Monday, 30 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 214: Thu Aug 2

The White Balloon (Panahi, 1995): BFI Southbank, NFT2 6.20pm


Chicago Reader review:
The most popular non-American movie shown at the 1995 Cannes film festival, this fresh and unpredictable comic “thriller” from Iran is a first feature by Jafar Panahi, a former assistant to the great Abbas Kiarostami (Through the Olive Trees), who's credited, with Panahi and Parviz Shahbazi, with the screenplay. The film describes in real time the adventures of a seven-year-old girl and her older brother in the streets of Tehran during the 85 minutes that elapse just before the celebration of the Iranian New Year. After convincing her mother she needs another goldfish for the celebration, the girl sets off to buy one, but twice en route to the store loses the banknote she's been given; most of the remainder of the film is devoted to her efforts to get the money back. If the plot sounds slender, the movie is both gripping and charming, with well-sketched characters and expert storytelling—and Panahi's efforts to redefine our sense of time along the way are remarkable. A masterpiece, one that grows in impact and subtlety over repeated viewings.' Jonathan Rosenabum

Here is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 213: Wed Aug 1

Blackmail (Hitchcock, 1929): BFI Southbank NFT1 Silent version, 6.30pm; Sound version, 8.45pm

Tonight is the opening at BFI Southbank of one of the most anticipated film seasons in London for many years: the Genius of Hitchcock. It's a major celebration of the most influential and iconic British film director of all time from now until October which includes all his existing films. You have a choice tonight of whether to see the sound or the silent version of Blackmail.

Chicago Reader review:
'Alfred Hitchcock's 1929 masterpiece, his last silent, follows the plight of a murderer caught between her blackmailer and her detective boyfriend. For all the experimental interest of the sound version that followed (the first full-length talkie released in England), this is more fluid and accomplished. Apart from two suspenseful set pieces—an attempted date rape in an artist's studio that ends with the murder of the artist-rapist, and a chase through the British Museum, Hitchcock's first giddy desecration of a national monument—what most impresses is the masterful movement back and forth between subjective and objective modes of storytelling, as well as the pungent uses of diverse London settings. As someone who's always preferred Lang's treatment of serial killers to Hitchcock's, I would opt for this thriller over the much better known The Lodger as Hitchcock's best silent picture, rivaled only by his less characteristic but formally inventive The Ring.' Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here is an extract from the silent version.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 212: Tue July 31

Olympia (Riefenstahl, 1938): Whirled Cinema, 260 Hardess St, Brixton, SE24 OHN.

What more appropriate film to watch and discuss in the middle of the Olympics than one of the most controversial pieces of cinema ever? Documentary film-maker Alexandre Hamel will be the special guest to discuss propaganda, film and the Olympics on what promises to be a fascinating evening. You can read more about the event here.


Chicago Reader review:
'Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi-backed documentary on the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It's quite good when Riefenstahl limits herself to a slightly heightened reporting (as in the Jesse Owens footage), but extremely kitschy when she begins mooning over the athletes' bodies. The philosophical implications of her abstracting, idealizing images are not comforting. Though less overtly political than her notorious Triumph of the Will, the film is no less ideological in intent and execution. The brilliant rhythmic editing is the work of Walter Ruttmann (Berlin: Symphony of a Great City), who here applies the theories of his mentor, the great Russian revolutionary filmmaker Dziga Vertov, to some very un-Vertovian ends.' Dave Kehr 

You can find a link to the memorable diving sequence here.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 211: Mon July 30

God Told Me To (Cohen, 1976): Film Club at Sanctum Hotel, Soho, 7pm

The Film Club at the Sanctum Hotel put on some wonderful movies and you can read more about them here at their Facebook page.

