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Film description
Screenings
22th of Oct, 20:00
Theatre 4
26th of Oct, 11:00
Theatre 4
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The Cool World
dir. Shirley Clarke / USA 1963 / 105’

Cast

Rony Clanton, Carl Lee, Yolanda Rodríguez, Clarence Williams III

Film description

Adapted from Warren Miller’s novel, and revered for its authenticity, Clarke’s brilliantly stark look at early 60s ghetto life is exceptional. Shot on location in the streets of Harlem, The Cool World follows Duke, a teenager with aspirations of owning a gun and proving himself. Once again, it is Clarke’s ingenious fusion of fact and fiction that allows empathy with the complex humanity of her characters.

The jazz element is crucial, with a tremendous soundtrack and a fleeting appearance by the legendary Dizzy Gillespie. Carl Lee delivers another iconic turn as “Priest”, a powerful, stylish pimp who subtly pre-empts the character caricature of Ron O’Neal’s in Super Fly by almost a decade.

It is not only one of the classic examples of Clarke’s work, but also a landmark in American cinema.

Niall Grieg Fulton

 

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