Saturday, 13 February 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 71: Fri Mar 11

Film Socialisme (Godard, 2010): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.20pm



This film is part of the Jean-Luc Godard season at BFI Southbank. It is also being shown on March 16th and you can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Challenging but unfailingly gorgeous, this 2010 feature achieves one of Jean-Luc Godard's greatest ambitions: to reclaim political agitprop as the stuff of symbolist poetry. Like T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, it's designed as a Tower of Babel, with dialogue in several languages (the comically stripped-down English subtitles, which Godard calls "Navajo English," won’t make things easier for monoglots) and allusions to politics, history, art, and philosophy. Beneath the imposing structure, though, is a simple, eloquent plea for humanism amid the fractured culture of the 21st century. With characteristic perversity, Godard shot this "film" in a variety of digital video formats, and he seems invigorated by the postcinematic landscape (especially its utopian social aspect), finding classical beauty nearly everywhere he looks. At 79, Godard has again made a young man's movie.

Ben Sachs

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 70: Thu Mar 10

After Hours (Scorsese, 1985): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm


This 35mm screening is part of a mini Martin Scorsese season. Full 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.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 69: Wed Mar 9

Sleepaway Camp (Hiltzik, 1983): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm


This screening is part of the excellenbt Cult series at BFI Southbank.

Here is the BFI introduction:
In an era inundated by generic slasher films, Sleepaway Camp stood (decapitated) head and shoulders above the competition. For shy teen Angela, summer vacation turns into a nightmare when the bodies of her fellow campers start piling up. Undeniably problematic in its sexual politics, this is nonetheless a fascinating one-of-a-kind that remains one of the subgenre’s queerest, most incendiary additions.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 68: Tue Mar 8

Milano Calibro 9 (Di Leo, 1972): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm


This film is part of the Prince Charles's Classic Film season. Full details here.

Here is a Cigarette Burns film club introduction to a previous screening of the film in 2012:
Eurocrime. An over-the-top, short-lived, Italian action filled, crime thriller genre, and still one of the few undiscovered genres ... until recently. 

When the fantastic documentary EUROCRIME screened at this year's Frightfest, it sent film geeks scurrying off to hunt down these still quite obscure films, hungry for more. Few have been transferred to a digital format, leaving many only available on VHS, so the hunt is on.  

A great introduction to the genre is MILANO CALIBRO 9, fist fights, car chases, double-crossing and dripping with 70s slickness, this Fernando DiLeo-directed masterpiece follows recently released con, Ugo (Gastone Moschin), as he tries to escape his previous life, all the elements from his past conspire against him, convinced that he still has the missing $300,000. 

Caught between the police, his old crime bosses, his psychotic ex-mate, the brutal Rocco (Mario Adorf), and his love for his girlfriend, played by the stunning Barbara Bouchet, there doesn't appear to be much hope for Ugo... This is truly a fantastic film. 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 67: Mon Mar 7

Paris Belongs to Us (Rivette, 1960): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.40pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Prince Charles Cinema's Jacques Rivette mini-season tribute. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Though more amateurish than the other celebrated first features of the French New Wave, Jacques Rivette's troubled and troubling 1960 account of Parisians in the late 50s remains the most intellectually and philosophically mature, and one of the most beautiful. The specter of world-wide conspiracy and impending apocalypse haunts the characters—a student, an expatriate American, members of a low-budget theater company rehearsing Pericles—as the student tries to recover a tape of guitar music by a deceased Spanish emigre who may have committed suicide. Few films have more effectively captured a period and milieu; Rivette evokes bohemian paranoia and sleepless nights in tiny one-room flats, along with the fragrant, youthful idealism conveyed by the film's title (which is countered by the opening epigraph from Charles Peguy: “Paris belongs to no one”). With Jean-Claude Brialy.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is an extract.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 66: Sun Mar 6

Eloge de l'Amour (Godard, 2001): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6pm


This film is part of the Jean-Luc Godard season at BFI Southbank. It is also being shown on March 12th and you can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Jean-Luc Godard's 2001 feature, his best since Nouvelle Vague (1990), is in some respects as difficult as that film, though visually it's stunning and unique even among Godard's work. The first part, set in contemporary Paris, was shot in black-and-white 35-millimeter, while the second, set in Brittany two years earlier, is in floridly oversaturated color. A young man (Bruno Putzulu) interviews men and women for an undefined project called “Eloge de l'Amour,” which will involve three couples (young, adult, and old) experiencing four stages of love (meeting, physical passion, separation, and reconciliation). One young woman he spends time with is the granddaughter of a couple he's met earlier, former members of the French resistance negotiating to sell their story to a Hollywood studio. As in his magnum opus, Histoire(s) du Cinema, Godard is centrally concerned with the ethics of true and false representation and with the lost promise of cinema, which leads to some anti-American reflections ranging from reasonable to over-the-top. This is a twilight film, dark and full of sorrow, yet lyrical and beautiful as well.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 65: Sat Mar 5

Helas Pour Moi (Godard, 1993): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.20pm


This film is part of the Jean-Luc Godard season at BFI Southbank. It is also being shown on March 3rd and you can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Jean-Luc Godard's most spiritual film is also his most opaque (1991). But the beauty of his work is often breathtaking, and I'd rather hear Godard talking to himself than Spielberg speaking to half the planet. Two principal points of reference are Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) and the Greek myth about Zeus impersonating and cuckolding Amphitryon, as treated by Jean Giraudoux and others—both having to do with cosmic injustice and the relationship between love and war. Gerard Depardieu is the Amphitryon figure, and Zeus is a croaking voice on the sound track, dimly related to the voice of the computer in Alphaville. I also spotted references to Kierkegaard, Hitchcock's I Confess (known as La Loi de Silence in French), and Straub-Huillet's From the Cloud to the Resistance and Antigone. For all the hermetic poetry and esoteric mysticism, this film also has concrete things to say about the bombing of Baghdad and the slaughter in Bosnia.
Jonathan Rosenbaum


Here (and above) is the trailer.