Sunday, 19 November 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 334: Sun Dec 3

Les Valseuses (Blier, 1974): Cine Lumiere 4pm


This screening is part of the Jeanne Moreau season. Full details here.

Cine Lumiere introduction:
Les Valseuse
features Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere as a pair of sociopaths wending their way across France. The two men break into houses, but largely as a prelude to seducing and exploiting women. Actresses Miou-Miou, Jeanne Moreau and Isabelle Huppert join the dance in Blier’s powerful satire of social and sexual mores.


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 333: Sat Dec 2

Kiss Me Deadly 6.20pm (Aldrich, 1955): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 3.30pm


This 35mm presentation, which also screens on December 8th, is part of the 'Can You Trust Them?' season at BFI Southbank season. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
The end of the world, starring Ralph Meeker (at his sleaziest) as Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (at his most neolithic). Robert Aldrich's 1955 film is in some ways the apotheosis of film noir—it's certainly one of the most extreme examples of the genre, brimming with barely suppressed hysteria and set in a world totally without moral order. Even the credits run upside down. This independently produced low-budget film was a shining example for the New Wave directors—Truffaut, Godard, et al—who found it proof positive that commercial films could accommodate the quirkiest and most personal of visions.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the remarkable opening with those subversive credits.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 332: Fri Dec 1

Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick, 1999): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.50pm


Here's one of the great films set during Christmas, and an opportunity to see Stanley Kubrick's much-underrated final movie in an original 35mm print.

If you're interested in reading more about this film I can recommend two BFI publications - Michel Chion's Modern Classics monograph on Eyes Wide Shut and the chapter on the film in James Naremore's book titled On Kubrick.

Chicago Reader review:
Initial viewings of Stanley Kubrick's movies can be deceptive because his films all tend to be emotionally convoluted in some way; one has to follow them as if through a maze. A character that Kubrick might seem to treat cruelly the first time around (e.g., Elisha Cook Jr.'s fall guy in The Killing) can appear the object of tender compassion on a subsequent viewing. The director's desire to avoid sentimentality at all costs doesn't preclude feeling, as some critics have claimed, but it does create ambiguity and a distanced relationship to the central characters. Kubrick's final feature very skillfully portrays the dark side of desire in a successful marriage; since the 60s he'd been thinking about filming Arthur Schnitzler's brilliant novella "Traumnovelle," and working with Frederic Raphael, he's adapted it faithfully--at least if one allows for all the differences between Viennese Jews in the 20s and New York WASPs in the 90s. Schnitzler's tale, about a young doctor contemplating various forms of adultery and debauchery after discovering that his wife has entertained comparable fantasies, has a somewhat Kafkaesque ambiguity, wavering between dream and waking fantasy (hence Kubrick's title), and all the actors do a fine job of traversing this delicate territory. Yet the story has been altered to make the successful doctor (Tom Cruise) more of a hypocrite and his wife (powerfully played by Nicole Kidman) a little feistier; Kubrick's also added a Zeus-like tycoon (played to perfection by Sydney Pollack) who pretends to explain the plot shortly before the end but in fact only summarizes the various mysteries, his cynicism and chilly access to power revealing that Kubrick is more of a moralist than Schnitzler. To accept the premises and experiences of this movie, you have to be open to an expressionist version of New York with scant relation to the 90s (apart from cellular phones and AIDS) and a complex reading of a marriage that assumes the relations between men and women haven't essentially changed in the past 70-odd years. This is a remarkably gripping, suggestive, and inventive piece of storytelling that, like Kubrick's other work, is likely to grow in mystery and intensity over time.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer. 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 331: Thu Nov 30

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007): Genesis Cinema, 8.50pm


This modern classic will be screened from a 35mm print.

