Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 231: Sunday August 21

After Hours (Scorsese, 1985) & Seconds (Frankenheimer, 1966):
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.

Here is the Roxy's introduction to the evening: "This great double-bill, chosen by broadcaster and novelist Danny Leigh, who will be introducing the evening, is loosely linked by the theme of double-lives. In 1985’s After Hours (from Martin Scorsese looking like he’s having some fun) a New York ordinary-Joe office worker sets off into the night in pursuit of a ‘strange’ date and gets sucked into the dark underbelly of the city. Made nearly 20 years earlier in 1966, Seconds (from John Frankenheimer and starring Rock Hudson) tells of a middle-aged banker tempted to fake his death and start again. This is the stuff that waking nightmares are made of."

Time Out review of After Hours: 

'A quiet New York computer programmer (Dunne) travels downtown to SoHo for a vaguely arranged date. Losing his taxi fare en route is only the first of the night's many increasingly menacing situations, with neurotic New Yorkers all apparently determined to prevent his returning home alive. Scorsese's screwball comedy is perhaps his most frightening picture to date as Dunne slowly but inexorably sinks into a whirlpool of mad and murderous emotions; but a tight and witty script and perfectly tuned performances, perilously balanced between normality and insanity, keep the laughs flowing, while the direction is as polished and energetic as ever. Only the nagging undercurrents of misogyny leave a sour taste in what is otherwise inventive film-making of the first order.' Geoff Andrew 

Here is the trailer. 

Chicago Reader review of Seconds: 

'An aging millionaire is surgically transformed into Rock Hudson and given a new life by a secret organization. While this 1966 SF thriller is detailing the transformation, it's genuinely creepy and suspenseful, thanks largely to the black-and-white cinematography of James Wong Howe, which blends expressionist lighting with the realist overtones of handheld shooting.' 

Here is Saul Bass's great title sequence.

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