“The Fine Art Of Seduction?”
By Raymond Benson
The winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival was a thoroughly “mod,” Swinging London-set comedy directed by rising star filmmaker Richard Lester, who was just coming off the huge success of helming the Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night.
The Knack is directed in the same style as Hard Day’s, which borrowed heavily from the signature traits of the French New Wave—radical editing and jump cuts, handheld camerawork, on the street cinema verité, breaking the fourth wall, intentionally arty shots, and a relatively low budget… plus Lester’s trademark absurdist humor, surrealism, and a wacky British sensibility that he had exhibited ever since working with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan on such fare as The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film (1959).
Adapted by Charles Wood from a stage play by Ann Jellicoe,