Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 225: Monday August 15

Morgiana (Herz, 1973) & Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jires, 1970):
Roxy Bar & Screen, 7pm

This is part of the Scala Forever season, a programme of 111 films at 26 venues through to October 2 that will celebrate the wonderful Scala cinema at King's Cross which closed in 1993. Here is an article I wrote in the Guardian on the history of the cinema and the season and here are the details of all the movies and special events on offer, via the Scala Forever website.

Time Out review of Morgiana:

'Delirious gothic fairtytale with Janzurova playing both the roles of 'good' and 'bad' sister in this adaptation of Alexander Grin's Edwardian-set novel. Tom Hutchinson has callled it "living Aubrey Beardsley, which captures the perfectly the ornate costume and set design, but not the hallucinatory Hammer-like atmospherics and the drenched color. Often shot from the point of view of the cat (Morgiana), the film is an elegant, beautifully executed, post-60s essay on sex and repression.' 
Wally Hammond

Here is the rather wonderful opening.

Time out review of Valeris and Her Week of Wonders: 

'Shot in the lyrical Elvira Madigan mode, this celebrates the 'first stirrings of adolescence' of a beautiful young girl in a vaguely-defined Transylvanian townscape sometime in the last century. A student of folklore and mythology could perhaps detect a logical thread in the continuous sequence of vampires, devils, black magic, ritual and dance that the film presents, but for most people it will be a simpler and undemanding pleasure to sit back and be agreeably surprised as the images unfold. There is no clearly-defined story; the film's logic is that of the subconscious, its images those of the Gothic fairytale and the psychiatrist's couch, and its overall effect is stunning.'

Here is the trailer. 

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