if.... (Anderson, 1968): Barbican Cinema, 8.15pm
To celebrate 100 years of the Critics’ Circle, the oldest organisation of its kind in the world, the Barbican are screening the series The Film That Changed My Life. Tonight's movie is introduced by Time Out film editor Dave Calhoun.
Chicago Reader review:
Lindsay Anderson indulges his taste for social allegory
with a tale of a repressive boys' school rocked by student
revolutionaries who listen to African music. Though clearly about Mother
England and her colonies, the film found its popular success, in that
distant summer of 1969, in being taken quite literally. Anderson
deserves credit for sniffing out the cryptofascist side of the student
movement, and his presentation of oppression—sexual and social—is very
forceful. Yet the film finally succumbs to its own abstraction with an
ending that satisfies neither symbolism nor wish fulfillment.
Here is an extract.