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Brits unspool Reisz tribute

Event fetes National Film Theater's 1st p'gramming director

London’s National Film Theater and Variety hosted a June 25 tribute for the late director Karel Reisz, which showcased Reisz’s 1966 comedy “Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment” and the 1978 dramatic thriller “Who’ll Stop the Rain.”

“Karel didn’t want me to organize anything like a memorial after his death, so I didn’t,” said his widow, Betsy Blair, who added, “I didn’t have to, because all of you did!”

Friends and colleagues spoke about the director, who was also the first programming director of the National Film Theater in the early 1950s. Reisz also played a pivotal role in the development of British cinema as one of the founders of the Free Cinema movement.

Speakers included playwright-screenwriter-actor Harold Pinter, director Stephen Frears, director Roger Spottiswoode, “Rain” screenwriter Judith Rascoe and Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos. Also on hand: writer John Lahr, thesp Bill Nighy, NFT founder Denis Forman, Film London chair Sandy Lieberson and chief Adrian Wootton, plus vet art director Philip Harrison, whose credits include the original “Avengers” TV series and “Morgan.”