Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 205: Tue July 24

Martin (Romero, 1976) & Ganja and Hess (Gunn, 1973): Roxy Bar & Screen, London Bridge, 7pm

Savage Cinema is a new collective based in London celebrating some of the most breathtaking examples of transgressive, alternative cinema. They begin with a double-bill of two of the most celebrated American independent genre films of the 1970s: George A. Romero’s gritty, self-reflexive yet haunting classic MARTIN (1977), the director’s favourite of his own films; and the UK premiere of the director’s cut of Bill Gunn’s spellbinding, formerly ‘lost’ blaxploitation/avant-garde film GANJA & HESS (1973). Here is the film club's Facebook page.

Time Out review of Martin:
'A dazzling opening sequence (not for the squeamish) as a teenage vampire of today (Amplas) satisfies his bloodlust in a railway sleeper compartment. Thereafter, Romero plays fascinating games with myth and reality as he balances traditional vampire lore against medically certifiable psychosis. Fundamentally a quite serious movie, relevant to contemporary personality problems and stresses, but shot through with a wicked streak of black humour. It doesn't always come off, but Romero makes stunning use of his Pittsburgh locations to create a desolate suburban wasteland, and at its best it is rivetingly raw-edged.' Tom Milne
Here is the trailer

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Time Out review of Ganja and Hess:
'Gunn's film maudit was the most ambitious 'black movie' of its day and a milestone for indie film-making in the US. Opening captions explain that academic Dr Hess Green (Jones, Night of the Living Dead) has been invulnerable and addicted to blood since being stabbed (in a parody of Catholic dogma) with a dagger from 'the ancient Black civilisation of Myrthia'. Affluent and (thanks to discreet raids on a local blood-bank) comfortable, he avoids murdering for sustenance until stuck with a new assistant (Gunn), who turns out to be a suicidal alcoholic. Deliberately fragmented and punctuated with disquieting cutaways to art works, the film charts his growing sense that he is afflicted with a curse, across his marriage to his assistant's widow Ganja (Clark) and his provision of a stud-victim to feed her 'hunger'. Theological musings jostle with sexual-visceral imagery in a mix which is still very potent.' Tony Rayns

Here is an extract.

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