Sunday, 8 March 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 85: Thu Mar 26

No1: The Bad and the Beautiful (Minnelli, 1952):
The Russet, 17 Amhurst Terrace, London, E8, 7.45pm

Cine-Real's monthly cinema club at The Russet arts centre is well worth catching and this is an excellent screening, which as usual will be from a 16mm print.

There's plenty of background to this Hollywood "insider" movie and you can find out all the juicy gossip surrounding the film on the Cine-Real site here.

Chicago Reader review:
Vincente Minnelli will always be known and loved for his musicals (
Meet Me in St. Louis, The Band Wagon), but the melodramas he made in the 50s are no less accomplished and often more personal. The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) is superficially a typical Hollywood “inside story” chronicling the ruthless rise of an aggressive producer (Kirk Douglas), loosely based on Val Lewton. But under Minnelli's direction it becomes a fascinating study of a man destroyed by the 50s success ethic, left broke, alone, and slightly insane in the end. Douglas is surprisingly good as Minnelli's manic everyman and is well supported by (believe it or not) Lana Turner and Dick Powell. Scripted by Charles Schnee; with Walter Pidgeon, Barry Sullivan, Gloria Grahame, and Leo G. Carroll.
Dave Kehr

Here's Martin Scorsese's take on one of his favourite films.


No2: Los Angeles Plays Itself (Andersen, 2003): ICA Cinema, 5.30pm

This is screening as part of the Essay Film Festival at the ICA. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
This brilliant and often hilarious video essay (2003) by Thom Andersen (Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer) assembles clips from 191 movies set in Los Angeles, juxtaposing their fantasies with the real city as seen by a loyal and well-informed native. That might sound like a slender premise for 169 minutes, but after five viewings I still feel I've only scratched the surface of this epic meditation. Andersen focuses on the city's people and architecture, but his wisecracking discourse is broad enough to encompass a wealth of local folklore, a bittersweet tribute to car culture, a critical history of mass transit in southern California, and a song of nostalgia for lost neighborhoods and lifestyles. Absorbing and revelatory, this is film criticism of the highest order.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here is the trailer.

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