James Dean Double-Bill

Over 60 years after his premature death in 1955, James Dean’s legacy endures: Hollywood pin-up, icon of teenage disillusionment, subject of fan obsession. Theories still abound as to his sexuality – gay, straight, bisexual? On the weekend of Eastbourne Pride, join us for an afternoon of exploration.

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
+ introduction by Dr Frances Smith – 1.30pm

Dir: Nicholas Ray, 1944 (PG) 105m

Nicholas Ray’s juvenile-delinquent film (originally a vehicle for Marlon Brando) opened after the death of its star James Dean in a car crash and made Dean into an icon of rebellion. The storyline takes place over a 24-hour period and follows Jim Stark (Dean), a restless teenager always in trouble with the law.

University of Sussex’s Dr Frances Smith, whose published work includes Rethinking the Hollywood Teen Movie, will introduce the film, exploring the fan obsession and sexuality speculation that continues to surround Dean.

COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN 
+ introduction by Dr Michael Lawrence – 4.15pm

Dir: Robert Altman, 1982 (15) 109m

The disciples of a James Dean fan club reunite at a Texas five and dime to commemorate twenty years since the death of the star’s death, just down the road from where Dean classic Giant was shot. Directed by the award-winning Robert Altman, based on Ed Graczyk’s 1976 flop broadway play, Cher gives a breakout performance as the sharp-tongued waitress Sissy, alongside Oscar-winners Sandy Dennis and Kathy Bates, and Robert Altman regular, Karen Black.

The film will be introduced by Dr Michael Lawrence, Head of Film Studies at the University of Sussex, who will discuss the film’s representation of fandom and femininity.

Presented in association with the School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex

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