Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 5: Thursday Jan 5

Secret Cinema: Unknown venue until January 22

You can buy tickets here from 12pm today.

The leading player in the pop-up and event cinema phenomenon and still the best. I shall be going on January 8 and there are still tickets available for the screenings between January 1 and the end of the current run on January 22. I have been to the Wings of Desire and Blade Runner Secret Cinema events and recommend the evenings highly. For Wings of Desire an ex-cinema in Shepherd's Bush had been transformed into bohemian Berlin in the 1970s and for Blade Runner an industrial estate near Canary Wharf became Los Angeles of the future. Scenes are re-enacted and the whole experience is akin to an immersive one in which cinemagoers as well as actors become part of the world of the film being shown.

Here's a link to the Secret Cinema website and this is the Guardian's feature on the current film being celebrated. I have a pretty sure idea which film will be screened and it's a bona-fide classic. Celebrated St John restaurant are hosting a secret pop-up restaurant at the venue which I've booked and all in all it looks like a terrific night is in store.

Here is a YouTube collection of Secret Cinema events for your perusal.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 4: Wednesday Jan 4

Super 8 (JJ Abrams, 2011): Roxy Bar & Screen, Borough, London Bridge

Chicago Reader review:

'Writer-director J.J. Abrams (who did the 2009 Star Trek reboot) overloads this sci-fi adventure with so many homages to his co-producer Steven Spielberg that it plays like the elder director's greatest hits, minus his characteristic scares and sense of wonder. In a small Ohio burg during the summer of 1979, five middle-school boys and a female classmate collaborate on an amateur Super-8 zombie movie; while filming late one night at the town's railroad depot, they witness a spectacular train derailment, then find mysterious geometric cubes among the wreckage of a secret military shipment. Soon the community is plagued by power surges, ominous noises behind rustling leaves, and unexplained disappearances; when the escaped extraterrestrial insect finally appears, it looks like something assembled from that old children's game Cootie. With Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, and Joel Courtney.' Andrea Gronvall

Here is the trailer

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 3: Tuesday Jan 3

Broadway Danny Rose (Allen, 1984): BFI Southbank, NFT2 8.40pm
This film is also on at this cinema on Jan 7 and Jan 9.


The Guardian have a terrific 'My Favourite Film' season running and this was film editor Andrew Pulver's pick. Read his reasons why in a terrific piece here.

Chicago Reader review:


'Woody Allen attends to his neglected lovability factor in this tiny, anecdotal comedy about a fifth-rate theatrical agent who gets mixed up with a tough, bouffanted Mafia moll (Mia Farrow). It seems meant to recapture Allen's lost audience: the verbal wit is fast and frequently hilarious, and the grating self-pity that has come to mar his films has been tempered. Still, Allen can't resist building monuments to his moral superiority: once again he has cast himself as the only unfailingly right character in a world populated by weaklings and opportunists (structurally, the film is indistinguishable from the unbearable Stardust Memories). But Allen has a real find in Nick Apollo Forte, who plays a randy, overweight Italian singer (he's like a corrupt teddy bear), and Allen's static, long-take camera style shows signs of developing some dramatic effectiveness. With Sandy Baron'
Dave Kehr 


Here is the trailer

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 2: Monday Jan 2

Zelig (Allen, 1983): BFI Southbank, NFT 3, 6.10pm
This film is screening every day at this cinema until January 19.

Continuing the season of Woody Allen comedies at the NFT (details of which you can find here) this is perhaps the director's finest work. Time Out critic David Jenkins thinks so and here's why:

'When push comes to shove, my favourite Woody is ‘Zelig’, a hilarious one-of-a-kind from 1983. It’s another thinly-veiled auto-portrait centring on a chameleon-like pariah who is able to meld his body to fit in with those surrounding him. His story is delivered by way of a bogus documentary mixing footage filmed on antique cameras, recontextualised newsreel and shrewd use of blue screen technology. Granted it’s an odd little film, often dismissed as a over-egged joke or love-it-or-loathe-it after-dinner frivolity, but the way in which it conjoins the droll comedy of self-hatred from ‘Annie Hall’ and ‘Manhattan’ with the pet Allen interests of jazz, psychotherapy and, of course, old movies, makes this one of his most trenchant and enjoyable personal statements to date. My sentiments echo those of one of the film’s many crackpot interviewees: ‘Leonard Zelig is one of the finest gentlemen in the United States of America. He is the cat’s pyjamas!’ Hear, hear.'

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 1: Sunday Jan 1

Sleeper (Allen, 1973): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.20pm
This film also screens on Jan 7 & 18 at the cinema.


There's a Woody Allen season running at the NFT (all the details here) and here's one of the undoubted highlights - after all, we all know his early funny ones are the best. This one is bloody hilarious. If memory serves there are no traces of the world as we know it now in 2173 in this movie other than a sighting of a McDonald's restaurant which appears in a scene as the fugitive Allen races past. A wonderful touch in a film sprinkled with great gags.


Chicago Reader review:


'Woody Allen takes a 200-year snooze after an ulcer operation and wakes up in 2173, where he finds, to no one's surprise, Diane Keaton (as sphinxlike as ever), a Volkswagen, and a good number of Richard Nixon jokes. Like all of Allen's early films, this 1973 release is an ungainly collection of one-liners and misdirected sight gags that hardly qualifies as a “movie.” But as a stand-up routine it's a scream. With John Beck and Mary Gregory'
Dave Kehr

Even the trailer here is terrific.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 361: Saturday Dec 31

Fantasia New Year's Eve Party: Roxy Bar & Screen, Borough, London Bridge, 8pm-3.30am


From the Roxy Bar's introduction to the night: After last year's brilliant Alice in Wonderland party, this year we invite you to don your magic hats and join us for a night of Disney magic…

Bring in 2012 Peter Pan style by going back to childhood in our very own Never Never Land, SE1. "Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test!"We’ll have your favourite characters (the Roxy prince and princesses) serving up stardust sprinkled cocktails to the backdrop of classic Disney films, old and new … Hakuna Matata!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 360: Friday Dec 30

The Artist (Hazanavicius, 2011): Everywhere for the coming months.

It's rare I put up a new release on here but this film, which opens in the UK today, is destined to be a huge hit and one you should catch over the holidays as it will put a spring in the step of any jaded cinemagoer. I caught a screening at the London Film Festival and while it lacks the emotional resonance to be a great film it's crowd-pleasing, movie-making of the highest order and a must for any big screen lovers.

Here's a terrific piece by Jonathan Rosenbaum on Uggie, the dog who steals the show. Critics in general are raving about The Artist but if you want an alternative viewpoint head to Sight & Sound for Tony Rayns' review here. He says "The Artist is at best a novelty hit, right up there with Benny Hill's Ernie: The Fastest Milkman in the West."

