Sunday, 27 May 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 151: Sat Jun 9

Madameoiselle (Richardson, 1966): Close-Up Cinema, 6pm

This 35mm presentation will also be screened on July 13th and 30th.

This erotically charged and austere study of criminology is written by star Jeanne Moreau’s regular collaborator Marguerite Duras, from an original screenplay by Jean Genet. Moreau plays a repressed school teacher unleashing her frustrations upon her fellow villagers in rural France. By prioritising natural sounds over incidental music, director Tony Richardson builds an odd, hyper-real atmosphere, against which Moreau gives one of her most intense performances.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 150: Fri Jun 8

Liquid Sky (Tsukerman, 1982): ICA Cinema, 8.30pm

Here is the ICA introduction to this restoration of a cult classic, which also screens at the cinema on June 9th and 12th (details here):
The newly restored cult classic Liquid Sky is back at ICA for its European premiere, 35 years after its original release. The radical film, directed by Slava Tsukerman, was completely restored in 2017 from the director’s original 35mm negative print, and returns with visceral glory. The independent sci-fi stars American actress Anne Carlisle, co-writer of its screenplay, in a dual role as Margaret and Jimmy. Invisible aliens overtake Margaret’s body after landing on the rooftop of the aspirational fashion model’s downtown New York apartment. Meanwhile, her abusive alter ego Jimmy wallows in the excesses of New York's new wave fashion and music scenes. The aliens kill anyone Margaret sleeps with, at the point of orgasm, to feed on their endorphins, and are covertly studied by a scientist living in a nearby building, intent on exposing the extra-terrestrial activity. A time capsule of postmodern punk, Liquid Sky has long been out of circulation and scarcely available on cropped and murky VHS and DVD editions. With its distinctive Fairlight CMI synthesiser soundtrack, influential costume design by Marina Levikova-Neyman and colour restoration supervised by director of photography Yuri Neyman, the clarity of its original release returns to this underground classic.
Time Out review:
Film-maker Tsukerman's personal comment on, er, the State of Western Man, magnified through a thoroughly unpleasant bunch of New York junkies, poseurs and twits. Claiming to subvert a host of Hollywood verities, Tsukerman unleashes a parasitic alien being on the New York smack'n'sex demi-monde. Junkies and sex fiends start dropping like flies, and not even the Bruno Ganz-alike scientist can stop the voracious bug. Tsukerman stops short of his original intention of offing the whole cast, allowing for an extraordinary fairy-tale ascension at the end, but his aim of highlighting social malaise gets happily mislaid in a bizarre, often hilarious melee of weird drugs, weird sex and off-the-wall camp SF. 
Close Encounters for acid casualties.
John Gill

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 149: Thu Jun 7

The Passionate Friends (Lean, 1949): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.30pm

This 35mm presentation is also being screened at the Prince Charles Cinema on June 5th. You can find all the details here.

Time Out review:
This unheralded ’40s melodrama is the lead title in the Lean centenary season at BFI Southbank, which adds to the argument that the emotional precision and sharp technical dexterity of Lean’s earlier, more modest offerings represent a more lasting legacy than his later spectaculars. An enterprising criss-cross time structure shapes Ann Todd and Trevor Howard’s turbulent relationship, as their romance comes back to haunt them after World War II since she’s settled for a staid but secure marriage to banker Claude Rains. It’s adapted from a 1913 HG Wells novel, but the storytelling looks decidedly modern, and Lean’s direction works the material for all its expressive worth, even if Todd’s glacial screen persona and an opaquely written central role hardly bring out the best in each other. Rains steals the show, his clipped exterior masking unexpectedly touching feelings for his errant spouse. An illuminating reissue.

Trevor Johnston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 148: Wed Jun 6

They Drive By Night (Walsh, 1940): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.40pm

This 35mm screening, which is part of the Ida Lupino season (full details here), is also being shown on Saturday June 2nd in NFT1. You can find the full details by clicking on this link.

Chicago Reader review:
This 1940 feature begins as a fast, growly proletarian drama of an independent trucker (George Raft) fighting to build his business, but breaks midway and becomes a high bourgeois melodrama about an ambitious woman (Ida Lupino) on trial for killing her husband. The switch may not make sense on first viewing, but director Raoul Walsh brings a thematic (and rhythmic) continuity to it: the same obsessional intensity that makes Raft an admirable figure in the first half is seen in the second, applied to Lupino, as something psychotic. Walsh may not have been directly responsible for the structure (the second half is a remake of an earlier Warners melodrama, Bordertown), but his personal response to the material puts it across. With Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, and Alan Hale.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 147: Tue Jun 5

Never Fear (Lupino, 1949): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.50pm

This 35mm screening, which is part of the Ida Lupino season (full details here), is also being shown on Sunday June 3rd. You can find the full details by clicking on this link.

Chicago Reader review:
Ida Lupino's first official directing credit (her previous year's work on 
Not Wanted had been credited to Elmer Clifton) attaches to this story of a dancer who refuses to be defeated in her battle with a crippling disease. Lupino's perennial regard for female resourcefulness and strength is embodied in the stricken dancer's insistence on pursuing her career and romantic goals, despite the deflationary expectations of the men in her life. With Sally Forrest, Keefe Brasselle, and Hugh O'Brien.
Pat Graham

Here (and above) is an extract.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 146: Mon Jun 4

Xtro (Davenport, 1982): Institute of Light, 7.30pm

This cult British sci-fi film screening is a Cigarette Burns film club production. Which means you're guaranteed a killer evening. The film's prioducer, Mark Forstater, is the special guest.

Time Out review:
A British horror picture incompetent enough to be prime drive-in fodder, if only we had such a thing, this throws together in random fashion a mish-mash of all the half-remembered elements from recent hungry alien films. Telekinesis, melting telephones, randy au pair girls getting sliced in the shower, pumas in the living-room, and - nastiest scene of the month - a woman giving birth to a fully-grown man, who then bites off his own placenta. The Xtro creature is a warty lizard which snatches family men off to its space craft for three years at a stretch; but its greatest service to mankind seems to be a taste for eating the drivers of Volvo estate cars, which is very heartening.
Chris Peachment

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 145: Sun Jun 3

Le Bonheur (Varda, 1965): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 4.10pm

This screening, which is also being shown on June 6th and 21st (details here), is part of the Agnes Varda season at BFI Southbank. Full details of the season can be found here.

Chicago Reader review:
A beautiful and disturbing 1965 feature by Agnes Varda about family happiness, full of lingering and creepy ambiguities. A happily married carpenter (Jean-Claude Drouot) with a beautiful wife (Claire Drouot) and two small children (Sandrine and Oliver Drouot) falls in love with a beautiful postal clerk (Marie-France Boyer), who becomes his mistress. After the wife dies for mysterious reasons (whether by accident or suicide isn't clear), his idyllic family life continues with the postal clerk. Provocative and lovely to look at, this is one of Varda's best and most interesting features (along with Cleo From 5 to 7 and Vagabond).
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.