130 minutes, France-W. Germany-U.K., 1980, Colour, D-Cinema

This screening will be accompanied by a 4-minute film, Me the Seagull and the Sky.

Barely seen since its 1980 release, this welcome return for Bertrand Tavernier’s dystopian English-language sci-fi drama reveals a fascinating movie worthy of the description ‘visionary’. In what then passed for a vision of the near-future, science has eradicated sickness and disease, so the plight of terminally ill publisher Romy Schneider becomes a matter of public fascination – exploited live on TV by reporter Harvey Keitel, who pursues his prey while she’s unaware he’s transmitting pictures from an implanted micro-camera.

Astonishingly prescient in its themes of privacy, media ownership and voyeurism – all unfolding against a backdrop of ongoing class-war protest – the action takes place in a startlingly ravaged pre-regeneration Glasgow, which strikingly offsets the central performances from full-on Keitel and the captivatingly melancholy presence of Schneider. As a tragic romance unfolds between them, Tavernier captures a palpable intimacy which lends the film an affecting human dimension alongside its provocative and insightful ideas. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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