Tuesday, February 12

Special Engagements ArchiveCinema in Context (previous events)

Cinema in Context: The Ipcress File

Cinema in Context with Jill Lepore

1965 • dir Sidney J. Furie w/Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson • 109 min • 35mm

Michael Caine stars as Len Deighton’s low-level secret agent Harry Palmer in this spectacular spy thriller. Much to his surprise, Palmer is brought in to lead an investigation into the brainwashing of several top scientists but soon begins to suspect that he is being used as a pawn by his superiors. A bracing antidote to the flights of fancy in the James Bond films, Caine’s Palmer is a cultured but criminally-inclined working-class spy who lives in a dingy flat rather than a swank bachelor pad.

JILL LEPORE is a professor of American history at Harvard University, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and an award-winning author. Much of her scholarship explores absences and asymmetries in the historical record, with a particular emphasis on the histories and technologies of evidence and of privacy. As a wide-ranging and prolific essayist, Lepore writes about American history, law, literature, and politics. Her latest book is These Truths: A History of the United States (2018).

CINEMA IN CONTEXT is a new periodic program at the Brattle Theatre that will explore the ways in which films can be used to examine topics in the social sciences, and also serve as historical documents themselves that construct our understanding of culture and society. Each screening will be preceded by a presentation from a scholar or expert, with the aim of deepening our understanding of the work and addressing how it reflects popular ideas of socio-cultural issues in fields ranging from anthropology and history to politics and the economy.

“Michael Caine is the epitome of Sixties cool in his first outing as the secret agent Harry Palmer.” – Kate Muir, Times (UK)

“Caine’s star-quality and absolute ease in front of the camera are fully formed.” – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Ticket Information:

Click a showtime to purchase tickets:

Tuesday 2/12
at 7:30 PM

Brattle passes accepted. Special, Usher, and Producer members may reserve seats in advance [instructions]. Regular & Dual Members may redeem passes at the box office pending availability.