Saturday, 22 October 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 305: Tue Nov 1

The Night Porter (Cavani, 1974): Barbican Cinema, 8.45pm


This 35mm presentation is part of the Barbican's Cheap Thrills season. You can find all the details of the season here.


Barbican introduction:
Set in 1957 Vienna, Charlotte Rampling plays a concentration camp survivor who discovers her former torturer and lover (Dirk Bogarde) is working as a porter at the hotel where she’s staying. Reunited in a scene of violent passion, the pair lock themselves away in his flat, where they resume their S&M relationship. With its taboo subject-matter perceived as sensationalism, it provoked much debate at its time of release as well as making it an arthouse hit and a cultural event in the style of other 70s button-pushers like Last Tango in Paris. Even today, it is uniquely provocative and problematic – a film which truly gives us cause to question our deepest-held notions of “good” and “bad” taste.

Time Out review:
Like Last Tango in Paris, an operatic celebration of sexual disgust, set in 1957 in a Viennese hotel where Bogarde (maintaining a low profile as a porter) and Rampling (a guest while her conductor husband embarks on a concert tour) meet and recreate their former relationship as sadistic SS officer and child concentration camp inmate; a sexuality that can only end in degradation and self-destruction. Somewhere along the way, the film's handling of serious themes, and its attempts to examine the Nazi legacy in terms of repression and guilt, both sexual and political, get lost amid all the self-conscious decadence.Chris Peachment


Here (and above) is the trailer.

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