Monday, 30 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 53: Wed Feb 22

I Am Cuba (Kalatozov, 1964): Regent Street Cinema, 7.30pm


Don't miss this 35mm presentation of a long lost film now recognised as a world masterpiece. This screening is part of the Kino Klassika Foundation’s A World to Win programme.

Here is the Kino Klassika introduction to the season:
Marx proclaimed that throwing off its chains, the proletariat had a world to win. Kino Klassika will host a season of screenings, talks and events with Regent Street Cinema to mark the centenary of the October Revolution. The season opens with Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin on February 17th, the iconic film the revolution inspired, and goes on to examine a century of revolution on film. Bringing together provocative films by directors such as Eisenstein, Kalatozov, Shepitko and Smirnov,  Godard, Rocha, Wajda, Bertolucci and Loach, the season offers a touring programme to reach audiences across the UK. You can find the full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Some of the most exhilarating camera movements and most luscious black-and-white cinematography you'll ever see inhabit this singular, delirious 141-minute communist propaganda epic of 1964, a Cuban-Russian production poorly received in both countries at the time (in Cuba it was often referred to as "I Am Not Cuba"). Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov—best known in the West for his 1957 The Cranes Are Flyingfrom a screenplay by Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Enrique Pineda Barnet, this multipart hymn to the Cuban communist revolution may be dated to the point of campiness in much of its rhetoric, but it stands alongside the unfinished masterworks of Sergei Eisenstein and Orson Welles about Latin America, Que Viva Mexico and It's All True, two parallel celebrations from foreign perspectives. (The constructivist shack occupied by a Havana prostitute in the first episode is one example of stylization run amok here.)
Jonathan Rosenbaum


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 52: Tue Feb 21

Westworld (Crichton, 1973): Barbican Cinema, 6.15pm


This film is part of the Science on Screen season at the Barbican. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Priceless sci-fi schlock from 1973, with James Brolin and Richard Benjamin as role-playing guests at an amusement park whose three historical fantasy lands—Roman World, Medieval World, and Western World—are staffed with humanoid robots eager to be fucked or killed. “Nothing can go wrong,” purrs a voice on the public-address system at the beginning, so of course the robots malfunction and start murdering patrons. Yul Brynner reprises his gunslinger character from The Magnificent Seven in cyborg form, methodically stalking Benjamin through all three locales. The movie was Michael Crichton's feature-directing debut; he later recycled the Disneyland-run-amok concept to even greater commercial success with Jurassic Park.
JR Jones

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 51: Mon Feb 20

Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 3.30pm, 6pm & 8.15pm


Martin Scorsese's brilliant slice of New York alienation is back in a special 40th anniversary release and looks as fresh and as vital as ever. Critics taking another look at this American masterwork have been unanimous in their praise for perhaps the director's most famous film and this is a marvellous chance to savour the movie on a big screen. The film is on an extended run at BFI Southbank as part of the Scorsese season and you can find all the details here.

Guardian writer John Patterson has written a superb summation of the film's lasting legacy. You can read his full article here. This is the conclusion:

'You might ponder the wild bestiary of mad assassins and gunmen thronging the American cinema of the 1970s: Scorpio in Dirty Harry; snipers in The Parallax View and Executive Action, Nashville and Two-Minute Warning; the vengeful heroes of Death Wish and Walking Tall. Also, note the generational links between Arthur Bremer – who shot and paralysed governor George Wallace in 1972, and whose diaries inspired Schrader's script – and John Hinckley Jr, inspired by a film about a would-be assassin, based on the words of a would-be assassin, to become a would-be assassin himself – a perfect circle. You can also see, on TV and in the streets and bars, more Travis Bickles these days than ever before. And not just in the form of The Office's Dwight K Schrute and Seth Rogen in the Taxi Driver-centric Observe And Report, but among anti-abortion snipers and the viler fringes of the far right (Tim McVeigh was pure Travis). He is the toxic waste by-product of John Wayne's racist avenger Ethan Edwards in The Searchers; not merely, as I thought at the time, a local symptom of America's post-Vietnam malaise but a recurrent and ineradicable archetype: the Psychotic American Nobody who wants to be Somebody.'

Here (and above) is the new trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 50: Sun Feb 19

The Edge of the World (Powell, 1937): Picturehouse Central, 1pm


This movie is the second in a season of fresh films and classic cinema at Picturehouse Central, curated by members of the film section of the London Critics' Circle. Kate Muir of the Times has selected the film and will introduce the screening.