Chicago Reader review:

'French director Michel Hazanavicius takes a break from his OSS 117 spy spoofs to pay loving tribute to the silent cinema, re-creating its luminous black-and-white photography and consigning all the dialogue to intertitles. The story is a variation on that timeless movieland myth A Star Is Born: Jean Dujardin plays a Hollywood matinee idol whose career unravels with the advent of the sound era, and Berenice Bejo is a bit player who ascends into the stratosphere once actors become prized for their gab. No big-time commercial filmmaker has tried anything like this since Mel Brooks made his appropriately titled Silent Movie (1976), but that had a contemporary setting and favored Brooks's vulgar shtick over the physical grace of the silent clowns. By contrast, this effort often manages to duplicate the magical pantomime of the era; a lovely scene in which Bejo drapes herself in the arms of a hung jacket as if it were a human lover could have come straight out of a Marion Davies picture. With John Goodman, James Cromwell, and Penelope Ann Miller.'
J R Jones


Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid - Day 359: Thursday Dec 29

Labyrinth (Henson, 1986) plus masquerade ball: Prince Charles Cinema, 9pm

The highlight here is likely to be off screen with masked fancy dress positively encouraged.

Time Out review:

'Terry Jones scripted this fairy tale fantasy in which pubescent Connelly must negotiate the myriad dangers of a mazy goblin city and cross the Bog of Eternal Stench to reclaim her baby brother from the talons of Goblin King Bowie. If the narrative's an enthusiastic assemblage of elements from the likes of Maurice Sendak and Frank L Baum, Henson's Creature Shop were on hand to provide the necessary, and rather impressive supporting cast of assorted gnomes and pixies. Still, although the film's initial energy and engaging finale are rather muffled by a mid-section that spends too much time idling in neutral, you can at least wonder at David Bowie's saddest ever haircut (no mean achievement) and bask in the pleasurable sight of an ill-tempered gnome scornfully squishing sweet little fairy creatures underfoot.'
Trevor Johnston


Here is the trailer

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 358: Wednesday Dec 28

Belle de Jour (Bunuel, 1967):
Trangallan Tapas Bar, 61 Newington Green, Stoke Newington, London N16 9PX
Tel: 020 7359 4988 8pm


This is a new venture from a great new restaurant in north London and you can find more details here.

Time Out review:


'One of the sly, Spanish provocateur’s greatest popular successes, ‘Belle de Jour’ – revived in a new print as centrepiece of a two-month NFT Buñuel retrospective – is a mischievously deadpan and classically cool 1967 adaptation of Joseph Kessel’s ‘cheap’ fictionalised tale of a Parisian doctor’s wife who secretly volunteers for the two-till-five shift at an upmarket brothel. It opens with French cinema’s prim, fair Miss Frigidaire, Catherine Deneuve, being roughly trussed and stripped by her husband, before ‘the little whore’  is whipped and distainfully left for the carnal satisfaction of his two coachmen. As Buñuel and his scriptwriter Jean-Claude Carrière make clear, this is a mere fantasy in the head of their masochistic heroine. Nevertheless, it was received as a confrontational ‘liberationist’ shock  at the time. If, for us jaded children and grandchildren of the ’60s, 40 years of bombardment by explicit sexual imagery has made that impact unrecoverable, the undiminished power of the film resides more in the mesmeric audacity of Buñuel’s method. The productive friction – be it between the salacious material and the ‘chaste’ formality of  how it’s observed;  the ersatz ‘elegance’ of the salon and the perverse etiquettes of the Yves Saint Laurent-clothed, cigarette-chewing prostitutes and their clients; or the hallucinatory melding of fantasy and reality –  still generates heat like a nuclear reactor.'
Wally Hammond



Here is the trailer

Capital Celluloid - Day 357: Tuesday Dec 27

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Alfredson, 2011): BFI Southbank, Studio, 8.30pm
This film is on an extended run at the cinema until January 8

Time Out review:

'Swedish director Tomas Alfredson (‘Let the Right One In’) blows a fresh air of continental style into Le Carré’s story without harming the 1970s British period feel of his source material. Naturally, some episodes from the book and TV series don’t make it into the film, but it’s remarkable how much remains, often secured by a sly glance here or quick image there. This spy story is all about the journey – the process – and the byways of the route, not the grand finale. This film’s superb cast, script and direction threaten to make that journey equally as thrilling as Le Carré’s book.' Dave Calhoun

Here is the trailer

Capital Celluloid - Day 356: Monday Dec 26

The Naked Gun (Zucker, 1988) & Airplane! (Abrahams, David & Jerry Zucker, 1980) double-bill:
Prince Charles Cinema, 7pm & 8.50pm 
 
Time Out review of The Naked Gun:

'Fans of the Airplane team (and especially of their short-lived TV series Police Squad, by which this gloriously tacky spoof cop-thriller is inspired) will know that corny old gags, hoary clichés, and downright silliness can, if delivered in the right spirit, provide far more fun than any amount of Merchant-Ivory bons mots or Woody Allen witticisms. As ever, sophistication is conspicuously absent as tactless, dim-witted Lt Frank Drebin (Nielsen) investigates the shooting of a cop during a ludicrously audacious drugs bust. One hesitates even to attempt a synopsis of the admirably perfunctory plot, other than that suspects include a delirously plastic Priscilla Presley and a magnificently corseted Montalban. Ineptitude rules throughout. Finally, though, it's Nielsen's show: with an unaccountable flair for the needlessly dramatic, he holds the entire shambling absurdity together by treating everything as if it were a matter of life or death. The endlessly tasteless juvenilia should make you ashamed of laughing yourself into a stupor.'Geoff Andrew

Here is the trailer

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Time Out review of Airplane!:

'Zapping every disaster movie cliché with the cartoon subtlety of Mad magazine may be nothing more than cannibal glee, but it prompts enough convulsions of laughter in this wacky spoof from the Kentucky Fried Movie team for you not to notice their dead hand at work. Imagine the same old '50s airplane yarn: pilots poisoned, passengers panic, while a traumatised war-hero lands the jalopy. It should be disastrous. But psycho ground controllers (Stack and Bridges), laff-a-second pace, and bludgeoning innuendo make this the acceptable face of the locker-room satire.'Don McPherson

Here is the trailer

Capital Celluloid - Day 355: Saturday Dec 24

Tim Burton's The Nightmare before Christmas 3D (Selick, 2006):
Clapham Picturehouse, 5pm


Time Out review:

'Probably the single neatest expression of Tim Burton’s cute-gothic outsider sensibility, this highly likeable 1993 stop-motion fable also proves a perfect match for Disney’s impressive new 3D technology. The spindly, ragged tactility that always made ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ such a visual treat now leaps from the screen, its undead stars coming alive thanks to a process that saw the meticulously crafted original translated frame by frame into a digital model, then processed for viewing through polarised specs. The story sees Jack Skellington, ennui-stricken King of Halloweentown, alighting on a muddle-headedly revitalising scheme: he and his variously rotting, slavering and blood-sucking subjects will co-opt Christmas and deliver a holiday according to their own gruesome lights. Daintily combining cartoon horror-show visuals with quasi-Romantic yearnings and a cracking score and songs by Danny Elfman, ‘Nightmare…’ now makes for a thoroughly pleasurable 3D experience – partly for the wonderfully rendered details of the grotesque puppets and sets, partly because the script’s non-stop momentum suits the roller-coaster photography – and the punchy running time brings things to a close before eye-strain sets in.' Ben Walters 

Here is the trailer

Capital Celluloid - Day 354: Friday Dec 23

Gremlins (Dante, 1984) & Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Dante, 1990) double-bill:
Prince Charles Cinema, 6.40pm & 8.50pm

OR a late programme addition: It's A Wonderful Life & Wings of Desire Scala tribute at Gate Notting Hill. Details here.

Chicago Reader review of Gremlins:

'E.T. with the lid off (1984). At the center of this horror comedy is a tidy family parable of the kind so dear to the heart of producer Steven Spielberg: the cute little whatzits who turn into marauding monsters when they pass through puberty (here gooily envisioned as “the larval stage”) are clearly metaphors for children, and the teenager (Zach Galligan) whose lapse of responsibility unleashes the onslaught is a stand-in for the immature parents of the 80s (Poltergeist). But Spielberg's finger wagging is overwhelmed by Joe Dante's roaring, undisciplined direction, which (sometimes through sheer sloppiness) pushes the imagery to unforeseen, untidy, and ultimately disturbing extremes. Dante is perhaps the first filmmaker since Frank Tashlin to base his style on the formal free-for-all of animated cartoons; he is also utterly heartless. With Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, and more movie-buff in-jokes than Carter has pills' Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.

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Chicago Reader review of Gremlins 2:


'This 1990 sequel to the beastie movie of 1984, directed like its predecessor by the irreplaceable Joe Dante, relocates the hero and heroine (Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates) in New York, where they're both working for a vain tycoon named Daniel Clamp (John Glover)—an obvious conflation of Donald Trump and Ted Turner—in a midtown skyscraper, where the gremlins manage to run loose and cause all sorts of mischief. Solid, agreeable entertainment that basically consists of plentiful gags and lighthearted satire spiked with Dante's compulsive taste for movie references, humorously scripted by Charlie Haas but without the darker thematic undertones and the more tableaulike construction of the original. You may want to see this more than once in order to catch all the peripheral details, but there aren't any depths to explore, just a lot of bright, free-floating comic invention. With Robert Prosky, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lee, Kathleen Freeman, and many cameos (including Daffy Duck and Leonard Maltin).'Jonathan Rosenbaum


Here is the trailer.


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STOP PRESS: Late addition to programme at Gate Cinema Notting Hill

In tribute to the double-bill the old Scala cinema did every 23rd December the Gate are screening a double-bill of It's A Wonderful Life and Wings of Desire with a two-for-one deal so "people can bring their angels with them." You can find out all the details here.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 353: Thursday Dec 22

Meet Me in St Louis (Minnelli, 1944): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.20 & 8.45pm
This re-released film is on an extended run until December 29. Details here.

I went to see this on Sunday and the film certainly lives up to its reputation as one of Hollywood's finest musicals. There are numerous articles and features on this film, including an excellent one by Richard Dyer in the January edition of Sight & Sound. Dyer refers to work by Andrew Britton on the film which has been reproduced in the recent publication of his complete film criticism and by Robin Wood in his collection Personal Views. Both are well worth seeking out.

And here is an excellent piece by the Guardian's John Patterson on Minnelli to coincide with the re-release of tonight's film.

Time Out review:


'In 1939, rosy-cheeked chanteuse Judy Garland trumpeted the cosy, all-American proverb that ‘there’s no place like home’ in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. She returned five years later to reaffirm those beliefs in Vincente Minnelli’s musical masterpiece, ‘Meet Me in St Louis’, a Technicolor ode to the joys and tensions of living side-by-side with your fellow man.

In a snow globe rendering of St Louis, Missouri circa 1903, the affluent Smith clan must face the prospect of ripping up their ancestral roots to chase future fortunes. The film has only a whisper of a plot, preferring to amass the simple pleasures of life (flirting with neighbours, riding the trolley, Christmas with the folks) into a single romantic vision of a perfect society.

Framed as a sepia-tinted postcard come to life, Minnelli’s panoramic city symphony examines the meanings of nostalgia and memory while offering a sweetly ironic depiction of Middle American conservatism where sex is taboo, dinner is at six, money is evil and father knows best. A heavenly slice of brassy Hollywood romanticism that’ll still have you swooning all the way to the trolley stop.'
David Jenkins


Here is the remarkable Halloween sequence which Britton and Wood found so fascinating.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 352: Wednesday Dec 21

It is Fine. Everything is Fine (Glover, 2007): Phoenix Cinema, East Finchley, 7pm

This went down so well in February that the Phoenix have got actor Crispin Glover back for his famous Big Slide Show plus a screening of the second part of the "It" trilogy, titled 'It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine!'

This comes highly recommended by colleagues at the Guardian and all those who went earlier in the year and having looked at some of Glover's work on YouTube, I am certain it will be like nothing else on offer in London tonight and as such well worth investigating. Apparently, Glover has said he has previously stayed until 4am to finish off his Q&A's! Here is Guardian film editor Catherine Shoard's interview with the actor/drirector.


Check this out, the trailer for tonight's movie. And this. Or even this.


The Phoenix are also screening part one of Glover's trilogy What Is It? with another Big Slide Show from the unique showman on Thursday evening, Dec 22. And you can find out more details here.


Footnote: the actor's father is Bruce Glover, famous for playing the villain Mr Wint in Diamonds Are Forever.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 351: Tuesday Dec 20

Tulse Luper Films: A Walk Through H and Vertical Features Remake
(Greenaway, 1978-9): Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, 7.30pm

Vertical Features Remake (1978) charts the attempts of a group of rival academics to remake fictional ornithologist Tulse Luper’s seminal but lost film ‘Vertical Features’ or ‘Vertical Lists’. In the second feature of the program, A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist (1979), the narrator recounts a journey taken through ‘H’ aided by a series of drawings arranged by Tulse Luper. But what is ‘H’ and who is the mysterious Tulse Luper? Confused? You should be. But read this and you'll definitely want to make your way there.

Time Out review of A Walk Through H:

'Greenaway's unique short feature is one of the best British movies of the decade. It defeats efforts at description. You could call it a cross between a vintage Borges 'fiction' and a Disney True Life Adventure, but that wouldn't get close to its humour or the compulsiveness of Michael Nyman's romantic score. It's nominally a narrative about an ornithologist following a trail blazed by the legendary Tulse Luper, but it's a narrative without characters... See it at all costs.' Tony Rayns

Capital Celluloid - Day 350: Monday Dec 19

Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.10pm
This screening is part of the Passport to Cinema season and will be introduced by Richard Combs

Here's a fascinating video essay on the film by American artists B. Kite and Alexander Points-Zollo.

