Sunday, 20 August 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 241: Thu Aug 31

Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (Lynch, 2014): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm


This collection of unseen footage and scenes from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is part of the 'Films of David Lynch' seaon at the Prince Charles. Full details here.

Buzzfeed review:
Missing Pieces may not pull back the curtain on the larger mysteries of Twin Peaks or give us a definitive look at what happens to Dale Cooper after his possession (other than his presence in the Black Lodge and him comforting Laura, whose spirit has arrived there — more time shifts!), but what these deleted and extended scenes do is give us a deeper appreciation both for what David Lynch's maligned film set out to do and for the incredibly nuanced and powerful performance achieved by Sheryl Lee here. Laura Palmer isn't a character in Twin Peaks, but rather an emblem. Here, Lee gives television's most famous dead girl a profound sense of vulnerability, exploring both her flaws and her strength in the face of a harrowing experience. Twin Peaks might best be summed up in a sentence uttered by Lara Flynn Boyle's Donna in the show — "It's like I'm having the most beautiful dream and the most terrible nightmare all at once." — and Fire Walk With Me turns up the temperature on that whole statement, resulting in a film that pulses with Hitchcockian tension but also a strange and ineffable humanity.
Jace Lacob (you can read the full review here).

Here is Lynch introducing the film before the world premiere.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 240: Wed Aug 30

The Game (Fincher, 1990): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm


This 35mm presentation is a 20th anniversary screening of the David Fincher film.

Time Out review:
San Francisco. Ruthless financier Nicholas Van Orton (Douglas) is a control freak who no longer knows the meaning of fun or friendship. When his estranged, addictive brother Conrad (Penn) enrolls him with Consumer Recreation Services for his birthday, his curiosity's aroused by the offer of a mysterious 'game' tailored to the needs of each participant. At first his application is rejected, but when, on TV, a newscaster starts talking directly to him, Nicholas realises the game's already begun and that his actions are being monitored and manipulated. As his privacy is progressively invaded and the situations in which he finds himself become ever more life-threatening, Van Orton tries to pull out of the game, but too late. Though the film's 'message' about complacency transformed by chaos and uncertainty is hackneyed, the alarming twists of the witty, ingenious script (by John Brancato and Michael Ferris) hold the attention throughout.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 239: Tue Aug 29

Leon Morin, Priest (Melville, 1961): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.15pm


This 4K restoration of the Jean-Pierre Melville film, part of the director's season at BFI Southbank, is also being shown on August 19th, 21st and 25th. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Aiming successfully for a wider audience in 1961, the neglected French independent Jean-Pierre Melville (Le Samourai) adapted Beatrix Beck's autobiographical novel, set in a French village during World War II, about a young woman falling in love with a handsome, radical young priest who's fully aware of his power over her. For the starring roles Melville, godfather of the New Wave, ironically selected two talented actors catapulted to fame by that movement—Emmanuele Riva (Hiroshima, Mon Amour) and Jean-Paul Belmondo (Breathless). The poetic results are literary and personal; the heroine's offscreen narration suggests the pre-Bressonian form of Melville's first feature, Le Silence de la Mer, and sudden subjective shots convey the woman's physical proximity to the priest as she undergoes an ambiguous religious conversion. Not an unqualified success, the film remains strong for its performances, its inventive editing and framing, and its evocative rendering of the French occupation. The eclectic and resourceful nonjazz score is by jazz pianist Martial Solal.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 238: Mon Aug 28

The Wicker Man (Hardy, 1973): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.30pm


This film is screening is part of the Cinematic Jukebox season at the Prince Charles Cinema. You can find full details of the season here.