Chicago Reader review:
Michael Powell (The Red Shoes, Peeping Tom) emerged from the anonymity of British quota quickies with this 1937 film, shot on location on the Scottish island of Foula; when the introduction of steam trawlers threatens the island's viability as a fishing port, the residents must decide whether or not to abandon their homes. Quite good, but it's somewhat anomalous for Powell: a melodrama rendered in the gray light of documentary naturalism rather than his famously stylized Technicolor. With Niall MacGinnis, Belle Chrystall, John Laurie, and Finlay Currie.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the opening.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 49: Sat Feb 18

Network (Lumet, 1976): Regent Street Cinema, 1.30pm & 5pm


NB: This film is presented in a double-bill with the current release 'Christine', the story of newsreader Christine, according to popular myth, the inspiration for Howard Beale, the mad prophet of the airwaves, in Sidney Lumet's Network (1976).

Chicago Reader review:
Good campy fun from the combined talents of Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet; Chayefsky was apparently serious about much of this shrill, self-important 1976 satire about television, interlaced with bile about radicals and pushy career women, and so were some critics at the time. Peter Finch, in his last performance, effectively plays a network news commentator who blows his top and his mind on the air and quickly becomes a self-styled messiah; William Holden plays the wizened TV executive who has the Truth, which pushy, nihilistic program director Faye Dunaway wants; and Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty, and Beatrice Straight are around for comparably juicy hyperbole.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 48: Fri Feb 17

Variety (Gordon, 1983): Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H, 6pm




Birkbeck Cinema introduction to this 35mm screening:
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, New York-based filmmaker Bette Gordon produced a series of works that chart a major shift in experimental practice from the rigor of structural film to a theoretically informed interest in fragmented narrative and subjective experience that Noel Carroll would dub the “new talkies.” With her best-known work, 1983’s Variety, Gordon moves fully into the idiom of independent narrative cinema, but her concerns remain consistent: questions of sexuality, labour, and gentrification are pursued within a critical interrogation of filmic language. Hers is a cinema at once politically urgent, formally sophisticated, and emotionally compelling. Taking its name from the Times Square porn theatre where its lead character, Christine, gets a job as a ticket-taker, Variety is a narrative film about sex, pleasure, work, gendered looking, and the cinema itself. At the time of its release, one critic dubbed it a “feminist Vertigo,” and its affinities with the feminist film theory of the time are striking. But this Kathy Acker-scripted movie also pushes back against the anti-pornography feminism taking shape in New York City in the early 1980s; Christine is no kind of victim. The actions of groups like Women Against Pornography directly facilitated the gentrification of Times Square, turning the spaces of Variety into a vanished world by the end of the decade. Variety reminds us not only of this lost New York, but equally of a pre-Miramax age when American independent cinema was truly independent and in direct dialogue with experimental practices across media.

Chicago Reader review:
Bette Gordon's independent feature is a little overambitiously formal at times, drawing in references to Chantal Akerman and Jean-Luc Godard, but it works very well as a hauntingly subjective character study. A young woman takes a job as a cashier in a Manhattan porno theater; the sounds emanating from inside seem slowly to seduce her, and she focuses her fantasies on one of the regular customers—a mysterious older man who appears to have crime-syndicate connections. Gordon is not gifted with dialogue, but the film's long silent sequences spin an enveloping otherworldly atmosphere.
Dave Kehr

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 47: Thu Feb 16

Nekromantik (Buttgereit, 1987): Genesis Cinema, 7.30pm


A Cult Classic Collective screening, presented in association with Rochester Kino, this film will include an introduction and a post-film salon discussion by Nick Walker.

Scalarama (2014 season) preview:
Inspired by American serial killer Edward Gein, Nekromantik tells the story of necrophilic couple: Betty and Rob. He works for a street cleaning company specializing in body disposals of all kinds. With Betty, he not only shares the apartment, but also a sexual preference for the dead. What excitement, when Rob brings home a corpse. But when he is fired from his job, Betty leaves him, taking the dead lover with her. Buttgereit’s debut feature was made as a protest against rigid new censorship in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1980s. While it was banned in some countries, it achieved cult status in others, and established Buttgereit as master of German splatter and horror.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 46: Wed Feb 15

The Breaking Point (Curtiz, 1950): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.50pm


This 35mm screening is part of the 'Martin Scorsese Curates' season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown at the cinema on February17th. Full details here.

BFI introduction:
Never released in Britain, this forgotten classic of the studio era, based on Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not, remains startlingly relevant. John Garfield is anguish personified as the cash-strapped fisherman who sells his principles to facilitate an illegal people-trafficking operation. Equally affecting is the performance of Juano Hernandez, whose key supporting role marks a significant moment in Hollywood’s representation of African-Americans.

