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New York 1970s Crime Action Double Bill

NYC on Film

Former Imax Cinema  |  £10 - £15

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Everyone has an image of New York defined by film. This season showcases these different perspectives through the work of film directors. This season will begin with Joseph von Sternberg’s The Docks of New York and the corrupt streets of 1950s noirs.

12:00pm: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) Director: Joseph Sargent Starring: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Héctor Elizondo 15/ USA / 104mins

An all-star cast, including Robert Shaw (Jaws) and Oscar winners Walter Matthau and Martin Balsam delivers “sure-fire entertainment (that’s) gripping and exciting from beginning to end” (The Hollywood Reporter).

Based on the bestseller by John Godey, this pulse-pounding picture is guaranteed to give you the ride of your life. Somewhere underground, in New York’s subway system, just outside the Pelham Station, a gang of armed men hijack a train, threatening to kill one hostage per minute unless their demands are met. Forced to stall these unknown assailants until a ransom is delivered or a rescue is made, transit chief Lt. Garber (Matthau) must ad-lib, bully, con and shrewdly outmanoeuvre one of the craftiest and cruellest villains (Shaw) in a battle of wits that will either end heroically or tragically.

2:00pm: Shaft (1971) Director: Gordon Parks Starring: Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi 15/ USA/ 100mins

When Harlem P.I John Shaft first appeared on the movie scene, he was a ‘shut your mouth’ detective to reckon with, a fact underscored by Isaac Hayes’ Oscar-winning Best Original Song (1971).

While the Black Power movement was reshaping America, trailblazing director Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree) made this ground-breaking blockbuster, which helped launch the blaxploitation era and gave the screen a new kind of badder-than-bad action hero in John Shaft (Richard Roundtree, in a career-defining role), a streetwise New York City private eye who is as tough with criminals as he is tender with his lovers.

After Shaft is recruited to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Harlem mob boss (Amazing Grace’s Moses Gunn) from Italian gangsters, he finds himself in the middle of a rapidly escalating uptown vs. downtown turf war. A vivid time capsule of seventies Manhattan in all its gritty glory that has inspired sequels and multimedia reboots galore, the original Shaft is studded with indelible elements—from Roundtree’s sleek leather fashions to the iconic funk and soul score by Isaac Hayes.

NYC on Film is a partnership of Bristol Ideas, Film Noir UK, South West Silents, and Watershed. It is the third in a series of film programmes looking at cities and film as part of Bristol’s Festival of the Future City.

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