Austin Film Society presents Essential Cinema: The Cinema of Patricia Highsmith

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Cate Blanchett in Carol
Photo courtesy of Austin Film Society

In a 1942 journal entry, Fort Worth-born author Patricia Highsmith proposes a New Year’s toast to her readers: “To all the devils, lusts, passions, greeds, envies, loves, hates, strange desires, enemies ghostly and real, the army of memories, with which I do battle — may they never give me peace.” True to this toast, her fictional works have given the world as perfect a panorama of all of these “devils”. And unsurprisingly, cinema artists around the world have found inspiration in her work ever since. This series presents a few of the very best adaptations of her work.

Featured films:

  • November 30 and December 4: Strangers on a Train - Patricia Highsmith’s novel about a casual murder pact between two men and its consequences provided a perfect subject for Alfred Hitchcock’s suspenseful style. This canonical classic stars Farley Granger and a perfectly-cast Robert Walker.
  • December 5 and 11: Purple Noon - Alain Delon makes an unforgettable splash as Patricia Highsmith’s amoral protagonist Tom Ripley in this improbably sun-drenched adaptation of her novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. Alternately seductive and diabolical, he finds new cinematic dimensions in the oft-filmed character.
  • December 14 and 16: The American Friend - ​Wim Wenders’ adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel Ripley's Game is a perfect intersection of the author’s themes and the filmmaker’s talents. Bruno Ganz and Dennis Hopper are memorable as two men whose lives and fortunes are brought together by greed.
  • December 21 and 23: Carol - Based upon the semi-autobiographical novel The Price Of Salt, written by Patricia Highsmith in 1952 and published pseudonymously, Carol tells the story of a love affair between two women in the benighted ’50s. Elegantly directed by Todd Haynes, this is a modern classic.

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AFS Cinema
6406 N. I-35 Frontage Rd. Suite 3100
Austin, TX 78752


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