The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia – The Finale
Screening Dates
  • July 5, 2023 6:30
New Restoration

Shocked audiences in 1971. It might shock them even more [now] … Half a century later, the film retains its power to unnerve almost everyone who sees it.”

Mark Harris, author of Mike Nichols: A Life

Mike Nichols’s caustic sex drama, a blunt portrait of male chauvinism starring Jack Nicholson opposite Art Garfunkel, ignited controversy upon release after a print was seized, under obscenity laws in Georgia, and criminal charges laid. When the high court overturned the ruling, the savvy studio re-released the film with the tagline: The United States Supreme Court has ruled that Carnal Knowledge’ is not obscene. See it now!”

Gutsy directing by the great Mike Nichols, coming off The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Catch-22, with a great ensemble, especially Jack Nicholson near the start of his great decade in 70s New Hollywood films. Carnal Knowledge was famous in its day for breaking through barriers of sex and swearing in American cinema, and for popularizing the catchphrase bullshit artist.’ Shot partly in Vancouver at Panorama Studios and the Austin C. Taylor estate, it is, along with Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller, one of the classic films shot in Hollywood North. Lensed by the great Italian cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno (The Leopard, Fellini Satyricon, All That Jazz), Carnal Knowledge features impressive long takes and precise performances.”

Harry Killas