Spring Night, Summer Night - the amazing lost & found Appalachian Indie Drama restored!!

Jan 19 to Jan 20
Saturday and Sunday 3:30, 5:45, 8pm

J.L. Anderson - 1967 - 82m

BONUS!  Former Guild Cinema co-owner and now Film Restorationist Peter Conheim will be in person for talk/Q&A !!

It took half a century, but a “missing link” of American independent cinema has finally been fully reconstructed, restored and returns to the screen – after being unceremoniously bumped from the 1968 New York Film Festival, and then re-invited and premiering there 50 years later in 2018. SPRING NIGHT, SUMMER NIGHT is the astoundingly beautiful work of director and film scholar Joseph L. Anderson (and his working partner and former student, Franklin Miller), filmed in 1965 in rural Southern Ohio in shimmering 35mm black and white - an entry into a fledgling “New Appalachian Cinema” movement which would never take hold. As preserved by the support of filmmaker and collector Nicolas Winding Refn (http://www.byNWR.com) and supervised by the team at Cinema Preservation Alliance, this stunning 4K restoration of SPRING NIGHT, SUMMER NIGHT from the original camera negative brings a film into the light which has effectively been lost since initial release.

"SPRING NIGHT brings an earthy poetry to its death trap portrait of small town America.  In the clamor at the family dinner table, Carl (Ted Heimerdinger) and Jessie (Larue Hall), the eldest children in an extended brood, see the grinding trajectory of their lives laid out: from carefree youth to embittered adulthood to forgotten old age.  Both, secretly, hungering for escape, they rebel against the ties that bind them to this place and to each other through an illicit act of love that brings both tender and traumatic consequences.  Through these young ill-fated lovers and the hardscrabble world around them, Anderson captures in almost ethnographic detail the postwar bust of the Appalachians where regrets and recriminations are soaked in Blatz and fuel a pernicious rumor mill.  This last, seemingly the town’s last booming industry, ironically offers Carl and Jessie a glimmer of hope in their impossible situation (they may not actually be related).

The galvanizing effect of Anderson’s lone directing credit comes not only from the power of his images and themes, but also from the mere fact of its existence.  Writing in Sight & Sound, Archive senior preservationist Ross Lipman situates Spring Night along with Kent MacKenzie’s The Exiles (1961), Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970), Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep (1979), and Billy Woodberry’s Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) to expand what he describes as “an unknown and completely accidental—but surprisingly coherent—body of American neo-realism.”  Village Voice, on the other hand, declared it “the missing link between Shadows and The Last Picture Show.”  Dropped from the line-up of the 1968 New York Film Festival in favor of John Cassavetes’ Faces and with no other options for distribution, the film was picked up by exploitation distributor Joseph Brenner who tacked on some nude scenes and released a bastardized version under the title Miss Jessica is Pregnant.  The restored version screening here is Anderson’s original cut, ready to take its place, finally, among the pantheon of American independent cinema."  —Paul Malcolm, UCLA FILM & TELEVISION ARCHIVE

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Spring Night, Summer Night - the amazing lost & found Appalachian Indie Drama restored!! poster