Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute | Mechanics' Institute

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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
CinemaLit February 2023: – British New Wave

Friday, February 17, 2023 - 6:00pm

Friday, February 17 - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning,1960, 89 minutes, directed by Karel Reisz starring Albert Finney and Rachel Roberts

Arthur (roguish Albert Finney in his breakout role) is a young machinist in a bicycle factory, and he lives for Saturday night and Sunday morning when he can drink and be free of his numbing work. He is involved with two women, including one who's married and pregnant with his child. Director Reisz avoids a morass of overwrought drama by infusing the film with the realities of post-war British life. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was Reisz's first full-length film after directing several documentaries. His early work came from the "Free Cinema" movement that sought to subvert commercial filmmaking and address social issues with a minimum of artifice.

(Image used with permission of MIramax Films.)

CinemaLit February 2023: The British New Wave

As the Mostly British Film Festival plays the Vogue Theatre this month in San Francisco, CinemaLit is screening four great films of the British New Wave: Look Back in Anger (1959), The Entertainer (1960), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962). From 1959 to 1963, British cinema came forth with a series of startlingly raw films portraying the struggles of the laboring classes in the Midlands and Northern England. Spare, diamond-hard, and deeply felt, these "kitchen sink dramas" were made on small budgets and directed by mavericks just beginning their careers, including Tony Richardson, Karel Reisz, John Schlesinger, and Bryan Forbes. The films hold up brilliantly sixty years later; their harsh judgments of wealth and social class haven't aged a day. Revel, too, in the powerhouse acting of four actors at the peak of their powers: Richard Burton (Look Back in Anger), Laurence Olivier (The Entertainer), Albert Finney (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning), and Tom Courtenay (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner). Combined, they embody the dispossessed and embittered forgotten men of austere postwar England as envisioned by John Osborne, Alan Sillitoe, Shelagh Delaney, and other screenwriters, novelists, and playwrights of the era.

 

Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies.

I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."

Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”

 

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CinemaLit Films

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Future CinemaLit Films

Feb 3 - 6:00pm

Look Back in Anger (1959) -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
CinemaLit February 2023: – British New Wave

Feb 10 - 6:00pm

The Entertainer (1960) -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
CinemaLit February 2023: – British New Wave

Feb 24 - 6:00pm

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
CinemaLit February 2023: – British New Wave