross), but finds himself seduced by her wily, sexy mother, Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft). Capturing a sense of the disorientation, alienation and defiant idealism of the 1960s, meaning and medium are artfully integrated – in the script, direction, acting, cinematography, design and music. Director of photography, Robert Surtees’ use of high contrast, light and dark, beautifully expresses Benjamin’s moral dilemma.
The Graduate (1967) Courtesy Chapel Distribution
Wednesday 6 July 2011 2pm – 3:48pm
Wednesday 6 July 2011 7:15pm – 9:03pm
Sunday 10 July 2011 2pm – 3:48pm
Dir: John Schlesinger 1969
113 mins 35mm colour Rated M
Jon Voight, Dustin Hoffman
Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman deliver brilliant performances in this story of a struggle for existence in New York’s 42nd Street area. Voight plays handsome Joe Buck, arriving from Texas to make his mark as a hustler, only to be out-hustled by everyone else, including the crafty, sleazy Ratso (Dustin Hoffman). Midnight cowboy had been passed over as unfilmable by Hollywood studio readers before the book came to producer Jerome Hellman. British director John Schlesinger, almost unknown in the US, brought an outsider’s perspective to the American film, capturing the New York scene of the late 1960s, combining character study, dense street realism and the courage to let silence speak. On its release, the film was thought so radical, it was rated “X” in the US and went on to become the only X-rated movie ever to win an Academy Award (winning for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay).
Midnight cowboy (1969) Courtesy Chapel Distribution
Wednesday 13 July 2011 2pm – 3:38pm
Wednesday 13 July 2011 7:15pm – 8:53pm
Saturday 16 July 2011 2pm – 3:53pm
Five easy pieces
Dir: Bob Rafelson 1970
98 mins 35mm colour Rated M
Jack Nicholson, Karen Black
Filmed while Nixon was secretly bombing Cambodia in the winter of 1969-70, and released in September 1970, after the summer that saw the Kent State shootings, Bob Rafelson’s Five easy pieces is a shattering drama centering around Robert Dupea (Jack Nicholson), a once-promising classical pianist, now drifter, who is returning to his family home after years of self-imposed exile working in the Texas oilfields. Cited by Peter Bogdanovich as ‘perhaps the most innovative and influential moment in New Hollywood history’, Nicholson’s fully shaded character, with its explosions of emotion, confirms his place among the A-list of actors of this period. Restored for the film’s 40th anniversary, Five easy pieces is an astute character study: part road trip, part psychological inquiry and a classic of Hollywood counter-culture.
New 35mm print
NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to screen Five easy pieces on Wednesday 13 July, as advertised. Instead we will screen Midnight cowboy. Due to expected demand, Five easy pieces will be screened twice on Sunday 17 July: 2pm & 4pm.
Five easy pieces (1970) Courtesy Park Circus
Sunday 17 July 2011 2pm – 3:38pm
Sunday 17 July 2011 4pm – 5:38pm
Dir: Alan J. Pakula 1971
114 mins 35mm colour Rated M
Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland
Building on the groundbreaking depiction of New York street life in John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, released two years earlier, director Alan J Pakula – a master of paranoia and anxiety – offers an unflinching glimpse into the troubled life of a New York prostitute, Bree Daniels. Jane Fonda dominates every frame with her Oscar-winning performance as a highly skilled call girl and aspiring model. Battling loneliness and lack of self-worth, Bree comes to the realisation that she is implicated in a missing person’s case – the missing man could be an old client. The cinematography by Gordon Willis (influenced by the painter Thomas Eakins) uses dark, brown-hued tones and harsh overhead lighting. Willis famously earned the title ‘Prince of Darkness’ for his daring use of minimum lighting. He would play a significant role in New Hollywood in subsequent years by reasserting classical style in modern movies. Klute’s chilling atmosphere and austere beauty remains one of the great cinematic achievements of the early 1970s.
