Welcome to the fourth Capital Celluloid film screening, another important landmark in the history of the blog at which I hope to see as many of you as possible. I saw this film on release, with Nicolas Roeg in attendance. In the Q&A after the movie was screened, the director shocked the audience by telling them they were some of the very few who would see Eureka. Roeg said he couldn't elaborate on that for legal reasons but suffice to say the film received very limited distribution. This is a rare chance to see one of Roeg's finest works (voted in the top ten films of all-time by Mark Cousins) from a 35mm print.
This screening is part of the 'Check The Gate' season at the Prince Charles, dedicated to presenting films on film that will run at the cinema from 9th July to August 20th. Jeremy Thomas, the producer of Eureka, has kindly agreed to introduce the film.
Time Out review:
The usual nervy Nicolas Roeg cross-cutting has almost vanished in favour of a cleaner but just as distanced narrative, in two plain parts: a prospector (Gene Hackman) in Canada in the '20s finally strikes it lucky, engulfed in a river of gold; and then the rest of his life, immured in his house ('Eureka') in the Bahamas and wondering what on earth there is left. While the weight of Roeg's success is usually stylistic, this is more of a harkback to the cosmic scale of The Man Who Fell to Earth, with enormous themes streaming through a strange tale. Alongside the bass-line of a man who 'once had it all, and now just owns everything', there are games of knowledge and power (voodoo, cabbalahs, magick), a devouring relationship with his daughter (Theresa Russell), and a nebulous running battle with business competitors who want their own share of the planet. The man who raped the earth and lost his demon is finally the victim of 'business interests' in the same way that Jagger was in Performance. It's a great, Kane-like notion - the price we pay for gaining what we want - and overflowing with awkward ideas and strange emotion.
Here (and above) is the trailer.