ZKM FilmIsle – Films by Elaine May
A large screen with people in chairs in front of it outside under green trees.
Without audience – NEVERTHELESS
Thu, September 30, 2021 7 pm CEST, Film Screening

Please note: the event will take place in the ZKM Lecture Hall.

ZKM is showing two films by director
Elaine May.

Elaine May's oeuvre is significant in several ways. She is an actress, screenwriter and director. Celebrated by Broadway audiences as part of a comedy duo with Mike Nichols, praised to the skies by critics for her first films »The New Leaf« (1971) – in which she also starred – and »The Heartbreak Kid« (1972), her career as a filmmaker already took a turn with her third work, the gritty gangster film »Mikey and Nicky« (1976) with the two wonderful leading actors and friends John Cassavetes and Peter Falk, later Inspector Columbo. Due to the patriarchal structures in Hollywood, she repeatedly had disagreements with producers and therefore had to work extraordinarily successfully as a screenwriter, but in secret. She is one of the few true authors in Hollywood, namely writer, director and actress in her films. Her problem was only that the mass media and the mainstream could not follow her mastery of genre development and variation. She was at the mercy of the incompetence of film critics and the masses they manipulated. It was only through the films of a Quentin Tarantino and others decades later that the ground was prepared for an understanding of her work.

But her will to assert herself has paid off, albeit somewhat belatedly: Not only did she, as a woman in the 1970s film industry, make an important mark on the emerging feminist movements. After years of working in secret as a successful screenwriter, in recent years her films have finally received the public recognition they lacked: more and more retrospectives of Elaine May films are being shown, the films are available on streaming platforms, her work has already received several awards – most recently an honorary Oscar 2021 for her »bold, uncompromising approach to filmmaking, as a writer, director and actress«.

The films will be shown in English-language original sound.



19 – 19:15 UhrIntroduction (in German)
19:15 – 21:05 Uhr»Mikey & Nicky«
21:05 – 21:15 UhrBreak
21:15 – 23:05 Uhr»Ishtar«
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe