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.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 264: Sat Sep 21

Naked (Leigh, 1993): Barbican Cinema, 7.30pm



Director Mike Leigh will be present to talk about the film, part of the Urban Wanderings season at the Barbican, after the screening.

Time Out review:
Mike Leigh's film explores a form of male self-loathing manifesting itself in misogynist insults and violence. When Johnny (Thewlis), an out-of-work twenty-something given to manic rants and rough sex, visits ex-girlfriend Louise (Sharp) in London, it's hard to know whether or not he aims to persuade her to return with him to Manchester. Getting stoned and sleeping with her spaced-out flatmate Sophie (Cartlidge) is unlikely to endear her to such a prospect, as is his sudden decision to roam the streets of the capital, waxing philosophical to anyone he meets. But is he any worse than Jeremy (Cruttwell), a smooth sadist who claims a landlord's right to invade the girls' house and subject them to sexual humiliation? Hilarious, but sometimes hard to stomach, Leigh's picaresque tale is his most troubling and intriguing work since Meantime; it's also by far his most cinematic. The cast is outstanding - Thewlis, in particular, whose virtuoso performance gives the film its cruel energy, wit and power.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is an extract from the movie.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 263: Fri Sep 20

Estate: Barbican Cinema, 6.15pm


Here is the Barbican introduction to tonight's screening: A whistle-stop tour on film through five decades of provision of social housing in the capital. Ernő Goldfinger is interviewed from the 26th floor of his Balfron Tower in East London, New Brutalist architects Alison and Peter Smithson defend their plans for Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar, and construction firm Laing & Son defend their programme of cottage estates. The film programme includes Kensal House (1937), First Citizens of New Estate (1951), High Living (1968), Where You Live (1968), The Smithsons on Housing (1970) and Estate Pilot (2013).
Film programme running time 80 min +
ScreenTalk
In the years since these films were made, the estates featured have experienced mixed fortunes: Robin Hood Gardens, for instance, is due to be demolished – with the support of 80% of its residents, but to the outrage of leading architects Lords Rogers and Forster. With the death of Margaret Thatcher, commentators have been assessing the outcomes of her ‘right to buy’ policy; in the same period, the coalition’s ‘bedroom tax’ has come into force, and Guardian reports reach us of Newham council housing people in Birmingham B&Bs, such is the shortfall of social housing in the borough.

Join Will Self, Lynsey Hanley and Andrea Luka Zimmerman to debate all these issues and more.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 262: Thu Sep 19

In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000): East Dulwich Tavern, 8pm



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.

Chicago Reader review:
A brooding chamber piece (2000) about a love affair that never quite happens. Director Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong's most romantic filmmaker, is known for his excesses, and in that sense the film's spareness represents a bold departure. Claustrophobically set in adjacent flats in 1962 Hong Kong, where two young couples find themselves sharing space with other people, it focuses on a newspaper editor and a secretary at an export firm (Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung, the sexiest duo in Hong Kong cinema) who discover that their respective spouses are having an affair on the road. Wong, who improvises his films with the actors, endlessly repeats his musical motifs and variations on a handful of images, rituals, and short scenes (rainstorms, cab rides, stairways, tender and tentative hand gestures), while dressing Cheung in some of the most confining (though lovely) dresses imaginable, whose mandarin collars suggest neck braces.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is a famous extract from the film.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 261: Wed Sep 18





This double-bill is 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 is the Goethe Institute introduction: Straub-Huillet’s three-part short The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp, in which R.W. Fassbinder plays the pimp, is shown with the collaborative film Germany in Autumn made in response to the RAF terror-related events in 1977, including the Baader-Meinhof deaths in  Stammheim. Interviewed by Iain Sinclair, Astrid Proll, a RAF terrorist in hiding in London at the time, recalled that the news of the deaths reached her as she was driving through Hackney Wick.

University of Nebraska review of The Bridegroom, The Actress and The Pimp:
One of the most beautiful and enigmatic of all films is Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s The Bridegroom, The Comedienne and The Pimp (1968), a 23 minute short film comprised of only eleven shots. As I wrote of this film on IMDb, “three sequences are linked together in this short film by Straub [and Huillet]; the first sequence is a long tracking shot from a car of prostitutes plying their trade on the night-time streets of Germany; the second is a staged play [Ferdinand Bruckner's Krankheit der Jugend], cut down to 10 minutes by Straub [and Huillet], photographed in a single take; the final sequence covers the marriage of James [James Powell] and Lilith, and Lilith’s subsequent execution of her pimp, played by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.”

This brief description does little justice to the mysterious resonance of the film, composed as it is of such disparate elements; the still [here] is taken from the final sequence of the film, directly after Lilith (Lilith Ungerer) has shot Fassbinder’s pimp, and dispassionately recites some poems of John of the Cross, as the camera tracks past her to come to rest on a shot of a tree in full summer. The best discussion of The Bridegroom, The Comedienne and The Pimp remains Richard Roud’s careful consideration of the film in his 1972 book Straub, illustrated with numerous frame blow-ups; sadly, the book is out of print
Wheeler Dixon

**********************************************

Chicago Reader review of Germany in Autumn:
Made in response to the terrorist kidnapping of German industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer in 1977, this compilation film marks attitudes ranging from concern to irony to despair among its eight directors. It is, of course, wildly uneven (and sometimes insufferable), but there's an urgency and engagement in each of the episodes. Rainer Werner Fassbinder's section is perhaps the best, in part because it's the most personal—an extended discussion cum rant between Fassbinder and his oblivious lover. Among the other contributors are Alexander Kluge, Alf Brustellin, Bernhard Sinkel, and Volker Schlöndorff. Kluge, the main organizer behind the feature, later used his segment, “The Patriot,” as the basis for one of his features.
Dave Kehr

Here, and above, is an extract from the opening film.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 260: Tue Sep 17

Twisted Nerve (Boulting, 1968): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm


This film, part of the Boulting Brothers season at BFI Southbank, also screens on Saturday 21st September. Details here.

