Friday, 29 July 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 241: Mon Aug 29

Cop Killer (Faenza, 1983): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.15pm

This 35mm screening is part of the Punk London season at BFI Southbank.

Time Out review:
Harvey Keitel is a cop whose secret world of high living (financed by illicit side-dealing) is invaded by John Lydon, who not only confesses to a spate of cop-killings, but seems to know more about Keitel than is comfortable. Two little balls of poison, they become locked together in sadistic games in which the captor needs his victim as much as the victim needs his confessor. The film (shot in English) is very much in line with the Continental habit of turning genres around - like Leone with the Western, this is a spaghetti thriller - and it uses the hard-nosed framework as a prop for its greater interest in the moral complexities of guilt, punishment and transference, rather than the traditional gestures of its US models. Keitel is his usual ineffable self, his features glassy with repressed anxiety and violence; the only miscalculation is the casting of Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), who seems as threatening as a wet poodle.
Chris Peachment

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 240: Sun Aug 28

Mulholland Dr. (Lynch, 2001): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.30pm

This modern film classic, part of the David Lynch season at the Prince Charles, is being screened on 35mm.

Chicago Reader review:
I'm still trying to decide if this piece of hocus-pocus (2001) is David Lynch's best feature between Eraserhead and Inland Empire. In any case, it's immensely more likable than his other stabs at neonoir (Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway), perhaps because it likes its characters and avoids sentimentalizing or sneering at them (the sort of thing that limited Twin Peaks). Originally conceived and rejected as a TV pilot, then expanded after some French producers stepped in, it has the benefit of Lynch's own observations about Hollywood, which were fresher at this point than his puritanical notations on small towns in the American heartland. The best-known actors (Ann Miller, Robert Forster, Dan Hedaya) wound up relatively marginalized, while the lesser-known talents (in particular the remarkable Naomi Watts and the glamorous Laura Elena Harring) were invited to take over the movie (and have a field day doing so). The plot slides along agreeably as a tantalizing mystery before becoming almost completely inexplicable, though no less thrilling, in the closing stretches—but that's what Lynch is famous for.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 239: Sat Aug 27

Day of the Outlaw (De Toth, 1959): Prince Charles Cinema, 9.10pm
(part of The Road to The Hateful Eight all-nighter)

The Andre De Toth film Day of the Outlaw, which starts this 'Road to The Hateful Eight all-nighter (you can find the full details below), was one of the highlights of the 'Ride Lonesome: Psychological Western' season at BFI Southbank this year and has been my personal highlight of the new archive films I've seen so far in 2016.

[These movies, aside from The Hateful Eight, are screened from 35mm prints]

Chicago Reader review:
Arguably Andre de Toth's greatest film, this 1959 western combines a hostage situation with a bleak, snowbound terrain to produce a gripping vision of hopeless entrapment. Robert Ryan stars as a rancher who's about to start a gunfight over land when a motley gang of outlaws led by Burl Ives ride in and take over the town. Because it's at the end of the trail, the outlaws become "prisoners of a white silence," in de Toth's words: isolated, surrounded by snow, they're about to run wild with the townswomen when Ryan leads them on a false escape route through the mountains. Their final ride is one of the most despairing visions in all cinema: the turning course followed by the men seems to twist back on itself, and the stark black-and-white background of rock and snow forms a closed, lifeless world excluding all human warmth.

Fred Camper

Here (and above) is the opening of the film.

