Friday, 27 May 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 172: Tue Jun 21

Frankenstein (Whale, 1931): Barbican Cinema, 6.15pm


Here is the Barbican introduction:
Would genetically modified people be Frankenstein monsters? With advances in medical technology, it has already become possible to make in vitro interventions on human embryos - prompting the thought that human beings could be engineered genetically. Many are afraid of this possibility: why? What are the possibilities, the potentials, the risks? Will future humanity be a genetically engineered one? Philosopher AC Grayling explores James Whale’s iconic horror Frankenstein.

Time Out review:
A stark, solid, impressively stylish film, overshadowed (a little unfairly) by the later explosion of Whale's wit in the delirious Bride of Frankenstein. Karloff gives one of the great performances of all time as the monster whose mutation from candour to chill savagery is mirrored only through his limpid eyes. The film's great imaginative coup is to show the monster 'growing up' in all too human terms. First he is the innocent baby, reaching up to grasp the sunlight that filters through the skylight. Then the joyous child, playing at throwing flowers into the lake with a little girl whom he delightedly imagines to be another flower. And finally, as he finds himself progressively misjudged by the society that created him, the savage killer as whom he has been typecast. The film is unique in Whale's work in that the horror is played absolutely straight, and it has a weird fairytale beauty not matched until Cocteau made La Belle et la BĂȘte. Tom Milne

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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