BTL #13: American Gigolo// HOME, Manchester

Saturday 16th November 2019 at 12:45pm – Get Tickets


dir. Paul Schrader / Year: 1980 / Runtime: 117 minutes / Format: 35mm / Price: £7.50 / Tickets

One of the most stylish movies of the 1980s, Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo is known for its star-making turn from Richard Gere, Giorgio Armani tailoring and an iconic score by Giorgio Moroder — Blondie’s Call Me was written specifically for the film. Channelling influences as varied as Robert Bresson and Italian design, the writer behind Taxi Driver and Raging Bull folds elements of the erotic thriller and film noir into a typically probing, existentially-minded character study.

Gere plays a narcissistic male escort operating within the upper echelons of L.A. society, whose life is turned upside down when he becomes embroiled in a client’s murder and embarks on a tentative affair with a rich, married woman. Through an intriguing objectification of its male lead, American Gigolo explores the dichotomy between emotional detachment and the pleasures of style and excess that would come to define 1980s American cinema.

This 35mm screening will be introduced by film writer Christina Newland (Sight & Sound, Little White Lies, The Guardian), editor of the upcoming anthology She Found it at the Movies: Women Writers on Sex, Desire and Cinema (released March 2020 by Red Press).