Here is the BFI introduction: The Boultings’ only foray into psychological horror, Twisted Nerve stars Bennett as a stalker who adopts a childlike persona to disguise his murderous intentions towards the woman he’s obsessed with (Mills). Bennett’s boyish looks make him ideal casting for the role while Bernard Herrmann’s whistled theme adds just the right measure of subdued menace. It was criticised for associating Downs Syndrome with mental illness, but the film’s real undercurrent is the stifling effect of overbearing mother love.

The screening on Tuesday 17 September will be introduced by film historian Jonathan Rigby.


Here (and above) the opening credits, featuring Bernard Herrmann's superb theme tune.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 259: Mon Sep 16

The Outer Limits 50th Anniversary: Horse Hospital, 7.30pm


This special evening, devoted to the groundbreaking TV programme, 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.

Here is The Horse Hospital introduction: Scalarama is proud to “take control of all that you see and hear” with a very special event to commemorate 50 years of the classic multi-award winning science fiction anthology.

Somewhat unfairly outshone by it’s less challenging network rival Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits was a favoured by those seeking a more serious, questioning science fiction. Indeed Stephen King, from his novel Danse Macabre, noted ”for sheer hard-edged clarity of concept, The Twilight Zone could not match The Outer Limits”.

This groundbreaking series explored science, psychology, space and time travel. Truly bringing 1960s television into the modern age, it mixed dark gothic storylines, incredible guest star performances, clever special effects and imaginative creature creations asking the audience to question more about the nature of mankind and reality. This really was the show that nightmares were made of.

Tonight, you can enjoy a unique screening of the first episode “The Galaxy Being”, 50 years to the day of its initial broadcast, as well as Harlan Ellison’s classic time-travel mystery “Demon With A Glass Hand” and the hugely influential “The Architects of Fear”.

Starring : Cliff Robertson, Robert Culp, Arlene Martel, Jacqueline Scott.
Directors : Leslie Stevens, Byron Haskin


Here (and above) is an excerpt from a documentary on the programme.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 258: Sun Sep 15

No1 The Killing of Sister George (Aldrich, 1968): Riverside Studios, 2pm


This film 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.

Time Out review:
Although one can't deny the entertainment value of Aldrich's adaptation of Frank Marcus's play about an ageing lesbian actress whose life falls apart as she loses first her job in a TV soap series and then her young lover, it could never be described as either realistic or sensitive. Rather, with its grotesque stereotyping and tour de force bitchiness and hysteria, it's like yet another instalment in the What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? saga. Cynical, objectionable, and fun, distinguished by Beryl Reid's marvellously energetic performance.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the opening of the movie.

********************

No2 Variety (Gordon, 1983): ICA Cinema, 7pm


Chicago Reader review:
Bette Gordon's independent feature is a little overambitiously formal at times, drawing in references to Chantal Akerman and Jean-Luc Godard, but it works very well as a hauntingly subjective character study. A young woman takes a job as a cashier in a Manhattan porno theater; the sounds emanating from inside seem slowly to seduce her, and she focuses her fantasies on one of the regular customers—a mysterious older man who appears to have crime-syndicate connections. Gordon is not gifted with dialogue, but the film's long silent sequences spin an enveloping otherworldly atmosphere.
Dave Kehr

This film 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.


Here is the trailer.


Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 257: Sat Sep 14

Party Girl (Mayer, 1985) at the Parker Posey Film Festival: ICA Cinema 7.30pm


The Parker Posey Film Festival 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.

Here is the ICA introduction: The Parker Posey Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating one of the most unique American actresses working today through a series of screenings and discussions.

For this double we bring back to the festival, by popular demand, the incredible and criminally unseen Party Girl from a beautiful 35mm print. A tale of love, life and librarian-ism in 1990s New York, the film is Fun with a capital F. A soundtrack pulled from the dancefloors of the day, costumes from Parker's then extensive wardrobe and a supporting cast of superb actors, there is good reason why Girls creator Lena Dunham has the film's poster on her wall.

Screening alongside this we're incredibly excited to bring the UK premiere of season 3 of the Emmy award winning comedy Louie and the Parker starring episodes Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 1&2. The series is brainchild of comedian Louis C.K and his innovative production style and total creative control have given rise to one of Parker's finest performances in recent years.

There will be a Party Girl inspired party in the ICA following the screening. The Festival continues at the ICA on Sunday 15th September. Details here.

Here (and above) is an extract from Party Girl.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 256: Fri Sep 13

No1: The Stuart Hall Project (Akomfrah, 2013): BFI Southbank, NFT, 6.20pm


This highly acclaimed documentary is on an extended run at BFI until September 26

Here is the BFI introduction: Highly acclaimed at this year’s Sundance and Sheffield Documentary festivals, the new film from award-winning documentarian John Akomfrah (The Nine Muses) is a sensitive, emotionally charged portrait of cultural theorist Stuart Hall.

