Close Up

4 - 30 August 2015: Close-Up on British New Wave

Close-Up Repertory Cinema series presents essential films that shaped the art of cinema and its history. This month we will focus on some of the best British New Wave directors such as Richardson, Reisz and Schlesinger as well as lesser-known gems of that period. All films in the season will be screened on 35mm.

Terence Davies Trilogy
Terence Davies
1976 | 101 min | B/W | 35mm

In stark black and white, Davies excavates the life of his fictional alter ego, Robert Tucker, in a narrative that slips between childhood, middle age and death, shaping the raw materials of his own life into a rich tapestry of experiences and impressions. Over the course of these three films, we witness the emergence of Davies' singular talent and style, the refinement of his technique, and a director growing in confidence, soon to become feted as British cinema's greatest film poet. read more

The 35mm print has been restored by the BFI National Archive, who worked closely with Davies himself.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Karel Reisz
1960 | 89 min | B/W | 35mm

Based on Alan Sillitoe’s largely autobiographical novel, and with powerful central performances, crackling dialogue and a superb jazz score by Johnny Dankworth, the film stands as a vibrant modern classic. This seminal film of the British New Wave was a great box-office success – audiences were thrilled by its anti-establishment energy, gritty realism, and above all its fresh, outspoken working-class hero. read more

Look Back in Anger
Tony Richardson
1958 | 115 min | B/W | 35mm

In this powerful adaptation of the John Osbourne drama, Richard Burton gives one of his finest performances on film as Jimmy Porter, an ill-tempered and arrogant young man with a grudge against the establishment and disdain for those around him. Angered by the absence of opportunity, Jimmy becomes a symbol for a lost generation of working-class, university-educated young men. read more

A Taste of Honey
Tony Richardson
1961 | 96 min | B/W | 35mm

Jo struggles at home with her alcoholic mother and moves in with Geoff, a gay friend. Her life is thrown into turmoil when she discovers she is pregnant by a black sailor, who has since departed. The film's prosaic handling of themes of sexuality, abortion and interracial relationships is an outstanding example of the British New Waveread more

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Tony Richardson
1962 | 100 min | B/W | 35mm

Following the huge success of Karel Reisz’s Saturday Night And Sunday Morning, Alan Sillitoe here adapted another of his works for the screen. Newcomer Tom Courtenay compelling as the sullen, disillusioned delinquent in the British New Wave classics, a passionate, explosive tale of rebellion. read more

Tony Richardson
1966 | 99 min | B/W | 35mm

Tony Richardson’s deliciously wicked film – with a script begun by Jean Genet but completed by the director when the playwright disappeared after only a week – stars Jeanne Moreau as the ostensibly prim schoolmistress of a small French village. Beneath Mademoiselle’s breast, however, bubbles a hotbed of repressed passion, which she releases in random acts of secret and rather symbolic violence around the village. read more

Billy Liar
John Schlesinger
1962 | 94 min | B/W | 35mm

Wonderfully performed by Tom Courtenay as Billy, with his mixture of deceit and good intentions, immaturity and intelligence, Billy Liar is probably the most fun of the New Wave films – indeed the only one which is intended largely as a comedy. read more
The Caretaker
Clive Donner
1963 | 100 min | B/W | 35mm

The Caretaker illustrates many of the dominant themes in Pinter's work, exploring ideas of identity, class, power and, above all, the elusiveness of language. On every level, Pinter's characters struggle to communicate, misinterpreting each other's words and actions, often to comic effect. But beneath the surface lurks a deep sense of menace. read more

The Servant
Joseph Losey
1963 | 111 min | B/W | 35mm

The Servant is a savage indictment of the English class system, and its waning hold over all aspects of the working and cultural life of Britain. Set almost entirely within the smart new townhouse of foppish aristocrat Tony (James Fox), the film plays out the struggle for power and dominance ignited by his duplicitous manservant Barrett – an energetic and genuinely ominous Dirk Bogarderead more

Joseph Strick
1967 | 132 min | B/W | 35mm

Dublin June 16th, 1904. Stephen Dedalus, a poet, embarks on a day of wandering about the city during which he finds friendship and a father figure in Leopold Bloom, a middle-aged Jew. It's hardly surprising that it took 45 years for someone to attempt an adaptation of James Joyce's dazzling modernist masterpiece that parallels a day in the life of unassuming Jewish advertising man Leopold Bloom with the events of Homer's Odysseyread more