Saturday, 28 May 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 173: Wed Jun 22

The Frightened Woman (Schivazappa, 1969): Barbican Cinema, 8.30pm

This is part of the She’s So Giallo (Women of 1970s Italian Thrillers) season at the Barbican curated by Josh Saco, aka Cigarette Burns Cinema. You can find all the details here.

Here is the Barbican introduction:
Philippe Leroy
stars as Dr Sayer, a rich philanthropist who has a dark secret to hide in Piero Schivazappa’s pop art thriller. When Maria (Dagmar Lassander), a journalist, drops by Sayer's mansion to pick up some documents, she soon finds herself victim to his unpleasant and degrading games. But the tables are turned as Maria subverts the doctor's game and becomes the manipulator.

We're delighted to have Virginie Sélavy, editor of Electric Sheep Magazine, introduce this screening.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 172: Tue Jun 21

Frankenstein (Whale, 1931): Barbican Cinema, 6.15pm

Here is the Barbican introduction:
Would genetically modified people be Frankenstein monsters? With advances in medical technology, it has already become possible to make in vitro interventions on human embryos - prompting the thought that human beings could be engineered genetically. Many are afraid of this possibility: why? What are the possibilities, the potentials, the risks? Will future humanity be a genetically engineered one? Philosopher AC Grayling explores James Whale’s iconic horror Frankenstein.

Time Out review:
A stark, solid, impressively stylish film, overshadowed (a little unfairly) by the later explosion of Whale's wit in the delirious Bride of Frankenstein. Karloff gives one of the great performances of all time as the monster whose mutation from candour to chill savagery is mirrored only through his limpid eyes. The film's great imaginative coup is to show the monster 'growing up' in all too human terms. First he is the innocent baby, reaching up to grasp the sunlight that filters through the skylight. Then the joyous child, playing at throwing flowers into the lake with a little girl whom he delightedly imagines to be another flower. And finally, as he finds himself progressively misjudged by the society that created him, the savage killer as whom he has been typecast. The film is unique in Whale's work in that the horror is played absolutely straight, and it has a weird fairytale beauty not matched until Cocteau made La Belle et la Bête. Tom Milne

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 172: Mon Jun 20

Voyage To Italy (Rossellini, 1954): Regent Street Cinema, 6.30pm

Chicago Reader review:
'Roberto Rossellini's finest fiction film and unmistakably one of the great achievements of the art. Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders play a long-married British couple grown restless and uncommunicative. On a trip to Italy to dispose of a piece of property, they find their boredom thrown into relief by the Mediterranean landscape—its vitality (Naples) and its desolation (Pompeii). But suddenly, in one of the moments that only Rossellini can film, something lights inside them, and their love is renewed as a bond of the spirit. A crucial work, truthful and mysterious.'

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 171: Sun Jun 19

Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky, 1966): Regent Street Cinema, 7.55pm

Chicago Reader review:
Andrei Tarkovsky's first major film (1966, though banned and unseen until 1971), cowritten by Andrei Konchalovsky, about a 15th-century icon painter. This medieval epic announced the birth of a major talent; it also stuns with the sort of unexpected poetic explosions we've come to expect from Tarkovsky: an early flying episode suggesting Gogol, a stirring climax in color. Not to be missed.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the incredible opening scene.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 170: Sat Jun 18

Wanda (Loden, 1970): Whitechapel Gallery, 3.30pm

I wrote about this extraordinary movie for the Guardian here when it was screened at the London Film Festival two years ago. This rare screening will be introduced by Isabelle Huppert.

Time Out review:
A remarkable one-off from Elia Kazan's wife. Shot in 16mm and blown up to 35, it's a subtly picaresque movie about the wanderings of a semi-destitute American woman. Directing herself, Barbara Loden manages to make the character at once completely convincing in her soggy and directionless amorality, yet gradually sympathetic and even heroic. After a desultory involvement with a bank robber, to whom she becomes attached despite his unpredictable temper, Wanda botches everything - having agreed to drive a getaway car for him - by getting lost in a traffic jam; and our last glimpse of her is back on the road, being picked up in a bar. The film is all the more impressive for its refusal to get embroiled in half-baked political attitudinising; it's good enough to make one regret that the director/star produced nothing else before her untimely death from cancer.

Here (and above) is a video essay by Adrian Martin and Cristina Alvarez Lopez.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 169: Fri Jun 17

Under The Skin (Adler, 1997): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.30pm

Time Out review:
Iris (Morton) has always been jealous of sister Rose (Rushbrook), but when their mother (Tushingham) dies, she's thrown into numb, furious confusion. Rejecting her old life (Rose and boyfriend Gary), Iris turns instead to the discomfort of strangers. At first glance, writer/director Adler's film seems extremely thin. Morton has charisma in spades and wears oddball clothes well. Such blasted poise proves irresistible to Adler, whose frenetic camera feasts on Morton as if she were a piece of meat. We never believe Iris is part of a community; she's more a wandering Lolita, slumming it among ignorant, treacherous low life. And though the sexual commentary is clearly intended to be cold, it's also tiresome. Are the sex scenes exploitative? Who can say. In the last third, however, Adler's strategy becomes clear: she's been playing a waiting game. Rose acquires an integrity that goes beyond mere respectable virtue, and when Iris's grief thaws, her helpless, animal-like pain is overwhelming. More surprisingly, our sense of the will-o'-the-wisp mother gathers force, the 'story' of her complex mothering told through the daughters' pinches, pokes and eventual tender fumblings towards each other. In its own twisty way, then, the film avoids both sentimentality and art-school cool, and with the help of superlative performances from Morton and Rushbrook, digs deep into the psyche.
Charlotte O'Sullivan

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 168: Thu Jun 16

Kings of the Road (Wenders, 1976): Prince Charles Cinema, 8pm

This 35mm screening is part of the Wim Wenders Selectrospective at the Prince Charles Cinema, You can find the full details here.

Chicago Reader:
The first masterpiece of the New German Cinema. Wim Wenders's existentialized road movie (1975) follows two drifters—an itinerant movie-projector repairman and a child psychologist who has followed his patients by dropping out—in a three-hour ramble through a deflated Germany, touching on their private pasts and their hopes for the future. It's full of references to Hawks, Ford, and Lang, and one scene has been lovingly lifted in its entirety from Nicholas Ray's The Lusty Men. As the hommages indicate, one of the subjects is the death of cinema, but this isn't an insider's movie. Wenders examines a played-out culture looking for one last move. An engrossing, enveloping film, made with great craft and photographed in highly textured black-and-white by Robby Müller.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is an extract.