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Film School #8: The Manchurian Candidate

Producer John Frankenheimer was only 32 years old when he brought the Richard Condon's political novel onto the big screen. The result earned critics' recognition and two Oscar nominations.

Yet, the faith of The Manchurian Candidate has been strangely bittersweet. Its potential, including commercial capability, remained clearly unrealized – partly because of the marketing reasons, but also due to actual political events that took place in the United States.

The first concurrency may have been part of an interesting campaign. The Manchurian Candidate, which described the intrusion of a communist conspiracy led by China and Soviet Russia directly into the American political elite, was released in October 1962, as the so-called Cuban crisis had brought the world to the threshold of a nuclear war. Another, and maybe also a coincidental connection, however, may have been fatal for the movie. In the light of the assassination of John Kennedy, The Manchurian Candidate became something like an uncomfortably dark premonition, and the film was somewhat forgotten and sank into the history.

Now that political paranoia is again on the agenda of the world, it is wise to neglect the mediocre remake of 2004 and to re-examine this old black and white film.

The series is curated and lectures are conducted by Tõnis Kahu.

Only one screening!

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