>’The Sixites’ by Jenny Diski

>I’m reading a book called The Sixties by Jenny Diski. The book is one of many from the series “BIG IDEAS//small books.” I read this paragraph from the book and completely fell in love with Diski’s immense detail and appreciation for film.

I really fell for this in part because I felt something like that after seeing Pierrot le fou at the cinema all alone, just sheer excitement. Beyond that, to love a film enough to see it time afterwards in theatres is an absolutely dynamite feeling.

“Now I filled the gaps of the past at the National Film Theatre, goign to classic silents and Hollywood marvels of the Thirties and Forties. In addition, there was an entirely new cinema to me, from Europe and beyond, to discover. Godard, Fellini, Antonioni, Bergman, Kurosawa, Ozu, Ray, Truffaut, Malle, Pasolini, Polanski, Jiri Menzel. They mattered enough for me to take illicit afternoons off school in order to get to the first matinee showing of 8 1/2 or The Silence at the crucial Academy Cinema in Oxford Street, where I’d sit in the smoky auditorium with fifteen or so other film fanatics, and one or two flashers, overwhelmed by the potent sexual narratives and social critiques, Marxist, psychoanalytic, libertarian or simply different and, to me, astonishing. I absorbed the complexities of relationship, and spiritual or cultural emptiness, played out in tones of grey, with echoes of poets, writers and philosophers. Godard’s intensely charming, hopeless and crazy about love film, Pierrot le fou, had me returning eight times during its run. I couldn’t take my eyes off a single frame, or miss one step of Monica Vitti’s slow, despairing walks through the blighted urban wasteland in Antonioni’s Red Desert. I wept sometimes with exaltation, sometimes rage, at the visions coming at me form the Academy screen. And, let me say, all this lived quite easily with my despair at my unsatisfactory hair and concern for the precise shortness of my skirt.”


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