American Cinematheque presents...
SHOOT TO KILL:
THE COOL CRIMES OF MIKE HODGES
March 26 - 31, 1999
Presented in collaboration with
The British Academy of Film & Television Arts,
Youre in for a few nightmares, warns a police inspector to his young
partner in SUSPECT -- and the same could be said for all the films of
British director Mike Hodges, from his shattering 1970 thriller GET CARTER
to his latest work, the moody, intricate casino mystery CROUPIER. Theres
an elegant mask in front of Hodges characters that separates them from us:
the lethal, impassive gaze of Michael Caine in GET CARTER and Clive Owen in
CROUPIER; George Segals Im-about-to-kill stare in THE TERMINAL MAN. Its
the same cool, ironic distance that Hodges brilliantly maintains as
director -- a kind of Stanley Kubrick meets Jean-Pierre Melville tone thats
both seductive and unnerving.
Were very pleased to welcome director Mike Hodges to the Lloyd E. Rigler
Theatre at the Egyptian for this series.
Series Compiled by Dennis Bartok.
Special Thanks To: Mike Kaplan; Mike Hodges; Pamela Godfrey & Peter
Wetherall/BAFTA - L.A.; Linda Evans-Smith/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Heidi
Kuebler & Leslie Fenady/WARNER BROS.; Sue Bruce-Smith/FILM FOUR
INTERNATIONAL; John Kirk/MGM-UA; Carolyn Jackson & Len Whitcher/PEARSON
TELEVISION; Michelle Marking/GOLDCREST FILMS.
Mike Hodges transportation provided by AMERICAN AIRLINES.
Friday, March 26th - 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 27th - 9:45 PM
The best British gangster movie ever -- The Independent, London.
Director Mike Hodges In-Person!! GET CARTER, 1971, Warner Bros. Classics,
112 min. Youre a big man -- but youre in bad shape. With me its a
full-time job, snarls elegant hitman Michael Caine just before he smacks
the hell out of a Newcastle mobster, in director Mike Hodges ultra-violent,
gun-metal grey masterpiece. On a short list with LE SAMOURAĻ, DIRTY HARRY,
POINT BLANK and TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI as one of the greatest crime-films
ever made, GET CARTER follows the steel-hard Caine as he heads north for his
brothers funeral -- and slams into a vipers-nest of pornographers and
thugs, lorded over by the fey, venomous John Osborne (author of LOOK BACK IN
ANGER - !) Everything about GET CARTER is just right -- from composer Roy
Budds amazing synth/funk/jazz score, to the bleak, ghost-town locales of
Newcastle, to Hodges brilliant, minimalist script and direction. If theres a crime-film heaven -- GET CARTER is it. Discussion following with
director Mike Hodges after Friday and Saturday screenings.
Friday, March 26th - 9:45 PM
Saturday, March 27th - 7:00 PM
U.S. Theatrical Premiere - New from Hodges!! CROUPIER, 1998, Film Four, 89
min. Hodges is back in top form with this sly, sinuous crime film about a
would-be writer (British actor Clive Owen, in a dead-on, Dirk
Bogarde-meets-Alain Delon performance) who gets sucked back into the
underworld of the London casinos. With a cracking good script by Paul
Mayersberg (who wrote THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR.
LAWRENCE), CROUPIER draws you into the airless, twilight rooms of the
casinos, where Owens impassive dealer watches and waits. The lovely Alex
Kingston (from E.R.) co-stars as the desperate gambler who tries to con Owen
into helping her rob the casino -- a set-up as brilliant in its way as THE
ASPHALT JUNGLE or BOB LE FLAMBEUR. Discussion following with director Mike
Hodges after Friday and Saturday screenings.
Tuesday, March 30th - 7:00 PM
PULP, 1972, MGM/UA, 95 min. I wondered who he was, the poor dead bastard,
muses hack-writer Michael Caine (author of classics like The Organ-Grinder
and My Gun Is Long), in Hodges wonderfully-eccentric, slightly-surreal
comedy -- his follow-up to GET CARTER (and about as different as two films
can be.) Caine stars as Chester King a.k.a. Guy Strange, a pulp writer
happily stranded in Italy -- until hes hired by ex-Hollywood mobster Mickey
Rooney to ghostwrite his autobiography. Littered with sight gags and random
corpses (and co-starring the legendary Lizabeth Scott in her last screen
appearance to date!), PULP is a rare and strange pleasure -- sip it like a
dry martini. Discussion following with director Mike Hodges.
Tuesday, March 30th - 9:30 PM
Ultra-Rare Early Hodges - Double-Feature!
Join us for two of Hodges pre-GET CARTER crime films -- made for British
television and never-before seen in the U.S. - !
SUSPECT, 1968, Pearson Television, 90 min. With Rachel Kempson, Bryan
Marshall. Hodges early career in documentaries shows in this bleak little
mystery about a police investigation into an 11-year old girls
disappearance. Pieced out in fragments, like an odd, off-center puzzle,
SUSPECT slowly builds into a terrifying, matter-of-fact portrait of a sexual
predator set loose in the English countryside.
RUMOUR, 1969, Pearson Television, 90 min. A direct forerunner of GET CARTER
(in Hodges words), RUMOUR follows a muckraking Fleet Street journalist
(Michael Coles) who gets drawn into the murder of a young hooker with
political connections. An ambitious mix of 40s noir and late 60s
psychedelia, RUMOUR paints a vivid picture of the London underworld Hodges
would revisit (decades later) in CROUPIER. Mike Hodges to introduce
Wednesday, March 31st - 7:00 PM
THE TERMINAL MAN, 1974, Warner Bros., 107 min. Hodges most underrated
film, THE TERMINAL MAN is a cool, methodical sci-fi thriller about ticking
time-bomb George Segal, implanted with a Lympic Brain-Pacing Device to
control his violent seizures. When the device malfunctions, Segal is
transformed into a pitiful, rampaging monster -- a modern-day Frankenstein
set loose in 70s L.A. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, with eerie,
insistent music by pianist Glenn Gould, TERMINAL MAN is a mesmerizing piece
of work -- well match the second half of the film with any later Hitchcock
for pure, unnerving suspense. Discussion following with director Mike
Wednesday, March 31st - 9:45 PM
L.A. Theatrical Premiere! BLACK RAINBOW, 1989, Goldcrest, 100 min. With
Tom Hulce, Jason Robards. Never theatrically released in the U.S., BLACK
RAINBOW is a startling supernatural thriller with Rosanna Arquette as a fake
psychic who suddenly starts receiving sinister messages from the other side.
Photographed with the quiet, mysterious textures of an Edward Hopper
painting, BLACK RAINBOW is an occult treat from the master, Mike Hodges.
Superbly understated performances -- Hodges best film since GET CARTER, a
psychological thriller with a brain and a heart -- Dominic Wells, Time Out.
Back to Archive Index