Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 119: Wed Apr 30

No1: Monsieur Verdoux (Chaplin, 1947): Odeon Cinema Covent Garden, 8.30pm

This film is screening as part of the London Labour Film Festival. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A film of serene elegance and sharp teeth, Charles Chaplin's 1947 masterpiece was met with violent hostility on its first release, and contributed strongly to his political exile in the 1950s. Chaplin steps out of the tramp character, playing a soft-spoken French gentleman who supports his lovely children and crippled wife by marrying rich widows and killing them. The moral—“if war is the logical extension of diplomacy, then murder is the logical extension of business”—has a Brechtian toughness and wit, but the style is soft, seductive, elegiac. Chaplin clearly loves the monster he has made, and when the tramp's walk returns for a moment as Verdoux is led to the gallows, we see death with a smiling, human face. With Martha Raye and Isobel Elsom.
Dave Kehr

Here is Chaplin's famous court speech.


No 2: Casino (Scorsese, 1995): Prince Charles Cinema, 8pm

Love the opening titles (here and above); love the cast; love the soundtrack ...

This great film screens as part of the Martin Scorsese season at Prince Charles.
Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Simultaneously quite watchable and passionless, Martin Scorsese's three-hour dissection of power in Las Vegas (1995), set principally in the 1970s, sometimes comes across like an anthology of his previous collaborations with Robert De Niro—above all GoodFellas, though here the characters are high rollers to begin with. By far the most interesting star performance is by Sharon Stone as a classy hooker destroyed by her marriage to a bookie (De Niro, in the least interesting star performance) selected by the midwest mob to run four casinos. There's an interesting expositional side to the film, with De Niro and Joe Pesci's characters both serving as interactive narrators, but the film never becomes very involving as drama, With James Woods, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollak, and L.Q. Jones.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

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