Thursday, 11 July 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 211: Tue Jul 30


1 Fritz Lang's Mabuse Trilogy -- 12 noon Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922); 2.30pm The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) and 7.30pm The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960):
Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH | 12 noon - 9.30 pm

London writer, filmmaker and 'psychogeogrpaher' Iain Sinclair celebrates his 70th birthday year, with the showing of 70 films, handpicked for their relation to his work. As part of the 70x70 season, which kicked off at the Hackney Picturehouse on 17 July, the Swedenborg Society is delighted to present Fritz Lang's definitive Dr Mabuse trilogy. These screenings will take place in Swedenborg Hall, 'one of London's most atmospheric venues' (The Guardian) and Iain Sinclair will be present to give readings and discuss the films. The Society will also launch the latest volume in the Swedenborg Archive series: Swimming To Heaven by Sinclair.

12.00-4.00         SCREENING: Dr Mabuse: the Gambler
4.00-4.30            Break (with refreshments)
4.30-6.30           SCREENING: The Testament of Dr Mabuse
6.30-7.00            Break (with refreshments)
7.00-7.30           TALK & BOOK LAUNCH: Iain Sinclair/Swimming To Heaven
7.30-9.30            SCREENING: The 1000 Eyes of Dr Mabuse

ADMISSION IS FREE BUT CAPACITY IS LIMITED. Please contact book places in advance.

Chicago Reader review of Dr Mabuse: The Gambler:
Fritz Lang's two-part 1922 film about the criminal genius Mabuse, who seems to have most of Weimar Germany under his diabolical control, was widely admired by the surrealists, and it's easy to see why. Lang consistently sacrifices plot and character to absurd situations and disturbing images—the film plays like the stream of a not very pleasant consciousness.
Dave Kehr 

Here is an extract.


Chicago Reader review of The Testament of Dr Mabuse:
Fritz Lang left Germany after completing this 1933 film, which continued the story of the master criminal Lang had created for his famous two-part silent Doktor Mabuse, der Spieler. Mabuse has become a protofascist, with a commanding power over other men's minds. With some benefit of hindsight, Lang later characterized the film as an explicit anti-Nazi parable, but its meanings are more general and its points of correspondence not exact. Instead, the movie captures an air of dread, despair, and individual impotence—a political atmosphere that meshed perfectly with Lang's raging paranoia. Nevertheless, the Nazis banned it. In German with subtitles. 
Dave Kehr

Here is the brilliant opening.


Chicago Reader review of The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse:
After a long and fruitful career in Hollywood, Fritz Lang returned to Germany in 1960 to make the final chapter in his trilogy about the criminal genius Dr. Mabuse. (The first two films in the series were released in 1922 and 1933.) The Thousand Eyes has the stripped-down, elemental feel of many late masterpieces: all the distractions have been cleared away, and Lang is able to present his concerns with a disarming directness. The comic-book story focuses on the psychopathology of power; around the edges lurk the shadows of paranoia, sexual displacement, and death. The director himself is finally equated with the omniscient Mabuse in one of the first overtly modernist flourishes in cinema.
Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.


Chicago Reader review:
More than a half million people died in 1965 and '66 when the Indonesian military, capitalizing on a brief coup attempt against President Sukarno, decided to exterminate the country's large communist party; the killings were never punished, and many of the perpetrators, who seized victims' property as their own, are still part of the power structure there. For this unique and unforgettable documentary, Joshua Oppenheimer persuaded former executioners to create scenes about their killings and he recorded the process of their staging the vignettes, some of them done in the style of Hollywood movies. These self-serving fantasies would probably seem unbearably perverse if Oppenheimer didn't also provide a close and damning study of the current political climate in Indonesia, where orange-clad paramilitaries still stomp around intimidating people, indoctrinating local children, and raking in the bucks from gambling and smuggling.
JR Jones

Here is the trailer.

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