The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Friday, April 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Nothing But a Man (Cinema V, 1964)
A groundbreaking work filmed during the tumult of the mounting civil rights movement, this independent film tells the story of Duff Anderson (Ivan Dixon), a proud railroad worker from the wrong side of the tracks who marries a preacher’s genteel schoolteacher daughter, Josie (Abbey Lincoln). Duff commands respect, a stand that angers his white employers and frightens his father-in-law. Directed by Michael Roemer, the drama features a largely black cast in a story that transcends race and looks at issues of class and gender. In 1964, Nothing But a Man won the San Giorgio Prize at the Venice Film Festival, awarded to films considered especially important for the progress of civilization. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 1993. 35mm film print preserved by the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2012 from original elements donated to us by director Michael Roemer. 95 min.
Saturday, April 13 (7:30 p.m.)
M (Columbia, 1951)
Joseph Losey stylishly reinterprets Fritz Lang’s disturbing 1931 masterpiece about a child killer whose crimes forge an unlikely alliance between the underworld and police. Although Lang and Thea von Harbou’s script remains largely untouched, the shadowy claustrophobia of the first film’s German city is replaced by the sun-bleached sidewalks, faded Victorian buildings (including the oft-filmed Bradbury) and underground garages of post-war Los Angeles–the final location being where the murderer (David Wayne) faces the blunt force of a vigilante mob. Ironically, members of the film’s left-leaning production team were themselves the target of anti-Communist protests, with the being movie picketed and even banned in many cities. Despite this backlash, critics admired the film’s realistic locations, with The Hollywood Reporter praising “the unidentified but hugely effective backgrounds of Los Angeles.” 35mm film print preserved by the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2012. 88 min.
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