Saturday, 22 October 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 306: Wed Nov 2

Once Upon A Time in the West (Leone, 1969): Regent Street Cinema, 7.30pm

This 35mm screening is presented with Universal Music and release of Morricone 60. 

Chicago Reader review:
Sergio Leone, famous for his spaghetti westerns shot in Spain, dared to invade John Ford's own Monument Valley for this 1969 epic. He brought back a masterpiece, a film that expands his baroque, cartoonish style into genuine grandeur, weaving dozens of thematic variations and narrative arabesques around a classical western foundation myth. It's very much a foreigner's film, drawing its elements not from historical reality but from the mythic base made universal by the movies. Moments of intense realism flow into passages of operatic extravagance; lowbrow burlesque exists side by side with the expression of the most refined shades of feeling. The film failed commercially and was savagely recut by its distributor, Paramount Pictures; copies from the European version may be as close as we'll ever get to the original. With Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, and Jason Robards; Bernardo Bertolucci contributed to the script.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 305: Tue Nov 1

The Night Porter (Cavani, 1974): Barbican Cinema, 8.45pm

This 35mm presentation is part of the Barbican's Cheap Thrills season. You can find all the details of the season here.

Barbican introduction:
Set in 1957 Vienna, Charlotte Rampling plays a concentration camp survivor who discovers her former torturer and lover (Dirk Bogarde) is working as a porter at the hotel where she’s staying. Reunited in a scene of violent passion, the pair lock themselves away in his flat, where they resume their S&M relationship. With its taboo subject-matter perceived as sensationalism, it provoked much debate at its time of release as well as making it an arthouse hit and a cultural event in the style of other 70s button-pushers like Last Tango in Paris. Even today, it is uniquely provocative and problematic – a film which truly gives us cause to question our deepest-held notions of “good” and “bad” taste.

Time Out review:
Like Last Tango in Paris, an operatic celebration of sexual disgust, set in 1957 in a Viennese hotel where Bogarde (maintaining a low profile as a porter) and Rampling (a guest while her conductor husband embarks on a concert tour) meet and recreate their former relationship as sadistic SS officer and child concentration camp inmate; a sexuality that can only end in degradation and self-destruction. Somewhere along the way, the film's handling of serious themes, and its attempts to examine the Nazi legacy in terms of repression and guilt, both sexual and political, get lost amid all the self-conscious decadence.Chris Peachment

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 304: Mon Oct 31

Fox and His Friends (Fassbinder, 1975): Barbican Cinema, 6.30pm

This 35mm presentation is part of the Barbican's Cheap Thrills season. You can find all the details of the season 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.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 303: Sun Oct 30

Stella Dallas (King, 1925): Barbican Cinema, 3pm

This special 35mm presentation is part of the Barbican's Cheap Thrills season. You can find all the details here.

Here is the Barbican introduction:
This is the story of a mother and daughter seen through the prism of class, artfully composed by Henry King in this poignant silent drama. Our heroine Stella (Belle Bennett) gets married ‘above her station’, as they say, to the debonair Stephen Dallas (Ronald Colman). Try as she might, Stella cannot quite fit in; her speech too unrefined, her clothes a shade too outlandish. Rejected by her peers, Stella is divorced and abandoned, while her daughter Laurel is raised in her father’s milieu.

Emotionally charged and totally captivating, Stella’s predicament tugs at your empathy: we see her point of view, but she never gets to win. Rather than being moulded in the image of good taste like Eliza Doolittle after her, class is immutable for Stella; this is her tragedy. What’s more, the scene in which Stella sees Laurel herself get married might be one of the most heart-breaking around.

Stephen Horne accompanies this screening with his original score, alongside Elizabeth-Jane Baldry on harp, which was first performed at the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema earlier this year. We’re thrilled to have Stephen and Elizabeth-Jane performing and journalist Pamela Hutchinson to introduce the screening.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 302: Sat Oct 29

Fat Girl (Breillat, 2001): Barbican Cinema, 6.15pm

This 35mm presentation (which includes a Q&A with director Catherine Breillat) is part of the Barbican's Cheap Thrills: Trash, Movies and the Art of Transgression season. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Elena (Mesquida) is 15, old enough to understand the effect of her beauty on males, young enough to feel insecure and confused over how to lose her virginity to the right person. Her 12-year-old sister Anaïs (Reboux), on the other hand, is fat, envious and insists that, when the time comes, she'd rather give herself to a stranger. Holidaying with their parents, the girls reach a new phase in their bickering when Elena starts seeing Italian law student Fernando (De Rienzo), whose determination to have sex involves smooth talk that may persuade Elena of his romantic intentions, but doesn't fool little sister, reluctant witness to his siegecraft from her bed across the room. What if mum or dad were to find out? Breillat's typically tough but sensitive study of sisterly rivalry may be less philosophical in tone - not to mention less visually explicit - than its predecessor Romance, but it remains notable for its refusal to provide a facile, politically correct account of adolescent experience. As psychological portrait and social critique, the film offers cruelly honest insights. Dark, disturbing and hugely impressive, it's made all the more lucid by superb performances from the two young actresses.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 301: Fri Oct 28

Fuego (Bo, 1969): Barbican Cinema, 8.45pm

This event is part of the Barbican's Cheap Thrills: Trash, Movies and the Art of Transgression season. Full details here.

Barbican introduction:
There’s plenty of heat and heart in this charming Argentine tale of love, lust and copious nudity.

Laura (Isabel Sarli) needs men – and women – because she’s a nymphomaniac. Spotted on the beach from afar by a wealthy industrialist, the immediately enamoured Carlos (Armando Bo), Laura decides he is the only man she loves – but he’s not the only person who can satisfy her. The tension between Laura's needs and her emotions make for an inevitably tragic ending.

Sarli is Argentina’s own Sophia Loren and her appeal is extraordinary; her wardrobe of fur coats, plunging necklines and her birthday suit shows that she’s a woman fully conscious of her own power.

It’s this confidence from Sarli, combined with the Catholic moral dilemmas of the late 1960s that makes for such a potent mix. The melodrama might well make us giggle, but that core tension – between what women want and how they should be – is still worth exploring.

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

Friday, 14 October 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 300: Thu Oct 27

Ed Wood (Burton, 1994): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm

This 35mm screening is part of the Tim Burton season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Tim Burton's charming black-and-white fantasy biopic about Edward D. Wood Jr. (Johnny Depp), a writer-director-actor at the lowest reaches of Z-budget filmmaking who won posthumous cult status by virtue of his eccentric personality (as a straight transvestite) and his very personal form of ineptitude. Such a project requires the historical imagination to re-create a time before camp had entered the mainstream sensibility as an attitude of affection; instead Burton and writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski opt for a pie-eyed postmodernist fancy that in effect transports today's audience back into the 50s (derisive at a premiere of Bride of the Monster, respectful at a premiere of Plan 9, absurdly set in Hollywood's plush Pantages Theater). As a result Wood's singularly miserable and abject career, which ended in alcoholism and indigence, is magically transformed into the feel-good movie of 1994, budgeted for a cool $18 million and radiating tenderness (at least for the guys; nearly all the women are regarded as betrayers and spoilsports). Yet the movie still manages some remarkable achievements—in particular, a tour de force performance by Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi (whose friendship with Wood becomes the film's emotional center) and some glorious cinematography by Stefan Czapsky.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.