Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Private Road (film)

A British film from the early 1970s is the Underground Theatre's Thursday night Arthouse choice for November. Private Road (1971) was written and directed by Barney Platts-Mills and is an exploration of the end of the hippy dream that flourished in the 1960s. This was Platts-Mills second film and it has been described as a template for the British realist cinema typified by the film of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach (The Angel's Share). It was reissued by the BFI in November 2011 as part of their Flipside project.

Author Peter Morrisey (Bruce Robinson) has just published his first novel when he starts a relationship with Ann Halpern (Susan Penhaligon). After a break in Scotland, the couple return to London where Peter gets a job as a copywriter. Ann is pregnant and Peter hopes they will marry, but Ann's family do not approve of him. Her father aborts the child and she returns to the family home leaving Peter resorting to theft so he can start writing again.

Private Road was awarded the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Festival for Best Film. Its depiction of Peter's struggle for personal and social freedom is witty and compelling. However, some reviewers have complained that keeping in minor mistakes by the cast makes the film feel more amateurish than realistic.

Underground Theatre, Thu 29th Nov, 19:30.
Tickets £5, available online, by calling 0845 680 1926, or in person at the theatre and the Tourist Information Office.

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