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IF…

Director: LINDSAY ANDERSON

U.K. • 1968 • COLOUR/BLACK AND WHITE • 112 MIN


To coincide with the release of Never Apologize (Malcolm McDowell’s intriguing portrait of Lindsay Anderson), here’s a chance to see the pair’s most famous and successful collaboration. One of the key British films of the 1960s and a prize-winner at the Cannes Film Festival, If… was filmed at Anderson’s old school, Cheltenham College, which was not made privy to the full nature of its iconoclasm. The film’s savage satire of English public school life struck a very resonant chord in the year of student uprisings. Its image of the rebellious public schoolboy Mick Travis (McDowell, terrific in this debut film role), armed to the teeth on the chapel roof, became a treasured icon for disaffected youth. If… rails against the debilitating class system which was Anderson’s recurring bête noire, and, winding its exhilarating way between black-and-white and colour sequences, it exposes hypocrisy in school, church and the military. It remains Anderson’s key denunciation of the ills of British society as he persistently saw them.

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