september, 2018

fri21sep(sep 21)6:30 pmsun23(sep 23)8:45 pmFeaturedPainfully Funny: The Complete Directorial Works of Elaine May (on 35mm)"Her four films as a director are high points in American moviemaking"6:30 pm - 8:45 pm (23) BST Institute of Contemporary Art, London, The Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AH Event Organized By: The Badlands Collective Country:United Kingdom

Event Details


A NEW LEAF: Fri 21 September, ICA London, 6.30pm
THE HEARTBREAK KID: Sat 22 September, ICA London, 6.30pm
MIKEY AND NICKY: Sun 23 September, ICA London, 4.00pm
ISHTAR: Sun 23 September, ICA London, 6.30pm

Ask any of the top American comedians of the past forty years to name their influences, and the name Elaine May is sure to come up. Alongside Mike Nichols she established a new kind of erudite, neurotic, satirical sketch comedy in the late 1950s, blazing a trail for a whole generation of performers to come. According to Lily Tomlin, “There was nothing like Elaine May. Her voice. Her timing. Her attitude.”

But it is as a director of four unique studio feature films that we can see the full flowering of May’s talents. She subverted the romantic comedy with A New Leaf (1971) and The Heartbreak Kid (1972), and then she tested the bonds of friendship under extreme duress in Mikey & Nicky (1976) and Ishtar (1987). The latter film never recovered from its toxic pre-publicity, and became a notorious big-budget flop. Thirty years on, it remains the last film she has directed.

Elaine May is a maverick artist who was uncompromising in pursuit of her vision, and the manner in which she has been neglected by Hollywood is shameful. “Her four films as a director are high points in American moviemaking,” Martin Scorsese has said, and The Badlands Collective is proud to present this small but extraordinary body of work at the ICA on rarely screened 35mm prints, giving a whole new audience the opportunity to discover and celebrate a great American director.

Tickets are available from the ICA website – £12 per film (£11 concessions) or £35 for a season ticket for all four features:


21 (Friday) 6:30 pm - 23 (Sunday) 8:45 pm BST


Institute of Contemporary Art, London

The Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AH


The Badlands London, UK