Sunday, 11 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 250: Sat Sep 7

The Road to Nowhere 1970s American road movie all-dayer:
Genesis Cinema, 12 noon-11.30pm

1pm TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (Hellman, 1971)

3pm DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY (Hough, 1974)

4.50pm ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE (Guercio, 1973)

7pm THE DRIVER (Hill, 1978)

9pm VANISHING POINT (Sarafian, 1971)

This all-dayer is part of the Scalarama season which runs throughout September. Scalarama is the  follow-up to Scala Forever and Scala Beyond and brings together all types of different cinemas, venues, film clubs, societies, pop-ups and festivals to encourage and champion repertory and community cinema, and be the UK’s widest and most inclusive film event.

Here is a link to the full calendar of films being shown and here is the Scalarama Facebook page. There's a very good article about the background to the season here at Mostly Film.

Chicago Reader review of Two-Lane Blacktop:
This exciting existentialist road movie by Monte Hellman, with a swell script by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Corry and my favorite Warren Oates performance, looks even better now than it did in 1971, although it was pretty interesting back then as well. James Taylor and Dennis Wilson are the drivers of a supercharged '55 Chevy, and Oates is the owner of a new GTO (these nameless characters are in fact identified only by the cars they drive); they meet and agree to race from New Mexico to the east coast, though an assortment of side interests periodically distracts them, including various hitchhikers (among them Laurie Bird). (GTO hilariously assumes a new persona every time he picks up a new passenger, rather like the amorphous narrator in Wurlitzer's novel Nog.) The movie starts off as a narrative but gradually grows into something much more abstract—it's unsettling but also beautiful.
Jonathan Rosenabum
Chicago Reader review of Electra Glide in Blue:
Alternately genial and portentous, this nervy 1973 Panavision inversion of the Easy Rider formula stars Robert Blake as an Arizona motorcycle cop grappling with existential issues. James William Guercio's direction rips off virtually every icon in the American cinematic shrine, from the monumental vistas of John Ford westerns to the leather-and-chrome fetishism of the Corman biker epics, and chaotically combines wide-screen close-ups in shallow focus, sweeping panoramas, slapstick, bathos, pathos, and two performances of occasional subtlety from Blake and Billy Green Bush.
Don Druker
Chicago Reader review of The Driver:
An audacious, skillful film noir (1978) by Walter Hill, so highly stylized that it's guaranteed to alienate 90 percent of its audience. There's no realism, no psychology, and very little plot in Hill's story of a deadly game between a professional getaway driver (Ryan O'Neal) and a detective obsessed with catching him (Bruce Dern). There is, however, a great deal of technically sophisticated and very imaginative filmmaking. The cross-references here are Howard Hawks, Robert Bresson, and Jean-Pierre Melville: a strange, heady, and quite effective range of influences. With Isabelle Adjani, Ronee Blakley, and Matt Clark.

Dave Kehr

Chicago Reader review of Vanishing Point:
After driving nonstop from San Francisco to Denver, a silent macho type (Barry Newman) accepts a bet that he can make it back again in 15 hours; a blind DJ named Super Soul (Cleavon Little) cheers him on while the cops doggedly chase him. While Richard Sarafian's direction of this action thriller and drive-in favorite isn't especially distinguished, the script by Cuban author Guillermo Cabrera Infante (writing here under the pseudonym he adopted as a film critic, G. Cain) takes full advantage of the subject's existential and mythical undertones without being pretentious, and you certainly get a run for your money, along with a lot of rock music. With Dean Jagger and Victoria Medlin.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

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