Film - Feature | November 24 | 7 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Michael Caine makes a fabulous cad as the randy playboy Alfie, but its the female leads who make a more lasting impression in this surprisingly candid study of British sexual and social mores just as the sixties began to really swing. Directly addressing the camera through pre- or post-coital confessionals, the casual misogynist Alfie serves up a lotharios list of dos and whos: married women are preferable conquests, unless theyre too mumsy; women are birds, or merely it, as in And it can cook, too. Hes a cad, all right, but is there a heart of gold hidden within? Is Every Man an Alfie? Ask Any Girl!!, pipped the ads, and its Alfies lovers (especially a tipsy Shelley Winters as a just-as-debauched wealthy woman) who provide the films best ripostes. Alfies offhand treatment of previously taboo themes like adultery and abortion shocked audiences, and prefigured the cultural revolution to come. Jazz legend Sonny Rollins contributed the films relaxed, breezy score.
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