Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 13: Mon Jan 13

No1 Valley of the Dolls (Robson, 1967): Alibi Film Club, 89 Kingsland High St, E8

Time out review:
Jacqueline Susann's 'exposé' of Hollywood gets the cliché-ridden treatment it deserves from Robson. Parkins, Tate, Duke and Hayward are the actresses whose career vicissitudes take us on the round tour of drink, drugs, sex, disillusion, infidelity, and clawing up to the top or sliding down to the bottom. That said, the film is regarded in some quarters as a marvellous piece of camp. The songs, curiously, are by André and Dory Previn.
Chris Peachment

The brilliant opening credits are here (and above).


No2 The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dieterle, 1939): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.40pm

This film is screening as part of the BFI Southbank Gothic season and is also being shown on January 3rd and 5th. Details here.

Time Out review:
Although Charles Laughton doesn't attempt the acrobatics that Lon Chaney performed in the silent version, his hunchback comes across as one of the cinema's most impressive 'grotesque' characterisations. Dieterle directs in a way that reminds you of his background as actor/director in the German expressionist cinema: the visuals here impressively recall earlier movies from Metropolis (the crowds) to The Last Laugh (tracking shots through the shadows). Richly entertaining.
Tony Rayns

Here (and above) is an extract.

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