Movie Night with Michel Gondry: Billy Liar

Movie Night with Michel Gondry: Billy Liar

Directed by: John Schlesinger

Thursday, March 7, 2013

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SOLD OUT! Post-film discussion with Michel Gondry! 35mm print

“John Schlesinger’s film certainly had an influence on my films, especially The Science of Sleep, just like Walter Mitty or other films intercutting layers of consciousness. Only BILLY LIAR is one of the few to achieve that in the context of a social satire. All Billy’s visions are like explosions coming out of this very crude and bleak reality. And his personality is very unique, nailed in his lack of ambition. This is one of the films that taught me how magic can come just from editing.” – Michel Gondry

“Released in the wake of the early social realist films of Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson, John Schlesinger’s physical world is the same – northern and working-class – but his approach to social commentary and storytelling, as adapted from Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall’s book and play, is more playful and less concerned with realism than films like Taste of Honey and Saturday Night, Sunday Morning. Schlesinger’s Billy (Tom Courtenay) is a confused young man with too much imagination for considering kitchen sinks: nominally he’s an undertaker’s clerk, but his real job is to carve a parallel, fantasy world for himself, whether leading men to war in a state called Ambrosia or forging himself a career in showbiz. Billy’s endless lies feel less like deceptions and more like an expression of the conflicts within a young man who’s uneasy in a fast-changing world. Funny and unexpectedly poignant.” – Time Out (London)

NR, 98 Minutes
UK, 1963




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