A founding figure of contemporary cultural studies – and one of the most inspiring voices of the post-war Left – Stuart Hall’s resounding and ongoing influence on British intellectual life commenced soon after he emigrated from Jamaica in 1951. Combining extensive archival imagery – television excerpts, home movies, family photos – with specially filmed material and a personally mixed Miles Davis soundtrack, Akomfrah’s filmmaking approach matches the agility of Hall’s intellect, its intimate play with memory, identity and scholarly impulse traversing the changing historical landscape of the second half of the 20th century.

Here is Ashley Clarke's review from Sight and Sound.

Here (and above) is an extract from the film.

*********************************

No2 I'm All Right Jack (John Boulting, 1959): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.10pm



This film, part of the Boulting Brothers season at BFI Southbank, is also showing on Sunday September 8th. Details here. Tonight's screening is introduced by cast member Liz Fraser.

Chicago Reader review:
Terrific British nonsense (1959) coming at the tail end of the wonderful cycle of gentle comedies that poked fun at most of the classes and offended none. Ian Carmichael stars as the wide-eyed nephew of an industrialist, who goes to work in his uncle's factory and blunders into a web of corporate crookedness. Peter Sellers's performance as a dour, self-educated factory foreman/Marxist intellectual is a model of careful characterization and devastatingly subtle satire. With Terry-Thomas, Dennis Price, Richard Attenborough, and Margaret Rutherford.
Don Druker

Here (and above) an extract, highlighting Peter Sellers' brilliant performance as Fred Kite.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 255: Thu Sep 12

L'Amour Braque (Zulawski, 1985): Horse Hospital, 7.30pm



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.

Here's the Horse Hospital's introduction: After the successful bank robbery Micky hopes to take back his girlfriend Mary who has been taken from him by the brothers Venin. On the way to Paris he meets one Leon, a neurotic and dreamer, whom he and his associates consider an idiot. Leon can hardly understand what Micky is up to but he follows him everywhere and soon falls in love with Mary ...

The business of physical expressing those thoughts and feelings which we sometimes struggle to put into words is at the heart of Andrzej Zulawski’s cinema. It is the essence of Isabelle Adjani’s infamous subway freakout in the director’s most famous film, Possession. However, never is it more clear than in Zulawski’s most misunderstood film, L’Amour braque. Transposing Dostoevsky’s The Idiot from nineteenth century Saint Petersburg to twentieth century Paris – Zulawski’s most frenzied film charts the consequences of a holy innocent cut loose in a cruel, cynical world. Sophie Marceau, here in her first adult role, plays Marie, a beautiful but damaged young prostitute torn between the all-consuming passion of a brutal hoodlum (Tchéky Karyo) and the kindness of a penniless Hungarian emigre (Francis Huster), who is quite possibly insane…Daniel Bird

Here (and above) is an extract.


Friday, 16 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 254: Wed Sep 11



This rarely seen Chris Petit movie is 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 is a full list of the excellent programme. As part of 70x70, the Goethe-Institut presents two screenings reflecting the writer’s real and cinematic experiences of Berlin and the time of RAF terrorism.

Here is the introduction: Two films set in Berlin, one before, one after the fall of the wall, both featuring Eddie Constantine. He plays himself in Chris Petit’s atmospheric thriller Flight to Berlin and returns as Lemmy Caution, the secret agent of Alphaville (1965), to wander the streets of the post-wall city in Godard’s filmic essay Germany Year Zero Nine. Less interested in plot than in the urban landscape, in its history and in character, both films together create a rare portrait of Berlin.

There will be drinks after the first film, and the second film will be followed by a conversation between Iain Sinclair and Chris Petit.

The evening 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.

Variety review:
Christopher Petit’s third feature is a dazzlingly make modern thriller, though lovers of neatly structured plots with satisfactory ending in which everything is explained may not appreciate its qualities. Petit, an ex-film critic, isn’t interested in the perfect plot as he showed in his critically acclaimed first feature Radio On: it’s not the story so much as the characters and the background detail that are exciting here. And Flight To Berlin is exciting. It opens brilliantly, as Susannah is taken from a Berlin apartment in the middle of the night by plainclothes police and driven speedily through the city streets. In the police station she’s interrogated but, as the sparse narration tell, “they asked me the wrong question.” The questions they ask concern why Susannah was in the apartment of a known criminal, but as i s discovered when the inevitable flashbacks begin, she has other problems . . .Gradually she becomes enmeshed with a group of mysterious characters . . .But it’s not just a buff film, for the elliptical script, excellent acting and, above all, the extraordinary location camerawork of Martin Schafer, combine to make compulsive viewing even if, in the end, the answers remain elusive.
David Stratton

Here (and above) is an extract from a documentary on Petit.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 253: Tue Sep 10

Satyricon (Fellini, 1969): Curzon Mayfair, 6.15pm



This Federico Fellini movie 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.

Curzon Mayfair introduction to Satyricon: Curzon Cinemas is proud to welcome back 'A Nos Amours', a collective founded by filmmakers Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts dedicated to programming over-looked, under-exposed or especially potent cinema. This time 'A Nos Amours' presents a newly restored 35mm Cinemascope copy of Fellini-Satyricon by Federico Fellini (1969), as supervised the film’s original cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno at the Cineteca Nazionale in Rome with the contribution of Dolce & Gabbana, presented by Ka Studio and Edoardo Ponti.