Time Out review:
Hawks messed around with Hemingway and made To Have and Have Not (1944); six years later Curtiz played it straighter and wound up with this thoroughly competent smuggling drama, which, without Bogey and Bacall on board, has faded into the celluloid woodwork. Garfield works hard though as the Southern California boat-owner who puts himself in danger when he agrees to take on illegal cargo to pay his debts, and even if you know and love the Hawks' movie there's still much to intrigue here. (Don Siegel directed a third version, The Gun Runners
, with Audie Murphy in 1958.
Trevor Johnston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 45: Tue Feb 14

Senso (Visconti, 1954): BFI Southbank, NFT, 6pm


This 35mm screening is part of the 'Martin Scorsese Curates' season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown at the cinema on February 11th. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Aptly titled—a lush, melodramatic portrait of seduction and betrayal, decadence and deceit in the midst of Italy's resistance to Austrian occupation in the mid-19th century, revealing Luchino Visconti at his most baroque and the Italian cinema at its most spectacular (1954). A fine tragic performance by Alida Valli and surprisingly good work by Farley Granger (imported for American box-office appeal) help overcome some of the obvious narrative gaps created by the Italian censors. Visconti's sinuous Marxism here begins to creep to the fore.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 44: Mon Feb 13

Badlands (Malick, 1973) & True Romance (Scott, 1993): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.45pm


This 35mm double-bill is part of the 'Double Features' season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review of Badlands:
Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as an aw-shucks madman killer and his fudge-brained girlfriend. Loosely based on the Starkweather-Fugate horror show of the late 50s, writer-director Terrence Malick's 1973 first feature is a film so rich in ideas it hardly knows where to turn. Transcendent themes of love and death are fused with a pop-culture sensibility and played out against a midwestern background, which is breathtaking both in its sweep and in its banality. Days of Heaven put Malick's intuitions into cogent form, but this is where his art begins.
Dave Kehr

********************************

Time Out review of True Romance:
In 1993, Quentin Tarantino was cinema’s boy wonder. ‘Reservoir Dogs’ had smashed indie box-office records, ‘Pulp Fiction’ was in production and his early scripts were being snapped up by the studios – including a matching pair of ‘Badlands’-inspired lovers-on-the-run thrillers. Oliver Stone’s ‘Natural Born Killers’ was a sure thing: an Oscar-winning director, an ultra-hip cast, a script that smartly satirised reality TV and media madness. ‘True Romance’, on the other hand, looked like a dog: director Tony Scott had barely recovered from the debacle of ‘Days of Thunder’, Christian Slater was on the slide after a string of flops and leading lady Patricia Arquette was far less famous than her big sister Rosanna. But hindsight is a beautiful thing. ‘Natural Born Killers’ is unwatchable now, a garish, tasteless, brick-in-the-face satire. Whereas ‘True Romance’ is nothing less than a modern classic: a rocket-fuel romance that rattles from Detroit to Hollywood as Slater’s comic-book geek and Arquette’s hooker with a heart steal a case of cocaine and hit the road. The script is close to flawless: from the big speeches (‘Hundreds of years ago, the Moors conquered Sicily…’) to a string of genius one-liners (‘You… you want me to suck his dick?’). It’s so funny you can forgive Tarantino’s sleazy strain of nerd-boy wish-fulfilment. But it’s Scott’s direction that sets the whole thing on fire, lunging from heart-meltingly sweet to unbearably violent without breaking stride. And ‘True Romance’ contains more crunchy punch-ups, genius casting choices (let’s not forget stoner Brad Pitt) and moments of real, honest emotion than Tarantino’s entire post-‘Pulp’ output put together. Giddy and glorious.

Tom Huddleston

Here (and above) is the trailer for Badlands.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 43: Sun Feb 12

Les Biches (Chabrol, 1968): Barbican Cinema, 4pm


This 16mm screening is part of the 'My Twisted Valentine' season at the Barbican Cinema. You can find the full details here.

Time Out review:
The film with which Chabrol returned to 'serious' film-making after his series of delightful thriller/espionage spoofs, this was also the film in which he began transferring his allegiance from baroque Hitchcockery to the bleak geometry of Lang. A calm, exquisite study, set in an autumnal Riviera, of the permutational affairs of one man and two women which lead to obsession, madness and despair. Each sequence is like a question-mark adding new doubts and hypotheses to the circular (as opposed to triangular) relationship as a rich lady of lesbian leanings (Stephane Audran) picks up an impoverished girl (Jacqueline Sassard), and whisks her off to her St Tropez villa. There, much to the distress of her benefactress, the girl embarks on an affair with a handsome young architect (Jean-Louis Trintignant), only to find in her turn that architect and lesbian lady are in the throes of a mutual passion. Impeccably performed, often bizarrely funny, the film winds, with brilliant clarity, through a maze of shadowy emotions to a splendidly Grand-Guignolesque ending.
Tom Milne

Here (and above) is the trailer.

