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Harvey Keitel

As Martin Scorsese’s alter-ego in films such as Who’s That Knocking at My Door and Mean Streets, Harvey Keitel stood at the forefront of one of the most innovative periods of American film history. His reemergence as a producer in the 1990s, of films by such directors as Wayne Wang and Quentin Tarantino, further solidified his place in American independent film history. We are pleased to present a rare screening of James Toback’s Fingers.

April 18 (Friday) 7 pm
Actor Harvey Keitel and Director James Toback In Person


Directed by James Toback
US 1978, 35mm, color, 90 min.
With Harvey Keitel, Tisa Farrow, Jim Brown

The debut film for director-writer James Toback features Keitel as Jimmy "Fingers" Angelli, a low-level gangster who collects debts for his bookmaker father but who dreams of being a classical concert pianist. The bipolar tensions he embodies as he wavers between a life of brutal extortion and auditions at Carnegie Hall provide Keitel with a range of unusual and edgy emotional territory to explore. Balancing a portable cassette player in one hand and a gun in the other, Jimmy lives in a world of contradictions in which his artistic frustrations fuel the violence needed for his professional obligations. This cult classic provides spare compositions against gritty New York locations and is an exemplar of the kind of urban psychological drama that underpinned the independent film movement of the 1970s.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700