Deep End + The Shout

Deep End – 8:00pm
Having left his native Poland in anger over the censorship of his previous film Ręce do góry, Jerzy Skolimowski ventured to England and produced the rarely-seen Deep End, a kind of disturbing anti-Harold and Maude that stands as one of the most unpredictable films of Mod-era British cinema. Deep End begins as a charmingly surreal comic coming-of-age tale, as seemingly innocent as the schoolboy crush that 15-year-old public bath attendant Mike harbors for his beguiling older coworker Susan — but when Mike starts taking Susan’s flirtatious behavior seriously, and in turn can’t properly process adult sexuality, Deep End takes a sharp turn for the turbulent. Skolimowski’s off-the-cuff handling of dialogue and cinematography ratchets up the sense of squalor as Mike compulsively follows Susan through Soho’s back-end brothels and peep shows, all set to the driving rhythm of Can’s indelible psychedelic soundtrack. Alternately hilarious and horrifying, Deep End doesn’t stop playing with your expectations until the very last frame; this long-considered-lost swinging-London psychodrama has become an off-kilter classic, recently landing a spot on Time Out’s list of the 100 Best British Films. DJ Marcus Herring will be here to spin tunes before and after the films!
Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970, 35mm, 90 min.

The Shout – 9:45pm
A gonzo gothic fantasy played straight, The Shout (winner of the Grand Prix Spécial du Jury at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival) showcases Skolimowski at his most formally audacious. Alan Bates is unspeakably chilling as Crossley, a dark stranger who emerges from the dunes of a sleepy English seaside village to wreak havoc on an avant-garde composer of musique concrète (John Hurt) and his wife (Susannah York). Insinuating himself as an unwanted resident of their house, Bates regales his hosts with tales of black magic and the “terror shout,” his ability to shriek so loud and penetrating that any creature within earshot will be struck dead. As Hurt finds it impossible to resist the promise of sonic novelty, and York as develops an irresistible desire for the lurking sorcerer, Skolimowski twists the narrative in impossible directions, while also finding time for extended synthesizer montages, left-field Francis Bacon references, inexplicable role reversals, wild symbology, frame stories within flashbacks, and at least one false ending — in other words, it’s a total blast!
Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski, 1978, 35mm, 86 min.

Watch an excerpt from “Deep End”!
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Watch the trailer for “The Shout”!
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