Sunday, 15 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 36: Sun Feb 5

Lost Highway (Lynch, 1997): Curzon Soho, 3pm


Here's an exciting new venture. A Curzon Soho season labelled 'Enthusiasm' dedicated to monthly 16mm/35mm Sunday afternoon screenings. February's event is entitled 'Hollywood Babylon'.

Here is the cinema's introduction:
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Kenneth Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kafkaesque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. A fuller introduction can be found here.


Chicago Reader review of Lost Highway:
It's questionable how much Barry Gifford has benefited the work of David Lynch—either in furnishing the source material for Wild at Heart or in collaborating on this even more noir-heavy script—but this 1996 feature was Lynch's most audacious break from conventional narrative since Eraserhead. The enigmatic plot, shaped like a Möbius strip, concerns a jazz musician (Bill Pullman) who inexplicably changes into a much younger garage mechanic (Balthazar Getty) after possibly killing his wife (Patricia Arquette). The wife seems to have been reincarnated as a gangster's girlfriend (Arquette again), who pursues the mechanic. Despite the shopworn noir imagery and teenage notions of sex, this beautifully structured (if rigorously nonhumanist) explosion of expressionist effects has a psychological coherence that goes well beyond logical story lines, and Lynch turns it into an exhilarating roller-coaster ride. With Robert Blake (as Arquette's eerie doppelganger), Gary Busey, Lucy Butler, Robert Loggia, Jack Nance, and Richard Pryor in a somewhat out-of-kilter cameo.

Jonathan Rosenbaum


This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
d instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf

Friday, 13 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 35: Sat Feb 4

The Age of Innocence (Scorsese, 1993): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 2.30pm


This 4K digital screening is part of the Martin Scorsese season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown on February 2nd, 10th, 14th and 24th. Full details here.

Time Out film review:
Martin Scorsese's magnificent film, taken from Edith Wharton's novel, is set in 1870s New York and centres on lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis), whose plans to wed the impeccably connected Mary Welland (Wynona Rider) are upset by his love for her unconventional cousin, the Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer). The performances are excellent, while the director employs all the tools of his trade to bring his characters and situations vividly to life; from the start, it's clear from the speedy cutting and sumptuous mise-en-scène that Scorsese and his team are intent on drawing us into the heart of Archer's perceptions and the world around him (this is, most certainly, an expressionist film). Decor reflects and oppresses characters; posture, gesture and glance (like the witty, ironic narration) convey not only individual psychology but the ideals of an entire, etiquette-obsessed elite. Everything here serves to express an erotic fervour, imprisoned by unbending social rituals designed to preserve the status quo in favour of a self-appointed aristocracy. Scorsese's most poignantly moving film.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 34: Fri Feb 3

Raising Cain (De Palma, 1992): Prince Charles Cinema, 9pm


This 35mm screening is part of a Brian De Palma season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
The whipping boy of American cinema misbehaves again. It's hard to make much sense out of Brian De Palma's discombobulated thriller, about a demented child psychologist (John Lithgow) who snatches up kiddies for home study and communes with his evil twin (Lithgow again) and maybe-less-than dad (Lithgow in Bruno Bettelheim drag) as his domestic life comes apart (his wife is having an affair). But then basic sense--or motivational subtlety, or narrative coherence--has never been De Palma's forte. What he does do well though--create vivid, personal images out of the flotsam of film history--he's never done better than here: every caressing, disconnected shot lives a dream life of its own. David Lynch has a lot to answer for in DePalma's liberation from narrative, but I'd suggest that Raul Ruiz and Calderon (the Life Is a Dream twins of high cult) have found a gutter equal. With Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen (a cruel, dotty parody of Susan Sontag), and hommages to Hitchcock (natch), Pauline Kael, and De Palma's own Dressed to Kill.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 33: Thu Feb 2

Groundhog Day (Ramis, 1993): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.25pm & 8.45pm


What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . . What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . . What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . .

New Statesman film critic, Ryan Gilbey, has written a BFI Modern Classics monograph on Groundhog Day which I can highly recommend. Here is an extract from a feature he wrote for the Observer on the film:

'[Groundhog Day] has emerged as one of the most influential films in modern cinema - and not only on other movies. Tony Blair did not refer to Jurassic Park in his sombre speech about the Northern Ireland peace process. Dispatches during the search for weapons of mass distraction made no mention of Mrs Doubtfire . And the Archbishop of Canterbury neglected to name-check Indecent Proposal when delivering the 2002 Richard Dimbleby Lecture. But Groundhog Day was invoked on each of these occasions.

