Cinefamily Members-Only Potluck Dinner + Little Fugitive (archival 35mm print!)

NOTE: This event is a Cinefamily members-only potluck — but members are welcome to bring as many of their friends as they would like. As well, it is indeed a potluck dinner; things like bags of chips and drinks are not encouraged — please bring a dish! Impress us!

For our inaugural Nite Owl viewing session, we’re adopting September’s calendar theme of childhood, with a finely curated collection of rare short films and various video ephemera that will address the complicated mood mosaic that is youth. After the intermission, we’ll then screen the vastly important and highly fun Little Fugitive. Before Cassavetes, and before the French New Wave, there was this small miracle of a film — a low-budget, shot-without-sound, day-in-the-life portrait of a child that inadvertently started the global indie filmmaking movement. Far from Hollywood, Little Fugitive was born in ‘50s New York when a pair of married photographers (Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin) and a successful children’s book writer (Raymond Abrashkin) picked up a handheld 35mm camera and — without studio support or professional actors, but with an effortless blend of innovation and storytelling that has inspired filmmakers for generations — shot one of cinema’s most influential picaresque gems. Capturing childhood with humorous, compassionate lyricism, Little Fugitive follows an adorable little kid who, after his brother pulls a practical joke, goes on the lam to tough it out amidst the cotton candy and pony rides of Coney Island. It’s an undeniably timeless tale of sibling dynamics, but the proto-guerilla filmmaking techniques of the co-directors also capture the people and landscapes a long-gone Coney Island with such vivid documentary realism, you’ll swear you can smell the carnies.
Little Fugitive Dirs. Ray Ashley, Morris Engel & Ruth Orkin, 1953, 35mm, 80 min.

Watch the trailer for “Little Fugitive”!
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