Monday, 20 November 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 336: Tue Dec 5

In A Lonely Place (Ray, 1950): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.40pm 


Nicholas Ray’s beguiling blend of murder mystery and unusually adult love story is one of the finest American movies of the early 50s. The lonely place is Hollywood: scriptwriter Dix (Bogart) is prime suspect in the murder of a young woman, until neighbour Laurel (Grahame) provides him with a false alibi. But as the pair embark on a romance, his volatile temper – exacerbated equally by the studio and the cops – makes her wonder whether he might have been guilty... Brilliantly adapted from Dorothy B Hughes’ novel, Ray’s tough but tender film is spot-on in its insightful characterisation of Tinseltown and of the troubled lovers. Marvellously cast, Bogart and Grahame bring an aching poignancy to their painful predicament.
Geoff Andrew, BFI Programmer-at-large


This 35mm re-release begins an extended run at BFI Southbank on Novemebr 27th (full details here). Geoff Andrew will provide an introduction at the November 28th screening.
Time Out review:
The place is Hollywood, lonely for scriptwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart), who is suspected of murdering a young woman, until girl-next-door Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame) supplies him with a false alibi. But is he the killer? Under pressure of police interrogation, their tentative relationship threatens to crack - and Dix's sudden, violent temper becomes increasingly evident. Nicholas Ray's classic thriller remains as fresh and resonant as the day it was released. Nothing is as it seems: the noir atmosphere of deathly paranoia frames one of the screen's most adult and touching love affairs; Bogart's tough-guy insolence is probed to expose a vulnerable, almost psychotic insecurity; while Grahame abandons femme fatale conventions to reveal a character of enormous, subtle complexity. As ever, Ray composes with symbolic precision, confounds audience expectations, and deploys the heightened lyricism of melodrama to produce an achingly poetic meditation on pain, distrust and loss of faith, not to mention an admirably unglamorous portrait of Tinseltown. Never were despair and solitude so romantically alluring.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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