Tag Archives: Free Cinema

‘La Strada’ and the neo-realism movement – a post-screening discussion at BFI Southbank Jan 2020

We are pleased to present Mamoun Hassan’s discussion following the 2020 London screening of Federico Fellini’s La Strada, (Italy, 1954). In his conversation with David Somerset of the BFI, Mamoun provides an insight into the national cinema known as Italian neorealism – a movement characterised by stories set amongst the hardships of post-war Italian society. Touching on questions around whether a film can be real, or is always artificial, Mamoun refers to the work of several other neorealist film-makers: Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Vittorio De Sica, Cesare Zavattini – Screenwriter, and Gillo Pontecorvo.

He also touches on their influence on the British ‘neorealists’ of the Free Cinema movement:  Tony Richardson, Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson.

An audience Q&A follows.

The film was shown at the British Film Institute BFI Southbank in January 2020. It was voted by the Director’s poll of 2012 as one of the greatest movies of all time. The edit is interspersed with some great clips of the master’s work – enjoy!


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Panel discussion on Lindsay Anderson at the BFI Southbank, curated by David Somerset

Mamoun Hassan appeared recently at the British Film Institute’s Seniors talk on the work of  film, television and stage director, critic and actor Lindsay Anderson (1923 – 1994) at the National Film Theatre, Southbank, London March 14 2016. The panel event was curated by David Somerset, Adult Community Education Programmer. Filmed by Sherief Hassan and edited by David Somerset. The video opens with a clip from Free Cinema 1956 – ?’An Essay on film by Lindsay Anderson (1985).

Mamoun writes

Nowadays Lindsay Anderson, if he is remembered at all, is equally loved and disliked by film makers, film critics and writers. Not so in the late 50s, 60s and 70s. He was almost wholly admired not only for his films and theatre work but also for his writings on cinema, which were incendiary. Of course, he had his detractors, who often belonged to the establishment: the successful, the comfortable, the conformist, the smug and the paralysed conservatives. He argued and carried the flame for an authentic British cinema. He influenced a whole generation of film makers and critics. He was cerebral, emotional, provocative, censorious, intimidating, generous, inspiring. Never before had a British film director spoken with such clarity about what we should make films about and how we might make them – about style. Critics tend to belabour the genre, as if audiences can’t tell the difference between a hand and a hacksaw, between a musical and a thriller. They avoid the responsibility that Lindsay stressed: that good cinema grows out of good criticism – not of Hollywood ‘product’ but of our own films. Passion and insight start at home.

Legendary film critic David Robinson, chairman of the Lindsay Anderson Memorial Foundation, chairs a panel consisting of Kevin Brownlow, director, writer, editor and Oscar-winning film historian, Charles Drazin, author and film critic, Andrew Eaton, film producer, and me. We speak of the man we knew and sometimes worked with and of his films.

Mamoun Hassan

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Introduction to ‘This Sporting Life’

Mamoun was invited by David Somerset, education curator at the British Film Institute, to introduce a screening of Lindsay Anderson‘s ‘This Sporting Life‘ at the National Film Theatre in London on 6th August 2012.

The event wasn’t filmed, but we have created this short video to accompany the audio recording made on the day.

Lindsay Gordon Anderson was an Indian-born, British feature film, theatre and documentary director, film critic, and leading light of the Free Cinema movement and the British New Wave. Wikipedia

Copyright©Mamoun Hassan 2012


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by | December 31, 2012 · 6:09 pm