Uncovering Carnal Knowledge

Carnal knowledge is a legal euphemism for sexual intercourse. It is also the title of a movie made in 1971 that included this bit of dialogue: “Boys begin life not liking girls, later they don’t change, they just get horny.”

Rough stuff but that’s the world so many movies of that era dealt with. Unflinching in their portraits of the human condition, many say it truly was, if not the golden age, then definitely the slap in the face, punch in the gut decade of cinema.

This Saturday, August 21 at 8 p.m. the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven screens Carnel Knowledge. Afterward there is a discussion with the screenwriter, longtime Martha’s Vineyard seasonal resident Jules Feiffer. Consider it a chance to time travel with a veteran of the era who over the years has had his fingers in just about every word pie there is: screenwriter, playwright, cartoonist, novelist, memoirist; the man’s got serious language game. It’s also a good bet he knows a tidbit or two about Jack Nicholson, one of the stars of the movie, before he became JACK NICHOLSON.

Carnal Knowledge was directed by Mike Nichols and also stars Ann Margaret, Candice Bergen, and Art Garfunkel. Admission is $15, or $12 for film society members. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.