The title has become a way of encapsulating those feelings of futility, repetition and boredom that are a routine part of our lives. When Groundhog Day is referred to, it is not the 2 February celebration that comes to mind, but the story of a cynical TV weatherman, Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray, who pitches up in Punxsutawney to cover the festivities. Next morning, he wakes to discover it's not the next morning at all: he is trapped in Groundhog Day. No matter what crimes he commits or how definitively he annihilates himself, he will be returned to his dismal bed-and-breakfast each morning at 5.59am ...'

Here all the Ned Ryerson scenes, here are all the Ned Ryerson scenes, here are all the Ned Ryerson scenes ...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 32: Wed Feb 1

After Hours (Scorsese, 1985): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.40pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Martin Scorsese season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown on February 3rd. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Martin Scorsese transforms a debilitating convention of 80s comedy—absurd underreaction to increasingly bizarre and threatening situations—into a rich, wincingly funny metaphysical farce. A lonely computer programmer (Griffin Dunne) is lured from the workday security of midtown Manhattan to an expressionistic late-night SoHo by the vague promise of casual sex with a mysterious blonde (Rosanna Arquette). But she turns out to be a sinister kook whose erratic behavior plunges Dunne into a series of increasingly strange, devastating incidents, including encounters with three more treacherous blondes (Verna Bloom, Teri Garr, and Catherine O'Hara) and culminating in a run-in with a bloodthirsty mob of vigilantes led by a Mr. Softee truck. Scorsese's orchestration of thematic development, narrative structure, and visual style is stunning in its detail and fullness; this 1985 feature reestablished him as one of the very few contemporary masters of filmmaking.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 31: Tue Jan 31

Manila in the Claws of Light (Brocka, 1975): BFI Southbank, Studio, 6pm


This film is part of the 'Martin Scorsese Curates' season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown at the cinema from January 27th to 30th. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Widely (and understandably) considered one of the pinnacles of Filipino cinema, Lino Brocka’s devastating, recently restored 1975 melodrama opens with several stunning, grainy black-and-white shots of Manila, striking a beautiful balance between on-the-ground verisimilitude and fable-like eeriness. As the images morph into color (very urban Wizard of Oz), we meet 21-year-old Julio (Bembol Roco), a fisherman who has traveled from his coastal idyll in pursuit of Ligaya (Hilda Koronel), the woman he loves. She was taken from her home with promises of a better life, but Julio has learned that she was actually sold into the employ of a Chinese pimp.

Julio’s search for Ligaya makes up the story’s overall arc, but for much of the movie, Brocka is more interested in putting his protagonist through the anything-to-survive wringer. He procures jobs as an underpaid construction worker and as a reluctant gay prostitute. People he befriends either vanish when the going gets tough or die under dreadful circumstances. And always there’s the oppressiveness of the big city, with its overpopulated streets, lurid neon signs and a stench that seems to waft off the screen.

It’s almost too much, this parade of indignities. Some skeptics, like Philippines-based critic Noel Vera, have pointed out that Brocka considerably softened Julio from his portrayal in Edgardo Reyes’s 1967 serial novel, which inspired the movie. Indeed, the character often comes off as a tragic innocent, more symbol-of-a-debased-nation than flesh-and-blood person. None of that, however, mitigates the power of the final third, in which Julio’s quest comes to a head and the metropolis where he has tried desperately to survive bares its unforgiving talons.
Keith Uhlich

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 30: Mon Jan 30

There Will Be Blood (Anderson, 2007): Royal Festival Hall, 7.30pm


Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-winning film is accompanied by a live orchestral performance tonight of Jonny Greenwood's score, originally commissioned by the Roundhouse. A masterwork of dramatic tension, instrumental experimentation and musical bricolage – it integrates work by Arvo Pärt and Brahms.

The live screenings will draw together an orchestra of over 50 musicians, including Jonny Greenwood himself, who will play the Ondes Martenot part.

Although widely regarded as one of the most influential soundtracks in recent years, There Will Be Blood was famously ruled ineligible in the Best Original Score category at the 2008 Academy Awards due to its use of pre-existing material. The score features passages from Greenwood’s compositions Popcorn Superhet Receiver and Bodysong (the latter used in the track Convergence), as well as works by Arvo Pärt and Brahms. All these cues have been collated into one ‘performance edition’, offering a complete representation of the original film, shown in a striking new light
.

Performers: Galya Bisengalieva, violin; Hugh Brunt, conductor; Jonny Greenwood, ondes martenot; Oliver Coates, cello London Contemporary Orchestra.

You can find an excellent extensive review of the film by the late Philip French here.