Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 35: Mon Feb 4

Gigi (Minnelli, 1959): Curzon Soho, 6.30pm

This 35mm screening is part of the season (details here) celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Curzon Soho and was the film which premiered in the UK at the cinema, then known as the Columbia. Gigi star Leslie Caron will be on hand to introduce the film.

Chicago Reader review:
Lerner and Loewe turned Colette's novel into the archetypal "Gallic romp," but while their score often falters, Vincente Minnelli's mise-en-scene does not (1958). It's easy to drift away from the story and become absorbed in Minnelli's impossibly delicate textures, but there is a little something here for everybody. Maurice Chevalier sings the Humbertian anthem "Thank Heaven for Little Girls," Louis Jourdan and Leslie Caron make competent lovers, and it's Academy Awards (nine to be exact) all around. With Hermione Gingold, Jacques Bergerac, and Eva Gabor.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 34: Sun Feb 3

He Who Gets Slapped (Sjostrom, 1924): Barbican Cinema, 4pm

This masterpiece of silent cinema will be screened in 35mm and accompanied by composer and pianist Taz Modi.

Chicago Reader review:
Victor Sjostrom's 1924 silent film features a rare restrained performance by Lon Chaney, as a disgraced scientist who works as a circus clown while plotting his revenge. Sjostrom is probably best known to most filmgoers for his performance as the old man in Ingmar Bergman's 
Wild Strawberries, but as a director, both in Sweden and the U.S., he pioneered a naturalistic style that is still unsurpassed in its grace and lyric subtlety.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 33: Sat Feb 2

Groundhog Day (Ramis, 1993): Prince Charles Cinema, 1pm

What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . . What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . . What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . .

New Statesman film critic, Ryan Gilbey, has written a BFI Modern Classics monograph on Groundhog Day which I can highly recommend. Here is an extract from a feature he wrote for the Observer on the film:

'[Groundhog Day] has emerged as one of the most influential films in modern cinema - and not only on other movies. Tony Blair did not refer to Jurassic Park in his sombre speech about the Northern Ireland peace process. Dispatches during the search for weapons of mass distraction made no mention of Mrs Doubtfire . And the Archbishop of Canterbury neglected to name-check Indecent Proposal when delivering the 2002 Richard Dimbleby Lecture. But Groundhog Day was invoked on each of these occasions.

The title has become a way of encapsulating those feelings of futility, repetition and boredom that are a routine part of our lives. When Groundhog Day is referred to, it is not the 2 February celebration that comes to mind, but the story of a cynical TV weatherman, Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray, who pitches up in Punxsutawney to cover the festivities. Next morning, he wakes to discover it's not the next morning at all: he is trapped in Groundhog Day. No matter what crimes he commits or how definitively he annihilates himself, he will be returned to his dismal bed-and-breakfast each morning at 5.59am ...'

Here all the Ned Ryerson scenes, here are all the Ned Ryerson scenes, here are all the Ned Ryerson scenes ...

Monday, 21 January 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 32: Fri Feb 1

Ladies of Leisure (Capra, 1930): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6pm

This 35mm screening is the first film in the Barbara Stanwyck season at BFI Southbank. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A young Barbara Stanwyck, in her third feature film, is the highlight of this early talkie (1930) by Frank Capra. She's a Broadway baby who falls in love with playboy Ralph Graves; they can't marry because his family objects to her past. The melodrama doesn't bring out the best of Capra's talents, and much of the film is stiff and uninteresting. But Stanwyck, still in the process of assembling her screen persona, has a softness and vulnerability she would later shuck; she's like a tough-talking Janet Gaynor.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the opening.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 31: Thu Jan 31

Zombie /aka Zombi 2/Zombie Flesh Eaters (Fulci, 1979): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.40pm

This film is part of the 'Terror Vision' strand at BFI Southbank. More details here.

BFI Southbank introduction:
Initially billed as a sequel to Dawn of the Dead (despite no connection to Romero’s classic), Lucio Fulci’s film takes place on a Caribbean island, where a young woman stumbles upon an outbreak of the undead as she’s searching for her missing father. Boasting some of the director’s most outré set-pieces (zombie vs shark, anyone?), this eye-popping shocker gained infamy in the UK as an official video nasty.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 30: Wed Jan 30

Séance on a Wet Afternoon (Forbes, 1964): Regent Street Cinema, 12pm & 3.30pm

This rare screening is from a 35mm print.

Time Out review:

Kim Stanley
 can hardly be known to most of today's cinema audiences: she appears in only four films, and her fame rests on her stage work (even that is pretty sparse). She plays degenerating women, yet her technique is not the Mad Medusa writ large, such as Swanson in Sunset Blvd. or Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? She's creepier than that, and more believable. In the movie, she is married to a meek and mild Attenborough - a childless marriage in a gloomy Victorian house. She concocts a scheme to kidnap a child, and then gain notoriety by discovering the child's whereabouts through psychomancy. Her performance is utterly superb, and so too is Attenborough's: with his leather crash helmet, goggles and clapped-out motor-bike, he looks like a reject Hell's Angel from Orphée.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 29: Tue Jan 29

Quick Change (Franklin/Murray, 1990): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.10pm

This rare screening will be from a 35mm print.

Chicago Reader review:
A delightful “small” picture in an era when such things are no longer supposed to exist, this quirky comedy follows the adventures of a trio of bank robbers (Bill Murray, Geena Davis, and Randy Quaid) who pull off an ingenious job but then find it difficult to get out of New York City; Jason Robards plays the police chief who is alternately hot and not so hot on their trail. Based on a novel by Jay Cronley, the screenplay by Howard Franklin, codirected by Franklin and Murray (both making directorial debuts), manages to live up to the demands of a thriller without sacrificing character to frenetic pacing, and the film exudes a kind of sweetness that never threatens to become either sticky or synthetic. All the lead actors are funny and creative while keeping their characters life-size (to my taste, this is Murray's best work), and they're given a very pleasant backup by Bob Elliott (of the former radio team Bob and Ray), Philip Bosco, Phil Hartman, Kathryn Grody, and Tony Shalhoub, among others (1990).

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.