Directed by: Michael Sarne
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom
Studio: British Film Institute
Length: 108 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 25 April 2011
Cat No: BFIB1062
If you are unhappy with your purchase, you can return it to us within 30 days. More Details
Cast: Donald Sutherland , Calvin Lockhart , Clifton Jones , Genevieve Waite , Michelle Cook , Christian Doermer , Glenna Forster-Jones , David Scheur , Marda Vanne , Geoffrey Morris , Manning Wilson , Dan Caulfield
Michael Sarne writes and directs this breezy portrait of London in the swinging ’60s. Wide-eyed small town art student Joanna (Genevieve... Read More
Pitched by director Michael Sarne as ‘the female Alfie’ (he could as well have said ‘Barbarella on Earth’), Joanna at first seems so ensconced in the hip aesthetic and ideology of ‘the sixties’ it makes Blow-up look like Cathy Come Home.
Something of a dry run for Sarne’s ambitiously degenerate Myra Breckinridge, which scandalised Hollywood two years later, Joanna establishes him as an audacious visual and narrative stylist (right from the unconventional opening credits) and sets out his penchant for modish touches of cinematic Brechtianism. But at the film’s heart there is a strong current of sensitivity. Promiscuous art student Joanna (the fashionably twig-like Genevieve Waite) immerses herself in the hedonism of the era, only to be derailed by a friendship with dying aristocrat (a strangely effective Donald Sutherland) and a doomed relationship with a black lover (an excellent Calvin Lockhart).
Ahead of its time in terms of a non-exploitative depiction of interracial romance (and a general foregrounding of black characters), Joanna’s glittering surface masks a deep end absent from many a ‘swinging London’ film.