Sunday, 5 July 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 206: Sat Jul 25

Babylon (Rosso, 1981): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.30pm


This is part of the London on Film series and also screens on 28th July. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Although Babylon shows what it's like to be young, black and working class in Britain, the final product turns dramatised documentary into a breathless helter-skelter. Rather than force the social and political issues, Rosso lets them emerge and gather momentum through the everyday experience of his central character Blue (sensitively played by Forde). A series of increasingly provocative incidents finally polarise Blue and lead to uncompromising confrontation. Although the script runs out of steam by the end, the sharp use of location, the meticulous detailing of black culture, the uniformly excellent performances and stimulating soundtrack command attention.
Ian Birch

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 205: Fri Jul 24

Othello (Welles, 1952): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.20pm


This is part of the Orson Welles season and also screens on 26th July. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
For all the liberties taken with the play, Orson Welles's 1952 independent feature may well be the greatest Shakespeare film (Welles's later Chimes at Midnight is the only other contender)—a brooding expressionist dream made in eerie Moorish locations over nearly three years, yet held together by a remarkably cohesive style and atmosphere. (The film looks better than ever in its 1992 restored version, though it sounds quite different thanks to the restorers' debatable decision to redo the brilliant score and sound effects in stereo, altering them considerably in the process.) The most impressive performance here is Micheal MacLiammoir's Iago; Welles's own underplaying of the title role meshes well with the somnambulistic mood, but apart from some magnificent line readings he makes less of a dramatic impression. With Suzanne Cloutier (as Desdemona), Robert Coote, Fay Compton, Doris Dowling, and Michael Laurence.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 204: Thu Jul 23

The Lady From Shanghai (Welles, 1947): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 9.10pm


This film, part of the Orson Welles season at BFI Southbank, also screens on 17th and 25th July. You can find the full details here. I have written a feature about the drama both on and off the screen involving this brilliant movie here at the Guardian Film website. 

Chicago Reader review:
The weirdest great movie ever made (1948), which is somehow always summed up for me by the image of Glenn Anders cackling "Target practice! Target practice!" with unbalanced, malignant glee. Orson Welles directs and stars as an innocent Irish sailor who's drafted into a bizarre plot involving crippled criminal lawyer Everett Sloane and his icily seductive wife Rita Hayworth. Hayworth tells Welles he "knows nothing about wickedness" and proceeds to teach him, though he's an imperfect student. The film moves between Candide-like farce and a deeply disturbing apprehension of a world in grotesque, irreversible decay—it's the only true film noir comedy. The script, adapted from a novel by Sherwood King, is credited solely to Welles, but it's the work of many hands, including Welles, William Castle, Charles Lederer, and Fletcher Markle.
Dave Kehr 


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 203: Wed Jul 22

Frenzy (Hitchcock, 1972): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.10pm


This 35mm screening is part of the London on Film season at BFI. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
This turned out to be Alfred Hitchcock's penultimate film (1972), though there's no sign of the serenity and settledness that generally mark the end of a career. Frenzy, instead, continues to question and probe, and there is a streak of sheer anger in it that seems shockingly alive. The plotting combines two of Hitchcock's favorite themes: the poisoned couple (Marnie, The Man Who Knew Too Much) and the lone man on the run (North by Northwest, Saboteur); its subjects are misogyny and domestic madness. With Jon Finch, Alec McCowen, Barry Foster, Vivien Merchant, and Anna Massey.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 202: Tue Jul 21

All The President's Men (Pakula, 1976): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm


This film screens as part of The Pakula Paranoia Trilogy. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Inevitably softened by hints of self-congratulation concerning the success of Woodward and Bernstein's uncovering of the Watergate affair, Pakula's film is nevertheless remarkably intelligent, working both as an effective thriller (even though we know the outcome of their investigations) and as a virtually abstract charting of the dark corridors of corruption and power. Pakula's visual set-ups are often extraordinary, contrasting the light of the Washington Post newsroom with the shadows in which hides star informant Deep Throat, and dramatically engulfing Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford in monumental buildings to stress the enormity of their task.
Geoff Andrew
Here (and above) is the trailer.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 201: Mon Jul 20

Night Moves (Penn, 1975): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.10pm


This is part of the Passport to Cinema season. Tonight's screening will be introduced by Dominic Power, head of Screen Arts at the National Television Film School. The film can also be seen on Sunday 19th July. You can find the full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Released in 1975, near the end of Arthur Penn's most productive period (which began in 1967 with Bonnie and Clyde), this haunting psychological thriller ambitiously sets out to unpack post-Watergate burnout in American life. Gene Hackman plays an LA detective tracking a runaway teenager (Melanie Griffith in her screen debut) to the Florida Keys while evading various problems of his own involving his father and his wife. The labyrinthine mystery plot and pessimistic mood suggest Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald, and like them screenwriter Alan Sharp has more than conventional mystery mechanics on his mind. One of Penn's best features; his direction of actors is sensitive and purposeful throughout. With Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark, Edward Binns, Harris Yulin, Kenneth Mars and James Woods.
Jonathan Rosenabum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 200: Sun Jul 19

Lola (Demy, 1961): Cine Lumiere, 2pm


This screens as part of the French Leading Ladies season at Cine Lumiere. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Jacques Demy's first and in some ways best feature (1961), shot in exquisite black-and-white 'Scope by Raoul Coutard, is among the most neglected major works of the French New Wave. Abandoned by her sailor lover, a cabaret dancer (Anouk Aimee) brings up their son while awaiting his return and ultimately has to choose among three men. Chock-full of film references (to The Blue Angel, Breathless, Hollywood musicals, the work of Max Ophuls, etc) and lyrically shot in Nantes, the film is a camera stylo love letter, and Michel Legrand's lovely score provides ideal nostalgic accompaniment. In his third feature and biggest hit, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Demy settled on life's disappointments; here at least one major character gets exactly what she wants, and the effect is no less poignant. With Marc Michel, Jacques Harden, and Elina Labourdette (the young heroine in Robert Bresson's 1945 Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne). In French with subtitles.
Jonathan Rosdenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.