Looking Back at the British New Wave

September 21–November 30, 2019

Look back at 1950s and ’60s British cinema and rediscover the England of Angry Young Men and working-class heroes, boundary-crossing writing and innovative direction, and electrifying acting by the likes of Richard Burton, Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, and Julie Christie.

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  • Darling

  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

  • Look Back in Anger

  • Billy Liar

  • If . . .

  • Alfie

  • The Servant

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Upcoming Films

  • Darling

    John Schlesinger
    United Kingdom, 1965

    Film to Table dinner follows

    • Saturday, October 19 5 PM

    Schlesinger’s time capsule of Swinging London, with Julie Christie as a model on the make, Dirk Bogarde, and Laurence Harvey. “Diamond-hard, diamond-bright” (New Yorker).

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  • Billy Liar

    John Schlesinger
    United Kingdom, 1963

    ’Scope Print

    • Thursday, October 24 7 PM

    John Schlesinger’s Billy Liar broke with kitchen-sink realism to provide star-making roles for Tom Courtenay as a daydreaming undertaker’s assistant and Julie Christie as a wistful beatnik.

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  • Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

    Karel Reisz
    United Kingdom, 1960
    • Saturday, October 26 5:30 PM

    Albert Finney’s star-making turn as a young Nottingham factory worker to the manner born, a consummate boozer, lover, gambler, and philosopher.

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  • Séance on a Wet Afternoon

    Bryan Forbes
    United Kingdom, 1964

    BAMPFA Collection

    • Thursday, October 31 7 PM

    Decades later this tale of a London kidnapping remains suspenseful; creepy, too, since ransom is not the reason. Kim Stanley as a medium and Richard Attenborough as her milquetoast mate are “utterly superb” (Time Out).

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  • Room at the Top

    Jack Clayton
    United Kingdom, 1958

    Imported Print

    • Friday, November 15 4 PM

    With the marvelous Simone Signoret, this classic about a Machiavellian social climber (Laurence Harvey) endures as a love story, set against the fraught class relations in the North Country in the 1950s.

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  • If . . .

    Lindsay Anderson
    United Kingdom, 1968

    Digital Restoration

    • Sunday, November 17 7 PM

    In 1968, the boarding school as metaphor for social control was a shot heard ’round the world. “A modern classic” (Time Out).

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  • The Servant

    Joseph Losey
    United Kingdom, 1963
    • Saturday, November 23 5 PM

    Let’s play master and servant! Dirk Bogarde and James Fox do it in this striking parable on class conflict, Joseph Losey’s first collaboration with Harold Pinter.

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  • Alfie

    Lewis Gilbert
    United Kingdom, 1966

    Archival Print

    • Sunday, November 24 7 PM

    Before Alfie, Michael Caine was just some great British actor. In its offhand candor on all things sexual, Alfie was what it was all about.

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  • Blow-Up

    Michelangelo Antonioni
    United Kingdom, 1966

    Digital Restoration

    • Saturday, November 30 7 PM

    Michelangelo Antonioni chose Swinging London as the setting for “a cryptic murder mystery . . . a landmark of the decade’s observational outrage and Pop disposability” (Time Out).

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Past Films

  • This Sporting Life

    • Sunday, October 13 7 PM
    Lindsay Anderson
    United Kingdom, 1963

    Richard Harris as the essential working-class antihero, a bruised and bruising rugby player in England’s North Country, in Lindsay Anderson’s forceful, psychologically complex first feature, noted for introducing a truly modern sensibility to British cinema.

  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

    • Sunday, September 29 7 PM
    Tony Richardson
    United Kingdom, 1962

    Imported Print

    Tom Courtenay in Tony Richardson’s famously experimental narrative recounting the events in the life of a Borstal lad as he runs track—running for his life.

  • The Entertainer

    • Saturday, September 28 5:30 PM
    Tony Richardson
    United Kingdom, 1960

    Film to Table dinner follows

    Laurence Olivier stars as a has-been music-hall performer—with Alan Bates and Albert Finney in their screen debuts—in John Osborne’s play-turned-film. Olivier’s “greatest contemporary role” (Pauline Kael).

  • A Taste of Honey

    • Sunday, September 22 7 PM
    Tony Richardson
    United Kingdom, 1961

    Interracial sex, homosexuality, and unwed pregnancy had the shock of the new in 1961, when Rita Tushingham worked her way into viewers’ hearts.

  • Look Back in Anger

    • Saturday, September 21 5:30 PM
    Tony Richardson
    United Kingdom, 1959

    Richard Burton is truly, madly angry—also eloquent, and unforgettable—as the jazz-playing misfit Jimmy Porter in the film based on John Osborne’s bombshell play, adapted by Tony Richardson.