Capital Celluloid 2014 - Day 141: Thu May 22

No 1 Blanche (Borowczyk, 1971): BFI Southbank, 8.30pm

This is part of the Walerian Borowczyk season at BFI Southbank and also screens on May 13th.
Full details here.

Time Out review:
In this remarkable film, Borowczyk, through his commitment to ambiguity (notably in his framing, which forever denies the foreground/background opposition) and his belief in almost entomological observation, transforms his 13th century characters - a foolish old Baron, an overproud King, a lecherous page and a stupidly handsome lover, all of whom are in love with and/or lust after the simple Blanche, the Baron's young wife - into tragic figures caught up in a dance of death over which they have no control. In exactly the same way, the castle and its decor, photographed by Borowczyk as though it were living and its inhabitants were mere dolls for the most part, is seen as the backdrop to a happy fairytale, and at the same time as the root of all evil, as rooms and bizarre machines are opened and set in motion.

Here (and above) is the opening.


No2: Un Jour Pina a Demandé (Akerman, 1983) & L’Homme à la Valise (Akerman, 1983):
ICA Cinema, 8pm

This is the latest screening in the full Chantal Akerman retrospective.

Here is the A Nos Amour film club introduction:
Un jour Pina a demandé
Dir. Chantal Akerman, France/Belgium 1983, 61 mins
Wim Wenders has recently made a film about Pina Bausch – but this film predates it by some decades, and is a very different object altogether. Comparison will be intriguing.
Akerman and Bausch: two remarkable women makers. One is a maker of theatrical dance works, taking commonplace gestures and transforming them into extraordinary pageants, while the other is a maker of wonderfully choreographed compositions made of rhythmical everyday elements. Both offer an aesthetic that rearranges expectations of what matters. Both women have worked at the coal face of what women are dealing with, living with, and making the most of. The encounter is not a confrontation, it is a meeting of sensibilities, a perfect combination of a film-maker’s sage framing of a dance-maker’s flamboyant world-making.
L’Homme à la valise 
Dir. Chantal Akerman, France 1983, 61 mins
A wonderfully wry and spritely comedy, in which Akerman plays herself returning from her travels only to find a man who had been staying in her apartment annoyingly is still in residence. Infuriatingly, he is writing, and writing prolifically as his noisy typewriter proves. Akerman meanwhile finds herself blocked. The tapping is a torment. A return to the physical performance of the opening third of Je Tu Il Elle, a perfectly realised existential comedy.

Here (and above) is an extract from On Tour with Pina Bausch.

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