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20th Century Flicks:

Five Easy Pieces

Dir: Bob Rafelson, 1970, USA, 96 mins, 35mm, Cert: 15

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Thu 13 July // 20:00

Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession)

Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson) is a disaffected blue collar labourer who, when not working in the Southern California oil fields, divides his time between cheap womanising, bowling with his good ol’ boy friend Elton, and pouring cruel scorn on his ditzy waitress girlfriend Rayette (Karen Black). However, when news reaches him that his father is seriously ill, Bobby is forced to make a road trip back to his eccentric upper-class family and confront the privileged past which he abandoned many years before.

Arriving the year after his breakout role in Easy RiderFive Easy Pieces confirmed Jack Nicholson as the weary but restless embodiment of the tumult of the decade to come, and stands as one of the key works from BBS Productions, the production company which would define the changing face of American cinema in the counterculture period. With a soundtrack which blends Tammy Wynette and Chopin, this emotionally resonant study of class identity and the American Dream remains one of the abiding classics of the New Hollywood.