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Seconds: Starting Over in America

Sunday, Apr 29, 2018

Location: Redstone Theater

With economist Darrick Hamilton and critic Michael Atkinson in person

Seconds. Dir. John Frankenheimer. 1966, 107 mins. DCP from Park Circus. With Rock Hudson, John Randolph, Frances Reid, Murray Hamilton, Salome Jens. A middle-aged, married banker in New York is offered a chance at a second life. Arthur Hamilton (played by John Randolph, then on the Hollywood blacklist) undergoes complete reconstructive surgery to become Tony Wilson (Rock Hudson)–a younger, single artist living in Malibu. The idea of starting over and the American Dream will be considered after the film with critic Michael Atkinson and stratification economist Darrick Hamilton, whose work focuses on the way that race, identity, and social class influence life outcomes. Masterful cinematographer James Wong Howe, nominated for an Academy Award for Seconds, shot in black-and-white and used misshapen lenses to create a surreal atmosphere as Arthur Hamilton’s dream of a new life turns into a waking nightmare. Seconds is the last in what is known as Frankenheimer’s paranoia trilogy, preceded by The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Seven Days in May (1964).

About the speakers:

Darrick Hamilton is director of the doctoral program in Public and Urban Policy, and an Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at The New School, in New York. He is the past President-elect of the National Economic Association (NEA), serves on the board of the National Science Foundation, is co-director of the Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and a co-principal investigator of the National Asset Scorecard in Communities of Color Project. Dr. Hamilton has written in support of a federal job guarantee program. In 2017, he was named on the POLITICO list of “50 ideas blowing up American politics (and the people behind them).”

Michael Atkinson is a film critic, poet, and essayist who regularly contributes to The Village Voice, The New York Times, Criterion Collection, and more. He has written seven books, including Exile Cinema: Filmmakers at Work Beyond Hollywood. Atkinson is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle. He teaches film at Long Island University Post.