The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque will kick off the 2014 ADG Film Series with a special screening of the 1967 British psychological thriller The Prisoner, designed by Jack Shampan, on April 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre.
Patrick McGoohan created, directed and starred in the unique story of a spy who resigns, but is too dangerous to be set free. The Prisoner demanded a very special world, much of it found in the otherworldly Portmeirion, a private city built of architectural relics on the coast of Wales.
“It all began in 1960, with British TV’s Dangerman – 30 minutes of gritty film noir,” said production designer John Muto, founder and co-chair of the ADG Film Series. “More detective than spy adventure, the program starred Patrick McGoohan, the charismatic actor who’s said to have passed on the role of James Bond. Dangerman, (re-titled Secret Agent in America), ran most of the decade. Meanwhile the first Bond feature, Dr. No, revolutionized the look of the spy film inspiring shows from The Avengers to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. At the end of the spy cycle, McGoohan, like his character, quit the espionage business and came roaring back – creating possibly the most mind-bending of all miniseries.”
The evening will begin with actress Catherine McGoohan, daughter of Patrick McGoohan, who will discuss her memories of Portmeirion and the making of The Prisoner. The program will present two notable episodes: “Arrival” (1968), setting the story and the world, and “The Schizoid Man” (1967) in which McGoohan battles his doppelganger.
Film clips tracing the decade of the sixties in film and TV design will be discussed by Alex McDowell, designer of Man of Steel and Watchmen, and director of the USC World Building Media Lab; and Arnold Schwartzman, Oscar-winning documentarian, director and graphic designer.
Muto will moderate the program. “The 2013 ADG Film Society/American Cinematheque Screening Series was a great success,” said Muto. “In 2014, we’ve put together another – possibly even more eclectic and challenging – slate of films, for everyone who loves and is fascinated by great film design.”