Monday, 8 September 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 291: Sun Oct 19

The Duke of Burgundy (Strickland, 2014): Curzon Mayfair, 6pm


58th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (8-19 October 2014) DAY 12
Every day (from October 8 to October 19) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film also screens on Thursday 9th and 10th at Odeon West End 2. Full details here.

LFF introduction:
Visually and aurally intoxicating, and exquisitely performed, Peter Strickland’s (Berberian Sound Studio, Katalin Varga) latest film is to be relished for both its singular vision and its acute awareness of cinema heritage. Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen, After the Wedding, Borgen) and Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna) inhabit an exclusively female world. Their love for each other is expressed through ritual sado-masochist role-play. Cynthia, the cool ice queen, seemingly dominates the obliging, submissive Evelyn. The couple occasionally venture outside the hermetic world of their relationship, pursuing their shared interest in entomology and attending talks by the haughty and seductive Dr Schuller. The relationship begins to unravel however, when Cynthia starts to suffer from performance fatigue. While it might be Evelyn who washes the knickers, she also wears the pants. With Cynthia yearning for something a little more conventional, Evelyn’s obedience gives way to criticism and provocation, rendering this very specific relationship strangely universal and mundane. Channelling the early 70s eroticism of Jess Franco and the ‘passionate agony’ (as Susan Sontag put it) of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Strickland creates a decadent, finely calibrated universe that is as sensually and cinematically distinctive as it is funny and true. Featuring dress and lingerie by Andrea Flesch and perfume by Je Suis Gizella.
Clare Stewart

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 290: Sat Oct 18

Born Yesterday (Cukor, 1950): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 3.45pm


8th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (8-19 October 2014) DAY 11
Every day (from October 8 to October 19) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film also screens on Thursday 16th at Vue Cinemas West End Screen 7. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Despite the tendency of Garson Kanin's play to go all dewy-eyed in its celebration of American democratic ideals, Cukor's screen version is still a delight. The story - rehashed later in The Girl Can't Help It - concerns the apparently dumb chorus-girl mistress of a ruthless tycoon-cum-gangster; the big shot decides she should become more sophisticated and knowledgeable (purely for the sake of appearances), and employs Holden to give her a few lessons. But the plan backfires, both because she falls for the teacher and because her education turns her against her brutish lover's rather dubious moral practices. A very simple idea, but enlivened by a sharp, witty script, and by Cukor's effortless handling of the brilliant performances: especially fine are Holliday as the dumb blonde who makes good, and Crawford as the confused sugar-daddy, nowhere more so than in the marvellous scene where her mindless singing disturbs his concentration over a game of gin rummy. Magic.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 289: Fri Oct 17

Jauja (Alonso, 2014): Vue West End Screen 7, 6.30pm


58th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (8-19 October 2014) DAY 10
Every day (from October 8 to October 19) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film also screens on Sunday 19th at Hackney Picturehouse. Full details here.

LFF introduction:
Danish engineer Captain Gunnar Dinesen (Viggo Mortenson) is stationed with the Argentine army in a remote corner of Patagonia. When his 15-year-old daughter Ingeborg elopes with a young soldier, the angry and distraught Dinesen begins an epic journey across a harsh, threatening landscape in the hope of tracking the couple down. For his fourth feature, maverick director Lisandro Alonso turns to a difficult period in Argentine history, the brutal 1882 campaign to eradicate the indigenous population from Patagonia. His painterly existential western, framed in a vintage 4:3 ratio, is a fable about filmmaking, colonialism, the formation of nation and a brilliant chronicle of Dinesen’s descent into a single-minded obsession as fierce and foreboding as that of Apocalypse Now’s deranged Kurtz. Mortensen excels as the quixotic Dinesen, who undertakes the arduous journey through mythical landscapes, where his idea of utopia remains forever out of reach.
Maria Delgado

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 288: Thu Oct 16

Li'l Quinquin/P'tit Quinin (Dumont, 2014): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 11.45am



58th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (8-19 October 2014) DAY 9
Every day (from October 8 to October 19) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film also screens on Saturday 11th at Cine Lumiere. Full details here.

