Desperate Characters: The Cinema of Frank & Eleanor Perry

A pair of true independents, New York-born director Frank Perry and his screenwriter wife Eleanor burst onto the film scene in 1962 with their low-budget David and Lisa, a sleeper sensation and the rare indie to garner Oscar nominations. With a sensitivity and subtlety worthy of Jean Renoir—who was, unsurprisingly, a fan—the film set the template for their remarkable collaborations: character studies and allegories that expressed the discontents of the modern world. Although they went their separate ways in 1971, Perry remained attentive to stories about women and their frustrations in a number of subsequent films, providing strong lead roles for the likes of Faye Dunaway, Susan Sarandon, Tuesday Weld, and more.

Often working at the edge of the studio system, these underrated American filmmakers and New York originals deserve their due—and the Quad is pleased to help correct the record with this comprehensive retrospective.

“Let this vital, must-see retrospective at the Quad be the beginning of a serious conversation about this most wonderful, complex, and undervalued of cinematic partnerships.” – Village Voice

Past Screenings