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Get lucky at the Grand Illusion!

You have exactly one night left to catch a young Malcolm McDowell in Lindsay Anderson's classic paean to freedom and youth, If.... My friends have described it as everything from a "magic-less Harry Potter" to "weird." I say it's magnificently constructed, and though it is most certainly a product of a very specific time and place, it contains truths that are timeless. Society and traditional institutions will always attempt to repress individuality and divergent ways of thinking. It's as true now as in 1933 when Jean Vigo made Zero for Conduct, upon which If..., from 1968, is loosely based. The style, freely mixing color and black and white photography, reality and fantasy, may throw some people for a loop, but to me it's absolutely in service of the overall meaning. It was an exciting time for film in which experimentation was still highly regarded. If you miss at the Grand Illusion, do yourself a favor and rent it. But don't miss O Lucky Man, starting Friday. It's a sequel of sorts to If... and has McDowell reprising his lead role and co-stars Helen Mirren! I have yet to see this one because it is currently only available on VHS, and I'm holding out to see it in higher quality and in its proper aspect ratio. Luckily the non-profit, all-volunteer Grand Illusion, unlike some Seattle institutions that project video of revival classics (shame on you!), will be showing this on glorious 35mm film. Don't miss it! Here's a list of men who at one time I thought were women: Lindsay Anderson Carol Reed Evelyn Waugh Janet Reno