Sunday, 30 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 282: Tue Oct 9

North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 1959): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.10pm
Martin Landau, star of North by Northwest will be in conversation tonight in NFT 1 at 6.10pm.

Here is Landau talking about his role in the film.

Time Out review: 'Fifty years on, you could say that Hitchcock’s sleek, wry, paranoid thriller caught the zeitgeist perfectly: Cold War shadiness, secret agents of power, urbane modernism, the ant-like bustle of city life, and a hint of dread behind the sharp suits of affluence. Cary Grant’s Roger Thornhill, the film’s sharply dressed ad exec who is sucked into a vortex of mistaken identity, certainly wouldn’t be out of place in ‘Mad Men’. But there’s nothing dated about this perfect storm of talent, from Hitchcock and Grant to writer Ernest Lehman (‘Sweet Smell of Success’), co-stars James Mason and Eva Marie Saint, composer Bernard Herrmann and even designer Saul Bass, whose opening-credits sequence still manages to send a shiver down the spine.

Hitchcock breezes through a tongue-in-cheek, nightmarish plot with a lightness of touch that’s equalled by a charming performance from Grant (below), who copes effortlessly with the script’s dash between claustrophobia and intrigue on one hand and romance and comedy on the other. The story is a pass-the-parcel of escalating threats, all of them interior fears turned inside-out: doubting mothers, untrustworthy lovers, vague government handlers, corrupt cops. Within minutes of the film’s opening, shady strangers in a hotel lobby mistake Thornhill for a ‘George Caplin’ and from there we sprint from country house to the United Nations, from the ticket hall of Grand Central Station to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Thornhill’s ignorance of his fate and complete lack of control offer Hitchcock a brilliant blank canvas on which to experiment with a story that would sound ludicrous on paper, yet it feels like anything’s possible in Lehman’s playful script. ‘I’m an advertising man, not a red herring,’ says Thornhill. He couldn’t be more mistaken.
' Dave Calhoun

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 281: Mon Oct 8

Family Plot (Hitchcock, 1976): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.40pm
Unfortunately, since I first posted this Bruce Dern, who starts in Family Plot, has had to pull out of his scheduled In Conversation appearance at 6.30 tonight at BFI Southbank.

Chicago Reader review:
'Alfred Hitchcock's 53rd and final film (1976) was greeted with affectionate condescension by most American critics, but there's no reason to apologize for this small masterpiece, one of Hitchcock's most adventurous and expressive experiments in narrative form. After the blind alley of the heroless Topaz, Hitchcock here returned to the dual plotting of Psycho, thinking it through again as a comedy in which the two compared/contrasted couples (Bruce Dern and Barbara Harris versus Karen Black and William Devane) do not meet until the final minutes.' Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 280: Sun Oct 7

War and Peace (Bondarchuk, 1966-67): Curzon Renoir, 10am

Here is the introduction to a special screening: Curzon Cinemas is proud to welcome À Nos Amours, a new collective founded by filmmakers Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts dedicated to programming over-looked, under-exposed or especially potent cinema. To find out more about the collective, please check ANosAmours.co.uk.

Roger Ebert has said has said of Sergei Bondarchuk's film, “War and Peace is the definitive epic of all time. It is hard to imagine that circumstances will ever again combine to make a more spectacular, expensive, and splendid movie.”

It took seven years to make (shooting lasted from 1961 to 1967). One battle scene alone required 120,000 extras. 35,000 costumes were needed. Sergie Bondarchuk was nothing if not ambitious. Adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s novel of the same name, A Nos Amours will present the four parts over one glorious day, including three short intervals.

This just in (on Friday 5 Oct): A Nos Amours is delighted to announce that Susan Larsen will introduce War & Peace on Sunday. Susan Larsen, Lecturer in Slavonic Studies at Cambridge University, teaches courses that address both the works of Tolstoy and the history of Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, although not usually in the same lecture! She has written on Russian cinema before and after perestroika, specifically the work of Kira Muratova, Nikita Mikhalkov and Aleksei Balabanov. Her current project on Soviet cinema during the Thaw devotes particular attention to the early career of Sergei Bondarchuk.

Chicago Reader review:
'Sergei Bondarchuk's kitschy, epic 1967 adaptation of the Tolstoy novel is the most expensive movie ever made, and though it can be bombastic and mind-numbing, it's often lively and eye filling. The balls and battle scenes are monumental, and Bondarchuk (who plays the bumbling Pierre, as Orson Welles would have in the 40s if he'd realized his own version with Alexander Korda) moves his camera a lot, incorporating some expressive 60s-style flourishes. Even at 415 minutes (over an hour shorter than the Soviet release) this rarely suggests the vision behind the set pieces or populist polemics; Tolstoy's feeling for incidental detail is more evident in non-Tolstoyan films like The Leopard and The Magnificent Ambersons. This is a landmark in the history of commerce and post-Stalinist Russia, but not cinema.' Jonathan Rosenbaum

You can get a flavour of the film here but this really demands to be seen on the big screen and this is a great opportunity to do just that.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 279: Sat Oct 6

Marnie (Hitchcock, 1964): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.30pm
This is being shown as part of the Alfred Hitchcock season and also screens as part of the Queer Window season at the NFT on Oct 1 and again on Monday Oct 7.

Chicago Reader review:
'Universally despised on its first release, Marnie (1964) remains one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest and darkest achievements. Tippi Hedren, in a performance based on a naked, anxious vulnerability, is a compulsive thief; Sean Connery is the neurotically motivated southern gentleman who catches her in the act and blackmails her into marriage. The examination of sexual power plays surpasses Fassbinder's films, which Marnie thematically resembles, going beyond a simple dichotomy of strength and weakness into a dense, shifting field of masochism, class antagonism, religious transgression, and the collective unconscious. The mise-en-scene tends toward a painterly abstraction, as Hitchcock employs powerful masses, blank colors, and studiously unreal, spatially distorted settings. Theme and technique meet on the highest level of film art. With Diane Baker and Louise Latham.' Dave Kehr

Another of Hitchcock's great trailers here. "One might call Marnie a sex mystery."

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 278: Fri Oct 5

The Beaver Trilogy (Harris, 2000): Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus 8pm
This film is screening as part of the Trent Harris retrospective at the Raindance Film Festival, which runs from September 26 to October 7. More details on Festival can be found here.

