Tuesday, 6 November
The Loved One
THE LOVED ONE 1965
Directed by Tony Richardson
Having just won an academy award for best film, British director Tony Richardson could do pretty much anything he wanted and get away with it. So he pushed the limits as far as he could with his next film The Loved One. It is an extreme jet-black comedy, with a punchy script by Terry Southern (Dr. Strangelove, Barbarella) collaborating with the famous novelist Christopher Isherwood. The premise is based on Evelyn Waugh's darkly comic novel of the same name.
The story goes haywire pretty much from the word go, always on the run and touching on so many things it's just... dizzying - but the theme is clear: a barbed full-frontal attack on all fronts of society. What Dr. Strangelove did to the military, this flick did to the modern world at large. It kicks off with our young protagonist as he unsuccessfully tries to break into the Hollywood system. Instead, he quickly throws himself into a Southern California funeral business - a ruthless enterprise that will do anything it can to suck cash from weeping survivors as they bury their recently deceased 'loved ones'.
This is a perfect example of loads of movies that once existed: films that satirized the American way of life and lambasted the entire patriotic, pro-war, pro-business landscape of America. It is the kind of biting satire that has been suspiciously missing from Hollywood cinema for the last 40 years. The closest thing I can think of is John Waters, but his films miss the edgy social criticism.
It is perhaps the amazing cast that helps make this insane, out-of-control movie so special... Rod Steiger as Mr.Joyboy, one of the creepiest morticians you will ever hope to see. His performance is sheer brilliance. But we also have Sir John Gielgud, Tab Hunter, Roddy McDowall, James Colburn - and the one and only, gay icon Liberace. The entire film explodes in a great climax, both poetic and sharply critical at the same time. Expect a wild runaway horse, the kind of film that bolts and bucks, and you have to just hold on as tight as you fucking can.
This will be a high-definition screening.
Date & Time:
- 3-5 €