The blush of June continues, and as brides march down damp aisles everywhere, the TFC continues with its Susan Gilmour inspired “Great Directors/Romance” theme. This Friday, June 11th, we are happy to screen the much respected film, Louis Malle’s
ATLANTIC CIITY (1980). Louis Malle had started his career in the 1950’s as a cinematographer, working with Jacques Cousteau on the Calypso. He shot THE SILENT WORLD (1956). He, along with Francois Truffaut, and Jean-Luc Godard, was a pioneer of the French New Wave cinema. Many of the films coming out of that movement owed a great debt to American film noir and crime cinema. Mostly he produced and wrote his own films, but in the case of ATLANTIC CITY (1980), he was in a production bind and need a script doctor. He had been romantically involved with Susan Sarandon since they had made PRETTY BABY (1978) together, and she introduced him to playwright John Guare (HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES, and SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION). Soon after this film, Malle met and soon married actress Candice Bergen, and stayed married to her from 1980-1995. He died young of cancer. Some of the French critics felt that Malle had sold out, had been seduced by Hollywood. The truth was that he had been much more successful at making American films than any of his French compeers. He only directed 33 films in his 40 year career, including ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (1958), MURMER OF THE HEART (1971), LACOMBE, LUCIEN (1974), MY DINNER WITH ANDRE (1981), AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS (1987), and VANYA ON 42ND STREET (1994).
Louis Malle wrote, “You see the world much better through a camera. It is only when memory is filtered through imagination that the films we make will have real depth.”
ATLANTIC CITY was nominated for five Academy Awards–Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. Ironically it did not win any Oscars, remaining a rogue, a dark horse in cinema history; likewise it was nominated for three Golden Globes and won none.
Lou: A room. For me and my mother.
Only rarely did Burt Lancaster ever step out of his considerable star shadow. He certainly did so in SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957), ELMER GANTRY (1960), JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG (1961), THE BIRDMAN OF ALACATRAZ (1962), and in ATLANTIC CITY (1980)
ATLANTIC CITY (1980) Directed by Louis Malle @ 103 minutes.
Starring Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Michel Piccoli, Robert Joy, Kate Reid, Robert Goulet, and Wallace Shawn. Written by John Guare. Synopsis: Burt Lancaster gives one of his best performances at Lou, an aging two-bit hood who’s all style and no substance. This film is a rich character study about a city in transition, focusing on small-time losers who’ve stayed too long, and big-time dreamers who are just arriving. Tagline: “She made him become what he always wanted to be–a lover, a hero, a rich man….and a killer.”
Roger Ebert wrote, “What makes ATLANTIC CITY so sweet was the gentleness with which Lou handles his last chance at amounting to something, and the wisdom with which Sally handles Lou.”
Jamie Gillis of APOLLO GUIDE wrote, “From his first features in the late 1950’s, Malle was a visionary, combining the audacity of Kubrick and the eroticism of Fellini. ATLANTIC CITY is Malle’s best film.”
Make sure to mark your calendars and your hearts so as to further research “Love” this month, and join us this Friday, June 11, 2010 for a marvelous screening of ATLANTIC CITY (1980). Susan Gilmour, our resident Romantic, will attend and share some of her reasons for picking all three films this month, and those will be further revelations at our monthly discussion on June 16th. The screening will be at 924 Broadway, downtown in Tacoma’s Theater District, across the street from the Theater on the Square, and kitty-corner from the Pantages. As per our club custom, arrive early for fellowship and the sharing of a neat re paste created by the Phantom Director and Farishta. Please bring wine, cheese, bread, and desserts if you enjoy sharing. We continue with the Club Raffle at one dollar a ticket, the lucky winners receiving either 40% of the gathered funds or an incredible DVD from my personal collection. Food is served at 6:15pm and the film screens a few minutes after 7pm. ATLANTIC CITY is an hour and 43 minutes in length, so folks can plan on 9:30 departures. See you at the movies!