 

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 42: Sat Feb 11

The Secret of Dorian Gray (Dallamano, 1970): Barbican Cinema, 2pm


This 35mm screening is part of the 'My Twisted Valentine' season at the Barbican Cinema. You can find the full details here.

Barbican introduction:
There is no end to the adaptations of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, but leave it to renowned producer Harry Towers to give it a distinctive swinging 60s London spin. Recruiting Italian cinematographer-cum-director Massimo Dallamano who had just completed his erotic adaptation of Venus in Furs, this production was just missing one final key... the hyper seductive Euro sex symbol, Helmut Berger. All together they deliver an often forgotten slice of Wilde decadence like no other, perhaps the best adaptation filmed during that moment of cinematic history that allowed for full playfulness and risqué debauchery required to do the tale justice. This screening is introduced by Jonathan Rigby

This is a Cigarette Burns event and you can find out more via the Facebook page here.

Here (and above) is a trailer for the film.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 41: Fri Feb 10

The Burning (Maylam, 1981): Prince Charles Cinema, 11.30pm


This screening is part of the Arrow Video Club season. Full details here.

Prince Charles Cinema introduction:
Of all the many slice-and-dice films that emerged in the early ‘80s, few remain as gruesomely effective as The Burning – the notorious “video nasty” now finally unleashed on the big-screen! When an ill-advised prank misfires, summer camp caretaker Cropsy is committed to hospital with hideous burns. Released after five years, hospital officials warn him not to blame the young campers who caused his disfigurement. But no sooner is Cropsy back on the streets than he’s headed back to camp with a rusty pair of shears in hand, determined to exact his bloody revenge. With standout gore effects courtesy of FX legend Tom Savini, The Burning proved too shocking for UK censors upon its original video release. Now, fully uncut and in High Definition, The Burning is ready to reclaim its place as the ultimate summer camp nightmare.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 40: Thu Feb 9

Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Ming-liang, 2003): Barbican Cinema, 8.45pm


This 35mm presentation is part of the 'cinema matters: industrial light and magic' season at the Barbican. You can find details of all the films here.

Here is the Barbican's introduction:
Susan Sontag wrote that movie-going is an essential part of the experience we want from film – the experience of surrendering to and being transported by what’s on the screen. It’s not just a question of the size of the screen; to be properly “kidnapped” in this way by a movie, she writes, “you have to be in a movie theatre, seated in the dark among anonymous strangers.” It’s never the same at home. Now that there are so many other ways of watching films, the centrality of movie-going to the movie experience is sadly much diminished. This beautiful, mournful 2003 film, a kind of Taiwanese Last Picture Show, is an affectionate tribute to the film medium, cinemas and the pleasures of cinema-going.

Chicago Reader review:
For all its minimalism, Tsai Ming-liang's 2003 masterpiece manages to be many things at once: a Taiwanese
 
Last Picture Show, a failed heterosexual love story, a gay cruising saga, a melancholy tone poem, a mordant comedy, a creepy ghost tale. A cavernous Taipei movie palace on its last legs is (improbably) showing King Hu's groundbreaking 1966 hit Dragon Inn to a sparse audience (which includes a couple of that film's stars) while a rainstorm rages outside. As the martial-arts classic unfolds on the screen, so do various elliptical intrigues in the theater—the limping cashier, for instance, pines after the projectionist, even though she never sees him. Tsai has a flair for skewed compositions and imparts commanding presence to seemingly empty pockets of space and time.

Jonathan Rosenbaum 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 39: Wed Feb 8

Her Man (Garnett, 1930): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.30pm


This film is part of the 'Martin Scorsese Curates' season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown at the cinema on February 25th. Full details here.

BFI introduction:
From the brief risqué interlude before the Production Code made Hollywood movies squeaky clean comes this serio-comic chronicle of a Cuban clip joint, where the girls dream of a better life as their pimps keep them earning. An always entertaining amalgam of melodrama, vaudevillian knockabout and bouncy trad jazz – with director Garnett’s serpentine tracking shots debunking early sound cinema’s static reputation.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 38: Tue Feb 7

California Split (Altman, 1974): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.20pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Cinematic Jukebox strand at the Prince Charles Cinema. You can find all the details of the season here.

Robert Altman made a number of groundbreaking films in the 1970s (MASH, The Long Goodbye, Nashville and McCabe and Mrs Miller). This one has slipped through the net but is no less innovative and is a must-see for anyone interested in the director's work.