Chicago Reader review:

'One of the landmarks—not merely of the movies, but of 20th-century art. Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film extends the theme of Rear Window—the relationship of creator and creation—into the realm of love and sexuality, focusing on an isolated, inspired romantic (James Stewart) who pursues the spirit of a woman (the powerfully carnal Kim Novak). The film's dynamics of chase, capture, and escape parallel the artist's struggle with his work; the enraptured gaze of the Stewart character before the phantom he has created parallels the spectator's position in front of the movie screen. The famous motif of the fall is presented in horizontal rather than vertical space, so that it becomes not a satanic fall from grace, but a modernist fall into the image, into the artwork—a total absorption of the creator by his creation, which in the end is shown as synonymous with death. But a thematic analysis can only scratch the surface of this extraordinarily dense and commanding film, perhaps the most intensely personal movie to emerge from the Hollywood cinema.' Dave Kehr        

Here is the trailer.
                                  

Capital Celluloid - Day 349: Sunday Dec 18

It's A Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946): Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, London NW3 3EU, 7.30pm

Here's a screening with a difference. The Flicker Club begin the evening by introducing a surprise guest who will read the original story, ‘The Greatest Gift’, from which this legendary film is adapted, Jackanory for adults if you like. But who will their  mysterious narrator be this year? Last year it was Tom Hollander and the year before Bill Nighy… All will be revealed on the night, but suffice to say the Flicker Club assure us we will be in the hands of a real master.

And as it's Christmas all who turn up will not leave empty handed.  On top of their usual goody bag there will be a Secret Santa DVD sack. All you have to do is bring a wrapped copy of a film you'd like to share and you will leave with a new one . . .

Chicago Reader review:

'The film Frank Capra was born to make. This 1946 release marked his return to features after four years of turning out propaganda films for the government, and Capra poured his heart and soul into it. James Stewart stars as a small-town nobody, on the brink of suicide, who believes his life is worthless. Guardian angel Henry Travers shows him how wrong he is by letting Stewart see what would have happened had he never been born. Wonderfully drawn and acted by a superb cast (Donna Reed, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, Lionel Barrymore, Gloria Grahame) and told with a sense of image and metaphor (the use of water is especially elegant) that appears in no other Capra film. The epiphany of movie sentiment and a transcendent experience.' Dave Kehr       


Here's the phone scene. Gets me every single time.                 

Capital Celluloid - Day 348: Saturday Dec 17

The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939): Chelsea Curzon, 2pm

Christmas wouldn't be complete without this classic.

Chicago Reader review:

'Thanks to innumerable childhood viewings, this 1939 film is too firmly planted in my (pre)consciousness for me to find the proper critical distance. In many ways, it's stiff, ersatz, and anonymous in the usual MGM house style of the 30s (though King Vidor, one of several directors who worked on the project, does manage some graceful camera movement in the Munchkin scenes), but frankly I don't care. Those talking trees were a staple of my nightmares for years, and Margaret Hamilton is still my prime mental image of absolute evil. I don't find the film light or joyful in the least—an air of primal menace hangs about it, which may be why I love it. With Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Ray Bolger, and Billie Burke; Victor Fleming took the final directing credit.'
Dave Kehr   

Here's Judy Garland with Somewhere over the Rainbow.                                        

Capital Celluloid - Day 347: Friday Dec 16

Scrooge (Hurst, 1951): The Vanishing Point, 21 Lee Road, Blackheath, London SE3 9RQ, 7.30pm

Pop-up and immersive cinema is all the rage right now and this looks one of the best recent events. The screening takes place in a converted Victorian art studio made to look like Scrooge and Marley's counting house.

Time Out review:


'Surprisingly, there isn't a film version of the Dickens novella which merits the imprimatur 'classic'. The Muppets had a good stab at it, and Bill Murray was well cast in the otherwise scattershot Scrooged. On the plus side, this version is cast like an engraved illustration: Thesiger, Johns, Hordern, Harrison, Malleson, Baddeley and, above all, the splendidly aloof Sim, who feasts on Dickens' best lines ('I expect you want the whole day off tomorrow?'), greets each new ghost with a weary shiver, and handles his giddy rebirth with aplomb.' Tom Charity


Here is the trailer.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 346: Thursday Dec 15

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Hughes, 1987): Stratford Picturehouse, 8.30pm

This sounds like a lot of fun.  

From the Stratford Picturehouse introduction: Join the Picturehouse Podcast for a special Christmas screening of John Hughes' classic (ahem - Thanksgiving) comedy, PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES. It's the boys' number one film to watch at Christmas, and they want to share it with you, on the big screen. There will be Christmas giveaways and pre-film activities in the bar, plus the boys will record a live podcast in the auditorium before the film begins.

Time Out review:

'When their flight is grounded by snow, suave advertising exec Neal Page (Martin) finds himself stuck with travelling shower-curtain-ring salesman Del Griffith (Candy), the human equivalent of a Double Whopper. Griffith offers the benefit of his wide-ranging travel experience, and the pair set off overland on an odyssey of disasters. Sympathy, initially with the exec, shifts to the salesman, who is revealed as a vulnerable and lonely misfit, while his companion proves an intolerant bully and foul-tempered snob.'
Elaine Paterson


Here's a great extract which kinda gets to the heart of the movie.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 345: Wednesday Dec 14

The General (Keaton, 1926): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm
With live piano from John Sweeney

Chicago Reader review:
 
'Buster Keaton may have made more significant films, but The General (1927) stands as an almost perfect entertainment. Keaton is a locomotive engineer in the Civil War south whose train is hijacked by Union spies; his attempts to bring it back become a strangely moving and very funny account of man's love for machine. Marion Mack is the girl, who can't quite compete.' Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 344: Tuesday Dec 13

Edvard Munch (Watkins, 1974): Whiteleys Shopping Centre, 6.15pm

The highlight of the week and one of the highlights of the year on the repertory circuit this one.

Going to the cinema does not have to entail driving to the out-of-town multiplex or even to any sort of picture house at all these days. There are plenty of pubs and clubs putting on films while the pop-up cinema phenomenon is becoming far more prevalent in the movie listings. The Nomad Cinema, run by the people at the excellent Lexi Cinema in Kensal Green, is the most adventurous of the pop-up brigade.

This film from the Nomad Cinema at the Whiteleys Shopping Centre has been selected by the A Nos Amours collective, a group founded by celebrated director Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts. They are dedicated to "programming and screening overlooked or especially potent cinema." You can find out more about them here.


Time Out review:

'Peter Watkins' biography of the formative years of the pioneer Expressionist easily vindicates its running time. As Munch moves through his youth, quiet and alienated, we realise that he too was eluded by any lasting intimacy: a long, abortive affair with an older woman joins the ubiquitous ghosts of a childhood scarred by sickness and death. In the end it's the paintings which do Munch's talking for him, both directly and through the prefigurations and echoes in the film's set pieces, a fuzzed, mutely anguished procession of half-profiles and silently helpless groups with numb, naked eyes. It's a remarkable film.' Giovanni Dadomo

Here is an extract.

Capital Celluloid - Day 343: Monday Dec 12

A Trip to the Moon (Melies, 1902): Cine Lumiere, 6pm with soundtrack by Air


From the introduction on the Cine Lumiere website: Internationally revered French electronic music duo, AIR (Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin), will attend an exclusive screening of Georges Méliès’ cult film A Trip to the Moon shown in its restored colour version.


Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon), was released in black and white and also in colour, hand painted, in 1902. It was an immediate success worldwide and the first blockbuster in the history of cinema. Widely considered one of the most important and influential works in film history, it has inspired Martin Scorsese’s latest film Hugo which comprises several extracts of it and centres around Méliès’ life.

Here is a clip.

Capital Celluloid - Day 342: Sunday Dec 11

The Curse of the Cat People (Wise, 1944) & Tales from the Crypt (Francis, 1972):
Roxy Bar & Screen, 3pm

A superb double-bill from the Classic Horror Campaign, a pressure group trying its best to get horror films back on our TV screens. You can find out more about them via this Facebook page. And more about this afternoon's brilliant pre-Christmas double-bill here.

Time out review of Curse of the Cat People:

'Though very different in purpose and tone to Cat People, Val Lewton's 'sequel' is far more closely tied to its predecessor than is commonly believed. For one thing, all the main characters remain very much the same as they were in the earlier film, to which there are many specific references; for another, both films concern the way that guilt, fear and fantasy can arise from isolation and misunderstanding. In this case, it's a small girl, lonely and repeatedly scolded by her parents and shunned by her friends for indulging in day-dreaming; when she populates her solitary world with the ghost of her father's dead first wife (Simon, heroine of Cat People), her imagination (or is it?) gets her into serious trouble. Far from being a horror film, it's a touching, perceptive and lyrical film about childhood, psychologically astute and occasionally disturbing as it focuses entirely on the child's-eye view of a sad, cruel world.'
Geoff Andrew


Here is the trailer.


********************************************************************************


Classic Horror Campaign review of Tales from the Crypt: 


'Of all the Amicus portmanteau collections that made it onto TV in the mid seventies the film that sticks in my memory of illicit late night sessions spent inches from the glowing screen, volume turned down to avoid detection is the aptly named Tales From The Crypt (1972). You’ll be meeting a nice mix of familiar faces some fresh some fading all assigned easily recognisable cameos, the arrogant military type (Nigel Patrick), the flamboyant art lover (Richard Greene), the scheming wife (Joan Collins), the unfaithful husband (Ian Hendry), the suburban snob (Robin Phillips), they’re all here.

'Drawing its inspiration from the fifties horror comic of the same name, stylistically Tales From The Crypt is rooted in the seventies. Only the underlying moral of each tale remains timeless. It's very witty and boasts some great performances. Worthy of particular merit is Peter Cushing as Grimsdyke the put-upon pensioner who turns up with a valentine card no-one wants to receive and Nigel Patrick who ends up at the sharp end of Patrick Magee’s sightless avenger.'

Here is the trailer. 

Capital Celluloid - Day 341: Saturday Dec 10

"Quote-a-long" Ghostbusters (Reitman, 1984): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.30pm

Time Out review:

'A welcome reissue for this deliriously inventive, evergreen 1984 family comedy. Or at least, it used to be a family film: thanks to a churlish re-think by the BBFC – it’s been upped from a PG – ‘Ghostbusters’ is now deemed unsuitable for its target audience. Though presumably, this has more to do with some spicy language (‘this man has no dick!’) and ‘adult’ situations (Sigourney Weaver’s mid-air ecstasy) than anything to spook the under-12s. Quibbles aside, this is a near-flawless example of the ’80s genre boom in full swing, fusing state-of-the-art SFX, a loopy guys-on-a-mission plot, some awful synth ’n’ snare electro-pop and a handful of the finest one-liners ever' Tom Huddleston 

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid - Day 340: Friday Dec 9

The Boy Friend (Russell, 1971): BFI Southbank, NFT 1, 8pm
This film, part of the MGM Musicals season, will also be screened on December 29.

There's only one place for film fans tonight - and that's at the BFI Southbank to honour the late, great Ken Russell. The director was due to appear to introduce his film but he can expect a fitting tribute from critic Mark Kermode and one of the film's stars, Twiggy.

The sold out notices went up early for this one but there's always the possibility of a ticket in the returns queue. The advice is to get there early.


Time Out review:

'Sandy Wilson's delightfully lightweight musical is given the unnecessary avoirdupois that seems unavoidable with Russell. Some things work beautifully: Tommy Tune's deliriously leggy Charleston, the bathing beauty inanities of 'Sur la Plage', almost everything Twiggy does as the wide-eyed ingenue. But there are also some bloated Busby Berkeley pastiches which clash horribly with Wilson's mock-'20s score. Consistency was never Russell's strong point.' Tom Milne


Here is the trailer.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 339: Thursday Dec 8

Las Acacias (Giorgelli, 2011): ICA Cinema 6pm and all week till Thursday 15 Dec

Time Out review:

'Those in need of a flab-free winter warmer should look no further than this hushed romance that takes place in the cramped confines of a cantankerous trucker’s cab. Rubén (Germán de Silva) has agreed to allow a local woman, Jacinta (Hebe Duarte), to ride shotgun as he hauls logs from a Uruguayan backwater to Buenos Aires. That she brings along her obscenely cute newborn initially raises hackles – there’s barely a word uttered in the first 30 minutes – but as they amble on down the road and the baby gurgles and ogles adoringly, the nervy pair begin to let down their guards. Delicately paced and deceptively slight, director Pablo Giorgelli (winner of the Camera d’Or for a debut film at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival) generates sweet truth and sexual tension by keeping the style clean, acting tight and edits sparse. The will they/won’t they climax is a tad trite, but it’s a superficial nick on the façade of the film’s overall loveliness.' David Jenkins


Here is the trailer.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 338: Wednesday Dec 7

Christmas Evil (Jackson, 1980): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm

This Cigarette Burns screening will be introduced by renowned horror writer Kim Newman. Here are more details about the evening on the film club's website. 

Here is the Prince Charles Cinema introduction: Widely recognized as the best of the Christmas horror efforts, Christmas Evil is the story of a boy who loves Christmas. He is scarred as a boy when he learns that Santa is not real. Throughout the rest of his life, the toy-maker tries to make the Christmas spirit a reality. He becomes obsessed with the behavior of children and the quality of the toys he makes. When he is met with hypocrisy and cynicism, the resulting snap causes him to go on a yuletide killing spree to complete this dark comedic horror.

To date Cigarette Burns Cinema has screened Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik, Dario Argentos' Suspiria, Brit zombie biker classic Psychomania, X-mas slasher Black Christmas '74, melt movie monster Street Trash, super sexy vampire lesbian chiller Daughters of Darkness, Abel Ferrara's revenge classic Ms. 45, video nasty Shogun Assassin, Spanish thriller Who Can Kill A Child?, Arrow Films & Video's Slaughter High with Caroline Munro, Arnie epic, Conan the Barbarian, Summer smash Piranha 3D, Female Convict Scorpion All-Nighter, David Cronenberg's iconic Videodrome, Lucio Fulci's attempt at a haunted house flick House by the Cemetery all at the Rio Cinema in Dalston. That's an impressive pedigree.


Here is a promotional clip.

