Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 5: Thu Jan 5

No1 The Delinquents (Altman, 1957): Close-Up Cinema, 7.30pm

This rare 35mm screening of Robert Altman's debut film is part of the director's season at the cinema. You can find all the details here.

Close-Up Cinema introduction:
Shot on the cheap in his hometown of Kansas City, Altman's feature debut—on which he served as writer, director and producer—has all the surface components of a go-for-broke American independent film. The end product, however, suggests less the reckless primal scream of a young visionary than an uncommonly proficient industry calling card. Notwithstanding a bookending Public Service Announcement tacked on to placate censors, 
The Delinquents offers a narratively graceful and emotionally rich take on the mostly disreputable Eisenhower-era subgenre of the teenage exploitation film. In an exciting promise of things to come, Altman corrals a spirited cast of amateurs for a snapshot of the fractious cross-sections of suburban Middle America: the pampered pretty boys, the bad seeds from across the tracks, and the adults who are all-too-oblivious to their children’s changing social habits. Though more a forecast of Altman’s formidable gifts as a storyteller than his relatively avant-garde stylistic sensibilities, the film nonetheless features striking bird’s-eye-view camerawork that encourages one to see provincial conflict as the product of an interconnected community rather than mere individuals.

Here (and above) is the trailer.


No2 Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.10pm

This film (which also screens on January 7th and 9th) is part of the Martin Scorsese season at BFI Southbank over January and February. Details here.

Time Out review:
You was my brudda. You shoulda looked out for me a little bit… I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum…’ When the washed-up Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro) quotes ‘On The Waterfront’ to himself, it tells us as much about his self-pity as the actual parallels with Brando’s Terry Malloy. Not just a contender but a champ, La Motta’s fall stemmed not from outside pressures but inner weaknesses, stunningly realised in De Niro’s colossal performance; both he and Scorsese have arguably never been better. Following from 1941 to 1964 the explosively jealous and narcissistic middle-weight, his brother-manager Joey – Joe Pesci, great in his breakthrough role, first of the badabing pairings with De Niro that would define his career – and Jake’s tenderised wife Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), ‘Raging Bull’ is a masterclass in pain inflicted on oneself and one’s loved ones, as well as one’s opponents. The use of pop and opera and the black-and-white photography (by Michael Chapman) are exemplary, the actual boxing a compulsive dance of death.
Ben Walters

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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