Repertory Picks

Cruel Youth in London

This evening, at 7:30, we’re copresenting a screening of English theater legend Peter Brook’s 1963 Lord of the Flies at the Regent Street Cinema in London’s West End. An adaptation of William Golding’s classic novel, the film hews closely to the letter of its source material, following a band of English schoolboys whose plane has crashed, leaving them stranded on a remote desert island, where relations among them soon devolve into chaos and violence. Filling out his cast with young amateurs, and shooting in a documentary-inspired style, Brook instilled the sobering allegorical tale with a palpable sense of immediacy and volatility, bringing the alarming message of the book—that the veneer of civilization is paper-thin and easily torn asunder—into stark relief. While faithful to the “mythic quality” of the book as well as its plot, Brook “also added an extra, more literal dimension,” writes critic Geoffrey Macnab in his liner essay for our release of the film, the “tale of lost innocence” finally doubling as “a minutely focused case study of the behavior of kids in the wilderness.”

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