A place that might be ancient Rome recreated and torn down over a couple of delirious hours by Federico Fellini. The Latin text that provides a spring board, a fragmentary account of debauchery, dissolution and sexual adventure during the reign of Nero, is shaken and poured out as the most intoxicating cinematic cocktail the world has ever seen. Bizarre, jarring, angular, operatic, sordid, stunningly beautiful. Superficially it is a historical pageant in full sail, but also a dream of the past, buffeted by modernist strategies.

Time Out review:
Sprawling and conspicuously undisciplined, this is less an adaptation of Petronius than a free-form fantasia on his themes. Fellini's characteristic delirium is in fact anchored in a precise, psychological schema: under the matrix of bisexuality, he explores the complexes of castration, impotence, paranoia and libidinal release. And he pays homage to Pasolini's ethnographic readings of myths. It's among his most considerable achievements.
Tony Rayns

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 252: Mon Sep 9




This film, which also screens at BFI Southbank on Friday 13th Septmeber, is part of the Passport to Cinema season and tonight will be introduced by Dominic Powers. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
This genuine SF classic (1956) says a good deal more about the McCarthyist hysteria of the early 50s than about the danger of invasion from outer space by soul-stealing “pods.” Don Siegel's superb little effort, with its matter-of-fact isolation of hero Kevin McCarthy (ironic, no?) from the smarmy complacency of a small town gone to hell—and way beyond—points the way to his gripping action films of the 60s and 70s (Madigan, Coogan's Bluff, Dirty Harry).
Don Druker

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 251: Sun Sep 8

The Naked Kiss (Fuller, 1964) and Shock Corridor (Fuller, 1963): Rio Cinema, 1.45pm

ALSO SCREENING ON SAT SEP 7 at 11.30pm. Details here.



This great Sam Fuller double-bill 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.

Time Out review of The Naked Kiss:
Not altogether the best of Fuller, despite an electrifying opening sequence in which a statuesque blonde (Towers) advances on her pimp, flailing out with her handbag as he staggers drunkenly until her wig falls off, revealing her to be totally bald. Subsequently seeking fresh fields in a small American town where vice is kept carefully screened behind locked doors, she instead becomes ministering angel in a children's orthopaedic hospital. It takes a little swallowing, but Fuller's grasp of character and milieu is so sure that the film gradually imposes itself as a scathing exposé of hypocrisy, unforgettable for the sharp savagery of scenes like the one in which Towers calmly marches into the local bordello and stuffs the madam's mouth full of dollar bills as retribution for trying to corrupt an innocent.
Tom Milne

***********************************

Chicago Reader review of Shock Corridor:
Sam Fuller's comic-strip Amerika, embodied in a lurid tale about a journalist who has himself committed to an insane asylum (this is no mere sanatorium) in order to investigate a murder committed there. Sanity slips from his tenuous grasp when he is confronted with a black man who believes he's the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, a nuclear physicist who has regressed to the mental age of six, and a number of other strange inmates, all of whom have been transformed into the people they hate the most. This 1963 film is harsh, grotesque, and violent—and, incidentally, brilliant in a very original way.
Dave Kehr

Here, and above, the electrifying opening of The Naked Kiss

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 250: Sat Sep 7

The Road to Nowhere 1970s American road movie all-dayer:
Genesis Cinema, 12 noon-11.30pm





1pm TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (Hellman, 1971)

3pm DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY (Hough, 1974)

4.50pm ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE (Guercio, 1973)

7pm THE DRIVER (Hill, 1978)

9pm VANISHING POINT (Sarafian, 1971)

This all-dayer 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.

*****************************************
Chicago Reader review of Two-Lane Blacktop:
This exciting existentialist road movie by Monte Hellman, with a swell script by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Corry and my favorite Warren Oates performance, looks even better now than it did in 1971, although it was pretty interesting back then as well. James Taylor and Dennis Wilson are the drivers of a supercharged '55 Chevy, and Oates is the owner of a new GTO (these nameless characters are in fact identified only by the cars they drive); they meet and agree to race from New Mexico to the east coast, though an assortment of side interests periodically distracts them, including various hitchhikers (among them Laurie Bird). (GTO hilariously assumes a new persona every time he picks up a new passenger, rather like the amorphous narrator in Wurlitzer's novel Nog.) The movie starts off as a narrative but gradually grows into something much more abstract—it's unsettling but also beautiful.
Jonathan Rosenabum
*****************************************
Chicago Reader review of Electra Glide in Blue:
Alternately genial and portentous, this nervy 1973 Panavision inversion of the Easy Rider formula stars Robert Blake as an Arizona motorcycle cop grappling with existential issues. James William Guercio's direction rips off virtually every icon in the American cinematic shrine, from the monumental vistas of John Ford westerns to the leather-and-chrome fetishism of the Corman biker epics, and chaotically combines wide-screen close-ups in shallow focus, sweeping panoramas, slapstick, bathos, pathos, and two performances of occasional subtlety from Blake and Billy Green Bush.
Don Druker
*****************************************
Chicago Reader review of The Driver:
An audacious, skillful film noir (1978) by Walter Hill, so highly stylized that it's guaranteed to alienate 90 percent of its audience. There's no realism, no psychology, and very little plot in Hill's story of a deadly game between a professional getaway driver (Ryan O'Neal) and a detective obsessed with catching him (Bruce Dern). There is, however, a great deal of technically sophisticated and very imaginative filmmaking. The cross-references here are Howard Hawks, Robert Bresson, and Jean-Pierre Melville: a strange, heady, and quite effective range of influences. With Isabelle Adjani, Ronee Blakley, and Matt Clark.

