Restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in 2012, director Shirley Clarke’s feature-length debut, The Connection — a faithful adaptation of Jack Gelber’s 1959 stage play about a group of heroin addicts waiting nervously for a fix while a misguided young filmmaker attempts to document their behavior — provoked much controversy when it opened, with legal troubles and censorship ultimately ruining the promise of its original theatrical release. The Connection is now justly held in high regard, and its greatest strengths — the sweaty claustrophobia of a single New York location, drawn-out takes that acquire a real-time rhythm — would later resurface in Clarke’s extraordinary 1967 documentary, Portrait of Jason. Catch it at Nitehawk, with complimentary bourbon served at 8.
Tue., Feb. 25, 9:30 p.m., 2014
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