Sunday, 21 December 2014

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 8: Thu Jan 8

Viva Las Vegas (Sidney, 1964): Barbican Cinema, 7pm

Here is the Barbican introduction to a night of celebration of the King in the movies:
Today marks 80 years since the birth of Elvis Presley. The evening begins with an hour long talk by Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission. Following a short break, we screen the glorious Viva Las Vegas.

In his stellar 22 year career, Elvis Presley was regarded as the most popular singer the world had ever seen, but 37 years after his death, it is easy to forget the importance of his many movies on his incredible career. As Elvis stopped touring between 1958 and 1970, his films were the only way for his immense worldwide fan base to see and hear their hero in action. Although they were subject to much critical mauling, his films were incredibly popular and included the very songs that went on to become classics of his repertoire.

Illustrated with clips from the King’s best flicks, Adrian Wootton, will recount the history of Elvis’s extensive career on the silver screen from 1956 to 1973.

Chicago Reader review:
Vulgar, spirited, and neglected director George Sidney (Bye Bye Birdie, The Eddy Duchin Story, Kiss Me Kate) meets his match with this 1964 Elvis Presley vehicle: Presley, Ann-Margret, and Las Vegas itself are all ready-made for his talents, which mainly have to do with verve and trashy kicks. Unfortunately not as many sparks fly as one might hope. Still there's Presley as a race car driver who doubles as a singing waiter, and, as critic Tom Milne describes it, “Ann-Margret revs her chassis at him.” There's also William Demarest and, among the songs, "The Yellow Rose of Texas."
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) are the opening credits.

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