Saturday, April 25, 2015

Film Capsule: Ron Peck's Nighthawks (1978)


Nighthawks (1978)
Directed by Ron Peck

As the rain-soaked streets of London give way to the bustling interior of a neon nightclub, we happen upon a solitary man scanning the room for a partner to join not on the dance floor but in the bedroom. A geography teacher by day, the closeted Jim (Ken Robertson) takes to cruising the odd discotheque by night, and over a series of noncommittal one-night stands and compassionate conversations with a female coworker and confidante, we glimpse not only the wearying plight of our protagonist, but that of an entire culture pushed towards the margins and into a nocturnal sanctuary. In what’s now regarded as the first British film to paint an empathetic portrait of gay life in 70s, Peck shoots with a documentarian’s eye scenes of both communal empowerment and isolation. The film’s formal language (reverse shots, continuity editing, et cetera) betrays its fiction roots, but its sense of intimacy and of-the-moment milieu make it one of queer cinema’s most evocative documents. (Apr 25, 9pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Art of the Real”) [The L]

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The leading actor Jim is not called John Angel, he is Ken Robertson.

Stereo Sanctity said...

You are correct. Fixed.