Double-crossed by a brother who’s just faked his own death, Joey Norton hops a train out of the big city and hides out amid the hordes of Coney Island. In fairness, Joey is a seven-year-old Brooklyn kid. His brother Lennie is sick of having him tagging along. So with a little bit of ketchup and help from his pals, Lennie pranks Joey into believing that he’s been shot dead. Over the course of a blistering summer day and night, Joey wanders through the swarming masses and takes in the sights, smells, and other sensations the boardwalk has to offer, all the while accompanied by Eddy Manson’s wraithlike harmonica score.
As captured by famed street photographer and native Brooklynite Morris Engel with a customized 35mm camera—admired by Stanley Kubrick and Jean-Luc Godard alike—Little Fugitive offers an electrifying, palpably real portrait of a Coney Island now long gone. Bridging the gap between genre cinema, neorealism, and the American and European independent scenes to come in its wake, Little Fugitive is a landmark at the crossroads of film history. Another Kubrick connection: after Engel’s film won the Silver Lion in Venice, it was picked up for U.S. distribution by Joseph Burstyn, who the same year released Kubrick’s debut feature Fear and Desire. “Our New Wave would never have come into being if it hadn’t been for Morris Engel’s fine movie. It showed us the way.”—François Truffaut
New 35mm print.
An Artists Public Domain/Cinema Conservancy Release. Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Film Foundation and The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Fund.
Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members | Price includes both films on double-bill | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online