Our fourth and final screen event features the satirical comedy The Rebel starring Tony Hancock, who gives up his office job to become an abstract artist. He has a lot of enthusiasm, but little talent, and critics scorn his work. Nevertheless, he impresses an emerging very talented artist and following a comedic turn of events continues to defend his “art”.
Written as a commentary on the clash of the bourgeois and bohemian cultures, the Hancock’s Half-Hour writing team continued to develop anti-intellectual themes within the already established format
David Sharp (BFI Screen online) states “in this film, comic rebellion places artists as the antithesis of workers and there is a kind of lazy shorthand at work that conflates artists with Paris, existentialism, angry young men, beatniks and beat poets. Cod philosophical discussions of what art is about permeate the film, but this reflects the times accurately and allows Hancock to get in his “You’re all raving mad” catch phrase as he quits the exhibition and its phony artists, artworks and monied hangers-on. The coda has him remaining true to himself, re-creating the Aphrodite statue once more, now with Irene Handl as his model. In an absurdist echo down the years, Aphrodite and the other works seen in the film were re-created by the London Institute of Pataphysics in 2002. Hancock would have loved the irony.”
Doors open 7.45pm, Film 8pm, Close 11pm
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