States Of Danger And Deceit: The Day Of The Jackal

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STATES OF DANGER AND DECEIT:EUROPEAN POLITICAL THRILLERS IN THE 1970sis a touring season of films curated by Andy Willis, Reader in Film Studies at the University of Salford and Senior Visiting Curator: Film at HOME, Manchester, presented as part of BFI THRILLER with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.The ideological turmoil that marked the late 1960s and led to events such as May 68 in Paris gave way in the 1970s to a more strident politics that involved stark contrasts between left and right. During this period those within the establishment and those without seemed willing to act with violence to force the changes they sought for society. In response to this political moment a number of European filmmakers turned to the format of the thriller - sometimes seriously, sometimes with humour - offering as it did the opportunity to explore conspiracies, authoritarian regimes, and political violence.The Day Of The JackalIn 1971, Frederick Forsythe shot to bestseller status with his debut novel, The Day of the Jackal - taut, utterly plausible, almost documentarian in its realism and attention to detail. Two years later, director Fred Zinnemann (High Noon) turned a gripping novel into a nail-biting cinematic experience.August 1962: the latest attempt on the life of French President Charles de Gaulle by the far right paramilitary organisation, the OAS, ends in chaos, with its architect-in-chief dead at the hands of a firing squad. Demoralised and on the verge of bankruptcy, the OAS leaders meet in secret to plan their next move. In a last desperate attempt to eliminate de Gaulle, they opt to employ the services of a hired assassin from outside the fold. Enter the Jackal (Edward Fox, Gandhi): charismatic, calculating, cold as ice. As the Jackal closes in on his target, a race against the clock ensues to identify and put a stop to a killer whose identity, whereabouts and modus operandi are completely unknown.Co-starring a plethora of talent from both sides of the Channel, including Michael Lonsdale (Munich), Derek Jacobi (The Odessa File) and Cyril Cusack (1984) and featuring striking cinematography by Jean Tournier (Moonraker), The Day of the Jackal remains one of the greatest political thrillers of all time.Director: Fred ZinnemannGB/France 1973Cast: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel AuclairRun time: 140 minsPart of States of Danger and Deceit: European Political Thrillers in the 1970s, a touring season presented by HOME, Manchester. Programme curated by Andy Willis, Reader in Film Studies at the University of Salford and Senior Visiting Curator: Film at HOME, produced by Rachel Hayward, HOMEs Film Programme Manager, and coordinated by Jessie Gibbs, HOME Film Team. Presented with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

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