Monday, 23 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 44: Mon Feb 13

Badlands (Malick, 1973) & True Romance (Scott, 1993): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.45pm


This 35mm double-bill is part of the 'Double Features' season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review of Badlands:
Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as an aw-shucks madman killer and his fudge-brained girlfriend. Loosely based on the Starkweather-Fugate horror show of the late 50s, writer-director Terrence Malick's 1973 first feature is a film so rich in ideas it hardly knows where to turn. Transcendent themes of love and death are fused with a pop-culture sensibility and played out against a midwestern background, which is breathtaking both in its sweep and in its banality. Days of Heaven put Malick's intuitions into cogent form, but this is where his art begins.
Dave Kehr

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Time Out review of True Romance:
In 1993, Quentin Tarantino was cinema’s boy wonder. ‘Reservoir Dogs’ had smashed indie box-office records, ‘Pulp Fiction’ was in production and his early scripts were being snapped up by the studios – including a matching pair of ‘Badlands’-inspired lovers-on-the-run thrillers. Oliver Stone’s ‘Natural Born Killers’ was a sure thing: an Oscar-winning director, an ultra-hip cast, a script that smartly satirised reality TV and media madness. ‘True Romance’, on the other hand, looked like a dog: director Tony Scott had barely recovered from the debacle of ‘Days of Thunder’, Christian Slater was on the slide after a string of flops and leading lady Patricia Arquette was far less famous than her big sister Rosanna. But hindsight is a beautiful thing. ‘Natural Born Killers’ is unwatchable now, a garish, tasteless, brick-in-the-face satire. Whereas ‘True Romance’ is nothing less than a modern classic: a rocket-fuel romance that rattles from Detroit to Hollywood as Slater’s comic-book geek and Arquette’s hooker with a heart steal a case of cocaine and hit the road. The script is close to flawless: from the big speeches (‘Hundreds of years ago, the Moors conquered Sicily…’) to a string of genius one-liners (‘You… you want me to suck his dick?’). It’s so funny you can forgive Tarantino’s sleazy strain of nerd-boy wish-fulfilment. But it’s Scott’s direction that sets the whole thing on fire, lunging from heart-meltingly sweet to unbearably violent without breaking stride. And ‘True Romance’ contains more crunchy punch-ups, genius casting choices (let’s not forget stoner Brad Pitt) and moments of real, honest emotion than Tarantino’s entire post-‘Pulp’ output put together. Giddy and glorious.

Tom Huddleston

Here (and above) is the trailer for Badlands.

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