Here's a full review of this extraordinary movie by Time Out's Tom Huddleston in his Classic Film Club series on the magazine's website.

Chicago Reader review:
'Trent Harris shot the first section of this video in 1979, but the trilogy wasn't completed until 2000. A TV cameraman, Harris traveled to Beaver, Utah, to tape a local talent show in which a young drag performer appeared as “Olivia Newton-Dawn”; the audience is minuscule, and after his preshow makeover at a mortuary the singer looks more like an old man than a woman. Parts two and three are fictional remakes of the documentary, the first shot in 1981 with a lively and unknown Sean Penn as the singer, the second in 1985 and featuring Crispin Glover, whose manic energy and shifts of tone are especially effective. The remakes allow Harris to comment on aspects of the original sequence, emphasizing the small-town homophobia that a drag performer might encounter and suggesting that the TV crew wants to exploit him for laughs. The ensuing questions of truth versus fiction and copy versus original take on a special poignancy when applied to drag.' Fred Camper

Here's a clip.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 277: Thu Oct 4

Rope (Hitchcock): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 9pm
This innovative Alfred Hitchcock movie is also showing at BFI Southbank on Sun Oct 7. Details here. Tonight's screening will be introduced by Brian Robinson.

Chicago Reader review:
'Alfred Hitchcock's legendary 1948 experiment with a continuous-take cinema. The entire 80-minute film consists of only 10 or 12 shots, with the shifting emphases of Hitchcock's gliding camera taking the place of traditional montage techniques. The style is extremely claustrophobic and controlling, which matches the theme of the Patrick Hamilton play on which the film is based: two epicene young men (Farley Granger and John Dall) arbitrarily murder a college classmate, place his body in a trunk in the middle of their apartment, and then invite the victim's friends and family for a cocktail party. Hitchcock liked to pretend that the film was an empty technical exercise, but it introduces the principal themes and motifs of the major period that would begin with Rear Window.' Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 276: Wed Oct 3

APOLOGIES: it would appear that Riverside Studios have had to cancel this double-bill as the films are no longer in the schedule for tonight.

Peeping Tom (Powell, 1960) and Berberian Sound Studio (Strickland, 2011):
Riverside Studios Cinema, 7pm & 9.05pm
This great double-bill is also screening on Mon October 1 at the Riverside.

Chicago reader review of Peeping Tom:
'Michael Powell's suppressed masterpiece, made in 1960 but sparsely shown in the U.S. with its ferocity and compassion intact. The German actor Carl Boehm plays a shy, sensitive British boy (Powell doesn't try to cover his accent, which is typical of the film's deliberate sacrifice of realism for effect) who loves movies with all his heart and soul because he knows what they're really about—sex and death. This seductive, brightly colored thriller isn't about the “problem” of voyeurism as much as the sub-rosa fascinations of the cinema. It's an understanding and at times even celebratory film—attitudes that scandalized critics years ago and are still pretty potent today. The uniformly excellent cast includes Anna Massey, Moira Shearer (the ballerina of Powell's The Red Shoes), and Maxine Audley' Dave Kehr
(Peeping Tom trailer here.)

Time Out review of Berberian Sound Studio:
'Toby Jones hits a career best as Gilderoy, an English sound recordist who, in the early 1970s, arrives at an Italian recording studio to work on the Foley track of a groundbreaking new horror picture. A buttoned-down mother’s boy who works in his garden shed, Gilderoy is unprepared for the graphic scenes of torture he’s forced to witness. The intensity of the project, coupled with a deep longing for home, begins to play havoc with his mental state.‘Berberian Sound Studio’ is, at heart, a cine-literate horror film, despite its complete lack of on-screen violence. Strickland uses his set-up as a way to explore horror and the effect it can have on a sensitive soul, with particular focus on the sudden explosion of graphic images in the ’70s. His conclusions may be oblique, but his methods – using sound effects and dialogue to create moments of discomfort – are remarkable.' Tom Huddleston
Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 275: Tue Oct 2

Ne Change Rien (Costa, 2009): ICA Cinema, 6.15pm
Pedro Costas will be at this screening in conversation with David Jenkins of Little White Lies magazine. 

Here's the ICA introduction to tonight's event:
A rare opportunity to see Pedro Costa’s hypnotic and fascinating portrait of French actress and singer Jeanne Balibar, which is also a meditation on the creative process. Ne Change Rien stands as a companion film to Costa’s equally process-oriented portrait of Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet, Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie.

"Both a startling and lucid lesson in filming musical performance and a cinephilic marvel ... The sensual, velvety, high-contrast black-and-white images capture the exertions and exultations of music-making .... Costa's film was born under the virtual gaze of three artistic godfathers with original approaches to filming musical performances Godard, Chris Marker, and Jean-Marie Straub and, in the course of this bracing, fascinating feature, he conjures them all."
Richard Brody, The New Yorker

This film will be presented on 35mm. Presented in collaboration with Second Run.

Here is the trailer.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 274: Mon Oct 1

Le Dossier 51 (Deville, 1978): Horse Hospital, Bloomsbury, 7.30pm
Here's a rarity. Like Gilles Perrault’s book on which it is based, Michel Deville’s seminal 1978 film, Le Dossier 51, is “composed entirely of secret films, tape recordings, written and oral reports of agents who write and talk in the jargon of their trade.” Sounds intriguing . . .

Time Out review:
'An effectively sinister paranoid thriller, an exercise in voyeuristic point-of-view which consists almost entirely of the detailed surveillance file constructed by a foreign intelligence agency in an attempt to 'turn' a totally unwitting minor French diplomat. A sleek technocratic nightmare of the impossibility of maintaining privacy, it plays fearfully ambiguous games with its audience, inviting complicity in piecing together manipulatable 'evidence', while advising the wisdom of an over-the-shoulder glance, and reveals even such ostensibly healing techniques as psychoanalysis to be easily amenable to annexation to the impersonal mechanics of espionage. Compelling ammunition for the 'information is power' anti-databank lobby.' Paul Taylor

Here's a snapshot. You'll like it

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 273: Sun Sep 30

Husbands (Cassavetes, 1970): BFI Southbank, 2.40pm & 8.40pm
John Cassavetes' drama opens on Friday September 28 and is on an extended run at BFI Southbank until October 10. Details here.

