Uniquely intersecting the realm of documentary and narrative cinema, The Savage Eye pairs three innovative filmmakers (Joseph Strick, Ben Maddow and Sidney Meyers) with three stellar cinematographers (Haskell Wexler, Helen Levitt and Jack Couffer) to create a snapshot of late-1950s American life in transition. This masterpiece of vérité filmmaking, culled from discordant materials yet remarkably unified in a fictive context, remains as compelling today as the year of its initial release. We present The Savage Eye with Joseph Strick’s earliest documentary short, Muscle Beach, both beautifully restored by the Academy Film Archive. (Jonathan Marlow)
Prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.