MUST END THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY EVA VITIJA
Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995), not unlike her infamous protagonist, the charming and deadly
Tom Ripley, led a double life. She assiduously hid her lesbianism from her family and reading public. Her psychological thrillers, rooted in obsessive love, grew from the complex, contradictory life of a child rejected by the mother she adored (“I am married to my mother / I shall never wed another” she wrote at age 19). Vitija’s tribute includes appearances by women who knew and loved her (“she had a staggering number of conquests”) and who testify to a driven personality whose private notebooks and diaries (found posthumously in a laundry closet) detail multitudinous turbulent affairs. Strangers on a Train, her first novel, became the Alfred Hitchcock classic. Her second, The Price of Salt (published pseudonymously in 1952), dared to give lesbian lovers a happy ending and was soundly rejected by publishers. Decades later, it was made into the Todd Haynes film CAROL, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Highsmith was a woman ahead of her time, who paid dearly for her audacity, and whose brilliant literary output belies her belief that “My life is a chronicle of unbelievable mistakes.”
Highsmith on Screen, a concurrent series featuring films adapted from the writings of
Patricia Highsmith will play from September 2 – 8. The series includes PURPLE NOON (René Clément),
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (Alfred Hitchcock), THE AMERICAN FRIEND (Wim Wenders),
THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (Anthony Minghella), and CAROL (Todd Haynes).
With support from the Ada Katz Fund for Literature in Film, The R.G. Rifkind Foundation Endowment for Queer Cinema, and the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Fund.
2022 83 MIN. SWITZERLAND / GERMANY IN ENGLISH
ZEITGEIST FILMS IN ASSOCIATION WITH KINO LORBER
“A vital figure in queer history. Centering the writer’s sexuality in her lively and captivating documentary, does a great service not only to fans of Highsmith’s, but to all of queer history. As seen through the eyes of her former lovers…(her) life is brought into focus, revealing as much about her humanity as her work. Makes use of a rich archive of radio and video interviews with Highsmith herself. In turns funny, moving, and thoughtful… paints a picture of Highsmith as sexy, charismatic, kind, and even vulnerable.”
– Jude Dry, IndieWire
“The voiceover delivered by Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) accompanies the audience through Highsmith’s universe, reconstructed by way of archive documents, unseen photos and intense, touchingly sincere testimonials from those who knew, lived and venerated the writer. A beautiful tribute to love between women, to lesbian identity… testimonials (that) are touching and courageous in equal measure. An intense and emotional, multiform voyage through the artistic and human world of one of the most fascinating writers in the global literary landscape, a world made up of obsessions, secrets and passion; an intentionally complex universe.”
– Muriel Del Don, Cineuropa