We celebrate the work of a filmmaker who rejuvenated British cinema in the 1960s and whose satires tore into the foundations of the country’s establishment.
Like his Gallic peers in the French New Wave, Lindsay Anderson began his film career as a critic, often bemoaning the lack of objectivity in the profession and espousing strident political opinions that would make their way into his work both as a filmmaker and an acclaimed theatre director.
He was a key member of Free Cinema, a loose collective of documentary filmmakers who challenged the way everyday lives were represented on the screen. And his importance as a filmmaker would only increase as part of the British New Wave, whose work, including his ‘This Sporting Life’ (1963), would raise the profile of the ‘kitchen-sink’ drama and its focus on the working class. But it was with ‘If….’ (1968) that Anderson produced one of the classics of British cinema – an iconoclastic masterpiece that has lost little of its power.
This season covers Anderson’s early documentary work, his two classics, the satires ‘O Lucky Man!’ (1973) and’ Britannia Hospital’ (1982), alongside the lesser known ‘The White Bus’ (1967) and his final narrative feature, the elegiac ‘The Whales of August’ (1987).
With a contextual talk that will also encompass his theatre and written work, this retrospective not only looks back on Anderson’s career, it also reflects on cinema’s power to provoke as well as entertain.