Time Out review:
'American lo-fi pioneer John Cassavetes (‘Shadows’, ‘Faces’) already had his no-frills, improvisatory style locked down in 1970 when he made this boozy, sweaty drama about married Long Island commuters in crisis. Cassavetes joins Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara as one of three buddies who launch themselves from a pal’s funeral into a period of destructive hellraising, including a detour to London, its women and its casinos (the rain is convincingly nonstop, although the interior scenes could have been shot anywhere). The film’s relentless masculinity and shouty attitude is tempered by a disorientating, troubling sense of characters tragically adrift. Equally powerful as what we do see is what we don’t – jobs, families, kids, colleagues – as the entire film exists in a selfish interval from real, daily life.' Dave Calhoun

Here is Geoff Andrew, the head of film programming at the BFI on why he chose to revive Cassavetes' marvellous film.

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 272: Sat Sep 29

Midnight Movies presents: Fright at the Proms All-Nighter:
Roxy Bar & Screen, London Bridge 10pm
This is the final screening in 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. 
Tonight's films: PROM  NIGHT (1980); HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT 2 (1987)
THE LOVED ONES (2009)
and CARRIE (1976).

Time Out review of Carrie:
'Unlike other Hollywood virtuosos, De Palma's central inspiration remains unashamedly the horror film and its thundering techniques of emotional manipulation.Carrie is almost an amalgamation of The Exorcist andAmerican Graffiti, with Spacek as a religious maniac's daughter whose experience of puberty is so harrowing that it develops paranormal aspects. De Palma's ability to combine the romantic and the horrific has never been so pulverising. Here he contrives a wild juxtaposition of Carrie's freakish inner turmoil with the dreamy cruisin' mentality of her high-school colleagues. The style and imagery are strictly primary in the Freudian sense: menstrual blood and spotless ball dresses, Cinderella dressed up for the abattoir. But the fierce sympathy it extends to its unfashionable central character puts the film a million miles above the contemporary line in sick exploitation.'

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 271: Fri Sep 28

Wes-Fest: A Wes Anderson Marathon: Prince Charles Cinema, 9pm

Here's the introduction from the Prince Charles Cinema for their Wes all-nighter: With MOONRISE KINGDOM still charming the pants off of audiences the world over, we couldn't think of a better time to celebrate the live-action work of modern day auteur Wes Anderson. So we're doing just that by screening his first five feature films, back to back, bringing you an all-night movie marathon of perfect symmetry and textural delights. Be sure to book in advance for this one folks. It's in our smaller screen so is sure to sell out in no time at all. You have been warned. WES-FEST - A Wes Anderson Marathon featuring: BOTTLE ROCKET - RUSHMORE - THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS - THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU - THE DARJEELING LIMITED

Chicago Reader review of Rushmore:
'Wes Anderson's second feature (1998) has some of the charm and youthful comic energy of its predecessor (Bottle Rocket), also coscripted by Owen Wilson, but it also represents a quantum leap. Jason Schwartzman plays an ambitious working-class tenth grader who's flunking out of a private school—the Rushmore of the title—because he's too engrossed in extracurricular activities. To make matters worse, he develops a crush on a young widow (Olivia Williams) who's a grammar-school teacher there. His two best friends are a schoolmate who's much younger and a disaffected millionaire alumnus (Bill Murray) who's much older, and part of the lift of this movie is that it creates a utopian democracy among different age groups. Things come to a crisis when the millionaire becomes the hero's romantic rival. Stylistically fresh and full of sweetness that never cloys, this is contemporary Hollywood filmmaking at its near best.' Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here is the trailer.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 270: Thu Sep 27

Lovely And Amazing (Holofcener, 2001): Hackney Picturehouse, 6.30pm

This is a fascinating one. A subjective and personal study, I am Dora is a publication and series of screenings that explore how and why women identify with one another and what this means when the identification is with a flawed or misunderstood character. Their first screening was at the ICA and here they've found an intriguing American indie movie.

This screening is a collaboration with British actor Romola Garai (from Atonement, Glorious 39, Amazing Grace and The Hour). Romola has chosen to screen Nicole Holofcener's second feature Lovely and Amazing, starring Catherine Keener and Emily Mortimer. Here is the Facebook page for tonight's event.

Chicago Reader review:
'Given her interest in women's lives and everyday neuroses, Nicole Holofcener (Walking and Talking) could easily be lumped with the Ephron sisters, but that would undersell her strengths as a writer and director. Lovely and Amazing, her second feature, revolves around a mother (Brenda Blethyn), her two biological daughters (Emily Mortimer and Catherine Keener, the movie's anchor), and the African-American preteen (Raven Goodwin) she's adopted as a sort of late-life project. Each of these women deals in very different ways with seemingly trite self-help-magazine issues—all have body-image problems, all have thwarted artistic aspirations, all worry neurotically about their relationships with men and one another. Keener's character uses lah-di-dah flipness as a defense, but when she drifts into a crazy fling with a teenager (Jake Gyllenhaal) we see how broken and desperate she really is. What keeps all this from being trite and self-indulgent is Holofcener's willingness to make her characters' neuroses unattractive and self-destructive instead of cute and endearing.' 

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 269: Wed Sep 26

Two excellent events in the Scala Beyond season tonight
Micro/Macro: The World Inside/Out: The Cinema Museum, London SE11 7.45pm
Here is the introduction to the latest innovative programming from the Cinema Museum: This is a stunning selection of films and video art on the exploration of the unknown at both a microscopic and macroscopic level. Following up NASA’s Curiosity landing on Mars in early August, this programme of moving image will bring you into the inner world of science and the vastness of outer space. Covering a period over 100 years, it traces a fascinating path from early microcinematography to Soviet footage of solar storms by Artavazd Peleshian, and his rarely seen Our Century. Footage and works showing the magnitude of the ‘Micro’ and the ‘Macro’ are here opposed, claiming that distance and closeness are one and the same, and that their contrast becomes a symbol of awestruck wonder.

