John Guare and the Movies

At a recent celebration of playwright John Guare’s remarkable career, Tony Kushner said “His plays, with an original combination of realism, dream state, psychopathology, vision, delusion, humor, compassion, grief, and terror map out the landscape of what life feels like in the here and now.” Indeed, with plays including The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, and Landscape of the Body, Guare transformed the American theater.

A long-time Greenwich Village resident, Guare wrote the screenplays for three memorable films: Atlantic City, Taking Off, and the adaptation of Six Degrees of Separation. Interestingly, all were directed by filmmakers who came to America from other countries: Louis Malle (France), Miloš Forman (Czechoslovakia) and Fred Schepisi (Australia). The collaborations were ideal; the directors’ fresh perspectives on American life meshed perfectly with John Guare’s imaginative and unique approach to realism, creating a special screen poetry. In addition to Guare’s three films as screenwriter, the series includes a selection by the playwright of one of his all-time favorite movies, Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 masterpiece Trouble in Paradise. Guare will be present for a conversation on Monday, March 27, following the screening of Atlantic City with series programmer David Schwartz.

March 27-30.

Past Screenings