Melvin Van Peebles’
THE STORY OF A THREE DAY PASS
MUST END THURSDAY, JUNE 3
NEW 4K RESTORATION
Plays in Virtual Cinema.
(1968) Stationed in France, Black GI Harry Baird heads for an ooh-lah-lah weekend on the town – then finds himself falling for the French woman he’s picked up in a Parisian boîte. Based on the ex-pat director’s own novel La Permission, written in French, Van Peebles’ debut feature channels the exuberance of the New Wave, with an enchanting performance by Godard/Truffaut actress Nicole Berger, who died tragically before the film’s release. DCP. Approx. 87 min. In English and French, with English subtitles.
New 4K restoration by IndieCollect, in consultation with Mario Van Peebles. With support from the Hollywood Foreign Press.
A JANUS FILMS RELEASE.
Virtual Cinema program supported by the Robert Gore Rifkind Foundation.
“Full of bold directorial choices. Melvin Van Peebles [is] a pioneer of 1970s American cinema and pure independent hustle…The story’s romantic idyll is shot through with a prickly visual style and biting candor…When it comes to technique, Van Peebles is fearless…you can see Van Peebles’s influence in [Spike] Lee and really any filmmaker who truly goes for broke… With THE STORY OF A THREE DAY PASS, Melvin Van Peebles shattered the usual mirrors presented in movies, with a crash that reverberated far beyond one soldier’s weekend off.”
– Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times
“A NEW WAVE CLASSIC AND ONE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN FILMS OF THE ERA.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“A DISARMINGLY ROMANTIC DEBUT FEATURE.”
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“Van Peebles’ most stylistically assured and emotionally satisfying film.”
– Brandon Harris
“Had the same kind of critical response received twenty years later for Spike Lee’s breakthrough work… the idea now emerged that the best qualified person to deal on screen with the Black experience was a Black director.”
– Donald Bogle
“Van Peebles tells their story with a simplicity, freshness and spontaneity of the early New Wave films. Rarely does the camera capture so intensely the sense of exhilaration that accompanies liberation as Baird’s arrival in Paris.”
– Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
“A MOVIE MILESTONE... BRIMMING WITH HUMOR AND WARMTH AND BITTERSWEET TRUTH.”
– Judith Crist, New York Magazine
“...Full of spontaneity and effervescent camerawork, both an intimate love story and an examination of the tensions and contradictions of a Black agent of empire...while the film doesn’t make an overtly anti-imperial critique, it does expose the ambivalence of a Black soldier. Van Peebles offers here a dazzling example of French New Wave editing techniques used with an unusually surreal flair to excavate Turner’s alienated psychology as a Black GI.”
– Yasmina Price, Vulture
“Uses the possibilities opened by the New Wave to explore something profound about race, identity, life, love, the world, and one’s place in it, and its rediscovery and restoration is an occasion for celebration.”
– Chris Shields, Reverse Shot
“A unique example of filmmaking from the Black diaspora, with a particular, even fragile viewpoint and artistry that were not seen again from Van Peebles after he returned to the country where he was born...Stands on its merits as an excellent film, and would do so if Van Peebles had never made another movie. One of the best of its time, it can take its place alongside other great black-and-white originals made by American directors that also came out in 1968.”
– A.S. Hamrah, 4Columns