Sunday, 10 December 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 362: Sun Dec 31

When Harry Met Sally (Reiner, 1989): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.30pm

An appropriate New Year's Eve screening of this crowd-pleaser, the Prince Charles Cinema trumping all other venues showing the movie in the holiday season by screening on 35mm.

Time Out review:
Too often dismissed as the bland, cutesy, cakey-bakey face of the modern romcom, the late Nora Ephron was an unacknowledged genius when it came to screenplay construction – and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ remains her finest work. This is a film where everything works: Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan’s just-this-side-of-smug central couple, the gorgeous photography of New York through the changing seasons, even Harry Connick Jr’s jazz-lite soundtrack. And it’s all rooted in that flawless script. The story is simple: Crystal and Ryan meet after college, and loathe one another on sight. As the years pass the random meetings pile up, and dislike turns to reluctant friendship. But, as the film insistently, infamously asks, can men and women ever really be just friends? It’s not just that Ephron poses these kinds of obvious-but-important questions. It’s that she does so while circumventing romantic clich├ęs left and right, creating unforgettably loveable characters and throwing in some of the most fluid, insightful and witty set-piece conversations ever written (the diner orgasm is the most famous, but it’s the tip of a very large iceberg). ‘Perfect’ is a big word to use about any film, but in this case no other will do.
Tom Huddleston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 361: Sat Dec 30

Tales from the Crypt (Francis, 1972): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.10pm

This 35mm screening, which is also being shown on December 23rd, is part of the Cult strand at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A 1972 precursor of George Romero's Creepshow: five short stories drawn from William Gaines's horror comics of the 50s. This British production looks handsome enough under Freddie Francis's direction, and for those who say they'd watch Ralph Richardson in anything, well, here's your chance.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 360: Fri Dec 29

A Matter of Life and Death (Powell/Pressburger): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.20pm

This 4k restoration can be seen in NFT1 and NFT3 on the extended run for this film at BFI Southbank. You can find all the details here.

Here is John Ellis's superb analysis of the film from Ian Christie's book 'Powell, Pressburger & Others.

Chicago Reader review:
This enduring 1946 Technicolor fantasy by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger began as a propaganda piece meant to cement wobbly British-American postwar relations, and some of that theme survives, notably in the climactic trial scene set in heaven. But the rest is given over to a delirious romanticism, tinged with morbidity, mysticism, and humor. David Niven is the British fighter pilot who misses his appointment with death, falling in love with a Wac (Kim Hunter) on his borrowed time. Powell had more and bigger ideas than any other postwar British director: his use of color and bold graphic images is startling and exhilarating, as is his willingness to explore the subsidiary themes of Pressburger's screenplay, never sacrificing creative excitement to linear plot. And yet, for all its abstraction, the film remains emotionally specific and affecting. With Roger Livesey and Marius Goring.
Dave Kehr

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

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 359: Thu Dec 28

Desert Hearts (Deitch, 1985): Genesis Cinema, 6.45pm

Genesis Cinema introduction:
As part of our #DirectedByWomen2017 season, which will see us screening 52 films by female directors across the whole of 2017 in association with the F-Rating and Bechdel Test Film Fest, and in collaboration with Film London, we proudly present .... DESERT HEARTS. This screening has been brought to you as a partnership with Criterion Collection who will be giving away 5 Blu-ray copies of the film to the five first to book a pair of tickets!

Chicago Reader review:
I guess you're supposed to like this 1985 movie because it strikes all the right attitudes about lesbian sex; it's set in the 50s to make all of the 80s platitudes look revolutionary, and in the southwest to allow some fun with twangy regional accents and dippy local yokels. In an opening deliberately reminiscent of The Women, a tweedy, uptight professor of literature (Helen Shaver) arrives at a Nevada dude ranch to establish residency for a quickie divorce; her eye is caught by swaggering cowgirl Patricia Charbonneau, and she spends most of the rest of the film trying to rationalize the strange urge that possesses her. Mercifully, when the sex scene does finally arrive, it's good, steamy stuff, but director Donna Deitch is hopelessly clunky when it comes to getting her characters to talk—and they talk, and talk, and talk. Clipping that one scene is all it would take to qualify Desert Hearts as one of those “controversial” TV movies. Viewer discretion is indeed advised, on more than one level.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 358: Wed Dec 27

Obsession (Dmytryk, 1949): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.10pm

This 35mm screening is part of the Thriller: Can You Trust Them season at BFI Southbank. You can find full details of the season here.

In Obsession you have noir master Edward Dmytryk – on the Hollywood Blacklist and  exiled from the US – dealing with a story of adultery, but one that has almost nothing to do with his wife and everything to do with the man who has done the dirty on him. It's no coincidence that the man is an American, with the embarrassment of country's fortunes drawing so heavily on US reserves. Making great use of the Blitzed city as a space for unruly behaviour, this ripe, Hitchcock-esque film is a blackly comic delight. Duncan Carson

Here (and above) are extracts from the film.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 357: Tue Dec 26

Jaws (Spielberg, 1975): Prince Charles Cinema, 5.40pm

This screening is part of the Classic Film season at Prince Charles. Full details here.

Time Out review:
'Is there such a thing as a perfect film? One that knows what it wants to achieve and does it, flawlessly, artfully and intelligently? If so, then ‘Jaws’ is as good a candidate as any. Thirty-seven years on (and reissued in a new HD print), this tale of an island community terrorised by a killer shark still feels timeless and terrifying. The characterisation is precise and acutely observed (it’s one of the great guys-on-a-mission flicks), the dialogue is witty and wise, and the plot fits together like a finely crafted watch. The performances – not just leads, but the kids, townsfolk and the grief-stricken mother too – are impeccable. Best of all is Steven Spielberg’s direction: the camera moves like a predatory animal, gliding eerily across the surface of the vast Atlantic, creating sequences of almost unbearable suspense (never mind that the scariest scene was shot in a swimming pool). It’s no wonder a generation of holidaymakers still thinks twice before stepping into the water.'
Tom Huddleston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 356: Mon Dec 25


The cinemas are closed today but you can catch my twitter recommendations for great movies on the television over the holiday period via my twitter handle @tpaleyfilm and the hashtag #bestxmasholidayfilmonTVtoday.