Elliott Gould (slumbering through the decade in his inimitable style) and George Segal are excellent in the lead roles. It's funny and poignant and undoubtedly the best film I've seen on the subject of gambling as the pair take the well-worn road from casino to racetrack to card hall, ending up in Reno.

Chicago Reader review:
Robert Altman's masterful 1974 study of the psychology of the compulsive gambler. Elliott Gould, loose, jocular, and playful, and George Segal, neurotic, driven, and desperate, are really two halves of the same personality as they move from bet to bet, game to game, until they arrive for the big showdown in Reno. As in all Altman films, winning is losing; and the more Altman reveals, in his oblique, seemingly casual yet brilliantly controlled way, the more we realize that to love characters the way Altman loves his, you have to see them turned completely inside out.


Monday, 16 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 37: Mon Feb 6

It Always Rains on Sunday (Hamer, 1947): BFI Southbank, Studio, 6pm


Director Robert Hamer is one of the unsung heroes of British cinema. His best-known film is Kind Hearts and Coronets, the blackest of jet-black comedies, but this noirish East end thriller is thoroughly deserving of attention too. Echoes of the work of Carne, Renoir and Lang have been detected in this fatalistic tale of Googie Withers and the ex-boyfriend convict who comes back into her life. This film, which screens as part of the Big Screen Classic season at BFI Southbank, is also being shown on February 2nd and 27th. Details here.
 

Chicago Reader review:
Rooted in the film noir of the 40s but anticipating the kitchen sink realism of the 50s, this superlative British drama (1947) transpires in the dingy Bethnal Green neighborhood of east London, where it probably rains Monday through Saturday as well. A former barmaid (Googie Withers) grimly keeps up her end of a loveless working-class marriage, barely concealing her jealousy toward her attractive young stepdaughters. When her former lover (John McCallum) breaks out of Dartmoor Prison and shows up at her doorstep, she can't help but take him in. Robert Hamer, best known for directing Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), shows a fluency with noir's shadowy visual vocabulary, but what really links this to the genre is its sense of haunting regret and lost opportunity.

JR Jones
 
Here (and above) is an extract.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 36: Sun Feb 5

Lost Highway (Lynch, 1997): Curzon Soho, 3pm


Here's an exciting new venture. A Curzon Soho season labelled 'Enthusiasm' dedicated to monthly 16mm/35mm Sunday afternoon screenings. February's event is entitled 'Hollywood Babylon'.

Here is the cinema's introduction:
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Kenneth Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kafkaesque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. A fuller introduction can be found here.


Chicago Reader review of Lost Highway:
It's questionable how much Barry Gifford has benefited the work of David Lynch—either in furnishing the source material for Wild at Heart or in collaborating on this even more noir-heavy script—but this 1996 feature was Lynch's most audacious break from conventional narrative since Eraserhead. The enigmatic plot, shaped like a Möbius strip, concerns a jazz musician (Bill Pullman) who inexplicably changes into a much younger garage mechanic (Balthazar Getty) after possibly killing his wife (Patricia Arquette). The wife seems to have been reincarnated as a gangster's girlfriend (Arquette again), who pursues the mechanic. Despite the shopworn noir imagery and teenage notions of sex, this beautifully structured (if rigorously nonhumanist) explosion of expressionist effects has a psychological coherence that goes well beyond logical story lines, and Lynch turns it into an exhilarating roller-coaster ride. With Robert Blake (as Arquette's eerie doppelganger), Gary Busey, Lucy Butler, Robert Loggia, Jack Nance, and Richard Pryor in a somewhat out-of-kilter cameo.

Jonathan Rosenbaum


This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
d instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf
This second instalment of ENTHUSIASM, our bold new series of repertory screenings dedicated to showing film on film, is a rare chance to see two films from the dark side of Hollywood, in their original, analogue formats. Child–actor–turned–pioneering underground gay filmmaker and author of the scandalous poison pen letter Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a monument of independent cinema, whose impact on the art form cannot be overstated. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with Satanism, the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films amidst a slew of obscenity charges. At the heart of all this controversy is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing artists such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In Rabbit’s Moon, playing here on 16mm in its original 1950 version, Anger’s sweetly subversive Pierrot causes chaos with a magic lantern in a tinselled wood. Lost for many years after Anger was chased off the set of the French films studio when they learnt of what he was doing, Rabbit’s Moon remains one of the most haunting and playful films about black magic ever omitted to celluloid. Our main feature is David Lynch’s surreal 1997 horror Lost Highway – a blistering psychogenic–fugue narrative that sees mysterious videotapes, classic cars, Kaftka-esque metamorphoses and Marilyn Manson in a graphic porno film admist the seedy underbelly of a noir–infused Los Angeles. - See more at: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/soho/film-info/_enthusiasm-lost-highway-rabbits-moon#sthash.FYwm7WSY.dpuf

Friday, 13 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 35: Sat Feb 4

The Age of Innocence (Scorsese, 1993): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 2.30pm


This 4K digital screening is part of the Martin Scorsese season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown on February 2nd, 10th, 14th and 24th. Full details here.

