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THIS SPORTING LIFE

2:15   7:15

Thursday, March 30

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(1963, Lindsay Anderson) After rugbyer Richard Harris gets his teeth rearranged by a sucker punch, the anesthetic kicks in and the flashbacks unreel, detailing his tormentedly inarticulate attempts to connect with repressed, widowed landlady-with-kids Rachel Roberts. Anderson’s debut feature garnered Oscar nominations for both leads, with Harris taking Best Actor at Cannes. DCP. Approx. 134 mins.

Reviews

“Probably Lindsay Anderson’s best film – certainly Richard Harris’s. He gives a performance to equal Brando’s in A Streetcar Named Desire… The movie takes its muddy boot to class, sex, celebrity, the north, the south and the humbug shamateurism of English sport (‘I only enjoy it if I get paid a lot for it!’) This Sporting Life shrewdly anticipates modern Britain: a dour, yet thrilling and exhilarating film.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“The most passionate film that has ever emerged from a British studio.”
– Elizabeth Sussex

“A quintessential entrant in Britain’s kitchen-sink realism of the late-‘50s and ‘60s, by one of the era’s finest directors, produced by Karel Reisz (who directed one of the cornerstones of the genre, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning), and packed to stadium capacity with all the tenets of that artistic movement: a lower-class North England setting, crowded houses, domestic violence, sport and jazz used as symbols of the ragged life, abrasively nonlinear narratives that feature angry but consistently talented young men who are haunted by a cycle of bad memories and seemingly cold, unattainable women…a hallmark of what is still one of cinema’s most endearing movements.”
– Slant

“Probably the best crafted of the British ‘kitchen sink.’”
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

“An important addition to the canon due to its employment of nimble, jazzy editing, a non-linear structure and an ambient, avant-garde score.”
Time Out (London)