Elaine May × 2
Screening Dates
New Restoration

“A neglected masterpiece of ’70s American cinema” (Alicia Fletcher, TIFF), Elaine May’s third feature as director, after the comedies A New Leaf and The Heartbreak Kid, is an emotionally harrowing crime drama featuring two superb central performances. Peter Falk and John Cassavetes (regular collaborators in Cassavetes’s own films) play small-time hoods and old boyhood chums. After Nicky (Cassavetes) makes the dangerous mistake of betraying a gangster, he asks Mikey (Falk) for assistance. What follows is a long night of tension and paranoia—and a raw, sometimes painfully funny portrait of toxic friendship and toxic masculinity. Ned Beatty plays a hit man. May shot profligate amounts of footage, went significantly over budget, and had final cut taken away from her. She wouldn’t direct another film for a decade—and that, gulp, was Ishtar! This new restoration was supervised by May herself.

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