LFF introduction:
Who would have predicted a comedy from Bruno Dumont, the auteur behind such austere dramas as Hadewijch and Camille Claudel 1915? Yet P’tit Quinquin is not only comic, but altogether knockabout. Set in Dumont’s familiar Northern France, it concerns a series of bizarre crimes involving corpses and cattle, and the local children who become fascinated with them, headed by intrepid Quinquin. Leading the investigation, and taking the phrase ‘bumbling cop’ to new extremes, is Captain van der Weyden – clueless as Clouseau and unkempt as Columbo, with an extraordinary range of facial tics. P’tit Quinquin is riotous stuff, but confrontational too – partly because of Dumont’s casting of apparently physically or mentally disabled non-professionals, partly because of its unsettling depiction of everyday racism. Made as a TV mini-series but shown here as a self-contained film, P’tit Quinquin is a hoot – yet unmistakably 100% Dumont. 
Jonathan Romney

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 287: Wed Oct 15

The Tribe (Slaboshpytskiy, 2014): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.45pm



58th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (8-19 October 2014) DAY 8
Every day (from October 8 to October 19) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film also screens on Friday 17th at West End Vue Screen 5. Full details here.

LFF introduction:
Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s audacious debut is not only a compelling, confrontational drama, it’s also an innovative rethinking of cinema’s language of sight and sound. Featuring a superb cast of young deaf performers, The Tribe is set in a boarding school for young deaf people, where new arrival Sergey (Fesenko) is drawn into an institutional system of organised crime, involving robbery and prostitution. But he crosses a dangerous line when he falls for Anna (Novikova), one of the girls to whom he’s assigned as pimp. Depicting a closed world with its own unforgiving laws, The Tribe is part-thriller, part-bad dream, with often startling use of intense sexuality and violence. Containing no spoken dialogue, but only sign language – and no subtitles – the film subverts the pieties that often attend cinema’s depiction of deaf people. Dazzlingly executed and shot in long complex takes, it is one of the outstanding discoveries of 2014.
Jonathan Romney

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 286: Tue Oct 14

Leviathan (Zvyagintsev, 2014): Odeon West End 2, 8.30pm


58th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (8-19 October 2014) DAY 7
Every day (from October 8 to October 19) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film also screens on Friday 17th at Curzon Mayfair. Full details here.

LFF introduction:
Set on the remote Kola Peninsula, near the Russian border with Finland, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan tells of the tragic conflict between the individual and a corrupt system of power. Kolya lives with his second wife and the son from his first marriage in a house he built on a rocky shore. The mayor of a local town wants to acquire the property for redevelopment, but with the help of a childhood friend, now practicing as a lawyer in Moscow, Kolya attempts to resist the compulsory purchase. It’s not difficult to see this ordinary man’s fate prefigured by the detritus of wrecked boats and skeletal remains of a beached whale lining the shore. Zvyagintsev (The Return, The Banishment and Elena) won the best screenplay award at Cannes with Leviathan. It has attracted comparisons with Tarkovsky, but has as much in common with classic Russian literature; the depth, complexity and resonance of Zvyagintsev’s vision taking us beyond the beguiling simplicity of his story to probe a malaise that affects Russian society at large. The history was inspired by a legal case in Colorado, but the court proceedings here are authentically Russian and, as Zvyaginstev said recently, if you fight authority you eventually lose.
Peter Hames

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 285: Mon Oct 13

Goodbye to Langauge (Godard, 2014): BFI IMAX Cinema, Waterloo, 6.30pm


58th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (8-19 October 2014) DAY 6
Every day (from October 8 to October 19) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

LFF introduction:
Yes, the rumours were true – Jean-Luc Godard has made a feature in 3D, but it’s not 3D as Michael Bay would recognise it. While JLG’s latest disquisition on language, politics and the image very much follows on from his recent features, Goodbye to Language pushes his formal explorations into exciting new territory. There’s a hint of a narrative, involving a married woman and a single man, but this is above all an essay in fragmentation, taking in wordplay, literary and musical quotation, toilet humour, abundant allusion to science fiction – and even a mischievous moment of costume drama. Often using electrically saturated colours, Godard flouts illusionism with some visual flourishes that are all the more magical for their lo-fi simplicity. All this, and a charismatic debut from the film’s true star – a dog named Roxy. Godard is as provocative as ever, but it’s a long time since we’ve seen him so exuberant.
Jonathan Romney

Here (and above) is the trailer.