Here is the full programme:
Hidden Beauties of Nature: Pond Life (E.J. Spitta, 1908, 7 mins) Digibeta transferred to DVD
Secrets of Nature – Magic Myxies (F. Percy Smith, Mary Field, 1931, 11 mins) Digibeta transferred to DVD
Powers of Ten (Charles and Ray Eames, 1968, 9 mins) DVD
Metazoa (Lane Hall, Lisa Moline, 2008, 3 mins) NTSC QuickTime
I ♥ Neutrinos: You Can’t See Them but They are Everywhere (Jennifer West, 2011, 37 secs) Roll of Specialised Film for Scientific Use transferred to Hi-Definition video
Our Century (1982, 47 mins) 35mm

Extract from Our Century here.

Duke Mitchell Film Club 16mm night: King's Cross Social Club, 7pm
This is also screening as part of the Scala Beyond season, 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 introduction to tonight's happenings from the Duke Mitchell Facebook page: Here at The Duke HQ we have had a dream for a while: to spend an entire evening in the company of reels of film, shown from an old-school projector, transforming our little space into a true cinema. And now that dream can come true.

For the past year or so The Duke has been feverishly collecting reels of 16MM film: from all over the world, containing anything and everything you can imagine – and now the time has come for us to unleash upon you our best curated bits!

In true Duke fashion we’re reluctant to reveal the actual details of the programme: suffice it to say there’ll be no feature - instead we’ll have reels and reels of 16MM goodness: shorts, trailers, adverts, promotional videos, sex, violence, pub etiquette– and there’s even a rumour that a childhood friend may come visiting from deepest, darkest Peru.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 268: Tue Sep 25

Penda's Fen (Clarke, 1974) & Gone To Earth (Powell & Pressburger, 1950):
Roxy Bar and Screen, London Bridge, 7pm
This is screening as part of 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.

An excellent FilmBar 70 double-bill titled Blasted Heaths: Magical Landscapes in British film.
Here is the introduction: The British rugged rural landscape has proven to be a powerful and transcendental source of inspiration for our homegrown filmmakers. Bleak, barren and beautiful, our climes exude a twilight reality where social realism and the magical can co-exist. From the windy isolation of the Devonshire coast in ‘The Shout’ (1978) to the wild and rocky Shetland Isles of ‘The Edge of the World’ (1937), to the limbo of our borders in films such as ‘Tam Lin’ (1969), Filmbar70 will provide a celluloid escape to the country.

Time Out review of Penda's Fen (the magazine voted the film No76 in their top 100 British films list here):
This remarkable feature length television film – commissioned for the legendary 1970s ‘Play for Today’ single drama series – is often described as a step ‘off piste’ for its director Alan Clarke. That’s a misleading reading, however. The work’s qualities of resistance, questioning and personal and public transformation are entirely in keeping with the normally urban-centric filmmaker’s milieu. But the real credit lies with its writer David Rudkin. An astonishing playwright with a visionary reach and a genuine sense of ‘deep England’ and its radical potential, Rudkin here crafts a multi-layered reading of contemporary society and its personal, social, sexual, psychic and metaphysical fault lines. Fusing Elgar’s ‘Dream of Gerontius’ with a heightened socialism of vibrantly localist empathy, and pagan belief systems with pre-Norman histories and a seriously committed – and prescient – ecological awareness, ‘Penda’s Fen’ is a unique and important statement, rumoured soon – finally – to be available on DVD
Gareth Evans
Here's a pretty terrifying extract.

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Time Out review of Gone To Earth:
'A film much maligned in its time, not least by producer David O Selznick, who issued an American version retitled The Wild Heart, incorporating additional footage directed by Rouben Mamoulian and running only 82 minutes. Mary Webb's 1917 novel was the archetypal bodice-ripper - wicked squire, pious yokels, adultery and redemption - out of which Powell and Pressburger made a visually spellbinding romance. Christopher Challis' photography evokes Shropshire and the Welsh borders so that you can smell the earth. Menace, the bloodlust of the chase (of the fox or the outcast sinner), is omnipresent as trees bend and wild creatures panic before an unseen primal force. Cruelty besides beauty sweeps these pastoral vistas. Forget Jones' rustic English (Kentucky? Australian?) and the melodramatic clichés (boots trampling posies): the haunting, dreamlike consistency recalls that other fairy story of innocence and menace, The Night of the Hunter. '
Martin Hoyle
Here is an extract.


Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 267: Mon Sep 24

Suspicion (Hitchcock, 1941): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.45pm
This film, being shown as part of the Alfred Hitchcock season at BFI Southbank, is also screening on Sep 22nd and Oct 6th and 7th. Details here.

Chicago Reader review: 
'Everyone concedes that this 1941 Hitchcock film is a failure, yet it displays so much artistic seriousness that I find its failure utterly mysterious—especially since the often criticized ending (imposed on Hitchcock by the studio) makes perfect sense to me. This is the first film in which Hitchcock puts his dazzling technical imagination wholly in the service of his art: note his subtlety in establishing the menace of the Cary Grant character by never allowing him to be seen walking into a shot; he simply appears in the scene, his entrance covered by a cut or dissolve. Grant gives what is perhaps the finest of his many great performances for Hitchcock: required to play two different, completely contradictory characters simultaneously, he never cheats or flattens out, but plays in magnificent, mysterious depth. With Joan Fontaine (who won the Oscar that Grant deserved) and Nigel Bruce.'
Dave Kehr
Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 266: Sun Sep 23

Edvard Munch (Watkins, 1974): Tate Modern, 2pm

This is the highlight of the Tate Modern season devoted to the work of Peter Watkins. Today's screening is a superb film by one of Britain's most outstanding directors.

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 2012 - Day 265: Sat Sep 22

FilmBar 70 Eurotrash all-nighter: Roxy Bar and Screen, London Bridge, 11pm-7am
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 introduction to the night's events: Filmbar70 welcome you to an all-night delirium of the senses as we celebrate the fetid delights of Eurotrash, that cinematic realm where horror, sex, art and kitsch coalesce into a pure pop pulp, where bodies writhe in the pulse of blood-red neon and unspeakable obsessions are enacted for your voyeuristic ecstasy. Far removed from the rigid dogmas of Hollywood, Eurotrash cinema dares to enter a dream state and discovers that anything is acceptable, as perversion becomes pleasure and the profane becomes profound.

