Preview: The Screen at Contemporary: American Rebel Season

Words: Ashley Carter
Saturday 16 September 2017
reading time: min, words

The Screen at Contemporary, the cinema programme bringing curated seasons of classic, cult and art house films to the art centre is back with the American Rebel season, celebrating "the other, the outsider, the misfit and the loner of American cinema."


The Fits (2015)

Director: Anna Rose Holmer

Running Time: 72 mins

Date: Wednesday, September 20th 

Time: 6.30pm 

The American Rebel season kicks off with Anna Rose Holmer's 2015 haunting independent story of loneliness, belonging and fear in which a young girl joins a dance troupe whose girls suffer from mysterious seizures.  The Fits is presented in partnership with Equation's Reel Equality Film Club, and will include a special performance from Freedom Dance and a discussion on the themes of the film led by Sonia Long.   

If I spill, my life ain't worth a nickel.

On The Waterfront (1954)

Director: Elia Kazan

Running Time: 105 mins

Date: Wednesday, September 27th 

Time: 6.30pm 

Hailed for Marlon Brando's remarkable performance, which is frequently credited with changing screen acting forever, Elia Kazan's On The Waterfront is a powerful representation of masculinity, poverty and loyalty on the waterfronts of Hoboken, New Jersey.  Written by Budd Schulberg and also starring Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger and Eva Marie Saint making her film debut, On The Waterfront was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, winning eight in 1954.  

I don't know what to do anymore. Except maybe die.

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Director: Nicholas Ray

Running Time: 111 mins

Date: Wednesday, October 4th 

Time: 6.30pm 

A groundbreaking depiction of the moral decay of American youth featuring one of the most iconic performances in film history from James Dean.  As Jim Stark, he portrays a rebellious young man with a troubled past who comes to a new town, making friends and creating enemies along the way.  Banned in New Zealand out of fears that it would incite "teenage delinquency," Rebel Without a Cause remains the original and one of the most powerful representations of teenage angst ever put on film.  

You're not going to do nothing. You're just going to stand there and shut up.

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Director: Norman Jewison

Running Time: 109 mins

Date: Wednesday, October 11th 

Time: 6.30pm 

Based on John Ball's 1965 novel, In the Heat of the Night is the ground breaking story of Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), a black police detective from Philadelphia who becomes embroiled in a murder investigation in a small town in Mississippi.  Filmed at the height of the civil rights movement in America, it's a nuanced study in racism, police brutality and the fear of the other which resonates as much today as it did fifty years ago.

You just took a little rest stop that wasn't on the schedule.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Director: John Schlesinger

Running Time: 113 mins

Date: Wednesday, October 18th 

Time: 6.30pm 

Joe Buck (Jon Voight), a young Texan working as a dishwasher, quits his job and moves to New York with the hopes of making a new life as a prostitute.  Despite his initial success (a result of his small-town innocence and cowboy looks), Joe soon becomes broke and involved with 'Ratso' Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), a street con-man.  Together they navigate destitution on the dirty streets of 1960's New York, as elements of Buck's previous life are revealed through a series of flashbacks.  Midnight Cowboy is an unrelentingly bleak look at the seedy underbelly of American life, made undeniably gripping by the stunning performances of Voight and Hoffman that earned them both deserved Oscar nominations.  

You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.

Easy Rider (1969)

Director: Dennis Hopper

Running Time: 95 mins

Date: Wednesday, October 25th 

Time: 6.30pm 

The counterculture road movie that spoke to a generation: two bikers go cross country in search of the authentic America. What they are confronted with is a fractured nation deeply fearful of the other.  A compelling artefact of the hippie era that has much to say to our current age of rage.

I'm glad somebody's doing something he wanted to do.

Grey Gardens (1975)

Director: David & Albert Maysles

Running Time: 100 mins

Date: Wednesday, November 1st 

Time: 6.30pm 

The derelict mansion Grey Gardens, home to two forgotten socialites, provides the setting for a reverse American dream in a much referenced and pastiched documentary classic.  By turns heart-breaking, profound, life-affirming and funny, this love letter to outsiders everywhere is not to be missed on the big screen.

If you're going to lead people, you have to have somewhere to go.

Rumble Fish (1983)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Running Time: 94 mins

Date: Wednesday, November 15th 

Time: 6.30pm 

Adapted from teen-rebel poster girl S.E. Hinton’s novel, Coppola’s movie is both impeccably stylish and unabashedly cinematic.  The grubby early-1980s vibe combines with an idealised 1950s biker aesthetic to give this tale of American delinquents and aimless youth a feverish, fairy-tale quality.

I've been tasting roads my whole life.

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Director: Gus Van Sant

Running Time: 104 mins

Date: Wednesday, November 22nd 

Time: 6.30pm 

Based loosely on Shakespeare’s Henry IV, this early example of the New Queer Cinema follows two sex workers – a narcoleptic and a rebellious rich boy – as they set off on a journey through America’s dives, crooks and hustlers. Dreamy and sublime, it is one of the most original road movies ever made.


All screenings are available for £5, or you can purchase any five films for £20

Individual tickets can be purchased online, with the 5 for £20 available at reception or by calling Nottingham Contemporary on 0115 948 9750.

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