Time Out film review:
Martin Scorsese's magnificent film, taken from Edith Wharton's novel, is set in 1870s New York and centres on lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis), whose plans to wed the impeccably connected Mary Welland (Wynona Rider) are upset by his love for her unconventional cousin, the Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer). The performances are excellent, while the director employs all the tools of his trade to bring his characters and situations vividly to life; from the start, it's clear from the speedy cutting and sumptuous mise-en-scène that Scorsese and his team are intent on drawing us into the heart of Archer's perceptions and the world around him (this is, most certainly, an expressionist film). Decor reflects and oppresses characters; posture, gesture and glance (like the witty, ironic narration) convey not only individual psychology but the ideals of an entire, etiquette-obsessed elite. Everything here serves to express an erotic fervour, imprisoned by unbending social rituals designed to preserve the status quo in favour of a self-appointed aristocracy. Scorsese's most poignantly moving film.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 34: Fri Feb 3

Raising Cain (De Palma, 1992): Prince Charles Cinema, 9pm


This 35mm screening is part of a Brian De Palma season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
The whipping boy of American cinema misbehaves again. It's hard to make much sense out of Brian De Palma's discombobulated thriller, about a demented child psychologist (John Lithgow) who snatches up kiddies for home study and communes with his evil twin (Lithgow again) and maybe-less-than dad (Lithgow in Bruno Bettelheim drag) as his domestic life comes apart (his wife is having an affair). But then basic sense--or motivational subtlety, or narrative coherence--has never been De Palma's forte. What he does do well though--create vivid, personal images out of the flotsam of film history--he's never done better than here: every caressing, disconnected shot lives a dream life of its own. David Lynch has a lot to answer for in DePalma's liberation from narrative, but I'd suggest that Raul Ruiz and Calderon (the Life Is a Dream twins of high cult) have found a gutter equal. With Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen (a cruel, dotty parody of Susan Sontag), and hommages to Hitchcock (natch), Pauline Kael, and De Palma's own Dressed to Kill.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 33: Thu Feb 2

Groundhog Day (Ramis, 1993): Prince Charles Cinema, 1.35pm, 4pm. 6.25pm & 8.45pm


What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . . What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . . What better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than watching Groundhog Day . . .

New Statesman film critic, Ryan Gilbey, has written a BFI Modern Classics monograph on Groundhog Day which I can highly recommend. Here is an extract from a feature he wrote for the Observer on the film:

'[Groundhog Day] has emerged as one of the most influential films in modern cinema - and not only on other movies. Tony Blair did not refer to Jurassic Park in his sombre speech about the Northern Ireland peace process. Dispatches during the search for weapons of mass distraction made no mention of Mrs Doubtfire . And the Archbishop of Canterbury neglected to name-check Indecent Proposal when delivering the 2002 Richard Dimbleby Lecture. But Groundhog Day was invoked on each of these occasions.

The title has become a way of encapsulating those feelings of futility, repetition and boredom that are a routine part of our lives. When Groundhog Day is referred to, it is not the 2 February celebration that comes to mind, but the story of a cynical TV weatherman, Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray, who pitches up in Punxsutawney to cover the festivities. Next morning, he wakes to discover it's not the next morning at all: he is trapped in Groundhog Day. No matter what crimes he commits or how definitively he annihilates himself, he will be returned to his dismal bed-and-breakfast each morning at 5.59am ...'

Here all the Ned Ryerson scenes, here are all the Ned Ryerson scenes, here are all the Ned Ryerson scenes ...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 32: Wed Feb 1

After Hours (Scorsese, 1985): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.40pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Martin Scorsese season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown on February 3rd. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Martin Scorsese transforms a debilitating convention of 80s comedy—absurd underreaction to increasingly bizarre and threatening situations—into a rich, wincingly funny metaphysical farce. A lonely computer programmer (Griffin Dunne) is lured from the workday security of midtown Manhattan to an expressionistic late-night SoHo by the vague promise of casual sex with a mysterious blonde (Rosanna Arquette). But she turns out to be a sinister kook whose erratic behavior plunges Dunne into a series of increasingly strange, devastating incidents, including encounters with three more treacherous blondes (Verna Bloom, Teri Garr, and Catherine O'Hara) and culminating in a run-in with a bloodthirsty mob of vigilantes led by a Mr. Softee truck. Scorsese's orchestration of thematic development, narrative structure, and visual style is stunning in its detail and fullness; this 1985 feature reestablished him as one of the very few contemporary masters of filmmaking.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 31: Tue Jan 31