Time Out review:
Where does criminality end and celebrity begin is the question posed by Australian director Andrew Dominik whose stunning second film – after 2000’s excellent (and not entirely dissimilar) ‘Chopper’ – sets the Western genre barn ablaze to deliver a gripping, Gothic tête à tête between two of American history’s most morally perplexing folk heroes. Kicking off with an expertly choreographed train robbery which acts as both a narrative nub and tonal barometer for the director’s bucolic, mournful mise en scene and script, the film then ruefully traces the interlocking paths of Jesse James and his young admirer Robert Ford. Early word suggested that Casey Affleck’s Ford was the man to keep an eye on come awards season, but this is unquestionably Pitt’s film, his James insouciantly radiating a piercing, unreadable intensity redolent of Joe Pesci’s work with Scorsese, a truly enigmatic presence constantly obscured behind warped glass, thick smoke, or even his own visibly battered visage. Though, in the end, the film’s main intention is to have you query every element of its mischievous title (and you probably will), it’s a journey of immense emotional foreboding and, flabby coda aside, a red-raw classic. 

David Jenkins

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 330: Wed Nov 29

Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979): Regent Street Cinema, 7.30pm



This 35mm presentation is part of a short Joseph Conrad on Film season at Regent Street Cinema, which also includes and excellent 'Outcast of the Island' and 'The Duellists' double-bill on November 30th. You can find full details here.

Time Out review:

The central storyline – Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is tasked with tracking down and executing Marlon Brando’s rogue Colonel Kurtz – is essentially a slender thread upon which Francis Ford Coppola and his co-writer John Milius hang a number of increasingly wild asides. But these brief, brutal and seemingly unconnected incidents work together to drive the film forward: in their very randomness, they build a picture of a war being fought without strategy or clear intent, making Willard’s mission simultaneously clearer and more morally meaningless. In contrast to Coppola’s earlier ‘The Godfather Part II’ and ‘The Conversation’, ‘Apocalypse Now’ isn’t a conspicuously ‘smart’ film: literary references aside, there are no intellectual pretensions here. Instead, as befits both its tortuous hand-to-mouth genesis and the devastating conflict it reflects, this is a film of pure sensation, dazzling audiences with light and noise, laying bare the stark horror – and unimaginable thrill – of combat. And therein lies the true heart of darkness: if war is hell and heaven intertwined, where does morality fit in? And, in the final apocalyptic analysis, will any of it matter?
Tom Huddleston

Here (and above) is the original trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 329: Tue Nov 28

In The White City (Tanner, 1983): Picturehouse Central, 6.30pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Bruno Ganz retrospective at Picturehouse Central. You can find the full details of the season here.

Chicago Reader review:
A sailor (Bruno Ganz) abandons his job as a hand on an automated oil tanker to spend a few days exploring the city of Lisbon. Suddenly liberated from purpose, responsibility, and structured time, he finds that the world looks different to him, and slowly he loses himself in its newly opened fissures. What gives this 1983 film its authenticity and powerful moodiness is perhaps the fact that the director, Alain Tanner, has followed the course of his own protagonist, cutting himself off from a planned scenario and allowing the shape of the city to dictate the incidents of his drama. Temperamentally it's like no other Tanner film (at times, it suggests the work of Wim Wenders), but it has all his rigor and visual acuteness. With Teresa Madruga (of Manuel de Oliveira's Francisca).
Dave Kehr


Here (and above) is an extract.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 328: Mon Nov 27

The Glass Wall (Shane, 1953): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.40pm


This 35mm presentation is a rare screening for a 1953 film noir in the Gloria Grahame season. You can find all the details of the season here. The film is also being shown on November 20th.

BFI introduction:
One of Grahame’s lesser-known titles, this film also offered her a rare starring role. She appears opposite Italian star Vittorio Gassman, who plays a Hungarian illegal immigrant determined to remain in the US, with one night to track down the person who can save him from deportation. Grahame gives an exquisite performance as a woman on the breadline who forms a bond with the desperate man.The screening on Monday 20 November will be introduced by season curator Jo Botting of the BFI National Archive.