Dave Kehr

*****************************************
Chicago Reader review of Vanishing Point:
After driving nonstop from San Francisco to Denver, a silent macho type (Barry Newman) accepts a bet that he can make it back again in 15 hours; a blind DJ named Super Soul (Cleavon Little) cheers him on while the cops doggedly chase him. While Richard Sarafian's direction of this action thriller and drive-in favorite isn't especially distinguished, the script by Cuban author Guillermo Cabrera Infante (writing here under the pseudonym he adopted as a film critic, G. Cain) takes full advantage of the subject's existential and mythical undertones without being pretentious, and you certainly get a run for your money, along with a lot of rock music. With Dean Jagger and Victoria Medlin.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 249: Fri Sep 6

Sweden: Heaven and Hell (Scattini, 1968) + Justine and Juliette (Ahlberg, 1975):
Horse Hospital, Bloomsbury, 7pm



This double-bill 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.

Here's the Horse Hospital introduction to tonight's movies: Sweden’s Klubb Super 8 and London’s Erotic Film Society present a double-bill of Nordic naughtiness from the heyday of Scandinavian smut.

Sweden: Heaven and Hell: In the sixties and seventies, the world observed Sweden’s liberal attitudes towards sex with a mixture of self-righteous outrage and prurient fascination. Scattini’s shockumentary duly delivered enough spectacle to satisfy even the most jaded sensation seeker. From saunas to skinny-dipping; suicides to swingers; clandestine lesbian nightclubs; alcoholics swigging in public toilets; tripping hippies freaking out; traffic wardens moonlighting as glamour models… even that old exploitation stalwart, the birth of a baby! Edmund Purdom’s hilariously snarky narration emphasises how resolutely unhip it all is, compared with the previous year’s globally scandalous, radical polemic, I Am Curious (Yellow). But behind the ‘mondo’ tropes lies a portrait of a society apparently trying to balance a rational approach to permissiveness with deep-rooted nanny-state instincts. A bizarrely fascinating mixture of trash and social history.

************************************************

Justine and Juliette: De Sade’s notoriety has ensured regular – albeit often very loose – adaptations of his writings throughout sexploitation cinema’s first 50 years. But few interpretations are as strange as this one! Updating his fable of two sisters pursuing paths of vice and virtue in a wicked world to contemporary Stockholm, adult film pioneer Ahlberg turns the dark depravities into a rollicking sex romp with all the kitsch accoutrements of mid-70s decor and fashion. Marie Forså – a cult favourite in Scandinavian adult cinema – gives a wonderful performance as the perpetually put-upon Justine, touchingly funny as she struggles to survive the moral uncertainties of swinging Stockholm. But Anne Bie Warburg matches her as libertine Juliette, sly and feline, whose mercenary joi de vivre and amoral survival instincts make her some sort of feminist hero. Add a guest appearance by Deep Throat star Reems, whose trademark ebullience seems to be in overdrive, and you have a near perfect example of mid-70s Euro-porno chic.

Here (and above) is the trailer for Sweden: Heaven and Hell

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 248: Thu Sep 5

Ikarie XB-1 (Polak, 1963): Riverside Studios, 8pm


This film is one of the centrepieces 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 Facebook page. There's a very good article about the background to the season here at Mostly Film.

Scalarama introduction to Ikarie XB-1: Polak’s pioneering and much-imitated feature is one of the cornerstones of contemporary sci-fi cinema. Adapted from Stanislaw Lem’s 1955 novel The Magellanic Cloud, and predating Gene Rodenberry’s STAR TREK and Kubrick’s 2001, Ikarie XB-1’s influence can be seen on both – and on almost every other science-fiction vehicle that followed. Second Run DVD are proud to present an exclusive restoration of this marvellous film, with new English subtitles. IKARIE XB-1 is available on DVD from Monday 9 September.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 247: Wed Sep 4

La Regle de Jeu (Renoir, 1939): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6pm


This masterpiece, which is part of the Passport to Cinema season at BFI Southbank, also screens on Sept 1st and 3rd (with an introduction by Philip Kemp). More details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Its Paris opening in 1939 was a disaster: the film was withdrawn, recut, and eventually banned by the occupying forces for its “demoralizing” effects. It was not shown again in its complete form until 1965, when it became clear that here, perhaps, was the greatest film ever made. “The rules of the game,” said Jean Renoir, “are those which must be observed in society if one wishes to avoid being crushed.” His protagonist, a pilot (Roland Toutain), breaks the rules: he believes that his love for a wealthy married woman (Nora Gregor) is strong enough to lift him above society, above morality. At a weekend hunting party, he learns it is not—that nothing is. With Marcel Dalio, Mila Parely, Gaston Modot, and Renoir himself.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 246: Tue Sep 3

Plein Soleil (Clement, 1960): Rio Cinema, 8.45pm



This French classic, based on Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley, is on all week at the Rio. More details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A very elegant and watchable 1960 French thriller starring Alain Delon in his prime, this film was adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by director Rene Clement and screenwriter Paul Gegauff, best known as Claude Chabrol's key script collaborator in the 60s and 70s. The Hitchcockian theme—transference of personality—is given almost as much mileage here as in Hitchcock's own Highsmith adaptation, Strangers on a Train, as Delon decides to take over the identity of a spoiled, wealthy playboy he's been hired to bring home to his father. Henri Decae's color cinematography is dazzling, and the Italian and Mediterranean locations are sumptuous. With Marie Laforet, Maurice Ronet, and Playtime's Bill Kearns.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is an extract.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 245: Mon Sep 2

La Ronde (Ophuls, 1950): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.10pm



This film is screening as part of the cinema's Passport to Cinema season and will be introduced by Mouman Hassan.