Time Out review:
All those sacrifices to the cinema gods must have worked, because after a yearlong worldwide search, the final cut of ‘The Wicker Man’ has been found. The thrill of seeing the 1973 cult classic on the big screen is reason enough to drop everything and go – but doubly so with this longer version, which deeply enhances the film’s eerie pagan weirdness. That creepiness is what made distributors delete some of the film’s most evocative scenes: a sermon at the start, the ‘Gently Johnny’ song segment with snail-on-snail action and more of Christopher Lee’s splendid Lord Summerisle. The print quality is variable and much of the ‘new’ material has appeared on DVDs previously. Whole websites have been dedicated to spotting the differences, so fans will keep debating about which version is ‘definitive’. What an incredible treat, though, to see it all in one place, in the cinema, as director Robin Hardy intended. ‘The Wicker Man’, as a British classic, has it all: ‘Carry On’-style gags, a haunting folk soundtrack, spectacular Scottish landscapes, Edward Woodward’s stiff-upper-lip sense of duty, a critique of organised religion and that still-harrowing ending.
Kathryn Bromwich

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 237: Sun Aug 27

Savage Messiah (Russell, 1972): Cinema Museum, 2.30pm


Over five days in August (Wednesday 23rd – Sunday 27th) the Cinema Museum will be celebrating the life and work of the director Ken Russell with a host of famous guests, including Glenda Jackson, Robert Powell and Georgina Hale. You can find the selection of his movies, TV films and rare shorts in the line-up here. Before today's screening Lisi Russell will be talking to Brian Sibley about living and working with Russell, with other guests including Judith Paris and Mike Bradsell. Savage Messiah will be screened from a 35mm print.

Here is an extract from film critic Neil Young's review:
'Vibrantly unconventional biopic, (melo-)dramatising the unorthodox relationship – more inspirational/mental than romantic/sexual – between penniless French sculptor Henri Gaudier (Scott Anthony) and a much older Polish writer Sophie Brzeska (Dorothy Tutin), in Paris and London during the early years of the 20th century. Though not all of Russell’s flashy directorial and gambits pay off, Savage Messiah has a spiky, bracing charm all its own and rivals The Elephant Man among the most convincing, scruffily evocative cinematic visions of bygone London. The air of persuasively percussive exuberance renders the sudden ending (reflecting Gaudier’s fate in the Great War’s trenches) all the more jarringly poignant: a pair of sepia-tinted stills show Anthony-as-Gaudier among his comrades-in-arms, grinning laddishly in uniform, white of tooth and muddy of face.'
You can read the review in full here.


Here (and above) is the trailer. 

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 236: Sat Aug 26

The Music Lovers (Russell, 1970): Cinema Museum, 2.30pm


Over five days in August (Wednesday 23rd – Sunday 27th) the Cinema Museum will be celebrating the life and work of the director Ken Russell with a host of famous guests, including Glenda Jackson, Robert Powell and Georgina Hale. You can find the selection of his movies, TV films and rare shorts in the line-up hereGlenda Jackson returns for this screening and to discuss working with Ken on Women in Love (1969), The Boyfriend (1971), The Rainbow (1989) and The Secret Life of Arnold Bax (1992).

Chicago Reader review:
This Ken Russell fantasia—musical biography as wet dream—hangs together more successfully than his other similar efforts, thanks largely to a powerhouse performance by Glenda Jackson, one actress who can hold her own against Russell's excess. Richard Chamberlain stars as a befuddled, banal-minded Tchaikovsky, who imagines the cannon fire of the 1812 Overture aimed at the heads of his enemies.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 235: Fri Aug 25

Mahler (Russell, 1974): Cinema Museum, 7pm


Over five days in August (Wednesday 23rd – Sunday 27th) the Cinema Museum will be celebrating the life and work of the director Ken Russell with a host of famous guests, including Glenda Jackson, Robert Powell and Georgina Hale. You can find the selection of his movies, TV films and rare shorts in the line-up here. This screening will be followed by an interview with the stars of the film, Robert Powell and Georgina Hale, conducted by Brian Sibley.

Time Out review:
This musical biography, Russell-style, comes over like a cross between a comic strip and Life with the Mahlers (or the trials of bringing up and living with a genius). All the usual brashness and obsessions are there, which may well offend the purists, especially as the film is very much a reply to Visconti's Death in Venice. What he gives us is in fact one of the more successful excursions into the cinema of pantheism, a series of tableaux interpreting Mahler's music. Robert Powell is suitably impressive as the composer, and Georgina Hale excellent as his wife (on its most serious level, the film is about her stifled creativity). Despite the low budget (maybe because of it), Russell has produced his most appealing work since his BBC Omnibus days.
(This review is uncredited online and in the Time Out volume of collected reviews) 

Here (and above) is the trailer.