1978. USA. Walter Hill. 91 min.
Sunday, November 6, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2
1978. USA. Written and directed by Walter Hill. With Ryan O’Neal, Bruce Dern, Isabelle Adjani. On November 5, screenwriter and director Walter Hill presents The Driver, an exquisite study of stripped-down existentialism whose thrilling car chases are unsurpassed in their stylized abstraction. As if through a dizzying hall of mirrors, The Driver was the direct inspiration for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, but in turn took its own inspiration from French crime films of the 1950s and 1960s—most notably, Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket and Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samourai—that themselves paid homage both to American film noir of the 1940s, and the taut, tense classicism of Howard Hawks and Raoul Walsh. (The philosopher Slavoj Zizek has called this “a paradox of America looking at itself through French eyes.”) One of the finest practitioners and manipulators of genre in such films as Hard Times, Southern Comfort, The Warriors, Streets of Fire, 48 Hours and, more recently, Last Man Standing and Wild Bill—not to mention The Getaway and Aliens, for which he wrote the screenplays—Hill has observed that “We're all standing on each other's shoulders. We only tell stories that are in a sense twice-told tales, but we try to find new ways to tell them.” Preserved by Twentieth Century Fox. 91 min.
In the Film exhibition To Save and Project: The Ninth MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
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