Time Out review:
'A delirious mix of sci-fi, pseudo-religious fantasy and horror detective thriller, with Lo Bianco as the perfect existential anti-hero - a New York cop and closet Catholic, guiltily trapped between wife and mistress. His investigations into a bizarre spate of mass murders lead right to the top: Jesus Christ, no less, is provoking innocent citizens to go on a murderous rampage. The wonderfully insane plot - involving spaceships, genetics and police corruption - builds to an ambiguous climax: a 'gay' confrontation which suggests an outrageous alternative to anal intercourse. God Told Me To overflows with such perverse and subversive notions that no amount of shoddy editing and substandard camerawork can conceal the film's unusual qualities. Digging deep into the psyche of American manhood, it lays bare the guilt-ridden oppressions of a soulless society.'
Steve Woolley
What a trailer . . . which you can see here.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 210: Sun July 29

Beau Travail (Denis, 1998): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.45pm
This is screening as part of the Passport to Cinema season and is also on at BFI Southbank on Friday 27th July in NFT3.

Chicago Reader review:
'A gorgeous mirage of a movie (1999), Claire Denis' reverie about the French foreign legion in eastern Africa, suggested by Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Foretopman, benefits especially from having been choreographed (by Bernardo Montet, who also plays one of the legionnaires). Combined with Denis' superb eye for settings, Agnes Godard's cinematography, and the director's decision to treat major and minor elements as equally important, this turns some of the military maneuvers and exercises into thrilling pieces of filmmaking that surpass even Full Metal Jacket and converts some sequences in a disco into vibrant punctuations. The story, which drifts by in memory fragments, is told from the perspective of a solitary former sergeant (Denis Lavant, star of The Lovers on the Bridge) now living in Marseilles and recalling his hatred for a popular recruit (Gregoire Colin) that led to the sergeant's discharge; the fact that his superior is named after the hero of Jean-Luc Godard's Le petit soldat and played by the same actor almost 40 years later (Michel Subor) adds a suggestive thread, as do the passages from Benjamin Britten's opera Billy Budd. Most of all, Denis, who spent part of her childhood in Djibouti, captures the poetry and atmosphere—and, more subtly, the women—of Africa like few filmmakers before her. A masterpiece.'
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 209: Sat July 28

Quadrophenia (Roddam, 1979):
Portobello Pop-Up Cinema, under the Westway, 3 Acklam Rd, W10

Tonight's screening, which is introduced by the film's director Franc Roddam, is in aid of Cooke's Pie & Mash shop, still under threat from Shepherd's Bush council who appear determined to allow a property developer to demolish the historic Goldhawk Road row of shops next to the Market - despite their actions having been ruled unlawful at the High Court. It comes after numerous expressions of support from the community in W12 and from further afield for their fight for survival, with a horde of mods descending on the Bush earlier this year.

Chicago Reader review:
'Franc Roddam's 1979 film of the Who's rock opera aligns sociological observation and romantic fantasy to create an extravagant, involving teenpic with a responsible intellectual grounding. The dark, grimy visual style meets the Who's naive plotting straight on to create a kind of mythic realism”stirring archetypal situations clothed in pseudodocumentary grit. The hero, a jumpy young mod played with commanding intensity by Phil Daniels, achieves one moment of perfect bliss and then self-destructs, a motif straight out of 19th-century romantic fiction' Dave Kehr

Here is the Brighton club scene.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 208: Fri July 27

Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964):
BFI Southbank, Today in NFT 1 & 3 and then on extended run till Aug 9. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
'Michelangelo Antonioni's first color feature (1964) uses colors expressionistically, and to get the precise hues he wanted, he had entire fields painted. The film came at the end of his most fertile period, just after L'Avventura, La Notte, and Eclipse, and it isn't as good as the first and last of these, but the ecological concerns look a lot more prescient today. Monica Vitti plays a neurotic married woman briefly attracted to industrialist Richard Harris, and Antonioni does eerie, memorable work with the industrial shapes and colors that surround her; she walks through a science fiction landscape dotted with structures that are both disorienting and full of possibilities. Like any self-respecting Antonioni heroine, she's looking for love and meaning and mainly finding sex. But the film's most spellbinding sequence depicts a pantheistic, utopian fantasy of innocence, which she recounts to her ailing son.' Jonathan Rosenbaum


Here are three reasons to watch via the Criterion Collection.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 207: Thu July 26

Two choices today: 70s Euro horror or Michael Winner at the BFI

1 Either get yourself along to:
Queens of Evil (Cervi, 1970): Roxy Bar and Screen, London Bridge, 7.30pm

The Scala Beyond season is being launched tonight. That's good enough reason to get along to the Roxy - but in addition there's a FilmBar 70 screening of a lost cult classic.

Here is their introduction: Filmbar70 proudly presents a masterpiece of early ‘70s Italian genre cinema, the stylish, sexy and enchanting ‘Queens of Evil’. Worshipped by cult cinema aficionados but rarely seen, ‘Queens of Evil’ previously has suffered from poorly presented releases. Filmbar has set the matter straight to present the very best print available – remastered by our own fair hands. 
Starring Ray Lovelock, the sexiest leading Italian man of the ‘70s, and a trio of very lovely ladies indeed, furnished with some dazzling set-design, unafraid to tackle the issues of the time and unabashedly romantic, ‘Queens of Evil’ is the quintessential Filmbar experience.

Great trailer

2 Or on the eve of the Olympics you can see:
The Games (Winner, 1969): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.30pm

A screening from The Flipside team at the BFI. I asked Will Fowler from The Flipside for the history and the ideas behind their screenings and you can read his thoughts here

Here is their introduction to tonight's film: Stylishly shot around the world, with an impressive cast of international stars, this fast-paced 1960s drama of Olympic intrigue sees humble milkman Harry Hayes (Michael Crawford) taken up by a fanatical trainer (a splendidly straight-edged Stanley Baker) and facing some tough decisions as he prepares for the Marathon event in Rome. Some of his opponents: Colonel Pavel Vendek (Charles Aznavour), forced out of retirement by the Czechoslovak authorities; Yale undergraduate playboy Scott Reynolds (Ryan O'Neal) and exploited Aborigine mechanic Sunny Pintubi (Athol Compton). On your marks, get set for a gripping, gruelling racetrack finale…

Introduced by Vic Pratt and Will Fowler, BFI National Archive. We look forward to welcoming Michael Winner for a Q&A session after the screening.

Here is a short extract.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 206: Wed July 25

White Men Can't Jump (Shelton, 1992): Rooftop Film Club, Queen of Hoxton pub, 9pm

I went to a screening of Stand By Me last summer and Life is Sweet earlier this year at this venue and was very impressed. Seating in directors' chairs; lovely food and drink and blankets to keep warm in cool weather. Here is a list of their upcoming attractions.

Time Out review:
'America's homeboy comedy of the year is about basketball only in the sense that writer-director Shelton's Bull Durham was about baseball. It's a truly terrific piece of entertainment propelled by the magic and dynamism of its stars. Sidney Deane (Snipes) meets Billy Hoyle (Harrelson) on a public court where the game is played as a mix of macho combat, stand-up comedy and con-artistry. The jokes and banter are wonderful. But this is also a most unlikely buddy movie, where the black/white pair team up as hustlers floating around the rougher areas of Los Angeles, turn on each other, and finally bury the hatchet to get Billy out of hock to some surprisingly obliging hoods. Sadly, in doing so, the duo alienate Billy's long-suffering Hispanic girlfriend (Perez), who dreams of the straight life and spends her time memorising trivia in hopes of a TV game show break. Snipes and Harrelson bounce off the screen like Michael Jordan, while Shelton and cinematographer Russell Boyd perfectly capture the agile thrills of the game itself. A double-whammy slam-dunker of a movie.'
Steve Grant


Here is the trailer.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 205: Tue July 24

Martin (Romero, 1976) & Ganja and Hess (Gunn, 1973): Roxy Bar & Screen, London Bridge, 7pm

Savage Cinema is a new collective based in London celebrating some of the most breathtaking examples of transgressive, alternative cinema. They begin with a double-bill of two of the most celebrated American independent genre films of the 1970s: George A. Romero’s gritty, self-reflexive yet haunting classic MARTIN (1977), the director’s favourite of his own films; and the UK premiere of the director’s cut of Bill Gunn’s spellbinding, formerly ‘lost’ blaxploitation/avant-garde film GANJA & HESS (1973). Here is the film club's Facebook page.

Time Out review of Martin:
'A dazzling opening sequence (not for the squeamish) as a teenage vampire of today (Amplas) satisfies his bloodlust in a railway sleeper compartment. Thereafter, Romero plays fascinating games with myth and reality as he balances traditional vampire lore against medically certifiable psychosis. Fundamentally a quite serious movie, relevant to contemporary personality problems and stresses, but shot through with a wicked streak of black humour. It doesn't always come off, but Romero makes stunning use of his Pittsburgh locations to create a desolate suburban wasteland, and at its best it is rivetingly raw-edged.' Tom Milne
Here is the trailer

=================================


Time Out review of Ganja and Hess:
'Gunn's film maudit was the most ambitious 'black movie' of its day and a milestone for indie film-making in the US. Opening captions explain that academic Dr Hess Green (Jones, Night of the Living Dead) has been invulnerable and addicted to blood since being stabbed (in a parody of Catholic dogma) with a dagger from 'the ancient Black civilisation of Myrthia'. Affluent and (thanks to discreet raids on a local blood-bank) comfortable, he avoids murdering for sustenance until stuck with a new assistant (Gunn), who turns out to be a suicidal alcoholic. Deliberately fragmented and punctuated with disquieting cutaways to art works, the film charts his growing sense that he is afflicted with a curse, across his marriage to his assistant's widow Ganja (Clark) and his provision of a stud-victim to feed her 'hunger'. Theological musings jostle with sexual-visceral imagery in a mix which is still very potent.' Tony Rayns

Here is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 204: Mon July 23

Brief Encounter (Lean 1945): Greenwich Picturehouse, 1pm

A beautifully acted British cinema classic. The BFI Film Classics collection includes this film - it is written by Richard Dyer and I can thoroughly recommend it. Details here.

Time Out review:

'Critics love to pick at Lean and Coward's oh-so-polite study of English romanticism and repression, but frankly its their loss: those willing to give themselves over to its intense mood of swooning, tightlipped desperation will find themselves swept up in one of the most vivid and impassioned doomed romances ever committed to celluloid. Note-perfect acting and indelible location photography add to what is, in emotional terms at least, arguably the great director's finest hour.' Tom Huddleston

Here is the trailer. 

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 203: Sun July 22

Out of the Past (Tourneur, 1947): Riverside Cinema, 2pm

Is this the greatest film noir? It's definitely a contender.


Chicago Reader review:
'The most delicate and nuanced of film noirs, graced with a reflective lyricism that almost lifts it out of the genre. Robert Mitchum, a former private eye, has taken refuge from life as the owner of a small-town gas station. A gangster (Kirk Douglas) presses him back into service to search for his wandering mistress (Jane Greer). This is no expressionist thunderstorm of guilt and fate, but a film of small, finely textured effects, centered on subtle grades of morality. The cool, feathery photography is by Nicholas Musuraca; the director is Jacques Tourneur.' Dave Kehr

Here is Jane Greer's first appearance: "And then I saw her . . . coming out of the sun."


This screening is part of a double-bill with The Bad and the Beautiful which I wrote about here.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 202: Sat July 21

The Lodger (Hitchcock, 1926): Barbican Cinema, 7.30pm

Here is the Barbican's introduction: Be the first to see Alfred Hitchcock’s early British masterpiece The Lodger, restored to its former glory by the BFI National Archive and presented with live music accompaniment. The Lodger is a suspense thriller shot against a back-drop of a fog-shrouded London and featuring matinee idol of the day, Ivor Novello in the title role. Multi-award winning composer and producer Nitin Sawhney has composed a brand new score for The Lodger. Nitin Sawhney is an Indian-British musician, producer and composer. His critically acclaimed work combines Asian and other worldwide influences with elements of jazz and electronica. His nine studio albums have won fifteen major international awards.

Performed live by Nitin Sawhney and the London Symphony Orchestra.


Tickets are scarce and if you can't get one then the chocie for today is  . . .

The Devil's Business (Hogan, 2011): Rio Cinema, 11.30pm
This screening is presented by the marvellous Cigarette Burns team. You can find out more about them and this evening's entertainment at their Facebook page here.

Here is their introduction to the night: Premiered at Film4 Frightfest last August, THE DEVIL'S BUSINESS garnered praise from across the spectrum, cementing writer/director Sean Hogan as an up-and-coming British filmmaker. Referred to as "The House of the Devil meets Kill List" THE DEVIL'S BUSINESS concerns two hitmen who may just have bitten off more than they can chew, as their latest target returns home early from a night out at the opera, and what was meant to be an easy hit takes an unexpectedly horrific turn for the worst. Following the screening we welcome critic Kim Newman and film maker Sean Hogan on stage for a Q&A. 

Here's a teaser poster and clip from the film.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 201: Fri July 20

Body Double (De Palma, 1984): Hackney Picturehouse, 10.50pm
This late-night screening gets another airing on Saturday 21 July.

One of the highlights of the year on Friday and Saturday night this week, two very rare screenings of Brian De Palma's underrated mid-1980s Hitchcockian thriller. Highly recommended.

Chicago Reader review:
'It pains me to say it, but I think Brian De Palma has gotten a bad rap on this one: the first hour of this thriller represents the most restrained, accomplished, and effective filmmaking he has ever done, and if the film does become more jokey and incontinent as it follows its derivative path, it never entirely loses the goodwill De Palma engenders with his deft opening sequences. Craig Wasson is an unemployed actor who is invited to house-sit a Hollywood Hills mansion; he becomes voyeuristically involved with his beautiful neighbor across the way, and witnesses her murder. Those who have seen Vertigo will have solved the mystery within the first 15 minutes, but De Palma's use of frame lines and focal lengths to define Wasson's point of view is so adept that the suspense takes hold anyway. De Palma's borrowings from Hitchcock can no longer be characterized as hommages or even as outright thievery; his concentration on Hitchcockian motifs is so complete and so fetishized that it now seems purely a matter of repetition compulsion. But Body Double is the first De Palma film to make me think that all of his practice is leading at least to the beginnings of perfection. With Gregg Henry and Melanie Griffith' Dave Kehr 

If you want to read more about this movie there's Susan Dworkin's Double De Palma, an on-the-set account of the making of the film, plus a very thoughtful chapter in Misogyny in the Movies: the De Palma Question by Kenneth Mackinnon.

Here is an extract.

 

Monday, 16 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 200: Thu July 19

Get Carter (Hodges, 1971): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.40pm
This is screening as part of the cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky season and will feature director Mike Hodges. More details here.


Here is the BFI introduction to the night: As part of our celebrations for Wolfgang Suschitszky's centenary, this feature - a British crime classic with Michael Caine cutting a vengeful swathe through the Geordie badlands - exemplifies Suschitzky's ability to combine 'documentary' feeling for location with a command of the camera's dramatic possibilities. It will be preceded by the ever-popular documentary short Snow (1963, 8min), premiering in a new BFI restoration, and introduced by Get Carter director Mike Hodges.

Chicago Reader review:
'Michael Caine stars as Carter, a London hood returning to his home in Newcastle to clear up some family unpleasantness in this 1971 feature. Directed by Michael Hodges (whose later collaboration with Caine, Pulp, proved to be much more satisfactory), with a flair for the wry evocation of genre conventions. Playwright John Osborne appears as a racketeer. Often grim, sometimes nasty, but awfully interesting.' Don Druker
Here
is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 199: Wed July 18

The Duke Mitchell Club Triad Night
Venue: King's Cross Social Club, 2 Britannia Street, WC1X 9JE, 7pm



The Duke Mitchell team put on some of the best film club evenings in the capital. Here is their introduction to the latest one: The Duke's of Asian Summer continues this July with a blistering, never-before-seen action film: a title so brilliantly bonkers and yet so unknown that it's sure to mesmerise the audience. 'Triad' films have a huge place in Hong Kong cinema - just like their U.S. counterparts, they focus on the inner-workings of this mysterious yet alluring organisation, often showing the conflict between humane individuals and a violent enviroment. 

The 1989 example 'Burning Ambition' is without doubt one of the best of the genre: an adult storyline wrapped in ever-increasingly brutal fight pieces. When we say this will make you rub your eyes in disbelief, we're not kidding! But that's not all: The Duke will also present a Triad trailer trash, a short slot exploring some crazy moves from Hong Kong, posters, music, our always popular quiz and much, much more AND as always it's all FREE!



Thursday, 12 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 198: Tue July 17

Defending Your Life (Brooks, 1991): Lumiere Cinema, 88 Chatsworth Rd, E5, 8.30pm

Chicago Reader review:
'Albert Brooks's 1991 feature is something of a departure from its predecessors (Real Life, Modern Romance, and Lost in America) because of its fantasy premise—a recently deceased adman (Brooks) has to defend his life (screened in the form of movie rushes) before a small tribunal in a sort of theme-park resort called Judgment City—but it's every bit as funny and serious. Meryl Streep plays the saintlike woman Brooks meets and falls in love with in this plastic purgatory while they pursue their separate trials, and the depth of feeling uncovered by their relationship works hand in glove with the daily examination sessions: the twin evils in this metaphysical netherworld, which has more than a passing resemblance to contemporary American society, are fear and stupidity, and over the course of the movie we and Brooks learn a great deal about both. Rip Torn (at his juiciest) plays Brooks's defender, Lee Grant plays his prosecutor, and Buck Henry has a nice comic turn as another defender. A wonderful movie not only for its satirical richness—Judgment City is imagined in copious detail—but for the seriousness of its comedy.'
Jonathan Rosenbaum


Here is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 197: Mon July 16

Nostalgia for the Light (Guzman, 2010): Renoir, Rio and BFI Southbank cinemas

This film was highlighted here back in February but no apologies for returning to this brilliant documentary as it gets a proper release.

Time Out review:
'A rather wonderful essay film from the makers of the Battle of Chile, whose diverse concerns - astronomy, geology, archaeology, history, politics - probably shouldn't hang together but, thanks to his deft way with metpahor, do so to emotionally and intellectually resonant effect. An illuminating, fascinating and finally very moving meditation on time and place and the enduring importance of memory, curiosity, courage and conscience.'

Look at this brilliant trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 196: Sun July 15

The Spy in Black (Powell 1939): Rio Cinema, 1.15pm
A chance to catch a rare screening of Michael Powell's atmospheric World War One spy thriller.

Chicago Reader review:
'This offbeat 1939 British B film was the first collaboration of director Michael Powell and writer Emeric Pressburger, whose partnership would continue through the 50s (The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus). Most of the Powell-Pressburger perversity is already in place in this story of a German spy ring at work in England, told entirely from the villain's point of view. The film is dark and beautifully textured, though not as visually rich as the later, higher-budgeted Powell pictures.'
Dave Kehr


Here is an extract.


This film is part of a double-bill with The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp the re-release of which I wrote about here recently.


Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 195: Sat July 14

A Hard Day's Night (Lester, 1964): Barbican Cinema 2pm
This is screening in the That was the year that was season as part of the City of London 2012 Festival.

Here is Barbican introduction: Having released their first single in 1962, The Beatles rapidly become a world-wide sensation.  United Artists hired TV director Richard Lester to rush through this frenzied ‘must get the band to the show’-style rock-com to capitalise on Beatlemania before the band went out of fashion. Billed as a ‘typical’ 36 hours in the lives of the boy-band, Lester’s film, released just three months after filming started, was a huge hit. Acclaimed by film critics at the time, Lester is now credited as the father of the modern music video.

The soundtrack features I Should Have Known Better, And I Love Her, Tell Me Why, If I Fell and Can't Buy Me Love while Lennon and McCartney penned the title song from Ringo’s malaproped quote one evening after filming.  The Fab Four are joined by Victor Spinelli, Steptoe and Son’s Wilfred Brambell, dancer Lionel Blair and Harrison's future wife Patti Boyd.

Here are the opening titles.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 194: Fri July 13

The Ring (Hitchcock, 1927): Hackney Empire, 8pm 

Here is the BFI introduction to the event: Alfred Hitchcock's love-triangle melodrama is a wonderful evocation of London in the 1920s, following boxer Jack from his fairground roots to the Albert Hall, and an epic fight with his Australian love-rival, Bob. Based on an original Hitchcock screenplay, The Ring's taut pacing and expressionist flourishes pack a real punch, marking it as a worthy precursor to Scorsese's Raging Bull. Presented with the world premiere of a jazz score by Soweto Kinch, performed live by the Soweto Kinch Band.

If you can't make the event there is live streaming of the film via this link.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 193: Thu July 12

The Land That Time Forgot (Connor, 1975): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.20pm

It's the 50th birthday of Amicus films and in celebration BFI Southbank are showing this popular fantasy film from the mid-70s. Here is their introduction: During WW1, survivors from a British merchant ship are taken aboard a German U-boat. A fuel problem forces them to make an unexpected stop on an uncharted island in the South Atlantic. Here they encounter a magical world, where primitive man exists side-by-side with dinosaurs. To celebrate the 50th birthday of Amicus Productions, the famous British sci-fi and horror specialists of the 60s and 70s, we are delighted to revisit this classic fantasy, adapted by Michael Moorcock from the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. We are pleased to announce that actor Keith Barron will be present for a Q&A following the screening of this digitally remastered film.


Here is the trailer.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 192: Wed July 11

House (Obayashi, 1977): Roxy Bar and Screen, London Bridge, 7.45pm
This is the first screening from the Aorta Burst film club. Here is their welcome note:

AORTA BURST is a new monthly film club dedicated to showcasing strange and wonderful films from around the world that are less well travelled than other alternative fare, that hits close to the heart. We kick off on July the 11th with a double bill of Japanese director Nobuhiko Obayashi insanity with the downright fantastic 1977 horror fantasy 'HAUSU' followed by the almost totally unseen 'THE DRIFTING CLASSROOM' from 1987, a gloriously bizarre hallucination based on the legendary manga by Kazuo Umezu.
Time Out review of House:
'This mad Japanese horror flick favours wild, campy invention over formal logic and throbs with originality, offering the rare opportunity to see people perish by, say, drowning in a sea of cat's blood or being transformed into bananas.'
Here is Kim Newman introducing the film

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 191: Tue July 10

Total Recall (Verehoven, 1990): Hackney Picturehouse, 9pm

Time Out review:
'Re-released in advance of a remake starring Colin Farrell, Paul Verhoeven’s absurdist, ultraviolent 1990 space opera may be the weak link in his loose trilogy of satirical sci-fi splatter-coms (it’s not as witty as ‘Robocop’ or as smart as ‘Starship Troopers’), but it’s despicable fun. A miscast Arnold Schwarzeneggerplays Doug Quaid, the ordinary guy who discovers he’s a super-secret agent being hunted for his links to the Martian underground. Or is he? Verhoeven exploits this uncertainty remorselessly – we’re never sure how much of this is ‘real’ and how much is the product of Arnie’s addled  mind. Add to that a nice line in anti-corporate point-scoring, some of the wildest make-up effects ever devised and some brilliantly staged ass-kicking action, and this a magnificently enjoyable romp.' Tom Huddleston


Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 191: Mon July 9

The Daytrippers (Mottola, 1997): Dalston Roof Park, 7.30pm
This film has been selected by the band Still Corners who will play after the screening. Described in Time Out this week as a "smart, acerbic and melancholy New York comedy-drama" this looks well worth a trip.

Chicago Reader review:
'Loving wife (Hope Davis) finds a love letter in husband Tucci's pocket. He's a publisher, so it may be more innocent than it seems, but then, mysteriously, he's not at the office. The wife, her parents, her sister and the sister's boyfriend cram into the car and drive into the city to confront him. Mottola's dysfunctional family comedy is a bit arch, but sometimes sharp. Indie cinema and Neil Simon intersect on the corner of pathos and farce.' Tom Charity


Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 190: Sun July 8

Stagecoach (Ford, 1939): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 4pm
This film is screening as part of the BFI Southbank Passport to Cinema season and will be introduced by Dominic Power.

Chicago Reader review:
'It's fashionable to put down John Ford's 1939 classic; certainly it's the weakest of Ford's major westerns, burdened with a schematic and pretentious Dudley Nichols script (the “cross section of society” on board the stagecoach), but its virtues remain intact. The visual contrast of claustrophobic interior spaces (the coach, the various way stations) with the expanse of Monument Valley provides a vivid physical correlative to the film's thematic push for freedom, and the linear plot has a captivating metaphorical quality in its progress from a dying city through the wilderness to a city reborn. The film moves from east to west, with all that implies.' Dave Kehr


Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 189: Sat July 7

Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922): Spitalfields Market, 9pm FREE
This film screens as part of the East End Film Festival, which runs from July 3rd to the 8th. More details on the Festival here. Here is their introduction to tonight's screening:

East End Film Festival present the World Premiere of A Symphony of Horror, a unique collaboration between soundscapers Minima, Paul Ayres’ Queldryk Choral Ensemble and Hackney based spatial artist Lucy Jones to create a re-imagined film score and performance on the 90th anniversary of the classic 1922 film.
Enter the fully immersive eerie and unsettling world of Nosferatu where the very walls of Spitalfields Market will be alive with creeping shadows and silhouettes, and reverberating with the soaring tones of the Queldryk Choral Ensemble, featuring 60 choristers, accompanied by the festivals favourite soundtrackers, Minima.
Nosferatu is the world’s first great horror movie and one of the pinnacles of the German silent era of filmmaking. Made by the German expressionist FW Murnau, the film has the genuine power to be creepy, odd, alluring, mythic, and beautiful by way of disturbing and enduring images. Max Shreck, in his most notorious role as the monstrous Count Orlock, is a vampire who comes out at night to tempt the living and of course, to suck their blood.
Bring your own cushions and blankets or get down early to claim your seat. This will definitely be a festival highlight and one not to be missed. Film Starts at Sundown… 


Chicago Reader review of the film:
'A masterpiece of the German silent cinema and easily the most effective version ofDracula on record. F.W. Murnau's 1922 film follows the Bram Stoker novel fairly closely, although he neglected to purchase the screen rights—hence, the title change. But the key elements are all Murnau's own: the eerie intrusions of expressionist style on natural settings, the strong sexual subtext, and the daring use of fast-motion and negative photography.' Dave Kehr
Here is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 188: Fri July 6

Electrick Children (Thomas, 2012): Hackney Picturehouse, 6.30pm
This movie is screening as part of the East End Film Festival which runs from July 3rd to the 8th.
More details here.

Time Out review:
'An intriguing if uneven US indie, as Rachel, the sheltered child of Mormon separatists, believes she's been divinely impregnated and sets out to seek answers. Much of the film is founded on wild coincidence and dubious magic-realist happenstance, which tends to undermine its occasional moments of insight. But with glorious magic-hour photography, striking performances from Garner in the lead and Culkin as the sad-eyed hipster wannabe who takes her in, and a confidently sustained mood of uneasy discovery, Electrick Children is worth catching.' Tom Huddleston 
Here is the trailer.