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DAVID AND LISA

USA, 1962 (MIFF 1963)

Director: Frank Perry

David and Lisa is an independently produced American film, which was shot entirely on location over a period of twenty five days in April, 1962. lt is the first film by Frank Perry, a young American stage director. Valid and moving, it deals with a school for adolescents who are mentally sick; in particular it deals with David who cannot bear the touch of another human being, and a girl called Lisa, who suffers from schizophrenia.

In a simple classical style, far removed from gimmickry and refreshingly free from psycho-jargon, the director chronicles the gradual contact established between Lisa and David and between David and his doctor. The nature of the adolescents' psychoses, the manoeuvres by which they tentatively draw near to each other, and their first steps towards recovery are elucidated with skill and art. The performances contain ambiguities and contradictions hinting at qualities below the surface. Janet Margolin appears lo be sensitively aware of the requirements of the script. Keir Dullea, previously seen in The Hoodlum Priest, has the knife-like frigid presence that shows he fears any human emotions. The director's handling of these actors, his tact, taste and insight have given us an incisive and original film. Awards: Best New Director, Venice Festival; Best Actor and Actress, San Francisco Festival.

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