Saturday, February 22
Sunday, February 23
(1953, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin) Brooklynite Richie Andrusco’s on the run from the cops after the accidental shooting of his big brother — only trouble is, Richie’s only seven, the “shooting” was just a dumb ketchup-splashed gag by his brother and cronies, and Mom won’t be back from Grandma’s till the next day. But with six bucks in his pocket and all of Coney Island for a hide-out, how tough can things be, as Richie rides the merry-go-round, takes a cowboy photo, tries out his swings in the batting cage, scarfs down hot dogs, soda, watermelon, and corn on the cob, and gets hooked on the pony ride — he refinances by scouring under the boardwalk for two-cent deposit soda bottles — and even his frantically searching big brother takes a break to ride The Parachute Jump. With a concealed custom-made 35mm camera (which Godard later asked to borrow), legendary photographer Engel — and crew including future wife Ruth Orkin, herself a photography titan — captured unknowing crowds, a phenomenal performance by pint-sized non-pro Richie, and a perfect time capsule of Coney in the waning years of its heyday. Oscar nomination for Best Screen Story; Silver Lion, Venice Film Festival. Co-written and co-produced by Ray Ashley. 35mm. Approx. 75 min.
“A missing link in the history of modern cinema, a small, unexpected islet, midway between the first wave of Italian neo-realism and the future French New Wave. Between European modernity and the upcoming independent American cinema. Little Fugitive, like Open City, like Breathless, is one of these precarious films which made cinema move in a radical way.”
– Alain Bergala, Cahiers du Cinéma
“Our New Wave would never have come into being if it hadn’t been for Morris Engel’s fine movie Little Fugitive. It showed us the way.”
– François Truffaut