Chicago Reader review:
'Max Ophuls's witty version (1950) of Arthur Schnitzler's play showing love as a bitterly comic merry-go-round. Going less for the darker feelings in Schnitzler than for the surface gloss, Ophuls displays dazzling technical virtuosity and a cinematic elegance we're not likely to see again. Anton Walbrook acts as master of ceremonies and narrator as one love affair intertwines with another and love's roundabout carries Simone Signoret, Danielle Darrieux, and Jean-Louis Barrault full circle. The movement toward Ophuls's baroque masterpiece Lola Montes is unmistakable.'
Dave Kehr

Here is the wonderful opening.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 244: Sun Sep 1

Bonjour Tristesse (Preminger, 1958):
Rio Cinema 6.30pm &
BFI Southbank, NFT1 6.30 & 8.45pm




Otto Preminger's marvellous example of Hollywood cinema's golden age has been wonderfully restored and can be seen on an extended run at BFI Southbank and also at the Rio Cinema all week.
I wrote a feature about the film and its star, Jean Seberg, for the Guardian when the movie was screened at the London Film Festival last year.

Chicago Reader review:
'Jean-Luc Godard conceived Jean Seberg's character in Breathless as an extension of her role in this 1958 Otto Preminger film: the restless teenage daughter of a bored, decaying playboy (David Niven), she tries to undermine what might be her father's last chance for happiness, a romance with an Englishwoman (Deborah Kerr). Arguably, this is Preminger's masterpiece: working with a soapy script by Arthur Laurents (by way of Francoise Sagan's novel), Preminger turns the melodrama into a meditation on motives and their ultimate unknowability. Long takes and balanced 'Scope compositions are used to bind the characters together; Preminger uses the wide screen not to expand the spectacle, but to narrow and intensify the drama. With Mylene Demongeot, Geoffrey Horne, and Juliette Greco; photographed in Technicolor (apart from a black-and-white prologue and epilogue), mainly on the Riviera, by Georges Perinal.'
Dave Kehr


Here, and above, a video essay on Jean Seberg and the movie.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 243: Sat Aug 31

The Mummy (Fisher, 1959): British Museum, 8pm


Monster Weekend at the British Museum is the launch event for Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film, which will comprise a major season at BFI Southbank and across the UK from October to January next year.

The BFI introduction to the third night's screening: The success of Dracula saw Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing – by now referred to by one newspaper as ‘The Horror Boys’ – teamed again in this Universal-sanctioned refresh of the Mummy mythos. But whereas Karloff had quickly relinquished his bandages, Lee – as reanimated Ancient Egyptian Kharis – retains his. Devoid of dialogue, his chillingly expressive eyes tell a tale of torment, as he wreaks violent vengeance on those who desecrated the resting place of his long lost love (Furneaux). Director Fisher expertly piles on atmosphere and excitement, as supernaturally strong Kharis erupts nightmarishly from shadowy swamp to violate the well-ordered world of enfeebled archaeologist Banning, impeccably portrayed by Cushing. The film will be screened in a digitally remastered version.

Time Out review:
One of the most fetching of Fisher's early Hammer movies, the third in the trilogy which comprises The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula. Its qualities are almost entirely abstract and visual, with colour essential to its muted, subtle imagery. Christopher Lee looks tremendous in the title role, smashing his way through doorways and erupting from green, dream-like quagmires in really awe-isnpiring fashion. Yvonne Furneaux plays one of Fisher's most crucial heroines, Isobel Banning, who has let her hair down (literally) and become sensual in order to free her husband (Cushing) from the curse he invokes by opening an Egyptian tomb.
David Pirie

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 242: Fri Aug 30

Dracula (Fisher, 1958): British Museum, 8pm



Monster Weekend at the British Museum is the launch event for Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film, which will comprise a major season at BFI Southbank and across the UK from October to January next year.

Here is the BFI introduction to the second night's screening: Maligned and misunderstood by critics on first release, Hammer’s bloodily beautiful reworking of Dracula has grown in reputation over the decades and is widely regarded as the definitive film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. Wonderfully cast, with Christopher Lee icily magnetic as the centuries-old vampire and Peter Cushing a resolutely upstanding Van Helsing, it was evocatively directed by Gothic-auteur Terence Fisher; and here the viscerally erotic allure of the Count and his shadowy realm was captured – in full colour – as never before. The titanic climactic confrontation between Cushing and Lee, though much imitated, remains unsurpassed. Restored by the BFI National Archive in 2007, the film will be screened in a new digitally remastered version with additional footage.

Chicago Reader review:
Having hit the jackpot with The Curse of Frankenstein, Britain's Hammer Films updated another monster classic with this 1958 Dracula remake, which distinguished itself from earlier efforts with its dripping blood, bared fangs, women's cleavage, and compulsive gong banging on the soundtrack. This Grand Guignol treatment bowled people over in the 50s, and it still yields some potent shocks—the sudden cut to a rabid Christopher Lee in tight close-up during Dracula's first attack is particularly hair-raising. Peter Cushing carries most of the ho-hum script as Dr. Van Helsing, though the well-lit color photography, central to the Hammer formula, can't compare with the shadowy magnificence of Nosferatu (1922) or Dracula (1931).