Print Courtesy National Film and Sound Archive
Klute (1971) Courtesy Roadshow
Wednesday 20 July 2011 2pm – 3:54pm
Wednesday 20 July 2011 7:15pm – 9:09pm
Sunday 24 July 2011 2pm – 3:54pm
Dir: John Boorman 1972
110 mins 35mm Colour Rated R
John Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty
One of the high points of the 1970s New Hollywood, Deliverance was hugely influential. Director John Boorman’s masterpiece lays bare two key ’70s preoccupations: anxiety about environmental issues and uncertainty about the meaning and worth of masculinity. This is a horror story about a group of four Atlanta men whose weekend canoe trip in the woods turns into a fight for their lives. Photographed by Hungarian/American cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond with experimental daring, the film was shot in extremely low light levels and features a subtle, muted colour palette, soft focus and limited contrast. To lower contrast, Zsigmond used a technique known as ‘flashing’, involving exposing the 35mm film negative to a controlled amount of light prior to camera exposure. He worked with a tiny crew of four, improvised continually and operated the camera himself. John Boorman was drawn to Hollywood in the mid 1960s with the opportunity to make larger-scale cinema than was possible in his native UK. Deliverance became his first true box office and critical success, earning him several award nominations
Deliverance (1972) Courtesy Roadshow
Wednesday 27 July 2011 2pm – 3:50pm
Wednesday 27 July 2011 7:15pm – 9:05pm
Sunday 31 July 2011 2pm – 3:50pm
Dir: Francis Ford Coppola 1974
113 mins 35mm Colour Rated M
Gene Hackman, John Cazale
Embodying the feelings of cynicism and dread in the zeitgeist of the US in 1974, The conversation was conceived before the Watergate scandal broke and was released shortly before Richard Nixon’s resignation. The plot centres on Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), an obsessive sound engineer who specialises in surveillance. Harry is hired by a mysterious corporate executive to capture a conversation between a young couple walking in a noisy park. As he painstakingly pieces together the garbled recording, he suspects something tragic is about to occur. This enigmatic, bleak and brilliant film remains a highlight of Coppola’s oeuvre.
The conversation (1974) Courtesy Potential Films
Saturday 30 July 2011 2pm – 3:53pm
Dog day afternoon
Dir: Sidney Lumet 1975
130 mins 35mm colour Rated M
Al Pacino, John Cazale
One of the greatest and grittiest classics of 1970s New Hollywood cinema is simultaneously a true crime yarn, an authentic slice of overheated New York atmosphere and a showcase for brilliant actors. Dog day afternoon vividly conveys the feeling of crazy events unfolding in real time, an electrifying experience born of the collaboration of celebrated director Sidney Lumet and lead actor Al Pacino. The film confines itself to limited locations, with most of the action taking place inside a bank during an ill-conceived robbery. Frank Pierson won an Oscar for his screenplay, which uses the constriction of time and space to explore the mass media’s effect on public perception, and to dramatise the desperation of those marginalised by society. The brilliant, kinetic camerawork by director of photography Victor J Kemper makes a vital contribution to one of the finest American films of the modern age.
New 35mm print
Dog day afternoon (1975) Courtesy Roadshow
Wednesday 3 August 2011 2pm – 4:10pm
Wednesday 3 August 2011 7:15pm – 9:25pm
Sunday 7 August 2011 2pm – 4:10pm
Dir: Martin Scorsese 1976
114 mins 35mm Colour Rated R
Robert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd
In director Martin Scorsese’s unnerving masterpiece, Robert De Niro plays an alienated Vietnam-era veteran, Travis Bickle, thrust into the night-time urban sprawl of New York City. In his despair, after a romantic rejection by an attractive political campaign aide, Bickle focuses on ‘freeing’ a 12 year old prostitute by unleashing violent retribution on her pimp. Screenwriter Paul Schrader decided to make the character a Vietnam veteran because the national trauma of the war seemed to accord with Bickle’s paranoid psychosis. The introverted world of Bickle, created by Scorsese, De Niro, Schrader and director of photography Michael Chapman, represents a time when movie studios took risks and heralds the end of the era of New Hollywood.
Restored 35mm print
Taxi driver (1976) Courtesy Park Circus
Wednesday 10 August 2011 2pm – 3:54pm
Wednesday 10 August 2011 7:15pm – 9:09pm
Sunday 14 August 2011 2pm – 3:54pm