Capital Celluloid - Day 337: Tuesday Dec 6

Surviving Life (Svankmajer, 2010): ICA, Various times, ALL WEEK

Time Out review:

As with his 2005 film, ‘Lunacy’, Czech maestro Jan Svankmajer (‘Alice’, ‘Little Otik’) appears at the beginning of this ingenious psychoanalytical comedy to deliver a direct-to-camera statement. After admitting that the only reason this new film employs dotty paper-cut out animation was to save on actors’ fees (because, as he rightly points out, ‘photographs don’t eat’), he quotes German scientist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, who says, ‘Only the fusion of dreams and reality can make up a complete human life.’

Svankmajer’s film is about an office drone who strikes up an affair with a gorgeous woman in red. They rendezvous in his dreams. He discovers a method of artificially stimulating his dreams so he can play out this extended fantasy. But the more time he spends in this dream world, the more the swarms of eccentric erotic symbols (smashed melons, broken eggs, a teddy bear with a giant phallus) start to take on life-altering meanings. Expounding on (and cheekily refuting) Freudian and Jungian dream logic while dazzling the eye with animation that falls somewhere between ‘South Park’, ‘The Yellow Submarine’ and Terry Gilliam’s work for the Pythons, this manages to be Svankmajer’s most poignant and  fully-formed feature to date. It retains all of his hallmarks, from the grotesque close-up photography to his fixations with food and sex. Its masterstroke, though, is the zestfully ironic way it harnesses the skewed workings of the subconscious, confirming Svankmajer as a master filmmaker and knocking films like ‘Inception’ and ‘The Matrix’ into a cocked hat. Just dreamy!' David Jenkins


Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid - Day 336: Monday Dec 5

Scream (Craven, 1996) & Scream 2 (Craven, 1997): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.25pm

Time Out review of Scream:

'Wes Craven draws on a shared pop cultural heritage in horror flicks to fashion this bloody brand of post-modern comedy. 'So you like scary movies? Name the killer in Friday the 13th?' demands the anonymous caller of Barrymore's lone teen in the prologue. 'Hang up again and I'll gut you like a fish!' The killer describes his apparently irrational vendetta against the high school population of Woodsboro as a game, and in this he's surely speaking for screenwriter Kevin Williamson and director Craven, who kill off the clichés and all the wrong characters with panache. At times, it's too clever, but it's sure scary, with the jokes notching up the general level of hysteria. As a bonus, Craven throws in half a dozen of Hollywood's brightest hopefuls: Campbell in the central role of the teenager haunted by the murder of her mother; Arquette as a naive local deputy; Cox as a TV star; McGowan as the doomed best friend; and Ulrich as the evocatively named Billy Loomis. Intelligence, wit and sophistication - at last, a horror movie to shout about!' Tom Charity

Here is the trailer. 

Time Out review of Scream 2:

'This being the sequel, scriptwriter Kevin Williamson includes a scene in which film students discuss the fact that such movies never match the inventiveness of the original. Quite so. To be fair, by changing the location and concentrating on the haunted victims rather than the demonic killer(s), No 2 avoids a couple of obvious pitfalls. Two years after the Woodsboro murders, Sidney Prescott (Campbell) is a college student, piecing her life together with a new boyfriend, her old friend Randy (Kennedy) and a sympathetic roommate. But when a spectator is slashed to death during the local premiere of horror movie Stab - from a book on the Woodsboro incident by cynical TV reporter Gail Weathers (Cox) - the nightmare begins anew. Although returning characters such as ex-deputy Dewey (Arquette) have moved on, the film itself is stuck in a cycle of repetition, with slight variations. Compared to most contemporary horror fare, this is intelligent and frightening; compared to the original, it just doesn't cut it.' Nigel Floyd

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid - Day 335: Sunday Dec 4

Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman, 1971):  Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, 1.40pm

A rare screening of Monte Hellman's seminal road movie and without a doubt the highlight of the week. Has one of the great endings in cinema.

Here's the Chicago Reader review that will only make you want to see it all the more: 

'This exciting existentialist road movie by Monte Hellman, with a swell script by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Corry and my favorite Warren Oates performance, looks even better now than it did in 1971, although it was pretty interesting back then as well. James Taylor and Dennis Wilson are the drivers of a supercharged '55 Chevy, and Oates is the owner of a new GTO (these nameless characters are in fact identified only by the cars they drive); they meet and agree to race from New Mexico to the east coast, though an assortment of side interests periodically distracts them, including various hitchhikers (among them Laurie Bird). (GTO hilariously assumes a new persona every time he picks up a new passenger, rather like the amorphous narrator in Wurlitzer's novel Nog.) The movie starts off as a narrative but gradually grows into something much more abstract—it's unsettling but also beautiful.'
Jonathan Rosenbaum



Here is the trailer.


Here is an interview Matthew Thrift conducted with the director about the movie.

Capital Celluloid - Day 334: Saturday Dec 3

The Purple Rose of Cairo (Allen, 1985): Riverside Studios, 2.30 & 7pm
This film is also being screened by Riverside on Friday Dec 2 at 7pm

Time Out review:

'During the Depression, downtrodden housewife Mia Farrow so inflames a film's leading man (an explorer-poet) that he climbs down from the screen, and entices her into a chaotic but charming love affair. Woody Allen's deft script investigates every nook and cranny of the couple's bizarre relationship, the irate Pirandellian reactions of the illusory characters left up on the screen, and the bewilderment of the actor whose movie persona has miraculously gone walkies. As the star-struck couple, Farrow and Jeff Daniels work wonders with fantastic emotions, while Allen's direction invests enough care, wit and warmth to make it genuinely moving.' Geoff Andrew

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid - Day 333: Friday Dec 2

Margaret (Lonergan, 2011): Panton St Odeon 1.45; 4.50 & 8pm ALL WEEK

This film is quietly being buried by the studio. There was just one late press screenings before its release today and it's getting as limited a release here as it did in America. Which is a crying shame as the movie, the follow up to Kenneth Lonergan's excellent You Can Count On Me, sounds well worth seeking out. If you want to read the fascinating background to the movie's travails check out Vadim Rizov's piece in January's Sight & Sound magazine.

Both Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian and Tim Robey in the Telegraph have given the film five-star reviews today.

