Anthology Film Archives


April 27 – May 1

A filmmaker with a personality so outsized and full of life that it’s hard to believe he could be gone, Robert Downey Sr. passed away this past July, bringing to a close a career that produced some of the most inventive, hilarious, and outrageous works in all of underground cinema. As a special tribute, we will be screening Anthology’s 35mm preservations of Downey’s three early works – BABO 73, CHAFED ELBOWS, and NO MORE EXCUSES – alongside a new restoration of his breakout hit, PUTNEY SWOPE.

“Robert Downey Sr.’s early films are just as rebellious, reckless, and fun-loving as their maker in his youth. While perhaps best known for his advertising industry send-up PUTNEY SWOPE, Downey actually emerged from the early-1960s New American Cinema scene, America’s own new wave movement. Breakout hits from the underground movie circuit of that era, his outlandish satires BABO 73, CHAFED ELBOWS, and NO MORE EXCUSES are as barbed as Lenny Bruce, as absurd as Alfred Jarry, and as out-to-lunch as Eric Dolphy. Rough around the edges and all-around hilarious, Downey’s first films stand as landmark works in the history of independent cinema.” –Andrew Lampert

Special thanks to Rosemary Rogers, Andrew Lampert, Brian Block, Simon Lund (Cineric, Inc.), Fran Bowen (Trackwise), and Robert S. Bader (Daphne Productions, Inc).

BABO 73, CHAFED ELBOWS, and NO MORE EXCUSES were restored by Anthology Film Archives with funding provided by The Film Foundation.

< Back to Series