Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 30: Wed Jan 30

Atoll K (Joannon, 1951): BFI Southbank, 6pm
This film was Laurel and Hardy's final screen appearance and is a Flipside screening.

I asked Will Fowler from The Flipside for the history and the ideas behind their screenings. He told me: "Our first Flipside was back in late 2006 when we screened the mondo-style documentary Primitive London. The drive for the slot is really to show films and TV programmes that are held in the BFI National Archive but rarely or indeed never shown in the cinemas at BFI Southbank.

"And these could be things that might not automatically be considered similar or comparable but that at some level do all sit in the margins of cinema and TV history- old Rupert Bear television episodes, the shocking horror film Corruption starring a rather blood thirsty Peter Cushing as well as genre pictures, 'curates eggs', the weird and wonderful.  

"I think our favourites tend to be things that sit on genre borders. We like to make our screenings enjoyable and accessible and invite the directors or actors but we don't mess around with the conventional cinematic viewing experience - there are no new soundtracks - we're also traditionalists!"

There's an excellent interview with Sam Dunn here which gives more background and you can get details of the titles on special offer via the BFI website here.

Here's their introduction to this night: Laurel and Hardy aficionados won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to see ‘the Boys’ in their final feature. This odd atomic-age comedy sees Stan and Ollie inherit a uranium-rich island that becomes a haven for lawless ruffians from every corner of the globe. Much maligned over the years, this troubled international co-production was plagued by disputes with the crew and ill-health for its stars; but it was a spirited attempt by the team to move in a new direction, and it remains fascinating viewing for fans. It screens here in a BFI archive print made from nitrate master materials. Plus Grand Hotel (aka Laurel and Hardy Visit Tynemouth, UK 1932, Dir JG Ratcliffe, 10min, silent): The team are rapturously received when they visit Tynemouth in 1932, and Stan clowns for the camera with his dad.

We are delighted to announce that this programme will now include previously unseen silent amateur footage of Stan and Ollie opening a Gymkhana at Eastwood Park, Giffnock, during their visit to Scotland in June 1947. We can also confirm that we’re going to screen the full length English version of the film which runs 98min, not 95min as listed in the BFI Southbank Guide.

Introduced by Glenn Mitchell, author of The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia, and Archive curators Vic Pratt and William Fowler.

Here is the trailer.

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