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Five Easy Pieces

Director: Bob Rafelson Run Time: 98 min. Format: DCP Rating: R Release Year: 1970

Starring: Billy Green Bush, Fannie Flagg, Jack Nicholson, Karen Black

A brilliant film about escaping your past, hating your present, and being fearful of the future while attempting to embrace life to the fullest.

Introduction for the Friday night screening by artist and filmmaker, Aïda Ruilova.

Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Robert in Five Easy Pieces, an upper class man who has left it all behind for a working class existence, is uncomfortable, riveting, and a bit devastating. His constant struggle to distract himself with who he is and where he might be going (whether with girls, booze, or working in an oil field) makes him one mean fellow. Scenes such as the infamous diner order or the intimate conversation with his father make him relatable but that all comes crashing down at the end.

Stand by your man. Karen Black plays Robert’s beautiful but overly eager girlfriend Rayette, an aspiring singer who begs her man to love her when she probably shouldn’t.

Part of The Works: Karen Black retrospective series.