The movies being shown in this all-night at the Prince Charles are:
: In the quiet frontier town of Bitters, Wyo., a dispute between cattleman Blaise Starrett (Robert Ryan) and farmer Hal Crane (Alan Marshal) is about to boil over into a bloody feud. But the fighting takes a back seat to a new threat when a rogue cavalry captain, Jack Bruhn (Burl Ives), rides into town with his band of thugs. Now, with the citizens of Bitters held hostage by Bruhn and his men, Starrett must somehow rescue his town and restore his broken reputation.
THE WILD BUNCH (1969) : In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop (William Holden) prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by his gang, which includes Dutch Engstrom (Ernest Borgnine) and brothers Lyle (Warren Oates) and Tector Gorch (Ben Johnson), Bishop discovers the heist is a setup orchestrated in part by his old partner, Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan). As the remaining gang takes refuge in Mexican territory, Thornton trails them, resulting in fierce gunfights with plenty of casualties.
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974) :Having concluded a case, detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) settles into what he expects will be a relaxing journey home aboard the Orient Express. But when an unpopular billionaire is murdered en route, Poirot takes up the case, and everyone on board the famous train is a suspect. Using an avalanche blocking the tracks to his advantage, Poirot gradually realizes that many of the passengers have revenge as a motive, and he begins to home in on the culprit.
THE THING (1982) : In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.
THE HATEFUL EIGHT (2016) - MULTIPLEX VERSION [Digital Presentation] : While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter another bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and a man who claims to be a sheriff. Hoping to find shelter from a blizzard, the group travels to a stagecoach stopover located on a mountain pass. Greeted there by four strangers, the eight travelers soon learn that they may not make it to their destination after all.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 238: Fri Aug 26

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Mitchell, 2001): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.30pm

This 35mm screening is part of the Pizza & Beer Night season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell), whose halfhearted, half-assed sex change at least got her out of Berlin, fronts the Angry Inch, an obscure rock band playing gigs in small clubs while the rock superstar who dumped Hedwig years earlier plays the stadiums next door. Hedwig tells her tale of woe to a succession of unreceptive on-screen audiences that, by implication, include us. Dramatized with a stylized realism that seems perfectly natural in a musical, this 2001 saga draws on Plato and 70s glam rock with equal aplomb. Writer-director Mitchell originally created Hedwig for the stage with composer-lyricist Stephen Trask, who sings the vocals. With Trask, Miriam Shor, and Michael Pitt.
Lisa Alspector

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 237: Thu Aug 25

Victor/Victoria (Edwards, 1982): Regent Street Cinema, 8pm

This rare screening of Blake Edwards' great film is a 35mm presentation.

Chicago Reader review:
Blake Edwards's 1982 sex comedy has the most beautiful range of tones of any American film of its period: it is a work of dry wit, high slapstick, black despair, romantic warmth, and penetrating intelligence. A tale of transvestism in the Paris of the 1930s is used as a study of socially fixed identities turned gloriously fluid, which Edwards sees as the only way of surviving in a churning, chaotic world. It is a direct thematic and stylistic sequel to 10, with the shallow, telescoped images of the earlier film giving way to deep-focus compositions and a corresponding shift in interest from beautiful surfaces to soulful interiors. Very personal and very entertaining, with Julie Andrews, James Garner, and a brilliant Robert Preston.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 236: Wed Aug 24

Spartacus (Kubrick, 1960): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.30pm

This film screens in the Big Screen Classic season and will be introduced by Lucy Bolton.

Chicago Reader review:
Just as The Ten Commandments (1956) was the apotheosis of Eisenhower conservatism, this 1960 blockbuster, which broke the Hollywood blacklist by crediting screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, seems the quintessence of Kennedy liberalism. Anthony Mann directed the first sequence but then was replaced by Stanley Kubrick, who said he enjoyed the most artistic freedom in the scenes without dialogue. Kirk Douglas and Jean Simmons are appealing as the eponymous rebel slave and his love interest; no less juicy is the Roman triumvirate of Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Laurence Olivier, playing one of the first bisexual characters in a major Hollywood film (unfortunately one also has to put up with the embarrassing accents and performances of Tony Curtis, John Dall, and Nina Foch, among others). This may be the most literate of all the spectacles set in antiquity. This restored version, including material originally cut, runs 197 minutes, including Alex North's powerfully romantic overture.
Jonathan Rosenabum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 235: Tue Aug 23

Autumn Sonata (Bergman, 1979): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm

This 35mm screening (also scheduled for August 25th) is part of an Ingrid Bergman on screen season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago reader review:
Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann howl in the night in Ingmar Bergman's 1978 study of the guilt, recrimination, and tentative forgiveness flowing between a mother and a daughter. The movie makes good chamber music: it's a crafted miniature with Bergman's usual bombast built, for once, into the plot requirements. The nonsense with the handicapped daughter is a little distracting, but the rest is often honest and surprisingly to the point.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.