Film screening: “My Beautiful Laundrette” concludes Gen X film series this Sun., May 14

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s Generation X film series concludes on Sunday, May 14, with a screening of Stephen Frears’ 1985 film “My Beautiful Laundrette.” It is the sixth in a series of six films of the 1980s and early 1990s that touch on the culture and politics that informed so-called “Generation X.” The screening is at 7 PM and admission is $7. The series was conceived and curated by BVFCC members Sarah Strong and Jennifer Griffiths.

Omar (Gordon Warnecke) is a young Pakistani whose prosperous uncle agrees to help get him started in business by managing a dilapidated laundromat. Ex-skinhead Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis, in the role that made him a star) is Omar’s childhood friend and erstwhile lover. When the two reconnect and resume their relationship amidst the racial tensions of Thatcherite London, they run into obstacles ranging from difficult family members to street gangs to underworld criminals.

The Criterion Collection calls the film “Equal parts coming-of-age saga, gay romance, drug-smuggling thriller, and redemption tale,” but My Beautiful Laundrette is most memorable for two things: its vivid portrait of London’s Pakistani community–a mileu that still remains nearly invisible onscreen–and its delightfully casual acceptance of gay relationships, unheard of in 1985. Screenplay by Hanif Kureishi.

From Vincent Canby’s 1986 New York Times review:

Don’t be put off by the title, which makes it sound like a failed French farce. “My Beautiful Laundrette,” written by Hanif Kureishi and directed by Stephen Frears, is the first real sleeper of the year. The film, which opens today at the Embassy 72d Street Theater, is a rude, wise, vivid social comedy about Pakistani immigrants in London, particularly about the initially naive, university-age Omar (Gordon Warnecke) and Omar’s extended family of wheeler-dealers and unassimilated layabouts.

“My Beautiful Laundrette” has the broad scope and the easy pace that one associates with our best theatrical films. It puts its own truth above the fear of possibly offending someone. Without showing off, it has courage as well as artistry.

View the trailer for “My Beautiful Laundrette”:

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, May 11. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT, THE FURORS

• Friday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR & WANDERING ROOTS (CD Release)

• Saturday, May 13. JAZZ: ALLEN LOWE & THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE

• • Sunday, May 14, 7 PM. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE”

• Wednesday, May 17. POP: THE RACKET DOWNSTAIRS

• Friday, May 19. INDIE ROCK: LA TUNDA, LYS GUILLORN (solo)

• Sunday, May 21, 3 PM. LIGHTS! FILMMAKING WORKSHOP FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: LIGHTS

• Wednesday, May 24. NEW ORLEANS FUNK: BAND OF DRUTHERS

• Thursday, May 25. DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT PLAYS MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”

• Friday, May 26. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Thursday, June 1. INDIE ROCK: IF JESUS HAD MACHINE GUNS

• Friday, June 2. JAZZ VOCAL: LINDA SATIN WITH JOE CARTER & TIM MORAN

• Sunday, June 4, 3 PM. CAMERA! ACTION! FILMMAKING WORKSHOP FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: LIGHTS

• Wednesday, June 7. ALT-COUNTRY: LEFT ON SCARLET STREET, SINGER-SONGWRITER: RON SPEARS

• Thursday, June 8. WORLD MUSIC: ELEGANT PRIMATES

• Friday, June 9. ALT-COUNTRY: PAT STONE, BOX OF BIRDS, THE PROUD FLESH

• Saturday, June 10. JAZZ: ALLEN LOWE

• Sunday, June 11. 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, June 15. FOLK/POP SINGER-SONGWRITER: MELODY PLACE

• Friday, June 16, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MILE TWELVE (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Wednesday, June 21. PROGRESSIVE FOLK: FE FI FO, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRIZTA MOON

• Thursday, June 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND; CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC: THE CHRIS CHILDS TRIO

• Friday, June 23. CHAMBER ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Wednesday, June 28. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC IMPROVISATION: NOAH & DAVID CHEVAN

• Friday, July 21. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: DANA MERRITT

• Wednesday, July 26. MUSIC FROM “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRES OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, July 28. WORLD MUSIC: NEELA

• Wednesday, Aug. 2. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Friday, Aug. 4, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Aug. 11. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND

• Friday, Sept. 8. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Sept. 29. FLASH FICTION LITERARY READING: PAUL BECKMAN & FRIENDS

• Friday, Oct. 20. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN