TAKE YOUR PICK
1 Halley (Hofmann, 2013): Genesis Cinema, 8.30pm
This fascinating Mexican horror movie is part of
the East End Film Festival, which runs from June 25 to July 10. Here are the details of the full programme.
Here is the EEFF introduction: A tale of urban loneliness with a dash of David Cronenberg, Sebastian
Hofmann’s staggering debut portrays Beto (Alberto Trujillo) a security
guard in a Mexico City gym, whose physical state contrasts wildly with
the healthy bodies around him. Retreating to his apartment, Beto sews
himself up and injects himself with embalming fluid to hold off his
physical deterioration. Wrestling with the notion that he may no longer
be alive, Beto’s desire for life is rekindled by his boss’ advances. Halley is a far cry from social realism, but in its surreal depiction of total isolation, achieves something even more truthful.
Here is the great trailer.
2 The Strange Monsieur Victor (Gremillon, 1938): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm
This film, part of the Jean Gremillon season at BFI Southbank, also screens on July 6th. Full details of the season here.
Chicago Reader review:
In his finest work, including this masterful 1938 noir, the remarkable
French filmmaker Jean Gremillon (1901-'59), trained as a composer and
musician, used mise en scene, script construction, editing, and dialogue
delivery to explore the complex relationship between film and music.
Raimu, one of the greatest French actors, plays the “strange” title
hero, a respectable Toulon merchant who secretly operates as a fence for
local thieves; after he murders a potential blackmailer, an innocent
local shoemaker (Pierre Blanchar) is sent to prison for the crime. Seven
years later the fall guy escapes and returns to Toulon to see his son;
unaware of Victor's guilt, he persuades the merchant to shelter him,
then becomes involved with his wife. None of the moral ambiguities are
lost on Gremillon, who eschews the usual distinctions between heroes and
villains to make this a troubling and offbeat melodrama. Shot both in
Toulon and at Berlin's UFA studio, this potent dissection of appearance
and reality may be less impressive than Gremillon's subsequent Lumiere d'ete (1943), which benefits from Jacques Prevert's dialogue, but it's brilliant filmmaking all the same.
Here is an extract.