Manila in the Claws of Light (Brocka, 1975): BFI Southbank, Studio, 6pm


This film is part of the 'Martin Scorsese Curates' season at BFI Southbank. The movie is also being shown at the cinema from January 27th to 30th. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Widely (and understandably) considered one of the pinnacles of Filipino cinema, Lino Brocka’s devastating, recently restored 1975 melodrama opens with several stunning, grainy black-and-white shots of Manila, striking a beautiful balance between on-the-ground verisimilitude and fable-like eeriness. As the images morph into color (very urban Wizard of Oz), we meet 21-year-old Julio (Bembol Roco), a fisherman who has traveled from his coastal idyll in pursuit of Ligaya (Hilda Koronel), the woman he loves. She was taken from her home with promises of a better life, but Julio has learned that she was actually sold into the employ of a Chinese pimp.

Julio’s search for Ligaya makes up the story’s overall arc, but for much of the movie, Brocka is more interested in putting his protagonist through the anything-to-survive wringer. He procures jobs as an underpaid construction worker and as a reluctant gay prostitute. People he befriends either vanish when the going gets tough or die under dreadful circumstances. And always there’s the oppressiveness of the big city, with its overpopulated streets, lurid neon signs and a stench that seems to waft off the screen.

It’s almost too much, this parade of indignities. Some skeptics, like Philippines-based critic Noel Vera, have pointed out that Brocka considerably softened Julio from his portrayal in Edgardo Reyes’s 1967 serial novel, which inspired the movie. Indeed, the character often comes off as a tragic innocent, more symbol-of-a-debased-nation than flesh-and-blood person. None of that, however, mitigates the power of the final third, in which Julio’s quest comes to a head and the metropolis where he has tried desperately to survive bares its unforgiving talons.
Keith Uhlich

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 30: Mon Jan 30

There Will Be Blood (Anderson, 2007): Royal Festival Hall, 7.30pm


Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-winning film is accompanied by a live orchestral performance tonight of Jonny Greenwood's score, originally commissioned by the Roundhouse. A masterwork of dramatic tension, instrumental experimentation and musical bricolage – it integrates work by Arvo Pärt and Brahms.

The live screenings will draw together an orchestra of over 50 musicians, including Jonny Greenwood himself, who will play the Ondes Martenot part.

Although widely regarded as one of the most influential soundtracks in recent years, There Will Be Blood was famously ruled ineligible in the Best Original Score category at the 2008 Academy Awards due to its use of pre-existing material. The score features passages from Greenwood’s compositions Popcorn Superhet Receiver and Bodysong (the latter used in the track Convergence), as well as works by Arvo Pärt and Brahms. All these cues have been collated into one ‘performance edition’, offering a complete representation of the original film, shown in a striking new light
.

Performers: Galya Bisengalieva, violin; Hugh Brunt, conductor; Jonny Greenwood, ondes martenot; Oliver Coates, cello London Contemporary Orchestra.

You can find an excellent extensive review of the film by the late Philip French here.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 29: Sun Jan 29

Victim (Dearden, 1961): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.30pm


This 35mm screening is part of a Unicorn Nights season at the Prince Charles. You can find the full details here.


Guardian review:
Dirk Bogarde stars as Melville Farr, a brilliant, upwardly mobile barrister with a dark past: he's an in-the-closet gay man who risks exposure (in the days when it was illegal) by taking on a homosexual blackmail ring. It was co-written by Janet Green – a thriller/whodunnit specialist who counted Midnight Lace among her credits – and directed by Basil Dearden.What a gripping film – melodramatic and self-conscious, yes, but forthright and bold. Its tendency to show homosexuality as a tragic, pitiable quirk of nature may now look like condescension, but for the time this was real risk-taking. It has some of the earnestness of the traditional "issue" movie, but it's also a drum-tight thriller with a neat twist in the tail. Some characters, notably a kindly liberal police inspector, voice rather elaborate campaigning sentiments about how the unreformed law is just a blackmailers' charter. But there's some succinct point-making too: the same inspector, bemused by his sergeant's loathing of homosexuals, reminds him that puritanism was once against the law as well.
Peter Bradshaw


You can read the full review here.

