Sunday, 11 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 249: Fri Sep 6

Sweden: Heaven and Hell (Scattini, 1968) + Justine and Juliette (Ahlberg, 1975):
Horse Hospital, Bloomsbury, 7pm



This double-bill is part of the Scalarama season which runs throughout September. Scalarama is the  follow-up to Scala Forever and Scala Beyond and brings together all types of different cinemas, venues, film clubs, societies, pop-ups and festivals to encourage and champion repertory and community cinema, and be the UK’s widest and most inclusive film event.

Here is a link to the full calendar of films being shown and here is the Scalarama Facebook page. There's a very good article about the background to the season here at Mostly Film.

Here's the Horse Hospital introduction to tonight's movies: Sweden’s Klubb Super 8 and London’s Erotic Film Society present a double-bill of Nordic naughtiness from the heyday of Scandinavian smut.

Sweden: Heaven and Hell: In the sixties and seventies, the world observed Sweden’s liberal attitudes towards sex with a mixture of self-righteous outrage and prurient fascination. Scattini’s shockumentary duly delivered enough spectacle to satisfy even the most jaded sensation seeker. From saunas to skinny-dipping; suicides to swingers; clandestine lesbian nightclubs; alcoholics swigging in public toilets; tripping hippies freaking out; traffic wardens moonlighting as glamour models… even that old exploitation stalwart, the birth of a baby! Edmund Purdom’s hilariously snarky narration emphasises how resolutely unhip it all is, compared with the previous year’s globally scandalous, radical polemic, I Am Curious (Yellow). But behind the ‘mondo’ tropes lies a portrait of a society apparently trying to balance a rational approach to permissiveness with deep-rooted nanny-state instincts. A bizarrely fascinating mixture of trash and social history.

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Justine and Juliette: De Sade’s notoriety has ensured regular – albeit often very loose – adaptations of his writings throughout sexploitation cinema’s first 50 years. But few interpretations are as strange as this one! Updating his fable of two sisters pursuing paths of vice and virtue in a wicked world to contemporary Stockholm, adult film pioneer Ahlberg turns the dark depravities into a rollicking sex romp with all the kitsch accoutrements of mid-70s decor and fashion. Marie ForsÃ¥ – a cult favourite in Scandinavian adult cinema – gives a wonderful performance as the perpetually put-upon Justine, touchingly funny as she struggles to survive the moral uncertainties of swinging Stockholm. But Anne Bie Warburg matches her as libertine Juliette, sly and feline, whose mercenary joi de vivre and amoral survival instincts make her some sort of feminist hero. Add a guest appearance by Deep Throat star Reems, whose trademark ebullience seems to be in overdrive, and you have a near perfect example of mid-70s Euro-porno chic.

Here (and above) is the trailer for Sweden: Heaven and Hell

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