Friday, 20 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 41: Fri Feb 10

The Burning (Maylam, 1981): Prince Charles Cinema, 11.30pm


This screening is part of the Arrow Video Club season. Full details here.

Prince Charles Cinema introduction:
Of all the many slice-and-dice films that emerged in the early ‘80s, few remain as gruesomely effective as The Burning – the notorious “video nasty” now finally unleashed on the big-screen! When an ill-advised prank misfires, summer camp caretaker Cropsy is committed to hospital with hideous burns. Released after five years, hospital officials warn him not to blame the young campers who caused his disfigurement. But no sooner is Cropsy back on the streets than he’s headed back to camp with a rusty pair of shears in hand, determined to exact his bloody revenge. With standout gore effects courtesy of FX legend Tom Savini, The Burning proved too shocking for UK censors upon its original video release. Now, fully uncut and in High Definition, The Burning is ready to reclaim its place as the ultimate summer camp nightmare.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 40: Thu Feb 9

Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Ming-liang, 2003): Barbican Cinema, 8.45pm


This 35mm presentation is part of the 'cinema matters: industrial light and magic' season at the Barbican. You can find details of all the films here.

Here is the Barbican's introduction:
Susan Sontag wrote that movie-going is an essential part of the experience we want from film – the experience of surrendering to and being transported by what’s on the screen. It’s not just a question of the size of the screen; to be properly “kidnapped” in this way by a movie, she writes, “you have to be in a movie theatre, seated in the dark among anonymous strangers.” It’s never the same at home. Now that there are so many other ways of watching films, the centrality of movie-going to the movie experience is sadly much diminished. This beautiful, mournful 2003 film, a kind of Taiwanese Last Picture Show, is an affectionate tribute to the film medium, cinemas and the pleasures of cinema-going.

Chicago Reader review:
For all its minimalism, Tsai Ming-liang's 2003 masterpiece manages to be many things at once: a Taiwanese
 
Last Picture Show, a failed heterosexual love story, a gay cruising saga, a melancholy tone poem, a mordant comedy, a creepy ghost tale. A cavernous Taipei movie palace on its last legs is (improbably) showing King Hu's groundbreaking 1966 hit Dragon Inn to a sparse audience (which includes a couple of that film's stars) while a rainstorm rages outside. As the martial-arts classic unfolds on the screen, so do various elliptical intrigues in the theater—the limping cashier, for instance, pines after the projectionist, even though she never sees him. Tsai has a flair for skewed compositions and imparts commanding presence to seemingly empty pockets of space and time.

Jonathan Rosenbaum 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 39: Wed Feb 8

Her Man (Garnett, 1930): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.30pm


This film is part of the 'Martin Scorsese Curates' season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown at the cinema on February 25th. Full details here.

BFI introduction:
From the brief risqué interlude before the Production Code made Hollywood movies squeaky clean comes this serio-comic chronicle of a Cuban clip joint, where the girls dream of a better life as their pimps keep them earning. An always entertaining amalgam of melodrama, vaudevillian knockabout and bouncy trad jazz – with director Garnett’s serpentine tracking shots debunking early sound cinema’s static reputation.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 38: Tue Feb 7

California Split (Altman, 1974): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.20pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Cinematic Jukebox strand at the Prince Charles Cinema. You can find all the details of the season here.

Robert Altman made a number of groundbreaking films in the 1970s (MASH, The Long Goodbye, Nashville and McCabe and Mrs Miller). This one has slipped through the net but is no less innovative and is a must-see for anyone interested in the director's work.

Elliott Gould (slumbering through the decade in his inimitable style) and George Segal are excellent in the lead roles. It's funny and poignant and undoubtedly the best film I've seen on the subject of gambling as the pair take the well-worn road from casino to racetrack to card hall, ending up in Reno.

Chicago Reader review:
Robert Altman's masterful 1974 study of the psychology of the compulsive gambler. Elliott Gould, loose, jocular, and playful, and George Segal, neurotic, driven, and desperate, are really two halves of the same personality as they move from bet to bet, game to game, until they arrive for the big showdown in Reno. As in all Altman films, winning is losing; and the more Altman reveals, in his oblique, seemingly casual yet brilliantly controlled way, the more we realize that to love characters the way Altman loves his, you have to see them turned completely inside out.


