Nighthawks Screen 2 articles

Nighthawks

1978

Nighthawks Poster
  • We are fully immersed in Jim’s nighttime rituals; the camera often assumes his point of view, his desirous looks either reciprocated or ignored. The thrill and the tedium of his evenings out are equally highlighted; the ecstasy of sleeping with someone new is followed by the dispiriting morning-after small talk, with Jim asking the bulk of the questions while kindly driving his tricks—most of whom are nonprofessional actors, as are the bars’ denizen—to the nearest Tube station.

  • In what’s now regarded as the first British film to paint an empathetic portrait of gay life in 70s, Peck shoots with a documentarian’s eye scenes of both communal empowerment and isolation. The film’s formal language (reverse shots, continuity editing, et cetera) betrays its fiction roots, but its sense of intimacy and of-the-moment milieu make it one of queer cinema’s most evocative documents.