Putney Swope - Enzian Theater

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Art House Theater Day

Putney Swope

New 50th Anniversary restoration as a part of Art House Theater Day, celebrating the legacy of independent theaters as advocates for cinema arts!

An unforgettable masterpiece of late-’60s counterculture, Robert Downey Sr.’s most popular film, Putney Swope, remains a vital provocation on race, pop culture, and America.

Putney Swope, the only African-American exec at his firm, is unexpectedly elected its president and turns the industry on its ear through a series of outrageous, taboo-busting TV commercials (strewn throughout the film like comedic landmines). As Swope becomes the Generalissimo of Madison Avenue, he fires the whiteys, replaces them with Black Power apostles, renames the company Truth and Soul, Inc., and proceeds to wreak politically incorrect havoc. Downey takes no prisoners and skewers the entire political spectrum. Essential viewing.

Restoration by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

This film is preceded by:
Vever (For Barbara)
Barbara Hammer Tribute

A cross-generational binding of three filmmakers seeking alternative possibilities to the power structures they are inherently part of. Each woman extends her reach to a subject she is outside of. Vever grew out of the abandoned film projects of Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer. Shot at the furthest point of a motorcycle trip Hammer took to Guatemala in 1975, and laced through with Deren’s reflections of failure, encounter and initiation in 1950s Haiti.

Putney Swope: USA, 1969, 84 minutes, Rated R, Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
Vever: 2019, 12 minutes, Not Rated, Directed by Deborah Stratman

  • In Honor of
  • AHTD
  • “Funny, sophomoric, brilliant, obscene, disjointed, marvelous, unintelligible, and relevant. If anybody tries to improve it, they should be sentenced.”

    – Vincent Canby, New York Times
  • "I just think [Downey’s] one of our great American directors."

    – Paul Thomas Anderson
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