Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 147: Sunday May 29

Today is quite simply the best day of the year so far for film screenings in London. So it's take your pick time.

You could go to hear horror movie critic Kim Newman introduce a screening of The Beast Must Die at the Roxy Bar and Screen on Borough High Street (details here).

You could go and watch 1958 cult classic The Tingler at the wonderful Aubin Cinema in Shoreditch (details here).

There's also the Leonard Cohen documentary Bird on a Wire at the Cinematograph in the Duke of Wellington pub on Balls Pond Road (details here).

I have chosen this great double-bill but honestly you're spoilt for choice.

Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) and Phase IV (Bass, 1973): Ritzy Cinema, 3pm

A great double-bill dedicated to famous film designer Saul Bass, including Hitchcock's masterpiece for which Bass did the credits plus a rare screening of Phase IV, the only film directed by Bass himself, in which the world is threatened by an army of giant ants.

Here is the Chicago Reader review for Hitchcock's film:

'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.'

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