Featuring a host of sexy plasma suckers, a deformed nazi punk, sapphic couplings galore and Robin Askwith, these mesmeric films are literally beyond good and evil…

Vampyros Lesbos (1971)
The obsessive maverick genius of Jess Franco flowers into a particularly perverse bouquet with this classic of Eurotrash, starring the ethereal and earthy Soledad Miranda in her most iconic role.
So Young, So Lovely, So Vicious (1975)
Italo melodrama of the highest magnitude, as the nation’s sweetheart Gloria Guida gets her bitch on and targets her father’s new squeeze, the porcelain Dagmar Lassander, for vengeful seduction…
Devil Story (1985)
Unclassifiable French madness, Devil Story inhabits a dream state of truly bizarre anti-logic with a tale that includes an invincible horse, a resurrected mummy and practically anything else that springs to mind…
Fascination (1979)
The mercurial mind of Jean Rollin begat many a vampiric elegy, and Fascination, a supreme mingling of refinement and erotica featuring French sex goddess Brigitte Lahaie, may well be his masterpiece.
Tower of Evil (1972)
Brit pulp at its most delirious, a yarn of truly fishy proportions that involves ‘jazz’ festivals, psychedelic hypnotherapy, gore and boobs. And yes, Robin Askwith makes a memorable appearance, complete with dodgy American accent…
 
Here is the Facebook page for the event.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 264: Fri Sep 21

CINEMA AS A SUBVERSIVE ART: An All-Night Filmic Wake for Amos Vogel
The Cinema Museum, Kennington. 11pm-7.30am

This is film programming at its very best, and possibly the highlight of the Scala Beyond season, a tribute to one of radical cinema's great pioneers, Amos Vogel.

Here is the introduction to tonight's event: As part of the nationwide Scala Beyond season, Little Joe is teaming up with LUX, the international arts agency and artists’ moving image archive, to commemorate and celebrate the life and legacy of Amos Vogel, founder of the legendary film society Cinema 16 and author of the indispensible guide ‘Film as a Subversive Art’, who passed away in April 2012. 

In tribute to a true champion of radical cinema, we will present selected programmes of films from Vogel's book throughout the night at the Cinema Museum, including works by Kenneth Anger,Maya Deren, Dusan Makavejev, Paul Sharits, Carolee Schneemann and Stan Brakhage, many screening from original 35mm and 16mm prints.

Here is the brilliant programme: 

11.15pm Introduction

11.30pm PART 1: SUBVERSION OF FORM
Razor Blades (Paul Sharits, 1965-1968, 25mins) 2 x 16mm
Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943, 14mins) 16mm
WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Dusan Makavejev, 1971, 84mins) 35mm

INTERVAL

1.45am PART 2: SUBVERSION OF CONTENT
The Secret Cinema (Paul Bartel, 1968, 30mins) 16mm
Punishment Park (Peter Watkins, 1971, 88mins) Blu-ray

INTERVAL

4.00am PART 3: FORBIDDEN SUBJECTS OF THE CINEMA
Fuses (Carolee Schneemann, 1965, 18mins) 16mm
The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes (Stan Brakhage, 1971, 32mins) 16mm
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (Kenneth Anger, 38mins) 16mm

INTERVAL

5.45am PART 4: TOWARDS A NEW CONSCIOUSNESS
Lapis (James Whitney, 1966, 10mins) 16mm
Free Radicals (Len Lye, 1979, 4mins) 16mm
Off/on (Scott Bartlett, 1970, 10mins) 16mm
The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold, 1957, 81mins) DVD

Ends 7.30am

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 263: Thu Sep 20

The Leopard (Visconti, 1963): Riverside Studios Cinema, 7pm

A bona fide masterpiece (right up there in my personal top ten), one which grows in stature with the passing years and able to be seen now in a remastered print which simply adds to the beauty of a magisterial work of cinema.

Here is critic Dave Kehr on the film's history, it was butchered on release and only seen in a truncated form for many years, and here is Martin Scorsese talking about his involvement in the restoration. The Leopard is one of the American director's favourite films as evidenced in this list.

Chicago Reader review:

'Cut, dubbed, and printed in an inferior color process, the U.S. release of Luchino Visconti's epic didn't leave much of an impression in 1963; 20 years later, a restoration of the much longer Italian version revealed this as not only Visconti's greatest film but a work that transcends its creator, achieving a sensitivity and intelligence without parallel in his other films. Burt Lancaster initiated his formidable mature period as the aging aristocrat Don Fabrizio, who works to find a place for himself and his family values in the new Italy being organized in the 1860s. The film's superb first two hours, which weave social and historical themes into rich personal drama, turn out to be only a prelude to the magnificent final hour—an extended ballroom sequence that leaves history behind to become one of the most moving meditations on individual mortality in the history of the cinema. With Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale. In Italian with subtitles.' 

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 262: Wed Sep 19

The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (Franco, 1972): Horse Hospital, Bloomsbury, 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 Horse Hospital introduction to what sounds a fascinating evening: Bizarre even by the exotic standards of Spanish exploitation maestro Jess Franco, The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein is a lurid high point in his monumental filmography. Attempting to summarise the plot will only scramble your mind, but this rich, wild, cross-genre cocktail features a tortured, silver Frankenstein’s monster, the mesmeric Count Cagliostro and his screeching feather-covered birdwoman lover, hordes of undead sadomasochistic zombies, mind control, torture dungeons, beautiful women, beefcake men, gorgeous locations, and a storming soundtrack of free jazz, library music and synth-burble. Bring a spare brain in case yours burns out after this one. We’re also thrilled to have Stephen Thrower in the house – the author of Beyond Terror, Eyeball and Nightmare USA will talk to Virginie Sélavy and Mark Pilkington about Jess Franco’s life and films as a taster for his new book on the filmmaker, forthcoming from FAB Press.
Here is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 261: Tue Sep 18

The Moon and the Sledgehammer (Trevelyan, 1971) & Treacle Jr (Thraves, 2010):
Portobello Pop-Up Cinema, under the Westway, Acklam Rd, Ladbroke Grove
This is the first in a series of double-bills at Portobello Pop-Up pairing classic films with great low-budget British movies.

