When they starred together in The French Lieutenant’s Woman in 1981, Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons were not yet the movie icons we know them as today. Though Streep had already won a best supporting actress Oscar for Kramer vs. Kramer and Irons was a well-regarded stage and television actor, this major adaptation of John Fowles’s acclaimed best seller, directed by Karel Reisz—who’d cofounded the legendary Free Cinema movement in England in the fifties and whose Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was one of the most important films of the British New Wave of the sixties—gave them their first big-screen leading roles. In this excerpt from a new interview program on our release of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, out this week, Streep and Irons remember the late Reisz’s gentle but effective directing style.
Digging Through Movie History at Chaplin’s Studios
Film scholar Craig Barron gives us a tour of the studios on whose back lot Charlie Chaplin built the set for his final film of the silent era, The Circus.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.