Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 265: Sun Sep 22

The Tarnished Angels (Sirk, 1957) & Written on the Wind (Sirk, 1956):
Rio Cinema, 1.30pm

Welcome to the second ever Capital Celluloid film screening, another 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 great new book on Written on the Wind by Peter Evans, Emeritus Professor of Film at Queen Mary, London University. You can find more details on the Facebook page for the event here. Evans will introduce both films.

Chicago Reader review of The Tarnished Angels:
Douglas Sirk took a vacation from Ross Hunter and Technicolor for this 1958 production, though he retained Rock Hudson, who turns in an astonishingly good performance as a journalist fascinated by the sordid lives of a trio of professional stunt fliers (Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, and Jack Carson). Based on a minor novel by William Faulkner (Pylon), the film betters the book in every way, from the quality of characterization to the development of the dark, searing imagery. Made in black-and-white CinemaScope, the film doesn't survive on TV; it should be seen in a theater or not at all. Dave Kehr


Chicago Reader review of Written on the Wind:
One of the most remarkable and unaccountable films ever made in Hollywood, Douglas Sirk's 1957 masterpiece turns a lurid, melodramatic script into a screaming Brechtian essay on the shared impotence of American family and business life. Sirk's highly imaginative use of color—to accent, undermine, and sometimes even nullify the drama—remains years ahead of contemporary technique. The degree of stylization is high and impeccable: one is made to understand the characters as icons as well as psychologically complex creations. With Dorothy Malone (in the performance of her career), Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, and Rock Hudson.
Dave Kehr

This screening 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.

This double-bill is also part of the 70x70 season. London writer, filmmaker and 'psychogeographer' Iain Sinclair celebrates his 70th birthday year, with the showing of 70 films, handpicked for their association with his work and shown in venues all over London. Here you can find a full list of the excellent programme. 

Here, and above, is the trailer for The Tarnished Angels.

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