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May 8, 2012
What has eight junkies, four jazz musicians, one remarkable director, 103 restored minutes of rebellious filmmaking and the BEST reviews in New York City?


On October 3, 1962, Shirley Clarke’s debut feature, THE CONNECTION opened — and closed — at the D.W. Griffith Theatre in New York City. After just two matinees, the screenings were halted, the theater closed and the projectionist arrested. 

For almost a year, the producers of the film had been battling a ruling by the New York State Board of Regents that declared THE CONNECTION to be obscene. Even after a court decision supporting the film’s right to be shown, the Board had refused to grant it a license to open. So THE CONNECTION’s premiere was a direct challenge to the ban and to state censorship of films. It was an audacious move, but it came at a price. By the time the NY State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the film in November, the mainstream critics had already weighed in — and against — THE CONNECTION’s bold language and storyline. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times wrote that the film offered “a forthright and repulsive observation of a sleazy, snarling group of narcotic addicts.” The following week, Jonas Mekas responded in the Village Voice that his fellow critics were “deaf, blind and dumb” — but audience momentum had waned and THE CONNECTION never recovered from that initial onslaught. 

Fifty years later, Milestone is proud to present the theatrical release of a luminous new 35mm restoration of THE CONNECTION. Clarke’s powerful and multi-layered film premieres Friday May 4 at New York City’s IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas at West 3rd Street,, box office: 212 924-7771 

Please click HERE 
to check out the trailer for THE CONNECTION


Dear Friend of Milestone,

The answer is Shirley Clarke's underground masterpiece THE CONNECTION that arrived at NYC's IFC Center in a blaze of glory with the most coverage for any indie film this year!

We hope you can make it to our screenings at the IFC Center and please tell your friends in the Tri-State region to come as well! 
Click here for the theater showtimes and please friend the film on Facebook!

Manohla Dargis devoted more than 1800 words in the Sunday New York Times  to a bold examination of the film and its mercurial filmmaker. Please check out her article Woman With a Lens, Restored: The Shirley Clarke Project by Milestone Films!

Next, Karina Longworth devoted a big slab of Village Voice real estate to a spirited appreciation of Clarke's film: It's a Cooler World: Shirley Clarke's The Connection Back in Theaters!

And the good news kept rolling in: David Fear in Time Out NY gave the film four stars and wrote: "Attention must be paid!" 

“The majority of today's American independent productions look timorous by comparison," raved Benjamin Mercer in L Magazine

Indiewire devoted a Critical Consensus blog to a spirited and inspiring conversation between critics Ann Hornaday and David Sterritt that is a must-read for any film fan. 

WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show had Garry Goodrow and Wendy Clarke on to talk about the film. Listen to the interview here

Jim Hoberman had a special review of THE CONNECTION in this week's New York Review of Books!

Owen Glieberman gave it an A- in Entertainment Weekly and devoted his weekly television review to THE CONNECTION here. And NPR's Morning Edition will have a national piece this week!

We are busily making bookings for cities in the US, Canada and around the world! Please let us know by emailing us to let us know in what theater and city you would like it played.


Dennis and Amy 


THE CONNECTION is the first release in Milestone’s ambitious four-years-in-the-making PROJECT SHIRLEY — to acquire and bring out the films of Shirley Clarke. Although there are more than 100 monographs, books and DVDs devoted to the works of contemporaries like John Cassavetes, Stan Brakhage and Andy Warhol; there is not one entirely dedicated to the life or works of Clarke. Milestone has acquired the rights to four of Clarke’s features and more than a dozen of her short films and will be working with the archives to bring out restored versions over the course of the next year. Next on the list, ORNETTE: MADE IN AMERICA, will be premiering this August at the IFC Center.

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Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, NJ 07640

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