Sunday, 13 October 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 302: Tue Oct 29

We Won’t Grow Old Together (Pialat, 1972): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.20pm

This 35mm presentation, which is also being screened on October 17this part of the ‘Maurice Pialat and the New French Realism’ season. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Few directors used the jump cut to more potent effect than Maurice Pialat; his films hurtle from one volatile scene to the next, skipping over anything that might suggest emotional stability in the characters' lives. This 1972 drama—his second theatrical release and an unlikely commercial success in France—depicts the on-again-off-again relationship between a brutish aspiring filmmaker (Jean Yanne) and his younger mistress (Marlene Jobert), with many of the details drawn from Pialat's own life. The film is infuriating by design, focusing almost exclusively on the couple's arguments and reconciliations, yet it never feels predictable, thanks to the acute characterization and intimate, seemingly spontaneous performances. Though often painful to watch, this is an edifying portrait of codependence mistaken for love.
Ben Sachs

Here (and above) is an extract.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 301: Mon Oct 28

Martha (Fassbinder, 1973): Close-Up Cinema, 8.15pm

This film is showing as part of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder season at Close-Up Cinema. You can find the full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
My favorite Fassbinder feature (released in 1973 but not shown in the U.S. for years because of problems involving the rights to the Cornell Woolrich source novel) is a horrific black comedy—a devastating view of bourgeois marriage rendered in a delirious baroque style. Vacationing in Rome, a virgin librarian in her 30s (Margit Carstensen) meets a macho architect (Peeping Tom's Karlheinz Böhm) and winds up marrying him. It's a match made in heaven between a masochist and a sadist, with the husband's contempt and absurdly escalating demands received by the fragile heroine as her proper due. Suspenseful and scary, excruciating and indigestible, this is provocation with genuine bite—though the manner often suggests a parody of a 50s Douglas Sirk melodrama.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is an extract.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 300: Sun Oct 27

Distant (Ceylon, 2002): Rio Cinema, 1pm

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ‘Distant’ is being shown in a season curated by Octavian Dancila as part of the Programming and Curation MA at the National Film and Television School, ‘Together Alone’ is a season of four absorbing, thought-provoking films exploring solitude from different, and often surprising perspectives. There is a double bill each afternoon together with introductions, a panel discussion and a live spoken word performance by British/Ghanaian poet Miss Yankey. Discover more at the website here.

This double bill today at the Rio Cinema also includes ‘A Coffee In Berlin (Gerster, 2013). Full details can be found here.

Chicago Reader review:
Clouds of May, the second feature of Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, struck some viewers as belonging to the school of Kiarostami, a mistake they wouldn't make with his masterful third feature. An industrial photographer in Istanbul (Muzaffer Ozdemir) who hasn't recovered from his busted marriage finds himself the reluctant host of a country cousin (Mehmet Emin Toprak) looking for work. Ceylan uses this slim premise to build a psychologically nuanced relationship between the men, as an uncomfortable domestic arrangement leads to irrational spats. The narrative, capped by a brief bad dream and the capture of a mouse, isn't always legible, but it feeds into a monumental, luminous visual style like no other. The nonprofessional leads won top honors at Cannes; shortly afterward Toprak died in an auto accident.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 299: Sat Oct 26

Fox and His Friends (Fassbinder, 1975): Close-Up Cinema, 5.30pm

This film is showing as part of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder season at Close-Up Cinema. You can find the full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
This 1975 melodrama by Rainer Werner Fassbinder is one of his better middle-period films. A fairgrounds worker (Fassbinder) who wins a small fortune in a state lottery is exploited and eventually destroyed by his effete bourgeois lover (Karlheinz Boehm) and the lover's stuck-up friends. Very sharp about class and milieu, the film is limited only by Fassbinder's characteristic enjoyment of the hero-victim's pain. At one point the camera is even stationed on a floor a moment before the hapless hero slips and falls, in sadistic anticipation of his mishap. As with much of Fassbinder's work, his cruelty complicates rather than negates his mordant, on-target social analysis. 
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 298: Fri Oct 25

 Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2001): Barbican Cinema, 6.30pm

This 35mm presentation, which is also being shown at the Cinema Museum on October 28th (details here), is part of the ‘Nightlife: Ourselves; Our Spaces on Film’ season at the Barbican Cinema. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Vicky (Shu Qi) came to Taipei as a teenager and lurched into an affair with the ultra-possessive Hao-Hao (Tuan Chun-hao), who lived for DJ-ing but thought it would be uncool to play records for a living. She decided she'd leave him when her savings ran out but in the meantime gravitated into the orbit (not the bed) of small-time gangster Jack (JacKao), who treated her like a best friend. But when she finally moved into Jack's place, he had a sudden money crisis and disappeared somewhere in Japan. This differs from Hou's earlier accounts of women around male riff-raff (Daughter of the Nile, the present-day parts of Good Men, Good Women) in two striking ways. First, it looks back at the present from a point ten years in the future, rendering it strange and distant. Second, Vicky is seen not as a marginalised onlooker but as a young woman coming into bloom, learning by experience how to build her own identity. The film is a virtual portrait of Shu Qi, in much the way that Godard once made films as pretexts for capturing the moods of Anna Karina. Extremely beautiful, as hypnotic as its trance-techno soundtrack, and (like Flowers of Shanghai) very, very druggy.
Tony Rayns

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 297: Thu Oct 24

Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (Harris, 1992): Genesis Cinema, 6.45pm

Chicago Reader review:
“A film Hollywood dared not to do” is how writer-director Leslie Harris described her lively 1992 movie—a brave independent quickie with only a 17-day shooting schedule, about an ambitious and angry black teenage girl (Ariyan Johnson) living in one of the Brooklyn projects who goes into denial (with catastrophic results) when her boyfriend (Kevin Thigpen) gets her pregnant. What's both refreshing and off-putting is that Harris's sense of urgency isn't accompanied by any clear or consistent analysis; her heroine's denial eventually overwhelms the movie. Yet Harris's refusal to treat her heroine strictly as role model or bad example makes her portrait a lot livelier and less predictable—as well as more confusing—than the standard genre exercises most reviewers seem to prefer. What's exciting about this movie is a lot of loose details: frank girl talk about AIDS and birth control, glancing observations about welfare lines and the advantages of a boy with a car over one with subway tokens. 
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 296: Wed Oct 23

The Wild Boys (Mandico, 2017): Close-Up Cinema, 8.15pm

This presentation is part of Ben Driscoll's Live Cultures programme, for the Film Studies, Programming and Curation MA at the National Film and Television School (NFTS).

Close-Up Cinema introduction:
Early 20th century La Réunion: five delinquent boys commit a ghastly crime at school. Their punishment? A mysterious disciplinary on a cruel captain’s ship. Yet when the boys arrive on the shores of a gorgeous paradise island, they succumb to the earthly delights of its unusually sexy, luxurious and sticky vegetation, leading to a metamorphosis that is less body horror more body ecstasy. Director Bertrand Mandico is recognised for his camp, artificial and film-literate style in his short films, but The Wild Boys (his first feature length) is a next step: as abundant with ideas and images as the islands’ plants. Conjuring The Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ idea of the vegetal invading the human body and mind, The Wild Boys shows how one can literally outgrow toxic masculinity with the help of some ecosexuality.
Ben Driscoll

Here (and above) is the trailer.