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The Class

UK, 1961 (MIFF 1962)

Director: John Schlesinger

A close-up of the work of a class in a drama school and of the methods used to train the aspiring actors and actresses. John Schlesinger's command of the particular directing technique required is such that the film appears to have been made spontaneously during the forty minutes or so of the single class. In fact, it needed a week's shooting and a considerable amount of preparation in order to give this impression. The tutor (Harold Lang) uses the Mercy Speech from "The Merchant of Venice" as a starting point in an improvisation by the students. Originally made for the B.B.C. Television programme "Monitor", it is exciting to watch a production in the hands of a dedicated artist.

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