Time of the Heathen – 4K Restoration

Peter Kass · 1961
76min · 4K DCP
  • Saturday, Jul 27, 2024, 2:15pm
  • Saturday, Jul 27, 2024, 6:30pm
  • Sunday, Jul 28, 2024, 6:15pm
  • Tuesday, Jul 30, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Saturday, Aug 3, 2024, 4:15pm
  • Sunday, Aug 4, 2024, 6:30pm

A “lost” marvel of independent filmmaking, TIME OF THE HEATHEN is set in the immediate shadow of the atomic bomb, yet narrativized through the groundbreaking aesthetics and shifting racial politics of the 1960s. Directed by Peter Kass, best known for his pathbreaking work in the New York theater world, and strikingly lensed by visual artist and avant-garde filmmaker Ed Emshwiller, HEATHEN is a major discovery for even the most well-versed cinephiles.

Emerging from the void, mysterious drifter Gaunt (THE STING’s John Heffernan) wanders the upstate countryside in a daze with only his bible for company. But after happening upon the murder of a local female housekeeper at the hands of a rural deviant, Gaunt soon finds himself framed for the attack. Forced to flee deeper into the woods with the only witness to the crime — the woman’s young, deaf mute son Jesse — the pair forge a complex bond that culminates in one of cinema’s most memorable, psychedelic, and unclassifiable endings.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive and Lightbox Film Center, University of the Arts.

Time of the Heathen is a movie that was totally before its time… If this had been made only a few years later, we would have seen it taught in every film school for generations… The 4k restoration is jaw-dropping…” Michael Talbot-Haynes, Film Threat

Heathen’s final act of grim proto-psychedelia somehow dovetails perfectly with the bone-simple, though righteous-for-1961, morality tale [director] Kass had been building for the bulk of the film. The final moments retroactively imbue everything that preceded them with a heavier apocalyptic aura that keeps the film lodged in the psyche like a splinter.” Patrick Dahl, Screen Slate