Free Screening: A New Leaf

Elaine May's 1971 fantastic feature debut is a blackly comic treat well worth rediscovery. Watch it Grassmarket Community Project on 19th May!

Free Screening: A New Leaf

About Free Screening: A New Leaf

A New Leaf (1971)

Elaine May’s wonderfully odd black-comedy about Henry (Walter Matthau), a broke socialite, who is set to lose his family inheritance to his duplicitous Uncle Harry (James Coco) unless he can repay a $50,000 loan in 6 weeks. Opting to marry a wealthy heiress Henry searches, with increasing desperation, for just the right mark. Henrietta (Elaine May), a painfully shy botany professor fits the bill. Marrying her is easy, but gaining control of her fortune proves far more elusive to the ever-conniving Henry.

Elaine May, the former comic partner of Mike Nichols (The Graduate) is one of American cinema’s finest comedy filmmakers. This writer-director film debut came at a time when New Hollywood was reasserting the patriarchal power structures of Old Hollywood within newly independent production companies. It still stands as one of the sharpest and funniest comedies of the era and this screening is a fitting celebration of a woman filmmaker trailblazer who turned 89 just last month.

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