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AFS Presents ‘Joseph Losey in Europe’

AFS Presents 'Joseph Losey in Europe'

The next Essential Cinema Series hosted by the Austin Film Society is “Surviving the Blacklist: Joseph Losey in Europe,” a collection of films by notable expat filmmaker Losey. It all begins September 5 with Eva and wraps up on October 10, with The Romantic Englishwoman. In between, audiences can spend every Tuesday night at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, watching a handful of Losey’s classics on the big screen. Here’s an excerpt of how AFS Programmer Chale Nafus describes the series, via the Web site:

During the second wave of anti-Communist hearings by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951, a subpoena was issued for Hollywood filmmaker Joseph Losey to appear in Washington, DC. Instead of waiting around to be served the summons, Losey and his wife took an extended vacation in Europe. His name was then added to the well-known (but officially denied) blacklist of all entertainment workers suspected of leftist political activities or attitudes.

For the rest of his life Losey worked in the UK and Europe as a director, initially under an assumed name. His work was always interesting and uniquely his own, but it wasn’t until EVA (1962) and THE SERVANT (1963) that Losey gained an international reputation. Besides working on the latter film, noted playwright Harold Pinter developed two more screenplays with Losey: ACCIDENT and THE GO-BETWEEN. They were a perfect match. But then, some would say unfortunately, the expatriate American director met the Burtons, Richard and Liz. Together, in a drunken spree, they brought the world one of the unheralded camp classics, BOOM! That same year and more sedately Elizabeth Taylor turned in a fine performance for Losey in SECRET CEREMONY (1968). Burton also worked more civilly with Losey as leader of the anti-Stalinists in THE ASSASSINATION OF TROTSKY (1972).

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