Sunday, 20 April 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 133: Thu May 15

The Rules of Attraction (Avary, 2002): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.30pm

This is an Ali Gray (aka @shiznit) production. I'll let him have the floor. Here is his introduction:

Directed by Roger Avary and adapted from the book by Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules Of Attraction is not your typical college flick. For starters, precious few lessons are learned. Most, if not all of the characters, begin and end the movie as selfish assholes. There isn't a conventional narrative as such: it starts and ends in the middle of a sentence. But in between? A collection of comic and tragic vignettes following US college kids that are so spoiled and detached from reality, it's no surprise one of them is related to Patrick Bateman. 

Hilarious and troubling in equal measure, The Rules Of Attraction leaps between tones like it's playing a game of hopscotch. Technically it's astounding - watch out for Victor's European Vacation, a high-energy montage that condenses an entire fortnight of debauchery into four minutes - but it's devastating when it needs to be. Most importantly, however, it's a showcase for the best James Van Der Beek performance ever: a role that buries Dawson in the creek forever.

Fatally miss-sold in the US upon release in 2002, The Rules Of Attraction is the anti-teen movie: a perfect snapshot of a disillusioned, disinterested, destructive generation. Come celebrate this underrated teen classic with, with themed drinks in the bar beforehand (with red cups!) and fun before the film begins. Deal with it. Rock and roll. Etc.

There's more information at website. Jump in.

Great trailer (here and above).

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 132: Wed May 14

Dazed and Confused (Linklater, 1993):
Rooftop Cinema Club, Queen of Hoxton pub, Shoreditch, 9pm

I've been to a few screenings here in recent summers at this venue and was very impressed. Seating in directors' chairs; lovely food and drink and blankets to keep warm in cool weather. Here is a list of their upcoming attractions.

Time Out review:
School's breaking up for the summer of '76. The seniors debate party politics while next term's freshmen run the gauntlet of brutal initiation rites, barely comforted by the knowledge that they'll wield the stick one day. No one's looking much farther ahead than that. This has a free-wheeling, 'day-in-the-life-of' structure which allows writer/director Linklater, in his second feature, to eavesdrop on an ensemble cast without much in the way of dramatic contrivance. There's a quirky counter-cultural intelligence at work: sympathy for those on the sidelines, and a deadpan pop irony which places this among the hippest teenage movies. While the camera flits between some two dozen youngsters (played by uniformly excellent unknowns), Linklater allows himself to develop a handful of stories. Seriously funny, and shorn of any hint of nostalgia or wish-fulfilment, this is pretty much where it's at.

Tom Charity

Here (and above) are clips.

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 131: Tue May 13

American Graffiti (Lucas, 1973): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm

This is part of the Classic Movie season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review: 'By now, George Lucas's film about the summer of '62 is almost beyond criticism. A brilliant work of popular art, it redefined nostalgia as a marketable commodity and established a new narrative style, with locale replacing plot, that has since been imitated to the point of ineffectiveness. The various heresies perpetrated in its name (everything from Cooley High to FM) are forgivable, but the truly frightening thing about the film is that it's almost become nostalgia itself. Where were you in '73?'
Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer: 'Where were you in 62?'

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 130: Mon May 12

The Warriors (Hill, 1979): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.50pm

Chicago Reader review:
Walter Hill's existential action piece (1979), rendered in a complete stylistic abstraction that will mean tough going for literal-minded audiences. The straightforward, straight-line plot—a street gang must cross the length of New York City, pursued by police and rival fraternities—is given the convoluted quality of a fever dream by Hill's quirky, claustrophobic direction. Not quite the clean, elegant creation that his earlier films were, The Warriors admits to failures of conception (occasional) and dialogue (frequent), but there is much of value in Hill's visual elaboration of the material.
Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 129: Sun May 11

Suzanne (Quillévéré, 2013): Rio Cinema, 4.30pm

This widely praised new French movie plays in a double-bill with Journal de France (Raymond Depardon & Claudine Nougaret, 2012). Details here.

Guardian review:
There is beauty, simplicity and mystery in Katell Quillévéré's film Suzanne, about a truck-driver's daughter in France who gets into trouble. Sara Forestier brings passion to the role of Suzanne and François Damiens is excellent as her dad, Nicolas, who has done his honest best to bring up two girls – Suzanne and her sister, Maria (Adèle Haenel) – after the death of their mother. Everything is OK in their lives, until a handsome, moody guy (Paul Hamy) catches Suzanne's eye.

We see her story playing out in a sequence of intimate scenes, whose drama Quillévéré shapes with candour and calm. Suzanne's life advances in little jumps: time will have passed between scenes, sometimes revealing a new situation, and we must mentally readjust. It is expertly managed, with marvellous subtlety. I have watched the film twice (the first time was when it opened Critic's Week at Cannes last year) and still can't decide if the audience-wrongfooting effect in a certain grave-visiting scene is deliberate or not. 

A tiny glimpse of something allows us to think that a heartstoppingly awful event has happened, but a later, fuller look at what we had only glimpsed shows us this is more awful than we thought. The relationship between the two sisters is lovingly portrayed, and the triangular dynamic with their father is wonderfully managed. It is moving and heartfelt, and Quillévéré makes it look very easy.
Peter Bradshaw

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 128: Sat May 10

The Getaway (Peckinpah, 1972): Barbican Cinema, 4pm

This is part of the 'Strong, Silent Types' season at the Barbican. More details here.

Time Out review:
An evident precursor to The Driver (Walter Hill scripted both, this one from Jim Thompson's novel). The major strength of The Getaway rests solidly on McQueen's central role, a cold tense core of pragmatic violence. Hounded by furies (two mobs, police, a hostile landscape), he responds with a lethal control, blasting his way through shootouts that teeter on madness to the loot, the girl, and Peckinpah's mythic land of Mexico. Survival, purification, and the attainment of grace are achieved only by an extreme commitment to the Peckinpah existential ideal of action - a man is what he does. Peckinpah's own control of the escalating frenzy is masterly; this is one of his coldest films, but a great thriller.
Chris Peachment

Here is the trailer.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 127: Fri May 9

Gold Diggers of 1933 (LeRoy): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.15pm

This is part of the Hollywood Babylon: Early Talkies before the Censor of pre-Code films at the BFI. The pre-Code movies included in the blog are recommended by the London Film Festival programmer Clyde Jeavons. The film also screens on May 2nd and will be introduced by Mike Mashon. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
The great Depression musical, produced by Warner Brothers as a follow-up to Forty-Second Street. If Forty-Second Street was an agreeable sketch, this one is the Sistine Chapel, an insanely overproduced extravaganza that gave Busby Berkeley his first chance to really cut loose. A zillion chorus girls playing electric violins decorate "The Shadow Waltz"; "Pettin' in the Park" is an unbridled voyeuristic fantasy that rivals Michael Powell's Peeping Tom in perversity. Ginger Rogers sings "We're in the Money" in pig latin, and—to give the enterprise a noble touch—the plight of the unemployed veteran is explored in "Remember the Forgotten Man." With Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, Warren William, Aline MacMahon, Sterling Holloway, Guy Kibbee, and Ned Sparks; Mervyn LeRoy directed the dialogue passages.
Dave Kehr

Here is that 'Pettin' in the Park' extract.