Chicago Reader review:

'A spoiled Manhattan teenager (Anna Paquin) distracts a city bus driver (Mark Ruffalo) with her flirty behavior, causing him to run a red light and kill a pedestrian (Allison Janney). At her mother's urging, the girl tells police the light was green, but eventually an attack of conscience—from which she conveniently spares herself—impels her to launch a vendetta against the driver. This moving drama was shot in 2005 but tied up in court for years after writer-director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me) failed to deliver a cut under 150 minutes, as his contract demanded. Released at long last and running 149 minutes, the movie shows obvious signs of having been hacked down to size (Matt Damon's fine performance as the girl's math teacher seems to have suffered particularly). But even in its truncated state, this is pretty gripping stuff; just think of it as an epic commercial for the director's cut DVD. Among the stellar cast are Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Kieran Culkin, Rosemarie DeWitt, Olivia Thirlby, and J. Smith-Cameron as the girl's mother.' J R Jones

Here is the trailer.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 332: Thursday Dec 1

Russian Ark (Sokurov, 2002): BFI Southbank, 6.10pm

Time Out review:

'Despite the almost inevitable longueurs, not to mention mumbling melancholy offscreen comments that sometimes verge on the self-parodic, this is certainly a superior Sokurov feature, and not only for its extraordinarily virtuoso mise-en-scène. Digitally shot in a single continuous take, it wanders around St Petersburg's Hermitage, taking in the building, its furnishings and objets d'art, and a host of characters, historical and contemporary, both named (Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Nicholas, Alexandra, Anastasia) and anonymous, while pondering the Russian soul and its ambivalent relationship with Europe. As the unseen film-maker and a 19th century French diplomat guide us on our journey through space and time, it's hard not to be distracted by thoughts of how it was all choreographed, but a magnificent ball scene and the final poignant departure manage to work their magic.' Geoff Andrew


Here is the trailer.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 331: Wednesday Nov 30

Love Stories (Stuhr, 1997): Greenwich Picturehouse, 8.30pm
This is screening as part of the Poland on Screen Festival

Time Out review:

'Written, directed by and starring Jerzy Stuhr in four different roles, this morose comic fable interweaves the stories of four inhabitants of Krakow - a lecturer, an army officer, a priest and a drug smuggler - to mount a subtle exploration of the diverse roles played by love in contemporary life. It's a movie about fear, guilt, cowardice, responsibility, trust and betrayal, but despite occasional forays into allegorical fantasy, it mercifully never sermonises or descends into maudlin sentiment. Ingenious, insightful and finally rather touching. (Dedicated to Krzysztof Kieslowski, for whom Stuhr regularly acted.'
Geoff Andrew


Here is an extract

Capital Celluloid - Day 330: Tuesday Nov 29

Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Ceylan, 2011): Rio Cinema, 8.30pm
This film is screening as part of the London Turkish Film Festival. More details on the season here.

The latest movie from an outstanding Turkish director was very well received at the recent London Film Festival and was at No6 in January Sight & Sound magazine's poll of best films of 2011. The movie was given a five-star review by Time Out magazine:

'Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceyan is unlikely to attract heaving crowds to his sixth film, ‘Once Upon A Time in Anatolia’, but since when was the 51-year-old director of ‘Uzak’, ‘Climates’ and ‘Three Monkeys’ in it for the multiplex? Ceylan is a sly and daring screen artist of the highest order and should draw wild praise with this new film for challenging both himself and us, the audience, with this lengthy, rigorous and masterly portrait of a night and day in the life of a murder investigation on his country’s Anatolian steppes.

It’s a mysterious and demanding work, and it marks a distinct progression in Ceylan’s career as he continues to gnaw at the boundaries of film storytelling with humour, grace, empathy and a dry, wry view of everyday life.' Dave Calhoun


Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid - Day 329: Monday Nov 28

Pierrot Le Fou (Godard,1965): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.10pm
This screening is part of the Passport to Cinema season and is introduced by the Independent on Sunday's excellent film critic Jonathan Romney.

When this film, which will surely come to be seen as one of Jean-Luc Godard's finest, was re-released in 1989 after many years out of circulation, critic Jonathan Rosenbaum had this to say in an article in Chicago Reader : "Looking at Pierrot Le Fou again almost a quarter of a century after it was made, 20 years after its initial U.S. release, is a bit like visiting another planet; it’s an explosion of color, sound, music, passion, violence, and wit that illustrates what used to be regarded as cinema."

It's impossible to give a swift synopsis for Pierrot Le Fou in which Jean Paul Belmondo, ostensibly escaping stifling domesticity, and Anna Karina, fleeing a group of gangsters, depart Paris for the south of France suffice to say that it is brimming with ideas and scenes of extraordinary complexity. My abiding memories of seeing this the first time was of the vitality and colour - I was reminded when viewing it again last year that this was also a caustic commentary by the director on his relationship with Karina. Still, a huge treat and a film you will not forget in a hurry.

If I had to pick one excerpt it would be this one in which fellow director Sam Fuller is asked what is the meaning of cinema: "Film is like a battleground", recounts the American filmmaker. "Love, hate, action, violence, death. In one word: emotion."

Capital Celluloid - Day 328: Sunday Nov 27

E.T. the Extraterrestrial (Spielberg, 1982): Whiteleys Shopping Centre, Queensway, 3pm
This is past of Nomad Cinema's pop-up film events, taking place in Whiteleys shopping centre in a space vacated by Books Etc. You can find details of the season here.

Here are some details of the experience:
* The cinematic décor comes courtesy of an exhibition of vintage film posters from The Reel Picture Company.
* The Vestal Vodka pop-up bar will serve curated cocktails, wine, beer and popcorn, with ice cream available from the Oddono’s Gelati stall (only food and drink bought on site is allowed in the cinema).
* The most unusual cinema seating you’ll ever experience includes beanbags, inflatable wedges, directors chairs and garden benches, plus there’s tiered seating for the more traditional among you.

The film is introduced by Danny Leigh, a regular contributor to the Guardian and a co-presenter of the BBC Film 2011 programme.

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid - Day 327: Saturday Nov 26

Twin Peaks Festival at the Riverside Studios: 10am (Saturday) - 12.30am (Sunday)

A marvellous day devoted to the brilliant David Lynch TV series with cast members, special screenings and all the doughnuts and cherry pies you can eat and coffee you can drink. The highlights are the screening of the alternative pilot of which I have a VHS copy, won at the time of the series' release in a Time Out competition, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Lynch's extraordinary 1992 movie which works as a prologue/epilogue. The pilot programme has an ending which defies description and made  a deep impact on me when I saw it months before the TV series started here in Britain.

Here is the full itinerary:

10.00am    -    Doors open to regular ticket holders
10.45am    -    Screening of Alternative Pilot (Cinema)
12.45pm    -    15 min break
13.00pm    -    Double R Club (Cinema)
13.30pm    -    David Lynch 'Crazy Clown Time' Promotion (Cinema)
14.00pm    -    Screening of episode 4. (Cinema)
14.45pm    -    30 min break
15.15pm    -    Screening of episode 14 (Cinema)
16.00pm    -    Double R Club
16.30pm    -    Screening of episode 28 (Cinema)
17.15pm    -    1 hr 15 min break for dinner
18.30pm    -    Coversation with the actors + Q&A (Cinema)
19.45pm    -    Signing session and social time (Diner)
21.00pm    -    Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me (Introduction by Al Strobel) (Cinema)
23.00pm    -    Quiz & Costume Contest (Cinema)

Here is the ending to the pilot programme.

Capital Celluloid - Day 326: Friday Nov 25

Turkish Passport (Burak Cem Arlie, 2011: Rio Cinema, 4pm
This film is screening as part of the London Turkish Film Festival. More details on the season here.

This production, winner of the best documentary at the Moondance International Film Festival, comes highly recommended.

