Saturday, 17 March 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 81: Thu Mar 22

St Elmo's Fire (Schumacher, 1985): Genesis Cinema, 8.50pm

Genesis Cinema introduction:
After sold-out screenings of The Lost Boys in Brighton and Bradford, and a rare London show of cult comedy D.C. Cab, independent curator and historian Rebecca Nicole Williams brings her look at the career of Joel Schumacher to the Genesis with the director’s breakthrough hit.  Shot on a modest budget by Stephen H. Burum (The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible) with Schumacher’s trademark widescreen aesthetic St. Elmo’s Fire tapped into social and economic pressures on young people brought about by the political climate of the time and took $38 million. Fans of anything ‘80s will go crazy for John Parr’s #1 hit single Man in Motion, the big fashion and Demi Moore’s designer hair. With introduction and a selection of vintage 35mm trailers before the feature, catch the lightning while it lasts!

Chicago Reader review:
Seven recent college graduates try to cope with the harsh realities of the adult world. The screenplay for this 1985 feature is so riddled with character inconsistencies and unmotivated behavior that it plays like science fiction: the unsuspected presence of body-snatching aliens is the only conceivable explanation for the bizarre twists of psychology the film proposes. Joel Schumacher's chief directorial technique lies in cutting away to another grouping of characters as soon as one situation threatens to become too serious, and the film builds to an astonishing conclusion in which all of the groups' problems are cheerfully dismissed as illusory. Still, Schumacher's undisguised bumblings make the film marginally more bearable than its obvious models, the impenetrably slick group gropes The Big Chill and The Breakfast Club: some real-life messiness is allowed to intrude on the director's overcalculated manipulations of his characters' fates. With Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and (most impressive) Andrew McCarthy and Mare Winningham
Dave Kehr

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