Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 139: Friday May 20

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane (Aldrich, 1962) & Mommie Dearest (Perry, 1981)
Venue 229, 229 Great Portland St, London, W1W 5PN 8pm

Before you do anything take a look here at the trailer for the evening. I spotted Hattie Jacques, Dollie Parton, Marilyn Monroe, Divine and Micky Michaels, the simpleton from the Job Centre in the League of Gentleman who wants to be a fireman, all to the tune of the Pearl & dean theme. Watch it yourself and see if you can correctly identify any more.

This is the double-bill to end all double-bills. Whatever Happened To Baby Jane stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in a gothic thriller about a wheelchair-bound cripple terrorised by her crazed sister while Mommie Dearest is a biographical drama starring Faye Dunaway in one of her crazed performances as Joan Crawford.

According to the information provided by Amy Grimehouse, the people behind the event, the first film "will be complimented by an extraordinary performance from Princess Knickers as Baby Jane Hudson. Then Holestar follows suit with a raucous performance as Joan Crawford, complete with wire
hangers leading the night seamlessly into its second feature, Mommie Dearest."

Here are the Chicago Reader reviews:

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane:
'Grand Guignol runs head-on into 40s film noir and the result is this chilling, hysterical 1962 movie by the master of the bleak (black) vision, Robert Aldrich (The Dirty Dozen, Ulzana's Raid, Emperor of the North, Kiss Me Deadly). Bette Davis, garish and loony, is a former child star who passes the time torturing her crippled sister Joan Crawford. Aldrich's direction and dynamite performances from the two old troupers make this film an experience.'

Mommie Dearest:
'No one would mistake this stiff, shoddy 1981 film for a “good” movie, but in terms of issues—movies, melodramas, mothers and daughters—it's rich, stimulating thought in spite of itself. Frank Perry was a poor choice to direct (Robert Aldrich and Paul Morrissey would have been more appropriate), yet his gross inadequacies somehow help the film—the bad laughs he gets push it into black comedy, which is what the audience wants. The dominant tone is that of a horror movie as it might have been produced by soap opera king Ross Hunter in the 50s: lots of elegant clothes and settings, weirdly linked to a shock rhythm of tension and release. It's a movie dream turned into a movie nightmare, a wonderful idea the film doesn't know it has.' With Faye Dunaway and Diana Scarwid. PG, 129 min.

This is the Time Out guide to the evening to give you a visual flavour as to what's in store.

Don't miss the trailer here for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and this one for Mommie Dearest.

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