Turkish Film Festival introduction: 'An untold story of hope, humanity and heroism during the Second World War, a time when Turkey was officially a neutral country. Using archive footage, dramatic reconstructions, documents and interviews with those who were there or their relatives, "Turkish Passport" reveals how Turkish diplomats such as Behiç Erkin, the ambassador to France, helped save hundreds of lives throughout Europe, by issuing passports to Jews even if they had no Turkish connections. An amazing tale, powerfully told.'

Here is the trailer.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 325: Thursday Nov 24

Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.50pm
With live score from Minima

Chicago Reader review:

'A masterpiece of the German silent cinema and easily the most effective version of Dracula on record. F.W. Murnau's 1922 film follows the Stoker novel fairly closely, although he neglected to purchase the screen rights—hence, the title change. But the key elements are all Murnau's own: the eerie intrusions of expressionist style on natural settings, the strong sexual subtext, and the daring use of fast-motion and negative photography.' Dave Kehr

Here is a trailer to give you the flavour. 

Capital Celluloid - Day 324: Wednesday Nov 23

Requiem for a Dream (Aronofsky, 2000): Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, 9.30pm

The Underground Film Club at the Roundhouse is a new subterranean film experience from the creators of Hoxton's Rooftop Film Club which runs from 21 November to 18 December. You can find more details here.

Chicago Reader review:

'A staccato narrative parallels the experiences and hallucinations of a woman on drugs with those of her son and his friends. Her ambition is to be thin enough to be on TV; theirs is to become successful drug dealers. Neither of these goals is a far cry—metaphorically if not literally—from those many of us spend our lives pursuing, and this bleak vision directed by Darren Aronofsky (Pi) is pointless with good reason. The screenplay by Aronofsky and Hubert Selby Jr. was based on a 1978 novel by Selby.'
Lisa Alspector


Here is the trailer.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 323: Tuesday Nov 22

Le Jour se leve (Carne, 1939):
Hampstead Film Society, Hampstead Town Hall Centre 213 Haverstock Hill NW3, 7pm

Time Out review:

'Possibly the best of the Carné-Prévert films, certainly their collaboration at its most classically pure, with Gabin a dead man from the outset as his honest foundry worker, hounded into jealousy and murder by a cynical seducer, holes up with a gun in an attic surrounded by police, remembering in flashback how it all started while he waits for the end. Fritz Lang might have given ineluctable fate a sharper edge (less poetry, more doom), but he couldn't have bettered the performances from Gabin, Berry, Arletty, and (as the subject of Gabin's romantic agony) Laurent. Remade in Hollywood as The Long Night in 1947.'
Tom Milne


Here is an extract.

Capital Celluloid - Day 322: Monday Nov 21

The Damned (Losey, 1961) & Figures in a Landscape (Losey, 1970)
Roxy Bar and Screen, 7pm

This great Joseph Losey double-bill comes courtesy of FilmBar70 and you can find out more about the film club and tonight's screening here.


Time Out review of The Damned:

'Certainly the strangest Hammer film ever made, this combines apocalyptic sci-fi, teen rebellion, and portentous philosophising to awkward but riveting effect. Set, strangely but successfully, in Weymouth, it begins as a rather mundane romance, with Carey and Field threatened by local Teddy Boys, before spiralling into a dour mystery about a scientist's experiments with radioactive kids. The performances are universally weak, and Losey's clearly ambivalent attitude towards the demands of the genre ensures that the film is never exciting. But as an ambitious oddity, it exerts not a little fascination.' Geoff Andrew
Here is an extract.


FilmBar70 introduction for Figures in a Landscape:

Long neglected, Losey’s idiosyncratic and spectacular take on the chase movie is possibly the greatest example of the existential actioneer, combining elements of Tarkovsky, Beckett, Bresson, Antonioni, MacLean and McTiernan with equal aplomb. Two men (Robert Shaw and Malcolm MacDowell) flee across an unknown and rugged terrain, running from an unknown crime, constantly pursued and harassed by an unknown nemesis personified in the form of a black helicopter. With a screenplay by Shaw himself (that draws upon Pinter’s elliptical style), ‘Figures’ is oblique, exciting, strange and surprisingly funny. Featuring incredible cinematography that documents a truly sublime and vertiginous landscape, an intense performance by Shaw (that prefigures his character in ‘Jaws’) and stunt work (performed mainly by the two leads) that can be described as utterly insane, ‘Figures’ expertly fuses art and action to create a quintessentially ‘70s cinematic experience.
Here is an extract

Capital Celluloid - Day 321: Sunday Nov 20

Distant Voices, Still Lives (Davies, 1988): Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, 3.30pm

Genesis Cinema is running a fantastic six-part season of rarely screened auteur classics, providing you with an alternative film choice for a Sunday afternoon.

Time Out review:

'Superlatives are in short supply to describe the emotional power of Terence Davies’ fractured chronicle of the life of a working-class family in 1940s and ’50s Liverpool. Drawing on his own childhood, Davies turns his film on the pivot of a brutal patriarch’s death and his daughter’s subsequent marriage, so splitting his film into two episodes (which he filmed a year apart). The first, ‘Distant Voices’, is a set of difficult memories of childhood fear and wartime suffering that drift in and out of the wedding day, while its companion, ‘Still Lives’, portrays the life of a happier widow, her two daughters, a son and their friends who gather in pubs, sing and are beginning to suffer their own marriages. Pete Postlethwaite is Tommy Davies, the violent, damaged and taciturn father; Freda Dowie is Mrs Davies, his stoic wife and the suffering lynchpin of the family; and Angela Walsh is Eileen, the daughter whose marriage blows a gust of fresh air into the stale misery of her family but also threatens to follow the same tragic pattern as her parents.

Davies’ storytelling is a unique joy. Images evoke family photos and the struggle of recollection. Voices drift in and out, suggestive of family ghosts and inner demons. Chronology is poetic, and memories are filtered after the event like the film’s washed-out colour palette. The writer-director offers a terrifying tension between the public solidarity of pub sing-a-longs, marriage celebrations and mourning and the private horror of domestic abuse, depression and personal dreams sought and destroyed. The men are the most flawed, but the women, though the heroines of the piece, are compromised too: ‘Why did you marry him, mam?’ asks a daughter. ‘He was nice. He was a good dancer…’ It’s a heartbreaking work. Its cast are phenomenal; its songs flow through the film like blood; and Davies is unflinching in his hunt for truth and full of nothing but love and understanding for his characters. A masterpiece.' 

Dave Calhoun


Here is an extract.

Capital Celluloid - Day 320: Saturday Nov 19

House by the Cemetery (Fulci, 1981): Rio Cinema, 11.30pm

This is brought to you by the wonderful Cigarette Burns people - more details via their website.
And here is their own brilliant trailer.

Time Out review:

'Cut-price spaghetti gore cooked up from the not exactly brand-new narrative premise of a nice middle class family moving to a house in New England with a sinister sitting tenant, the nefarious Dr Freudstein. Bits of Amityville and The Shining, plus every other imaginable mad-scientist, screaming-in-the-cellar, haunted-house horror cliché, shamelessly ripped off, cut and stuck together into (literally) a hack-work of almost awesome incoherence.'


Here is the trailer.