Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 60: Sat Mar 1

The Others (Amenabar, 2001) & The Orphanage (Bayona, 2007):
St John's Church, 200 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, 6.30pm

Here is the St John's Church introduction to the Haunted Childhood themed double-bill:
Head to one of East London’s most atmospheric venues for a very special evening of ‘haunted childhood’ cinema on 1 March.  Shadowy figures in dark corners, strange footsteps shuffling across a creaking floor, a frosted whisper in the darkness –relive your darkest childhood fears at this night of films, music and ghostly happenings, set within the eerily beautiful church of St John on Bethnal Green, which is also an East End Film Festival venue. Fully licensed bar including spooky cocktails. Sometimes imaginary friends are more real than you think…

Chicago Reader review of The Others:
In a Victorian mansion on the isle of Jersey a woman and her two children wait out World War II with some illusions: the children believe their father will soon be back from the front, but their mother thinks he's dead—at least that's what she tells three servants she hires. A voluptuous sense of melodrama colors everything in and around the scary house, though no sound or sight is without subtlety. Vast wide shots show the mansion enveloped in fog, isolated from the rest of the world in a way that echoes the compartmentalization of the interior—locking every door behind her before she opens the next, the woman gives us and her new employees a tour of the house, where nearly every curtain is drawn day and night.
Lisa Alspector


Chicago Reader review of The Orphanage:
Despite a few bloodcurdling shocks, this handsome Spanish ghost story from producer Guillermo del Toro follows in the suggestive, richly romantic tradition of the old Val Lewton chillers. Statuesque beauty Belen Rueda (The Sea Inside) is mesmerizing as a woman who has moved into the country home where she once lived as an orphan. Her young son reports encounters with invisible children and eventually disappears himself, leaving the mother distraught and increasingly open to supernatural explanations. The plot tangles near the end as screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez begins to fudge the mother's history at the orphanage, but I was coaxed away from the movie's literal meaning by its intuitive grasp of the genre's seductive power: as in some of the best ghost stories, dread of the other side is tempered by deep longing for those who've crossed over.
JR Jones

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