Saturday, 26 October 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 318: Thu Nov 14

Hangover Square (Brahm, 1945): Wiltons Hall, Graces Alley, E1 8JB, 7.30pm

This is screening as part of Iain Sinclair's 70x70 season, the film adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's famous novel, shown in an East End music hall.

"Brahm’s film is a minor classic, a shotgun wedding of expressionism and surrealism: barrel organs, leering pawnbrokers, cor-blimey-guv urchins. Linda Darnell enthusiastically impersonates a knicker-flashing singer with flea-comb eyelashes and hair in which you could lose a nest of squirrels. There are two mindblowing sequences: the bonfire on which the faithless Netta is incinerated, while a mob of Ensor devils howl and chant – and the concerto, when a raving Bone hammers away at a blazing grand piano. Bernard Hermann, Hitchcock’s composer of choice, soups up a fabulously pastiched score that drives the whole nutty phantasmagoria along: a candlelit steamer plunging over a frozen waterfall. The film has nothing to do with Patrick Hamilton’s novel, apart from using that evocative title as the excuse for a purgatorial nightmare of the kind the burnt-out writer might have experienced in his last, glazed, dry-retch, schoolgirl-fixated, beaten- with-cricket-bat, English seaside days."
Iain Sinclair

Here (and above) is an extract.

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