Time Out review of The Moon and the Sledgehammer:
'Engaging documentary about an eccentric family (old man, two sons, two daughters) living wild in a tumbledown house in the Sussex woods and doing their own thing (mainly music and tinkering with steam engines and other ancient machinery). Their lifestyle, expounded in fascinatingly wayward conversation which is allowed to make its own pace, embodies a weird cautionary logic about the miracles of modern technocracy.' Tom Milne
Here is the trailer.

Time Out review of Treacle Jr:
"An electric performance by Aidan Gillen (reteaming with director Jamie Thraves for the first time since 2000’s ‘The Low Down’) is the cornerstone of this blackly funny but ultimately heartrending essay on loneliness and dependence that mixes the tender treatment of dysfunction of 'Rain Man' with the bleak urban redemption of ‘The Fisher King’. For reasons known only to himself, architect Tom (Tom Fisher) has abandoned his young family and taken to the streets of an anonymous south London where he forms a halting friendship with Gillen’s rambling half-witted naïf. As their bond deepens – thanks in part to a kitten named Treacle Jr – the story gravitates toward a conclusion that’s as hard won as it is inescapable. Funny, touching and gritty, this coolly rendered observation on need and rejection really is a Brit drama to shout about." Adam Lee-Davies
Here is the trailer.

Director Jamie Thraves has made three critically acclaimed movies but has yet to have a breakthrough hit. He started with The Low Down (2000), a tale of Bohemian Londoners at the crossroads both in their personal and work lives which the Observer named among the "neglected masterpieces" of film history  in its rundown of 50 Lost Movie Classics.

He then made The Cry Of The Owl (2009), an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's psychological thriller made in conjunction with BBC Films which had a limited release in this country but which again garnered excellent reviews. Here is John Gibbs' detailed take in the new web version of the influential Movie film journal.

Treacle Jr, which Thraves funded by mortgaging his house, got an airing at the 2010 London Film Festival. The reports back from the LFF were very positive and this film has a devoted following.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 260: Mon Sep 17

La Regle du Jeu (Renoir, 1939): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.40pm
This film is screening as part of the Sight & Sound greatest films of all time poll season and is also being shown on September 19. Details here.

If forced to make a choice this would count as my favourite film, one which has appeared in Sight & Sound's top 10 list since its inception in 1952.

Chicago Reader review:
'Its Paris opening in 1939 was a disaster: the film was withdrawn, recut, and eventually banned by the occupying forces for its “demoralizing” effects. It was not shown again in its complete form until 1965, when it became clear that here, perhaps, was the greatest film ever made. “The rules of the game,” said Jean Renoir, “are those which must be observed in society if one wishes to avoid being crushed.” His protagonist, a pilot (Roland Toutain), breaks the rules: he believes that his love for a wealthy married woman (Nora Gregor) is strong enough to lift him above society, above morality. At a weekend hunting party, he learns it is not—that nothing is.' Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 259: Sun Sep 16

Peeping Tom (Powell, 1960) & Code Unknown (Haneke, 2000): Rio Cinema, 12.45pm
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.

Welcome to the Capital Celluloid film screening debut, an important landmark in the history of the blog at which I hope to see as many of you as possible. The inspiration for this came from the wonderful history of double-bills programmed at the Scala Cinema and a fabulous video by Sussex University senior film studies lecturer, Catherine Grant, on the two movies and their links. You can find more details on the Facebook page here.

Peeping Tom, reviled on release in 1960 and effectively suppressed following a slew of vitriolic reviews, is now widely recognised as a bona fide masterpiece of British cinema. The story of a murderous psychologically damaged loner, who works in films, gets to the heart of movie-making and movie-watching in a way very few films have and remains a firm favourite among film-makers and cineastes alike.

Code Unknown is one of the richest achievements of modern European art cinema. Director Michael Haneke places his typically forensic gaze on modern western society and finds it wanting but the way he does so is cinematically innovative. Implicating the audience and challenging the expectations of the viewer is the aim here and the director succeeds, leaving mysteries which will have filmgoers arguing long after they have left the cinema.

Plus Q&A with guest speaker Catherine Grant, senior lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Sussex, who will explore the influence of Powell's film on Haneke's movie and screen her video True Likeness, which reveals the intimate connections between two disturbing and thought-provoking films.

Chicago reader review of Peeping Tom:
'Michael Powell's suppressed masterpiece, made in 1960 but sparsely shown in the U.S. with its ferocity and compassion intact. The German actor Carl Boehm plays a shy, sensitive British boy (Powell doesn't try to cover his accent, which is typical of the film's deliberate sacrifice of realism for effect) who loves movies with all his heart and soul because he knows what they're really about—sex and death. This seductive, brightly colored thriller isn't about the “problem” of voyeurism as much as the sub-rosa fascinations of the cinema. It's an understanding and at times even celebratory film—attitudes that scandalized critics years ago and are still pretty potent today. The uniformly excellent cast includes Anna Massey, Moira Shearer (the ballerina of Powell's The Red Shoes), and Maxine Audley' Dave Kehr
(Peeping Tom trailer here.)

Chicago Reader review of Code Unknown:
'Aptly subtitled “Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys,” the best feature to date by Austrian director Michael Haneke (2000, 117 min.) is a procession of long virtuoso takes that typically begin and end in the middle of actions or sentences, constituting not only an interactive jigsaw puzzle but a thrilling narrative experiment. The second episode is a nine-minute street scene involving an altercation between an actress (Juliette Binoche), her boyfriend's younger brother, an African music teacher who works with deaf-mute students, and a woman beggar from Romania; the other episodes effect a kind of narrative dispersal of these characters and some of their relatives across time and space. I couldn't always get what was happening, but I was never bored, and the questions raised reflect the mysteries of everyday life. The title refers to the pass codes used to enter houses in Paris—a metaphor for codes that might crack certain global and ethical issues.' Jonathan Rosenbaum
(Code Unknown trailer here.)

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 258: Sat Sep 15

Party Girl (von Scherler Mayer, 1995): Rio Cinema, 11.30pm
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.