Dave Kehr


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 241: Thu Aug 29

Night of the Demon (Tourneur, 1957): British Museum, 8pm



Monster Weekend at the British Museum is the launch event for Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film, which will comprise a major season at BFI Southbank and across the UK from October to January next year.

Here is the BFI introduction: Sceptical American psychologist Holden (Dana Andrews) must reconsider his beliefs when genial occultist and children’s entertainer Karswell (Niall MacGinnis) passes him a cursed parchment and informs him that he will die within four days. Aided by perceptive Joanna Harrington (Peggy Cummins), Holden races to escape his destiny. Adapted from M.R. James’ Casting the Runes by Hitchcock collaborator Charles Bennett, the film was atmospherically directed by the legendary Jacques Tourneur, who had built his reputation with an exceptional string of Val Lewton-produced horrors, including Cat People. Yet Night of the Demon – gripping, intelligent, eerily entertaining, and chillingly plausible in its depiction of witchcraft – still might be the finest of Tourneur’s works. The full length British version of the film has been digitally remastered in high definition by the BFI National Archive from 35mm negatives.

Fancy dress: Come along in your best Gothic-inspired costume to make it a spooky night to remember. To help you out, Angels Fancy Dress is offering a 15% discount instore and online from fancydress.com using the discount code ‘GOTHIC13’, available until 30 September.

 

Chicago Reader review: A major work in that minor genre, horror movies. Intelligent, delicate, and actually frightening (no kidding), this 1957 feaure was directed by Jacques Tourneur, author of many of the best of Val Lewton's famous series of B-budget shockers. A shot or two of a cheesy monster (insisted upon by the producer) are the only violations of the film's sublime allusiveness, through which the unseen acquires a palpitating presence. Tourneur is attempting a rational apprehension of the irrational, examining not so much the supernatural itself but the insecurities it springs from and the uses it may be put to. With Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins (of Gun Crazy), and Niall MacGinnis in a witty, Hitchcockian performance as an urbane warlock.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is a video essay on the film by Chris Fujiwara

 

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 240: Wed Aug 28

The Hero (Ray, 1965): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.15pm



This film, part of the Satyajit Ray season at BFI Southbank, is also being screened on August 30th. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Satyajit Ray's 1966 feature comes at the tail end of his early realist period, which included most of the films (the Apu trilogy, Devi, Charulata) that won him his reputation in the West. A popular actor reveals his life to a woman journalist, whose initial cynicism turns to sympathy as she comes to understand the young man's celebrity entrapment. With Uttam Kumar and the flowering perennial of Ray's major work, Sharmila Tagore. In Begali with subtitles.
Pat Graham

Here (and above) is the opening.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 239: Tue Aug 27

Jacob's Ladder (Lyne, 1990): ICA Cinema, 7pm

Chicago Reader review:
A bold, powerful psychological horror film (1990) about a recently returned Vietnam vet (Tim Robbins) in New York City, plagued by nightmarish visions he doesn't understand. Thanks to a remarkable script by Bruce Joel Rubin and the directorial skills of Adrian Lyne (whose infernal vision of New York is even more effective here than in Fatal Attraction), this works as both a highly effective stream-of-consciousness puzzle thriller offering the viewer not one but many “solutions” and an emotionally persuasive statement about the plight of many American vets who fought in Vietnam. The surprises, ambiguities, and many shifting levels of reality and consciousness sometimes recall The Manchurian Candidate, albeit without that film's ironic sensibility. Robbins fully meets the unusual demands of his part, and Elizabeth Peña and Danny Aiello are equally impressive.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 238: Mon Aug 26

Big Bad Wolves (Keshales & Papushado, 2013): Empire Leicester Square, 9pm

This screening takes place on the closing night of Fright Fest 2013, the UK's premiere international fantasy and horror film festival. You can find the details of the festival here. I am indebted to horror film expert Nigel Floyd and Cigarette Burns' Josh Saco for the suggestions and selections.

Fright Fest introduction: A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on collision course in the black comedy thriller sensation of the year. They are the father of the latest victim on a cruel vendetta, the vigilante cop operating outside the law, and the main suspect in the killings – a religious studies teacher arrested for the crime but released due to a police blunder and lack of evidence. Watch them conspire, connive, accuse and squirm! In 2011 directors Keshales and Papushado’s RABIES became FrightFest’s most requested repeat movie ever. So we begged them to come back with something to top it. Two years later they’ve done exactly that with a stylishly violent revenge chiller, expertly and brutally crafted, with fabulous cinematography, a stunning score and a teasingly twisting plot that’s part OLDBOY, part Hitchcock, part Coen Brothers, all mesmerising tension with a haunting final image you’ll find impossible to forget.

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 237: Sun Aug 25

Painless (Medina, 2012): Empire Leicester Square, 10.20am

This screening takes place on the fourth day of Fright Fest 2013, the UK's premiere international fantasy and horror film festival. You can find the details of the festival here. I am indebted to horror film expert Nigel Floyd and Cigarette Burns' Josh Saco for the suggestions and selections.

