90 minutes, U.S.A., 1978, Colour, D-Cinema

Remade in 2005 by Jacques Audiard as The Beat that My Heart Skipped, James Toback’s debut features an incredible performance from Harvey Keitel as a talented pianist with a sideline working as a debt collector for his loan shark father. Carrying a stereo with him wherever he goes and in constant restless motion, the juxtaposition of Keitel’s highbrow aspirations with his low-level thuggishness is just one of the film’s many levels of bold contrast. 

While it’s not unusual for a director to come screaming out of the gates with a fantastic first film before settling into a steady decline, as happened with Toback, Fingers was a debut held in particular regard by Pete, who considered it to be something really special, and favoured it over Audiard’s retelling.

This film is screening as part of our special tribute season, dedicated to Pete Walsh (March 9th – 31st). 

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