Monday, 27 August 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 246: Mon Sep 3

The Fountainhead (Vidor, 1940) & The Stunt Man (Rush, 1980):
Roxy Bar and Screen, London Bridge, 7pm
This is screening as part of the Scala Beyond, a six-week season celebrating all forms of cinema exhibition across the UK, from film clubs to film festivals, picture palaces to pop-up venues. You can find more details here at the website.

Here is the Roxy introduction: Filmbar70 celebrates Hollywood’s overreaching, overblown and often misguided attempts to produce something ‘meaningful’. Cast in the shade of their artistic European cousins, those moguls of the 'dream factory' not content to produce mere ‘entertainment’ drove headlong into ‘prestige’ projects with reckless abandon, often creating something bizarre and endearing in the process. Vanity projects, socio/political tracts and unclassifiable artifacts all litter the cinematic history of this grand tradition, one that continues to this very day.

The Fountainhead (1949)
King Vidor's hilariously overwrought adaptation of Ayn Rand's unfilmable novel is a nigh on hysterical melodrama about architecture and the integrity of artistic vision without boundaries. When Gary Cooper isn't drilling away at rock faces he dreams of modernist architecture, as Patricia Neal's misanthropic journo gets hot and bothered by it all.
Here is the trailer

&
The Stunt Man (1980)
Director Richard Rush's parody of the 'auteur' in Hollywood, this long gestating prestige project was probably the last gasp of Hollywood's ‘70s 'golden era', and a bizarre oddity even for ‘Follywood’. Peter O'Toole hams it up with relish as a film director playing God to social outcast Steve Railsback.
Here is the trailer

Chicago Reader review of The Fountainhead:
'King Vidor turned Ayn Rand's preposterous “philosophical” novel into one of his finest and most personal films (1949), mainly by pushing the phallic imagery so hard that it surpasses Rand's rightist diatribes and even camp (“I wish I'd never seen your skyscraper!”), entering some uncharted dimension where melodrama and metaphysics exist side by side. The images have a dynamism, a spatial tension, that comes partly from Frank Lloyd Wright (whose life Rand appropriated for her novel) and partly from Eisenstein, yet the pattern of their deployment is Vidor's own: the emotions rise and fall in broad, operatic movements that are unmistakably sexual and irresistibly involving.'Dave Kehr

Chicago Reader review of The Stunt Man:
'Pretentious, overenergized, muddled, intellectually bogus, and very entertaining for it. Richard Rush's film concerns a cryptic fugitive (Steve Railsback) who finds refuge, of a sort, with a movie company led by a flamboyant, engagingly sadistic director (Peter O'Toole). Experienced as pure motion, the picture is a rush, barreling through highly charged action montages and baroque flights of rack focus, though dramatically it becomes disappointingly conventional in the last few reels. The theme is illusion and reality, but you're better off if you try to forget it.'
Dave Kehr

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