Monday, 16 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 37: Mon Feb 6

It Always Rains on Sunday (Hamer, 1947): BFI Southbank, Studio, 6pm


Director Robert Hamer is one of the unsung heroes of British cinema. His best-known film is Kind Hearts and Coronets, the blackest of jet-black comedies, but this noirish East end thriller is thoroughly deserving of attention too. Echoes of the work of Carne, Renoir and Lang have been detected in this fatalistic tale of Googie Withers and the ex-boyfriend convict who comes back into her life. This film, which screens as part of the Big Screen Classic season at BFI Southbank, is also beign shown on February 2nd and 27th. Details here.
 

Chicago Reader review:
Rooted in the film noir of the 40s but anticipating the kitchen sink realism of the 50s, this superlative British drama (1947) transpires in the dingy Bethnal Green neighborhood of east London, where it probably rains Monday through Saturday as well. A former barmaid (Googie Withers) grimly keeps up her end of a loveless working-class marriage, barely concealing her jealousy toward her attractive young stepdaughters. When her former lover (John McCallum) breaks out of Dartmoor Prison and shows up at her doorstep, she can't help but take him in. Robert Hamer, best known for directing Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), shows a fluency with noir's shadowy visual vocabulary, but what really links this to the genre is its sense of haunting regret and lost opportunity.

JR Jones
 
Here (and above) is an extract.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 36: Sun Feb 5

Lost Highway (Lynch, 1997): Curzon Soho, 3pm


Here's an exciting new venture. A Curzon Soho season labelled 'Enthusiasm' dedicated to monthly 16mm/35mm Sunday afternoon screenings. February's event is entitled 'Hollywood Babylon'.

Here is the cinema's introduction:
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Kenneth Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kafkaesque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. A fuller introduction can be found here.


Chicago Reader review of Lost Highway:
It's questionable how much Barry Gifford has benefited the work of David Lynch—either in furnishing the source material for Wild at Heart or in collaborating on this even more noir-heavy script—but this 1996 feature was Lynch's most audacious break from conventional narrative since Eraserhead. The enigmatic plot, shaped like a Möbius strip, concerns a jazz musician (Bill Pullman) who inexplicably changes into a much younger garage mechanic (Balthazar Getty) after possibly killing his wife (Patricia Arquette). The wife seems to have been reincarnated as a gangster's girlfriend (Arquette again), who pursues the mechanic. Despite the shopworn noir imagery and teenage notions of sex, this beautifully structured (if rigorously nonhumanist) explosion of expressionist effects has a psychological coherence that goes well beyond logical story lines, and Lynch turns it into an exhilarating roller-coaster ride. With Robert Blake (as Arquette's eerie doppelganger), Gary Busey, Lucy Butler, Robert Loggia, Jack Nance, and Richard Pryor in a somewhat out-of-kilter cameo.

Jonathan Rosenbaum


This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
d instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf

Friday, 13 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 35: Sat Feb 4

The Age of Innocence (Scorsese, 1993): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 2.30pm


This 4K digital screening is part of the Martin Scorsese season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown on February 2nd, 10th, 14th and 24th. Full details here.

Time Out film review:
Martin Scorsese's magnificent film, taken from Edith Wharton's novel, is set in 1870s New York and centres on lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis), whose plans to wed the impeccably connected Mary Welland (Wynona Rider) are upset by his love for her unconventional cousin, the Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer). The performances are excellent, while the director employs all the tools of his trade to bring his characters and situations vividly to life; from the start, it's clear from the speedy cutting and sumptuous mise-en-scène that Scorsese and his team are intent on drawing us into the heart of Archer's perceptions and the world around him (this is, most certainly, an expressionist film). Decor reflects and oppresses characters; posture, gesture and glance (like the witty, ironic narration) convey not only individual psychology but the ideals of an entire, etiquette-obsessed elite. Everything here serves to express an erotic fervour, imprisoned by unbending social rituals designed to preserve the status quo in favour of a self-appointed aristocracy. Scorsese's most poignantly moving film.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.