Here (and above) is the Unicorn Nights trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 28: Sat Jan 28

Drums Along the Mohawk (Ford, 1936): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.20pm


This 35mm screening is part of the 'Martin Scorsese Curates' season at BFI Southbank. The film is also being shown at the cinema on January 31st. Full details here.

Time Out review:
A typical Ford hymn to the pioneer spirit, his first film in colour and absolutely stunning to look at. Set on the eve of the Revolutionary War, it's a stirring account of the trials of a young couple setting up home in an isolated farming community, particularly memorable for the sequence in which Fonda outdoes Rod Steiger's 'run of the arrow', racing two Mohawks in a fantastic cross-country marathon to bring help to the beleaguered fort. Very funny too, on occasion, as witness the redoubtable Edna May Oliver's confrontation with a band of marauding Indians.
Tom Milne

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 27: Fri Jan 27

Body Double (De Palma, 1984): Prince Charles Cinema, 9pm


This 35mm screening is part of a Brian De Palma season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
It pains me to say it, but I think Brian De Palma has gotten a bad rap on this one: the first hour of this thriller represents the most restrained, accomplished, and effective filmmaking he has ever done, and if the film does become more jokey and incontinent as it follows its derivative path, it never entirely loses the goodwill De Palma engenders with his deft opening sequences. Craig Wasson is an unemployed actor who is invited to house-sit a Hollywood Hills mansion; he becomes voyeuristically involved with his beautiful neighbor across the way, and witnesses her murder. Those who have seen Vertigo will have solved the mystery within the first 15 minutes, but De Palma's use of frame lines and focal lengths to define Wasson's point of view is so adept that the suspense takes hold anyway. De Palma's borrowings from Hitchcock can no longer be characterized as hommages or even as outright thievery; his concentration on Hitchcockian motifs is so complete and so fetishized that it now seems purely a matter of repetition compulsion. But Body Double is the first De Palma film to make me think that all of his practice is leading at least to the beginnings of perfection.
Dave Kehr 


If you want to read more about this movie there's Susan Dworkin's Double De Palma, an on-the-set account of the making of the film, plus a very thoughtful chapter in Misogyny in the Movies: the De Palma Question by Kenneth Mackinnon.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 26: Thu Jan 26

The Cobweb (Minnelli, 1955): Genesis Cinema, 6.30pm



This ripe melodrama, screening from 35mm at the Genesis, is one of the highlights of director Vincente Minnelli's career. Critic Keith Uhlich makes the case for the film here in an excellent overview of Minnelli's oeuvre on the BFI website. Here's the website of 2A Films, who have put on tonight's entertainment. The film will be introduced by Peter Evans, Emeritus Professor of Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London.

Little White Lies review:
As Sir Walter Scott once wrote, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” This suitably fraught and fabulous 1955 melodrama from Vincente Minnelli goes behind the doors of the Castle House psychiatric clinic, delving into the lives of its perilous patients and squabbling staff. And with a plot that revolves around the battle to choose the library’s drapes it could equally be called The CurtainsThe Cobweb is psychologically rich, stylish and occasionally risqué. Minnelli is assisted in his depiction of towering turmoil by a superlative ensemble and by Leonard Rosenman, whose anxious, avant-garde score is a seminal series of compositions and the first predominantly twelve-tone score ever used on film. The film’s original trailer promises, “startlingly different drama” and it most certainly delivers that. From its sizzling, knowing opening to its terrific tongue-in-cheek ending, The Cobweb is a fine mesh of a movie. Soapy and sophisticated, wild and wise, it’s a marvellous monument to madness.
Emma Simmonds

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 25: Wed Jan 25

The Magnificent Ambersons (Welles, 1942): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.15pm


This 35mm screening, in the Big Screen Classics season at BFI Southbank, will be introduced by film programmer and critic Geoff Andrew.

Personally, this is my favourite film by Welles and my appreciation and understanding of its richness has been aided in no small part by two great books, This Is Orson Welles by Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, which contains a condensed version of the original script, and the BFI Film Classics monograph The Magnificent Ambersons by VF Perkins. The website Frequently Asked Questions About Orson Welles is well worth a look if you want to find out more about this film and the legends that have grown up around it.

Chicago Reader review:
Orson Welles's second completed feature (1942) and arguably his greatest film (partisans of Citizen Kane notwithstanding). By far his most personal creation, this lovingly crafted, hauntingly nostalgic portrait of a midwestern town losing its Victorian innocence to the machine age contains some of Welles's most beautiful and formidable imagery, not to mention his narration, a glorious expression of the pain of memory. A masterpiece in every way (but ignore the awkward ending the studio tacked on without Welles's approval).