George Pelecanos to Curate 1970s Film Series at AFI Silver

The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is teaming up with Silver Spring-based author, producer, and screenwriter George Pelecanos to present a selection of unsung gems of popular 1970s cinema.

Eight films will be screened in the series, titled “George Pelecanos Presents“, which kicks off on Feb. 3 and runs through April 23. Pelecanos, who is curating the series, will introduce select shows.

“If the 1970s was the last decade of artistic, renegade Hollywood filmmaking, as some believe it to be, it was also true that it was a time of quality, under-the-radar B pictures and ‘programmers,’ Pelecanos said. “Our series explores films of the ’70s that have enjoyed a growing reputation amongst film buffs, movies which were originally looked upon as disposable entertainment to many in the cinema’s critical establishment.

“We’ll look at prime examples of actioners, car films, Blaxploitation and populism that were made for the very working- and middle-class audiences who lived in the world that the films’ characters inhabited,” Pelecanos continued. “Like the Poverty Row noirs of decades past, out of low budgets and low expectations came a kind of tarnished art.

“Written by masters like Elmore Leonard and Paul Schrader, adapted from source material by respected authors such as Donald Westlake and Jack Schaefer and directed by now-revered helmers like Don Siegel, Phil Karlson, John Flynn and Michael Schultz, here is a group of films fondly remembered by audiences lucky enough to have seen them in movie theaters at the time of their release. Many of them were shown in the old Silver Theatre, long before AFI arrived. We’re pleased to bring them back to the big screen.”

Pelecanos, who lives in East Silver Spring, is best known for his work as a writer and producer on The Wire, Treme, The Deuce, and We Own This City, as well as his prolific career as a novelist.

Photo: © wjarek –

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