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1971: The Year Hollywood Went Independent

Following the success of Easy Rider in the late 1960s, Hollywood was searching for the next big thing and gave the greenlight to outsiders, mavericks and cultural renegades.

1971 marked their peak.

Films like Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop (Universal), Alan J. Pakula’s Klute (Warner Bros.), Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces (Sony), Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller (Warner Bros.) and Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show (Sony), all released in 1971, reveal a parallel Hollywood universe of personal, complex, nuanced and countercultural cinema.

Women were key to this creative moment whether in front of the camera: Jane Fonda (who won Best Actress Oscar for Klute), Julie Christie (McCabe and Mrs Miller) and Cloris Leachman (who sadly passed away recently and won a Supporting Actress Oscar for The Last Picture Show); or behind the camera: Polly Platt (The Last Picture Show) and scriptwriter Carole Eastman (Five Easy Pieces).

From the perspective of 2021, these films give a glimpse of personal, complex, nuanced cinema before it was overshadowed by ‘the tentpole release’ business model, and they offer a unique perspective on America and American film.

Explore the programme below.

Two-Lane Blacktop - 12 September

Klute - 16 September

The Last Picture Show - 19 September

McCabe and Mrs Miller - 26 September

Five Easy Pieces - 30 September

Presented by Cinema Rediscovered and Park Circus as part of Cinema Rediscovered on Tour, a Watershed project with support from BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery and MUBI.

Films in this Season

Image for Five Easy Pieces + Introduction (15)
30 September

Five Easy Pieces + Introduction (15)

Rising star Jack Nicholson gave an extraordinary performance as shiftless 30-something oil rigger and former piano prodigy.

Image for McCabe and Mrs Miller + Introduction (15)
26 September

McCabe and Mrs Miller + Introduction (15)

Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller brilliantly reframed the entrenched values of the Western genre.

Image for The Last Picture Show (15)
19 September

The Last Picture Show (15)

A bittersweet slice-of-life masterpiece by Peter Bogdanovich, starring Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd

All Monday to Friday shows before 5pm have capacity capped at 50% (unless otherwise stated). All other screenings have full unlimited seating capacity (unless otherwise stated).

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