Sunday, 1 September 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 268: Wed Sep 25

Suture (McGehee & Siegel, 1993):
The Russet, Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, E8, 7.30pm

Chicago Reader review:
As far as I know this is something of a first, at least since the 1920s or 30s: a movie predicated on film theory playing in a commercial theater. Written, directed, and produced by American independents Scott McGehee and David Siegel, this odd black-and-white 'Scope thriller (1993) about identity and social construction concerns a young man named Clay who becomes briefly acquainted with his half-brother Vincent. Vincent, who wants to flee the country for various reasons, secretly arranges to have Clay blown up in Vincent's car wearing Vincent's clothes; with everyone believing he's dead, Vincent can easily disappear. But Clay survives the explosion, though he has amnesia, and with the help of a plastic surgeon and a psychoanalyst is "restored" to an identity that was never his--Vincent's. A subversive spin is given to this material: Clay and Vincent are said by all the characters to be dead ringers, yet Clay is played by a black actor and Vincent by a white one--and no one ever comments on it. The film may be at times a little too smart (as well as a little too drab and mechanical) for its own good, but the witty, provocative implications of the central concept linger, and the story carries an interesting sting: this is a head scratcher that actually functions.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

The film will be introduced by Jason Wood, the author of several books on cinema and a regular contributor to Sight & Sound and Little White Lies magazines.

This screening is also 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 (and above) is the trailer.

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