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2 x Robert Kaylor

Derby (1972)
September 11, 2011 - 7:00 pm
Robert Kaylor.

This evening’s program highlights two films directed by Robert Kaylor, Derby (1972) and Max Out (1970), both of which present fascinating portraits of American lives on the edge and are deserving of more prominent positions in the independent film canon.

Derby (1972)

"One of the most engaging movies I have seen in a long time." —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"A marvelously tough, unsentimental, optimistic movie." —Vincent Canby, New York Times

Directed by Robert Kaylor

What begins as a Maysles-inspired documentary about professional roller derby morphs into a fascinating portrait of a quintessential American dreamer the second that Midwestern machinist Michael Snell appears on screen. Snell aspires to derby fame, but when filmmaker Robert Kaylor turns his camera on the swaggering 23-year-old, he discovers a man more devoted to constructing a self-justifying fantasy of success, than achieving success itself.

Cast: Charlie O’Connell, Michael Snell.

16mm, color, 91 min.

Max Out (1970)

Directed by Robert Kaylor

Filmmaker Robert Kaylor’s debut feature follows an African American ex-con struggling to re-adapt to the everyday world. Unable to find work, he takes up with a gay man for shelter, telling his friends it’s just a hustle, as he circles ever-closer back to his old ways. With hand-held camera work, Kaylor captures the grit and grind of the life with his all-amateur cast adding to the film’s striking authenticity.

Screenwriter: Melvin Rivers, Ken Jackson. Cast: M. Rivers, Joe Rizzo, Sue Annet Ceruti.

16mm, b/w, 45 min.