Movie Masterpieces Through the Ages @ Keswick Alhambra Cinema

Keswick Alhambra Cinema
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Max Newsom, film director, scriptwriter, producer and sometime film lecturer will deliver four 90-minute talks on films of the 1930s, ’40s, ’50 and ’60s. After each talk, there will be a presentation of a classic film of the era.

Each lecture will include a short recap of the previous decade’s main contributions to the developing form as well as an outline of the prevailing political and social issues.
There will be short clips to illustrate some of the key trends in each decade, as well as an attempt to explain the origins of the famous labels from each decade (eg Film Noir, Italian Neo-Realism, New Wave).

Max will illuminate some of the most remarkable films from each decade and attempt to place them within a broader context of that age as well as the filmmakers’ biographies. The survey does not pretend to be comprehensive but attempts to pull out some evolutionary trends that have given us some of the masterpieces of each decade.

  • Each talk will conclude with a preview of the coming decade’s lecture and the opportunity to ask some questions.
  • There will be a short, complementary tea break with biscuits before the screening of the film

The Talks (3-5pm)

1930s (Tuesday 14th November)

What the 1920s had achieved to define the new art form; the transition from silent films to the Talkies; the political situation on the Continent; the Great Depression; French and German film-making; Hollywood in the ’30s, and impending European war.

Some films to be discussed or mentioned in this talk:

L’Atalante, Zero de Conduite, M, The Testament of Dr Mabuse, The Blue Angel, The Blue Light, Triumph of the Will, Olympia, Snow White, Bringing Up Baby, The Wizard of Oz, Top Hat, Gone with the Wind, Rules of the Game.

1940s (Tuesday 12th December)

Where the 1930’s had pushed film, even through the Crash and the presaging of war; emerging themes of Film Noir; Italian Neo-Realism; the new mood of anxiety in post-war America; crisis, poverty and a brave new world in Europe.

Some films likely to be mentioned or discussed in more detail in this talk:

Casablanca; Fantasia; The Grapes of Wrath; For Whom The Bell Tolls; The Third Man; Citizen Kane; It’s a Wonderful Life; The Maltese Falcon; The Bicycle Thieves; A Canterbury Tale; In Which We Serve; The Red Shoes; Notorious, Holiday Inn, The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity; Rome, Open City.

1950’s (Tuesday 23rd April)

The ending of Film Noir; Maccarthyism and the search for a-political entertainment; Classic Hollywood and post-war recovery; new prosperity and new horizons, the coming of the New Wave and the birth of Independent movie making

The 1950s featured movies will include:

Roman Holiday, 12 Angry Men, High Noon, Ice Old in Alex, The Seven Samurai, Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Rebel Without A Cause, Rear Window, Wild Strawberries; Some Like It Hot; The Searchers; The White Sheik; The Ladykillers; High Society; An American in Paris; Singing in the Rain; The 400 Blows

1960s (Tuesday 21st May)

The glorious New Wave; European rebels; the American reaction; the impact of pop culture and new demographic trends; Brit film…

The 1960s mentions include:

Breathless; Knife in the Water, Help, Blow Up, Kes, If…; 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lawrence of Arabia, Otto E Mezzo; Bullitt; The Sound of Music; The Italian Job; Tom Jones; The Birds; The Graduate; James Bond.

Keswick Alhambra Cinema

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