Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 152: Fri Jun 2

In The Cut (Campion, 2003): Curzon Soho, 6.25pm



Misc. Films is a London-based programming collective dedicated to showcasing unreleased, under-screened or under-appreciated films. This 35mm presentation will be followed by a Q&A with director Jane Campion.


Chicago Reader review:
One can easily pick apart this Jane Campion adaptation of a thriller by Susanna Moore: it isn't very satisfying as a thriller, and certain details—like the heroine assigning Virginia Woolf's 
To the Lighthouse to her inner-city high school students—come across as just plain silly. But I still consider this the best (which also means the sexiest) Campion feature since The Piano, featuring Meg Ryan's finest performance to date and an impressive one by Mark Ruffalo. Scripted by Moore and Campion, it takes on the unfashionable question of what sex means for a single woman drifting into middle age, and what it says on the subject veers from the obvious to the novel. Campion is better with moods than with plot, and her capable handling of some actors (including Jennifer Jason Leigh and an uncredited Kevin Bacon) ameliorates the hyperbolic characters they're asked to play.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Misc. Films is a London-based programming collective dedicated to showcasing unreleased, under-screened or under-appreciated films. - See more at: https://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/qas/inthecut#sthash.o8rY5Qrg.dpuf

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 151: Thu Jun 1

Inland Empire (Lynch, 2006): Genesis Cinema, 8.30pm


This 35mm presentation is part of the David Lynch season at the Genesis Cinema. You can find the full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
David Lynch's first digital video (2006) is his best and most experimental feature since Eraserhead (1978). Shot piecemeal over at least a year and without a script, this 179-minute meditation builds on Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) as a sinister and critical portrait of Hollywood. But it resists any narrative paraphrase, with several overlapping premises rather than a single consecutive plot. Laura Dern plays an actress who's been cast in a new feature, as well as a battered housewife and a hooker; there are also Polish characters and a sitcom with giant rabbits in human clothes. The visual qualities include impressionistic soft-focus colors, expressionistic lighting, and disquietingly huge close-ups. With Justin Theroux, Jeremy Irons, Karolina Gruszka, Harry Dean Stanton, and Grace Zabriskie.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 150: Wed May 31

Ichi The Killer (Miike, 2001): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm


This event is part of the '35mm Presentations' season at the Prince Charles Cinema. You can find the full details here.

Time Out film review:
'All events and characters in the film are entirely sick, any resemblance to persons living or dead is a sad coincidence.' As disclaimers go, that's on the nail: Miike's adaptation of Hideo Yamamoto's notorious manga is alarmingly faithful. Which means that these two hours of extreme violence, sadism and masochism are calculated to challenge every censor in the world: no part of the male or female body is left unsliced, and no bodily fluid is left unsplattered. The yakuza Kakihara (Tadanubo Asano, flinching from nothing) mobilises his gang to track down the legendary killer Ichi, suspected murderer of their boss; Kakihara is also searching for a sadist who can torture him with the same love he used to get from the dead man. No one suspects that Ichi (Nao Omori, son of butoh legend Akaji Maro) is a helpless cry-baby who becomes the ultimate killer in a superhero costume only when under hypnosis from the vengeful Jijii (Tsukamoto), whose secret agenda is to stir up a gang-war. Funny, absurd, nightmarishly visceral and - of course - deeply serious.
Tony Rayns 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 149: Tue May 30

The Exiles (MacKenzie, 1961): Deptford Cinema, 7pm



Chicago reader review:
Written, produced, and directed by Kent Mackenzie, this low-budget independent feature (1961) deserves to be ranked with John Cassavetes's Shadows, but it languished unseen for nearly four decades until Thom Andersen celebrated it in his 2003 video essay Los Angeles Plays Itself. Pitched somewhere between fiction and documentary, with nonprofessional actors improvising postsynced dialogue and internal monologues, it follows a few uprooted Native Americans from Friday night to Saturday morning in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles. Its moving portraiture is refreshingly free of cliches and moralizing platitudes, and the high-contrast black-and-white photography and dense, highly creative sound track are equally impressive (even the occasional imprecise lip sync seems justified). Mackenzie lived only long enough to make one other feature—Saturday Morning (1971), which I haven't seen—but this film's lowercase urban poetry suggests a major talent.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 148: Mon May 29

Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967): Moth Club, Old Trades Hall, Valette St, London E9, 7.30pm


The Cine-Real movie club is back with another 16mm presentation, this one of a classic from director Arthur Penn.

Chicago Reader review:
When Fritz Lang filmed it in 1938 (as You Only Live Once), the story had a metaphysical thrust. When Nicholas Ray filmed it in 1948 (They Live by Night), it was romantic and doom laden. But by the time Arthur Penn got to it in 1967, it was pure myth, the distillation of dozens of drive-in movies about rebellious kids and their defeat at the hands of the establishment. It's by far the least controlled of Penn's films (the tone wobbles between hick satire and noble social portraiture, and the issue of violence is displayed more than it's examined), but the pieces work wonderfully well, propelled by what was then a very original acting style. With Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Michael J. Pollard, and Gene Wilder.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 147: Sun May 28

Spartacus (Kubrick, 1960): Close-Up Cinema, 7pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Stanley Kubrick season at Close-Up. You can find the full details here.

Time Out review:
Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar-winning Technicolor ’Scope sandal saga – centred on a Roman slave revolt headed by Kirk Douglas’s titular folklore hero – has aged amazingly well. If there are any reservations, it’s Douglas himself, who trades mostly on his chiselled, dimpled jawline and well-built pecs. That said, his stiltedness eases when in the company of Jean Simmons’s coy slave girl; their short moments of laughter are touching and naturally conveyed. Needless to say, the film’s big Brit hitters – Peter Ustinov, Laurence Olivier and especially Charles Laughton – all make exceptional work of Dalton Trumbo’s reflective screenplay, while Kubrick himself handles the film’s mechanics of corruption with skill. This is widescreen, epic filmmaking on a massive scale: the final battle scene – punctuated by Alex North’s quaint but occasionally overwrought score – stretches as far as the eye can see, and its choreography from afar is remarkable given the lack of communication technology back then. To see it once again on the big screen, in all its expansive glory, is a treat.
Derek Adams

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 146: Sat May 27

Ginger & Rosa (Potter, 2012): Curzon Aldgate, 3.20pm


Curzon and Bechdel Test Fest present a double-bill of Stella Corradi's award-winning short film Little Soldier and Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa at Curzon Aldgate. Stella Corradi and Zawe Ashton will join feminist film festival Bechdel Test Fest for a post-screening Q&A.

Chicago Reader review:
Sally Potter's semi-autobiographical period piece follows two teenaged best friends as they drift apart in 1962 London. Ginger (Elle Fanning), the daughter of a famous bohemian writer, takes inspiration from poetry and the antinuclear movement, while working-class Rosa (Alice Englert, daughter of director Jane Campion) loses herself in nightlife and irresponsible sex. The coming-of-age narrative may be familiar, but Potter is so accomplished in her handling of period and subjective experience that she creates a unique mood. Like Terence Davies's work, this is less about storytelling than immersing viewers in the minute details of an era—what one of the film's characters describes as "the poetry of confinement." The excellent supporting cast includes Timothy Spall, Christina Hendricks, Oliver Platt, and an unrecognizable Annette Bening.
Ben Sachs