Photo credit : pearltrees.com

Groovy Movies from the Sixties!

 

 

We all know the 60s was a wonderful time for music but while you might be thinking of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Elvis and Jimi Hendrix (apologies to all the other amazing musicians out there!), have you given any thought to 1960s cinema?

No, I’m not talking about The Sound of Music (which was, in fact, the highest-grossing film of the decade), The Graduate or Spartacus. I’m talking about British cinema.

In the 60s, England was the place to be for film buffs. It was the decade that gave birth to James Bond, that saw 16 Carry On films made in less than 10 years and convinced foreign directors Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby) , Michelangelo Antonioni ( Blow Up), François Truffaut (Farenheit 451), Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless) and Stanley Kubrick (The Shinning) to visit England. Kubrick actually made England his home after making Lolita at Elstree in 1961!

So what kind of English films were attracting all these important foreign directors? This is the perfect moment to ask the question because this weekend, City Screen is hosting three British movies defining the decade of the British 1960s. Here is your chance to discover New Wave social realism, a swinging London film with a twist, and a very psychedelic gangster film featuring Mick Jagger. Each of the films will be introduced by Duncan Petrie, Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York. Professor Petrie explains, “These screenings are part of a wider research project on 1960s British cinema which seeks to bring the treasures of our cinematic heritage to a new audience or to allow some to re-live golden moments from their movie-going youth.”

 

The films…

Friday 6 April, 12:30  A Kind Of Loving [15]

The series begins with a taste of New Wave social realism in John Schlesinger’s 1962 ‘kitchen sink drama’ stars Alan Bates and June Ritchie as two lovers forced to marry due to pregnancy.  Thora Hird plays the girl’s domineering mother, who disapproves of the match.

 

Saturday 7 April, 12:30  Blow-Up [15]

Michelangelo Antonioni’s first entirely English-language film was set in “Swinging London” in 1966.  The terrific British cast is led by David Hemmings playing a fashion photographer, inspired by David Bailey, who believes he has unwittingly captured a murder on film.

 

Sunday 8 April, 13:40  Performance [18]

Shot at the end of the sixties, but not released until 1970, Nicolas Roeg’s film stars James Fox as a violent and ambitious London gangster who goes into hiding at the home of a reclusive rock star, played by Mick Jagger in his film acting debut. The Rolling Stones’ muse and ‘It Girl’ Anita Pallenberg also appears.

 

Booking on 0871 902 5726, at the Coney Street Box Office or via www.picturehouses.co.uk

 

 

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Rebecca Gallon

Second year Film and Television production student at the University of York. Film and TV editor at the Yorker.