Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 31m
This cult romantic comedy classic from the New Hollywood era makes for the perfect alternative Valentine’s Day movie.
A box-office failure at the time of its release, but enamoured as an iconic comedy since (currently voted 45th funniest film of all time by the AFI), Harold and Maude follows the blossoming romance between death-obsessed young 20-year old Harold (Bud Cort) and the older Maude (Academy Award winner Ruth Gordon) who is about to turn 80.
In an attempt to distance himself from his oppressive mother’s (Vivian Pickles) attempts to marry him off into society, Harold fakes his own death time and time again – for kicks. After meeting the free-spirited Maude at a funeral service – she begins to teach him a new appreciation for love and living life to its fullest.
Director Hal Ashby’s (Shampoo (1975)) film is born from the New Hollywood-style of direction, and is filled with an independent aesthetic, dead-pan humour and the fresh, often darkly surreal, spirit of the age. Featuring a wistful soundtrack by Cat Stevens (‘If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out’) and a warm, hilarious performance from Gordon (who previous won an Oscar for her portrayal of the interfering Satan-worshipping neighbour in Rosemary’s Baby (1968)) this is a black comedy romance with an existential edge for those that are too sour for Valentine’s schmaltz.
This screening will include a very short (but sweet) introduction on alternative Valentine’s films by Dr Darren Elliott-Smith.