A New Leaf with Carrie Courogen

A New Leaf with Carrie Courogen

U.S.
1971
102 minutes
Elaine May

The first film from Elaine May (“The Heartbreak Kid,” “Mikey and Nicky”), “A New Leaf” tracks the desperate efforts of spoiled, self-absorbed Henry Graham (Walter Matthau), who has squandered his inheritance, to find a way to maintain his lavish lifestyle. Henry sees an opportunity when he meets Henrietta Lowell (May), an awkward and bookish heiress, and he develops a sinister plan to extract her money. Mike Nichols’ partner in the legendary comedy duo Nichols and May — and later the screenwriter of his films “The Birdcage” and “Primary Colors” — May is widely regarded as a comic genius, winning the National Medal for the Arts in 2013 for her “groundbreaking wit and a keen understanding of how humor can illuminate our lives.”

Intro and discussion by Carrie Courogen, author of a forthcoming biography of Elaine May, associate editor of Bright Wall/Dark Room, and freelance writer for publications such as Vanity Fair, Pitchfork, and Glamour.