There is always much for film lovers to celebrate at the annual Southend Film Festival (25-28 May 2018), but this year's promises to be very special indeed. Marking its own 10th edition, the festival will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Lindsay Anderson's seminal, Cannes Palm D'Or-winning if....
Famous for its depiction of a violent insurrection at a boys' public school, if.... echoed the political and social unrest in France, embodied by the student riots in Paris and revolutionary events in other countries, such as China, Cuba and Vietnam.
Such was its impact, that the film was X-rated on its release, aided all the more so by Malcolm McDowell's debut performance as the film's lead character, Mick. In fact, it was after seeing if.... that Stanley Kubrick cast McDowell as Alex in his 1971 film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange.
For the festival's opening gala night, there will be an official 50th anniversary screening of if.... with cast members David Wood, Brian Pettifer, and Richard Everett, plus the production team, joining festival-goers for a unique evening. The film also launched the career of Robin Askwith, who became a household name in the 1970's with his phenomenally successful - and saucy - Confessions films, and who will also attend the Gala Night.
Indeed, there is an air of nostalgia running throughout this year’s festival with some bona fide British classics enjoying an all-too rare screening, including A Taste of Honey, Thunderball and ground-breaking rockumentary, Slade in Flame.