Marking the 40th anniversary of this singular and enigmatic work of British cinema, we're delighted to be welcoming Guardian Film Critic Peter Bradshaw to present. He will be in conversation with Gareth Evans, curator of cinema at the Whitechapel Gallery.
A first feature written and directed by Chris Petit, this is an apparently simple road movie (with an extraordinary soundtrack that runs from Bowie to Kraftwerk and Wreckless Eric) in which a man travels from London to Bristol by car to clarify the mysterious death of his brother. But his private journey also stands for an excursion back into the sour '70s, and his failure to communicate with those he meets on the road - an army deserter, a garage mechanic, a woman in search of her child - becomes a rambling commentary on the obsessive, ironic disenchantment of living in Britain now. A rare, almost eerie attempt at mythic British cinema, which ends with its hero stalled in his battered old Rover at a quarry edge, his questions still unanswered, forced to move on (into the '80s). 'We could be heroes, just for one day...' - and the time is up. - Time Out