In April, I’m doing a series of nights of one of my absolute favorite things: Introducing films, watching them, and talking about them. It’s all based on my book “Ready, Steady, Go!” and it should be a blast. If you’re in town, hit ’em up. If not, you can watch along and read the book!
SWINGING LONDON CINEMA
We remember the rock and roll, the fashion, and the whole kids-taking-over-the-world thing. But the Swinging London of the ’60s was a font of great cinema, too. In these entertaining and revealing films, the heart of the era is captured, defined, and dissected. Shawn Levy, author of Ready, Steady, Go! The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London, will present each film and moderate a post-screening chat.
A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (1964) – April 8
Maybe a perfect movie. Richard Lester’s make-believe vision of a couple of days in the life of The Beatles presents the rise of the youthquake in a cross of documentary, music video, and fever dream. Joyous, playful, inventive, brimming with infectious tunes, shot in gorgeous black-and-white, full of tender moments of lost time, and utterly, utterly charming.
DARLING (1965) – April 15
Sexy and cynical, John Schlesinger’s tale of a young woman surfing the cultural and economic opportunities of the times is both a snapshot of the day and a critique of it. Sparkling, beguiling Julie Christie won an Oscar as a dolly bird claiming the prizes that life offers up to a beauty with ambition; Dirk Bogarde and Lawrence Harvey are among her sharp and swanky men.
BLOW-UP (1966) – April 22
In a bona fide pop masterpiece, Michelangelo Antonioni aims his gaze at a photographer who thinks he has captured evidence of a crime. A cerebral vision of a hedonistic world, posing a haunting puzzle, preserving some real-life moments of the day, and coolly pointing a crooked finger at human vanity and pretense. A Rorschach test of a movie that looks different every time you see it.
PERFORMANCE (1970) – April 29
When a reclusive rock star and a sadistic gangster become allies, co-directors Donald Cammell and Nicholas Roeg find rancid corruption at the bottom (the heart?) of the swinging scene. Mick Jagger wrapped in smoke and sex; James Fox flexing an animal cunning; and a thick air of raunch, decay, and menace: a death knell that’s as much Edgar Allen Poe as it is The Rolling Stones.