Karel Reisz was born in 1926 in Czechoslovakia. He came to England in 1938 as a Jewish refugee, one of the six hundred children rescued by Sir Nicholas Winton. After attending Leighton Park School, he joined the Royal Air Force towards the end of the war. Both his parents died at Auschwitz. Following his war service, he read Natural Sciences at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and began to write for film journals, including Sight and Sound. He co-founded Sequence with Lindsay Anderson and Gavin Lambert in 1947.
Reisz was a founder member of the Free Cinema documentary film movement. His first short film, Momma Don't Allow (1955), co-directed with Tony Richardson, was included in the first Free Cinema programme shown at the National Film Theatre in February 1956.
His first feature film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) was based on the realist novel by Alan Sillitoe, and used many of the same techniques as his earlier documentaries. It won several BAFTA awards including the one for the Best film. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) was probably the most successful of his later films. Adapted from the John Fowles novel by Harold Pinter, it starred Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep. Reisz was a patron of the British Film Institute. His standard textbook, The Technique of Film Editing was first published in 1953.
Karel Reisz died in 2002 in London at age of 76.
DAFilms.com is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.
Sign up to receive regular updates on our film program:
By signing up for the newsletter, I hereby consent to receiving commercial communications by electronic means and to all relevant personal data processing required for the purpose of sending the Doc-Air Distribution s.r.o. newsletter. I hereby confirm that I have read and familiarized myself with the Principles of Personal Data Processing and that I consent to the text therein. I also hereby acknowledge the rights specified herein, including, without limitation, the right to submit objections against direct marketing techniques.