Repertory Picks

A Kitchen-Sink Classic in London

Next Monday and Thursday evenings, the British Film Institute will give Londoners a chance to take in Tony Richardson’s A Taste of Honey (1961), showing as part of the monthlong series Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema. Toward the end of the 1950s, after cutting his teeth in television and finding success in the theater, Richardson turned his attention to cinema, cofounding Woodfall Films, an outfit whose combustible brand of social realism helped define the British New Wave. A daring portrayal of race, class, and sexuality, A Taste of Honey was Woodfall’s fourth production, and its first to feature a female protagonist, played by then-newcomer Rita Tushingham in a remarkably naturalistic, Cannes award–winning performance. As scholar Colin MacCabe writes in his liner essay for our edition of Honey, the actor “was to become one of the major stars of British cinema in the sixties . . . but the spiky, vulnerable Jo is undoubtedly her most memorable role.” Fans unable to attend next week’s screenings need not worry: the BFI, which in May will release an eight-disc Woodfall box set on both Blu-ray and DVD, will show the film twice more before the month is out.

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