This UK big-screen premiere of Party Girl is part of an all-day Parker Posey Festival running at the Hackney Picturehouse and the Rio Cinema. Here is the Parker Poseyites' Facebook page introduction to tonight's events: Arguably her breakout role, Parker stars as Mary, a free-spirited hipster who pays the rent by throwing illegal shindigs at her New York loft apartment. When one of her parties gets shut down by the cops, Mary lands in the slammer and is bailed out by godmother, Judy. Determined to pay her back and prove she's not a total layabout, Mary takes a job as a library clerk and gets to serious grips with the Dewey Decimal System, whilst dating a Falafel seller and helping her friend become the hottest new DJ in town. Set to a banging 90s house soundtrack, PARTY GIRL is a snapshot of the New York club scene and makes us fall harder and harder in love with Parker on each repeat viewing.

The film's director Daisy von Scherler Mayer & writer/producer, Harry Birkmayer will be in attendance at the screening. You can read more about this event at the Facebook page here.

Other films starring Parker Posey being shown on the day are:

THE HOUSE OF YES  Dir: Mark Waters (1997) 5.20PM, Hackney Picturehouse

SCREAM 3 Dir: Wes Craven (2000) 3.20PM, Hackney Picturehouse

BEST IN SHOW Dir: Christopher Guest (2000) 1.45PM, Hackney Picturehouse 

THE DAYTRIPPERS Dir: Greg Motolla (1996) 12.00PM, Hackney Picturehouse

You can find out all about the Festival at their website page here.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 257: Fri Sep 14

Dial M For Murder (3D version): (Hitchcock, 1953): BFI Southbank, NFT3 6.10pm & 8.40pm
This highlight of the Hitchcock season at the BFI Soutbank is also screening on Thu 13 Sep. More details here.

This is my most anticipated film in the Genius of Hitchcock season at BFI Southbank. The master director used 3-D in typically innovative fashion and the screening of this film in that format has created quite a stir when shown in New York in recent years. I wrote about the background to this version of the film here in a Guardian article while the celebrated film academic David Bordwell has written extensively on the 3-D aspects of Dial M For Murder on his blog here.

Chicago Reader review:
'Alfred Hitchcock's 1953 adaptation of Frederick Knott's dinner-theater warhorse about a fading tennis champion (Ray Milland) who arranges the murder of his wife (Grace Kelly). The film is confined almost entirely to a cramped apartment set—a constricted space that takes on a highly expressive quality in the picture's original 3-D version. The screenplay tends to constrain rather than liberate Hitchcock's thematic thrust, but there is much of technical value in his geometric survey of the scene and the elaborate strategies employed to transfer audience sympathy among the four main characters.' Dave Kehr

There are some 3-D clips on YouTube here.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 256: Thu Sep 13

The Navigators (Loach, 2001): Prince Charles Cinema, 1.30pm
This is screening as part of the London Labour Film Festival and features a Q&A with the director Ken Loach.

This is the intro to Sheila Johnston's Observer article at the time of The Navigators' release: 'Have you heard the one about Ken Loach, the stand-up comics and the comedy about the privatisation of British Rail? Loach's new film, The Navigators, follows a gang of track- maintenance workers whose easy camaraderie and humorous banter dissolve into terrible mutual betrayal under the strain of the new working practices. Many roles are played by comedians and singers with little previous acting experience who have been drawn from the northern club circuit. Their brilliant timing and teamwork are fundamental to Loach's tragi-comedy, but this particular story contains several stings in its tail.'
You can read more here.

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 255: Wed Sep 12

Kriminal (Lenzi, 1966): Roxy Bar and Screen, London Bridge, 7pm
This Aorta film club presentation 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 introduction for tonight from the Aorta Film Club's Facebook page: The first film of our dastardly double bill will be Aorta Burst favourite Umberto Lenzi’s 1966 adaptation of the character in KRIMINAL. This sexy, stylish 60’s Italo-thriller has all the gaudy colouring and anti-hero action you could hope for, and predates Mario Bava’s DANGER: DIABOLIK by two years. Forget about all the cannibal stuff, Lenzi really proves his flair for the visual in KRIMINAL, as his cameras greedily lap up the locales following Glenn Saxson across Europe as he stays one step ahead of the masterminds of Scotland Yard. Diamond heists and moody seductresses are de rigeur in the world of the KRIMINAL, so important life lessons will surely be learned by our audience!

We stay within the realm of theft with Yilmaz Atadeniz’s  ‘KILINK ISTANBUL’DA’, a decidedly darker take on the bony bon vivant and a totally unofficial use of the character. A milestone in the cinema of Turkish character recycling, KILINK behaves in an even more uproarious fashion, committing one heinous act after another. This incredibly bizarre lifting of the KRIMINAL mythos even sees the masked man battling Superman! Brought to DVD by the legendary Vassilis “Bill” Barounis of Onar Films (who sadly passed away last year), Aorta Burst is thrilled to have the opportunity to present to you this strange masterpiece in all its wonder, with thanks to the man who brought it to the attention of so many.

As always, the Aorta Burst zine will be available free of charge to the first 50 people, this time with a SCALA BEYOND slant, with comics, illustrations, stories and articles from a variety of wunderkinder, some kind of animated short will happen, affordable artwork will be on display and fun will be had.

Here are the opening credits.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 254: Tue Sep 11

To Live and Die in L.A. (Friedkin, 1985): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm
This is a rare chance to catch one of William Friedkin's finest achievements. It is screening as part of the Prince Charles Cinema's brilliant Classic Film Season. More details here.

