Saturday, 14 September 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 279: Sun Oct 6

The Game (Fincher, 1997) and Birth (Glazer, 2004): ICA Cinema, 4pm

This is the first screening from the Badlands Film Collective. There is some information here. More details to come.

Time Out review of The Game:
San Francisco. Ruthless financier Nicholas Van Orton (Douglas) is a control freak who no longer knows the meaning of fun or friendship. When his estranged, addictive brother Conrad (Penn) enrolls him with Consumer Recreation Services for his birthday, his curiosity's aroused by the offer of a mysterious 'game' tailored to the needs of each participant. At first his application is rejected, but when, on TV, a newscaster starts talking directly to him, Nicholas realises the game's already begun and that his actions are being monitored and manipulated. As his privacy is progressively invaded and the situations in which he finds himself become ever more life-threatening, Van Orton tries to pull out of the game, but too late. Though the film's 'message' about complacency transformed by chaos and uncertainty is hackneyed, the alarming twists of the witty, ingenious script (by John Brancato and Michael Ferris) hold the attention throughout.
Geoff Andrew


Time out review of Birth:

Life in Upper Manhattan is sweet for Anna (Nicole Kidman), a smart, professional thirtysomething with a gentle manner and breezy take on life. Ten years have passed since the death of her first husband, Sean, and she has finally capitulated and agreed to marry the distinctly agreeable, if a little dull, Joseph (Danny Huston). Joseph is a scion of a well-heeled New York family, most of whom, unusually, live together in a sprawling, old-fashioned apartment lorded over by the acid-tongued but likeable Eleanor (Lauren Bacall), a grand old matriarch of the metropolis.

Then comes an unexpected knock on the door, a deus ex machina that delivers to them a stranger: a ten-year-old boy called Sean (Cameron Bright) who claims to be the reincarnation of Anna’s dead husband. Unsurprisingly, the plot then thickens.

If this sounds like paranormal, sci-fi garbage, don’t be deterred. Jonathan Glazer has in fact crafted an intoxicating tale that explores notions of disruption, grief, lost love and fear of the future. Like his debut film ‘Sexy Beast’, the former commercials wunderkind shows himself to be a master of mood and place. In ‘Sexy Beast’, it was the ex-pat, ex-crim Spanish lifestyle that was rudely punctured by Ben Kingsley’s sudden arrival. Here, it’s the rarified world of chamber music, opera and family dinner parties that’s spoilt by a grubby little kid from downtown.
Dave Calhoun

Here (and above) is the trailer for The Game.

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