Bunny Lake Is Missing

Through May 6, the Biff! Bang! Pow!: Swingin’ Flicks of the Sixties series offers six oddball repertory picks, and the launch title, the 1965 Bunny Lake Is Missing, is an odd little thriller. Directed by Otto Preminger, it first seems to be a smart yet routine missing-child flick. A young American mother (Carol Lynley) arrives in London with her 4-year-old daughter (named Bunny), and the kid promptly disappears. Fishy. And even fishier, even in the mid-’60s, is that there’s no father—making Lynley the figure of scorn and suspicion. Laurence Olivier delivers a wonderful, underseen performance as a police inspector full of blank smiles; he assumes a mask of practiced civility while looking for a girl that no one can actually remember seeing. Does Bunny really exist? Is the mother mad? Like Olivier’s cop, Preminger conceals his feelings about his characters, letting his camera show us their true nature. (Also, watch for wicked Noel Coward in a supporting role.) The following weeks bring Antonioni’s Blow-Up, The Knack…and How to Get It, Lord Love a Duck and the late-night hippie pictures Riot on Sunset Strip and Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs. (Retro-influenced music is also part of the retrospective: Saturday, The Moonspinners play after the 7 p.m. show.) BRIAN MILLER

Fri., April 9, 7 & 9 p.m.; Sat., April 10, 7:30 p.m.; April 11-15, 7 & 9 p.m., 2010

 
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