Fright Fest introduction: A strikingly original vision of European history, poetry and cinematic artistry, director Juan Carlos Medina’s astonishing feature debut is a sophisticated adult fable. Like THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and PAN’S LABYRINTH it offers a child’s searing viewpoint of wartime as an expressionistic nightmare, full of assorted abstract horrors and heightened surrealism. On the eve of the Spanish Civil War in 1931 a group of children insensitive to physical pain are incarcerated in the fortress-like Canfranc hospital high in the Pyrenees to be taught what physical suffering actually means and its fatal consequences. But this rehabilitation exercise eventually disappears in the face of the encroaching black years of dictatorship and one of the boys, rechristened Berkano, accidentally becomes the most feared torturer of General Franco’s regime. Moving and melancholic, shocking and sobering, unforgettably powerful and beautifully directed, this stunning masterpiece is bound to leave you spellbound throughout until the operatic tear-inducing finale.

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 236: Sat Aug 24

The Dead 2: India (Howard & Jon Ford): Empire Leicester Square, 11am

This screening takes place on the third day of Fright Fest 2013, the UK's premiere international fantasy and horror film festival. You can find the details of the festival here. I am indebted to horror film expert Nigel Floyd and Cigarette Burns' Josh Saco for the suggestions and selections.

Fright Fest introduction: Another darkly mysterious continent becomes an inhospitable and dangerous dead zone in the highly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning Ford Brothers’ critically acclaimed zombie road movie THE DEAD. Launched at FrightFest 2010 to eventual massive global success, the cult commercial franchise moves to the hustle and bustle of India as the devastating zombie outbreak takes hold and British turbine engineer Nicholas Burton must trek from one side of the country to the other if he is ever to see his pregnant girlfriend Ishani again. But it’s a journey he must undertake if he is to save the love of his life and his unborn child from an impending flesh-eating zombie holocaust. Set against the spectacular vistas and stunning scenery of Rajasthan, THE DEAD 2: INDIA puts the Ford Brothers’ unique apocalyptic vision on a far bigger canvas in terms of breathtaking scope, thrilling action, death-defying stunts, emotional resonance and spine-tingling fright.

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 235: Fri Aug 23

100 Bloody Acres (Colin and Cameron Cairnes, 2012):
Empire Leicester Square, 11.30pm


This screening takes place on the second night of Fright Fest 2013, the UK's premiere international fantasy and horror film festival. You can find the details of the festival here. I am indebted to horror film expert Nigel Floyd and Cigarette Burns' Josh Saco for the suggestions and selections.

Fright Fest introduction: In the proud tradition of THE LOVED ONES and WOLF CREEK comes this hilarious horror from Down Under. Reg Morgan runs a small organic bone fertiliser business in the outback with his bullying older brother Lindsay. They've recently taken the lead over their competitors thanks to a secret ingredient – liquidised human corpses! When Reg picks up three city-slickers who've broken down on their way to a music festival, he's torn between his business instincts to mulch the bickering trio, and pangs of conscience as he falls for one of his captives, the charming Sophie. But Sophie has her own problems, she’s screwing her boyfriend James’ best mate Wes and being lined up for an appointment with the Morgan’s mincing machine is the least of them! Gory, shocking and funny, with one of the most hysterically disturbing sex scenes in cinema history, mark this rural survival saga an Oz classic.

Here is the trailer. 

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 234: Thu Aug 22

You're Next (Wingard, 2013): Empire Leicester Square, 11.30pm

This screening takes place on the opening night of Fright Fest 2013, the UK's premiere international fantasy and horror film festival. You can find the details of the festival here. I am indebted to horror film expert Nigel Floyd and Cigarette Burns' Josh Saco for the suggestions and selections. Here is Floyd's excellent analysis of the current trends in the horror film genre for Time Out.

The film had its world premiere as part of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival Midnight Madness program.

Fright Fest introduction: It’s the genre phenomenon everybody has been talking about for ages and now you can finally see director Adam (A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE) Wingard’s home invasion horror slaked with survival suspense, pitch black comedy and body count splatter. A roller-coaster frightener that practically raises the roof, join a family reunion from hell. The dysfunctional Davison family are getting together to celebrate a wedding anniversary. And while Crispian warns his new girlfriend Erin that things could get tense around the dinner table, nothing prepares her or any of the oblivious family for what lies in store. For when a crossbow bolt smashes through the window into a party guest’s eye, the dazed family come under attack by unknown assailants who want them dead. But the assassins didn't count on kick-ass Erin! Full of fun kills, fabulous twists and never a dull moment, You're Next is a rafter rocker of a shocker.

Here is the trailer.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 233: Wed Aug 21

The Kid (Chaplin, 1921): Coram Secret Garden, 49 Mecklenburgh Sq, WC1N 2QA

The Nomad Cinema are screening this in a secret garden.

Here is their introduction:
“A picture with a smile – and perhaps, a tear” is promised in the first line of Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 masterpiece and we agree… we think that even the most grown up and sensible of cynics out there will be charmed by The Kid.

This classic tale follows good old Charlie’s most loved character – the bumbling but good hearted tramp, decked out in his iconic baggy trousers, humongous shoes and bushy moustache – who finds an abandoned baby and tells of their misadventures, living in the slums of the 1920s.
As well as this being a lovely little bit of slapstick comedy that Chaplin was revered for, the film is also a beautiful tale of paternal love against a backdrop of depression and poverty. It makes for a poignant commentary and in 2011, the film was chosen to be preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for its “artful melding of touching drama, social commentary and inventive comedy”.

Coram Secret Garden is a truly magical environment in which to catch The Kid, as well as the other films featured in our Childhood, Lost and Found series, this summer.

Here is an extract.