Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 113: Thu Apr 24

 No 1:  Les Années 80 (Akerman, 1983): ICA Cinema, 8pm.

This is the latest in the A Nos Amours film club Chantel Akerman retrospective. Full details here.

Here is the ICA introduction:
A Nos Amours continues a retrospective of the complete film works of Chantal Akerman with Les années 80, Akerman’s extraordinary prototype adventure in the world of the MGM musical.

Perhaps because Godard had done it (with Une femme est une femme), as had Jacques Demy (with Les demoiselles de Rochefort), so too was Chantal Akerman spurred to conceive of making a Technicolor musical. Or there again, maybe it is just the fact that Minnelli’s musicals at MGM (how wonderful is The Band Wagon!) are such very good films, that any film artist would want to navigate those waters. The trouble, in 1983, for Chantal Akerman was that a significant budget would be required. The solution, to put it crudely, was to make a ‘making of’ before the making, a kind of calling card that would beguile financiers.

Les années 80 is that – but it is also an experiment, an adventure in intertextuality, the revelation of process that is in itself a search for a way of making. Chantal Akerman appears as herself, off and on camera, urging, instructing, commanding, performing. The spirit of her first film, Saute ma ville!, is reignited – spritely, energetic and full of fun.

The beginning is a voice, speaking over a black frame: in the beginning was the word. At the close, the Jewish Seder’s closing words are intoned: next year in Jerusalem. This is a film that offers the promise of that which is yet to come. In one sense that is The Golden Eighties that would be successfully financed and made in 1986, but in another it is the unattainable object of desire which for an avant-garde artist must be forever distant.

Here (and above) is an extract.


No2: Gargoyles (Norton, 1972): Asylum Chapel, Asylum Rd, SE15, 6.30pm

Here is the Cigarette Burns introdcution:
Cigarette Burns Cinema travel south of the river to the amazing Asylum London for a classic and much loved crazy little slice of 70s late night TV.

A palaeontologist uncovers a colony of mankind’s oldest enemy hidden deep within a cave network in the American Southwest, and after awakening them from their ancient slumber, is driven to save his daughter from their evil clutches.

One of the classic horror-fantasy titles from the golden age of the TV movie, a field which gave us Steven Spielberg’s DUEL, John Newland’s DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and Tobe Hooper’s SALEM’S LOT, GARGOYLES is currently unavailable anywhere on DVD. This is a rare opportunity to savour this fantastic little creature feature, whose creatures themselves are supplied by none other than SFX master Stan Winston (the man behind ALIENS, JURASSIC PARK, PREDATOR, TERMINATOR 2 and PUMPKINHEAD, among many many others), within the suitable spooky environment of Peckham’s Asylum Chapel.

We shall be projecting GARGOYLES from an original 16mm print and with a full trailer programme of similar celluloid obscurities before the main feature for an authentic cinematic experience that you’ll never forget!

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