A sensitive chronicler of outsiders, outcasts, and dreamers searching for human connection, John Schlesinger flourished first as part of the British New Wave of the sixties and then in the New American Cinema of the seventies. Beginning his film career as an actor and documentarian—experiences that would inform his masterful handling of performers and hone his keen sense of naturalism—Schlesinger emerged as one of the leaders of the “kitchen sink” school of British realism with his narrative debut, A KIND OF LOVING, and classics like BILLY LIAR and DARLING. He went on to make some of the most daring and exciting films of the era, including the X-rated Academy Award winner MIDNIGHT COWBOY, the taboo-shattering bisexual romance SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY (a landmark of queer representation by an openly gay filmmaker), and the intense thriller MARATHON MAN. Featuring career-high performances from frequent stars like Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman, and Peter Finch, these films stand as humane portraits of the changing gender, sexual, and social dynamics of Schlesinger’s time.
Directed by John Schlesinger • 1963 • United Kingdom
Starring Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie
Tom Courtenay gives a flawlessly nuanced performance as Billy Fisher, the underachieving undertaker’s assistant whose constant daydreams and truth-deficient stories earn him the nickname “Billy Liar.” Jul...