Thursday, 21 May 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 156: Fri Jun 5

Clash by Night (Lang, 1952): BFI Southbank, 8.45pm (35mm screening)


This great Fritz Lang film is part of the Marilyn Monroe season at BFI Southbank and also screens on 6th June. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A love triangle set in a scruffy seaport town, with Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, and Robert Ryan. The script, adapted from a Clifford Odets play, seems to have roused the realist in director Fritz Lang: the backwater atmosphere is as authentic as it is oppressive. The naturalism of this 1952 film, one of Lang's most underrated, makes an interesting contrast with the wild exaggerations of his Rancho Notorious, made the same year; for the buffs, there's also an early starlet appearance by Marilyn Monroe.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is a compendium of Monroe's appearances in the film.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 155: Thu Jun 4

Barry Lyndon (Kubrick, 1975): Regent Street Cinema, 8pm


Chicago Reader review:
All of Stanley Kubrick's features look better now than when they were first released, but Barry Lyndon, which fared poorly at the box office in 1975, remains his most underrated. It may also be his greatest. This personal, idiosyncratic, melancholy, and long (three hours) adaptation of the Thackeray novel is exquisitely shot in natural light (or, in night scenes, candlelight) by John Alcott, with frequent use of slow backward zooms that distance us, both historically and emotionally, from its rambling picaresque narrative about an 18th-century Irish upstart (Ryan O'Neal). Despite its ponderous, funereal moods and pacing, the film is a highly accomplished piece of storytelling, building to one of the most suspenseful duels ever staged. It also repays close attention as a complex and fascinating historical meditation, as enigmatic in its way as 2001: A Space Odyssey. With Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Kruger, and Leonard Rossiter; narrated by Michael Hordern.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 154: Wed Jun 3

The Frighteners (Jackson, 1996): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm


This film screens as part of the From The Universal Archives season. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Peter Jackson's follow-up to Heavenly Creatures is an sfx-heavy scarefest that looks at first like a return to the slapstick horror-comedy of Braindead. Later, however, it flips into a grim, disturbing horror movie about the malevolent spirit of a serial killer back from the grave to increase his body count. Fake para-psychologist Frank Bannister (Fox) is in cahoots with a trio of tortured souls - hip dude Cyrus (McBride), creaky-boned old-timer The Judge (Astin), and nerdy bookworm Stuart (Fyfe): they scare the shit out of Fairwater's inhabitants while Frank cleans up the mess. A series of unexplained deaths heralds the arrival of a Grim Reaper-like spirit that Frank alone can see. This may be connected to a thrill-kill case in which Patricia Bradley (Stone), now a middle-aged, mother-dominated recluse, and her hospital orderly boyfriend Johnny Bartlett (Busey) massacred a dozen patients and hospital staff. Though funded by Hollywood, this New Zealand-shot movie was creatively controlled by Jackson and co-writer Fran Walsh. So while the on-screen violence is toned down, there's no soft-pedalling the ugliness of mass murder or the obscenity of ill-deserved media celebrity. At times the relentless special effects and tangled plotting veer towards visual and narrative overkill, but the final tonal swerve is shocking and effective.Nigel Floyd

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 153: Tue Jun 2

Klute (Pakula, 1971): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm


This is part of the Alan Pakula Paranoia Trilogy at the Prince Charles and is screening from a 35mm print. Full details here.

Chicago Reader:
As close to a classic as anything New Hollywood produced, Alan Pakula's 1971 film tells of a small-town detective who comes to New York in search of a friend's killer. The trail leads to a tough-minded hooker who can't understand the cop's determination. Donald Sutherland works small and subtly, balancing Jane Fonda's flashy virtuoso technique.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 152: Mon Jun 1

Salvatore Giuliano (Rosi,1962): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.10pm


This film, part of the Passport to Cinema season, can also be seen on 2 June. Tonight's screening will be introduced by film lecturer Lucy Reynolds. You can find all the details here.

Time Out review:
A landmark in political cinema, Francesco Rosi’s 1962 masterpiece marshalled the people of rural Sicily to re-enact the turbulent events that befell their region after WWII. Notorious bandit Salvatore Giuliano – fatally shot in 1950 – symbolises the turmoil of Sicily’s then-active independence movement. Giuliano’s services were called upon when it was convenient before he was abandoned.  This is no biopic, however – Giuliano is barely glimpsed. Instead, the film focuses on the fortunes of poverty-stricken Sicilians mired in neglect and corruption shaped by rivalries between Left and Right, Mafia and state, police and army. Among the most striking black-and-white movies ever made, this documentary-influenced Scorsese favourite is pulsating yet reflective, its outrage at injustice sharpened by the knowledge that Italy’s secret history of mendacity and collusion may never be fully uncovered. Place it alongside ‘The Battle of Algiers’ and ‘Z’ in the pantheon of political greats.
Trevor Johnston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 151: Sun May 31

Mandingo (Fleischer, 1975): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 3pm


This film (being shown on 35mm) screens as part of the Southern Gothic season. The movie is also being shown on Sunday 24th May. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
One of the most neglected and underrated Hollywood films of its era, Richard Fleischer's blistering 1975 melodrama about a slave-breeding plantation in the Deep South, set in the 1840s, was widely ridiculed as camp in this country when it came out. But apart from this film and Charles Burnett's recent Nightjohn, it's doubtful whether many more insightful and penetrating movies about American slavery exist. Scripted by Norman Wexler from a sensationalist novel by Kyle Onstott; with James Mason, Susan George, Perry King, Richard Ward, Brenda Sykes, and Ken Norton.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 150: Sat May 30

Once Were Warriors (Tamahori, 1994): King's College London, 1.30pm


This screens as part of the Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts.

Chicago Reader review:
A gritty, powerful first feature by Lee Tamahori, a director with a Maori father and a European mother, adapted by Maori playwright Riwia Brown from a popular novel by Alan Duff. The film focuses on a contemporary Maori family living in urban New Zealand and steeped in violence—the family includes an abusive but passionate father, a volatile but devoted wife, and, among the children, one gang member, one son at reform school, and an intellectually ambitious teenage daughter. Reportedly the original novel is stream of consciousness, switching between family members in the manner of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, and Brown was brought in to tell the story mainly from the viewpoint of the wife. At once upsetting and highly involving, it packs an undeniable punch. With Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell, and Julian “Sonny” Arahanga.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the opening scene.