Chicago Reader review:
'A B-movie script about a U.S. Treasury agent (William L. Petersen) who will stop at nothing to nail a diabolical counterfeiter (Willem Dafoe), treated in a kinky, weirdly aestheticized manner by William Friedkin; it's like an episode of Miami Vice directed by Helmut Newton. Friedkin seems to take the screenplay only as an excuse to display a range of postmodernist colors and lighting effects (beautifully captured by cinematographer Robby Muller), never really connecting with the characters or the situations. But at the same time, he's clearly magnetized by the story's sexual subtext (the battle between the two men becomes some strange, violent ritual of seduction and possession), and the general affectlessness of the proceedings is punctuated by rhapsodic images of male power and destructiveness. Friedkin isn't nearly in enough control of his material for the film to qualify as an artwork, yet it's one of his few films with a real emotional current.'
Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 253: Mon Sep 10

The Silence of the Lambs (Demme, 1991): Everyman Cinema, Hampstead, 7.40pm

Everyone knows about this film. What makes this event so beguiling is that it's an Everyman supper club event and just look at the menu included in the cinema's introduction:

After the sold-out success of our wine-tasting, cheese-board and SIDEWAYS evening, Everyman Supper Club invites you to yet another cinematic and gastronomic experience not to be missed...SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, served on a silver platter.
THE TASTING MENU
Appetiser:
Buffalo Bill’s crispy potato skins with a glass of prosecco.
Entrée:
Dr. Lecter’s chicken liver pâté with fava beans and a nice chianti.
Main:
Clarice Starling’s slaughtered lamb pizza with freshly torn rocket and drizzled in a tangy herbed salsa.
Dessert:
A special screening of the five-time Academy Award-winning film, The Silence of the Lambs.
----------------------------------------
Time out review: 'In its own old-fashioned way, this is as satisfying as that other, more modernist Thomas Harris adaptation,Manhunter. When FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is sent to conduct an interview with serial killer shrink Dr Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) in his high-security cell, she little knows what she is in for. The Feds want Lecter to help them in their search for homicidal maniac 'Buffalo Bill'; but in exchange for clues about Bill's behaviour, Lecter demands that Clarice answer questions about herself, so that he can penetrate the darkest recesses of her mind. It's in their confrontations that both film and heroine come electrically alive. Although Demme does reveal the results of the killer's violence, he for the most part refrains from showing the acts themselves; the film could never be accused of pandering to voyeuristic impulses. Understandably, much has been made of Hopkins' hypnotic Lecter, but the laurels must go to Levine's killer, admirably devoid of camp overstatement, and to Foster, who evokes a vulnerable but pragmatic intelligence bent on achieving independence through sheer strength of will.' Geoff Andrew
Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 252: Sun Sep 9

Planet of the Vampires (Bava, 1965):
Duke of Wellington pub, 119 Balls Pond Road, N1 4BL, 8pm

Here's a rare chance to catch a film that some critics reckon was a major influence on Alien and Prometheus.

Here's the Howling at the Moon film club's introduction: 'East London's HOWLING AT THE MOON are taking a cinematic trip beyond the stars this September and having a Sci-Fi themed film month at the Duke Of Wellington. First up we are very proud to present, from the mastermind behind Black Sunday, Black Sabbath and Bay of Blood... Mario Bava's PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES. A crew of astronauts receive a distress signal from planet Aura which they assume is uninhabited. After discovering the skeletal remains of a giant alien life form on board a crashed spacecraft the team begin to turn on each other, swayed by the influence of the planet and its strange vampiric inhabitants. Bava makes the most of the low budget and leisurely pace by splicing the proceedings with buckets of heavy atmosphere, some genuinely creepy setpieces and a splendid use of lighting and music. Shot in 1965 in “Colorscope” PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES is famously cited as being the inspiration for Ridley Scotts Alien and Prometheus, along with numerous other outer space adventures. So come join us for a rare one off screening of this laid-back and creepy cult gem. Entry is FREE as usual, as is the homemade popcorn.'
For more details see the Facebook event page here.

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 251: Sat Sep 8

Milano Calibro 9 (Di Leo, 1972): Rio Cinema, 11.30pm

It's safe to say you won't see anything like this on a cinema screen in London this week, or most other weeks for that matter.

Here is the introduction from the Cigarette Burns team: 'Eurocrime. An over-the-top, short-lived, Italian action filled, crime thriller genre, and still one of the few undiscovered genres ... until recently. When the fantastic documentary EUROCRIME screened at this year's Frightfest, it sent film geeks scurrying off to hunt down these still quite obscure films, hungry for more. Few have been transferred to a digital format, leaving many only available on VHS, so the hunt is on. A great introduction to the genre is MILANO CALIBRO 9, fist fights, car chases, double-crossing and dripping with 70s slickness, this Fernando DiLeo-directed masterpiece follows recently released con, Ugo (Gastone Moschin), as he tries to escape his previous life, all the elements from his past conspire against him, convinced that he still has the missing $300,000. Caught between the police, his old crime bosses, his psychotic ex-mate, the brutal Rocco (Mario Adorf), and his love for his girlfriend, played by the stunning Barbara Bouchet, there doesn't appear to be much hope for Ugo... This is truly a fantastic film. Expect a stonking night of Italian soundtrack action on the turntables of doom manned by DJ Cherrystones.'


For more details see the Cigarette Burns Facebook event page here.

Here is the opening.

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 250: Fri Sep 7

Death Line (Sherman, 1972): Ritzy Cinema, Brixton 11.10pm
This is one of the highlights of the year (and is also screening on Saturday 8th at 11.10pm). This film is screening as part of 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.
The event is a Picturehouse Podcast presentation. Here is their Facebook page for tonight's screening and here is their introduction: 'Join Sam Clements and Simon Renshaw from the Picturehouse Podcast for a late-night journey on the London Underground with Gary Sherman's cult horror DEATH LINE (aka RAW MEAT). The boys will be on hand to record a live podcast before the film, and there'll be a heap of prizes to give away throughout the night. DEATH LINE was hailed by Guillermo del Toro as the movie that motivated him to become a filmmaker, and this is a rare chance to see it projected from an original 35mm print onto the big screen.' 

Time Out review:

'One of the great British horror films, Death Line is a classic example of what Hellraiser director Clive Barker calls 'embracing the monstrous'. The film's basic premise is a gruesome one: following a cave-in during the construction of an underground tunnel in 1892, successive generations of plague-ridden cannibals have survived and developed their own subterranean culture. Forced out of hiding by the death of his wife, the sole surviving cannibal begins abducting passengers from Russell Square tube station. The disgust provoked by the corpse-filled underground world inhabited by the cannibal is offset by the tenderness with which he treats his dying wife, and by the unutterable sadness of his lonely plight. The film's great achievement is in eliciting sympathy for a creature whose residual capacity for human feeling amid such terrible degradation is ultimately more moving than horrifying.'

Nigel Floyd

Here is the celebrated long take from this genuine British horror classic.