Thursday, 29 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 336: Wed Dec 12

The Apartment (Wilder, 1960): Prince Charles Cinema, 3.25pm


This 35mm presentation of Billy Wilder's classic quintessential New York movie is also being shown on December 19th. You can find the full details here.

Time Out review:
Re-teaming actor Jack Lemmon, scriptwriter Iz Diamond and director Billy Wilder a year after ‘Some Like It Hot’, this multi-Oscar winning comedy is sharper in tone, tracing the compromises of a New York insurance drone who pimps out his brownstone apartment for his married bosses’ illicit affairs. The quintessential New York movie – with exquisite design by Alexandre Trauner and shimmering black-and-white photography – it presented something of a breakthrough in its portrayal of the war of the sexes, with a sour and cynical view of the self-deception, loneliness and cruelty involved in ‘romantic’ liaisons. Directed by Wilder with attention to detail and emotional reticence that belie its inherent darkness and melodramatic core, it’s lifted considerably by the performances: the psychosomatic ticks and tropes of nebbish Lemmon balanced by the pathos of Shirley MacLaine’s put-upon ‘lift girl’.
Wally Hammond

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 335: Tue Dec 11

Clean and Sober (Caron, 1988): Regent Street Cinema, 7.30pm


This film gets a very rare screening (and on 35mm too) courtesy of the Celluloid Sorceress, who will bring along a host of vintage 35mm trailers to show before the movie.

Time Out review:
A film about addiction and redemption which avoids the usual sensationalism. Daryl Poynter (Michael Keaton) doesn't realise how bad he is until he wakes up to find his date dead of an overdose in bed beside him, and embezzlement charges brewing up at his real estate firm. Drink and drugs have eroded all sense of responsibility, and rather than face the music, he takes refuge in a chemical dependency centre without any intention of toeing the line. It takes some tough talk from the councillor (Morgan Freeman, excellent) and the shock of enforced abstinence to shape him up. A supportive romance with fellow inmate Charlie (Kathy Baker
) nose-dives abruptly, and his rehabilitation is ultimately down to character. The film doesn't cheat at all - Keaton's Poynter is a dislikeable proposition, always ready with a contemptuous crack, his pzazz verging on panic. The cold turkey sequence is devoid of Elmer Bernstein's brass, and the end is no more dramatic than an admission of answerability. A level look at a common problem.
Brian Case


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 334: Mon Dec 10

The First Born (Mander, 1927): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm


BFI Southbank introduction for this 35mm presentation:
Film historian Rachael Low was a big admirer of Miles Mander’s The First Born, which uses novel techniques to deliver a surprisingly gutsy adult drama set in the world of 1920s politics as Sir Hugo Boycott (Mander) and Lady Madeleine’s (Carroll) perfect political marriage conceals a sordid reality. The experienced Alma Reville (Mrs Hitchcock) co-wrote Mander’s directorial debut and it has many Reville touches. It’s a tour de force of late-silent cinematic art.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 333: Sun Dec 9

Easy Living (Leisen, 1937): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 3.15pm


This 35mm presentation, part of the ‘Screwball Sundays’ strand at BFI Southbank, is also being shown at the cinema on December 15th. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A grumpy millionaire (Edward Arnold) throws his wife's coat out the window, and it lands on the shoulders of a humble working girl (Jean Arthur). As her friends accept the symbol over substance, she steps up the social ladder, and eventually into the arms of Arnold's son, Ray Milland. Preston Sturges wrote this Depression-era (1937) twist on the Cinderella story, and it acquires an airy grace from the direction of Mitchell Leisen. With Franklin Pangborn and William Demarest.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 332: Sat Dec 8

Kind Hearts and Coronets (Hamer, 1949): BFI Southbank, NFT, 8.40pm


This film, which also screens on December 11th and 23rd, is part of the 'English Eccentrics' strand of the Comedy Genius season at BFI Southbank.

Chicago Reader review:
Robert Hamer's 1949 film is often cited as the definitive black, eccentric British comedy, yet it's several cuts better than practically anything else in the genre. Dennis Price, as a poor, distant relative of the rich D'Ascoynes, must murder eight members of the family (all played by Alec Guinness) to obtain the title and fortune he believes are his right. Hamer's direction is bracingly cool and clipped, yet he's able to draw something from his performers (Price has never been deeper, Guinness never more proficient, and Joan Greenwood never more softly, purringly cruel) that transcends the facile comedy of murder; there's lyricism, passion, and protest in it too. With Valerie Hobson and Arthur Lowe.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 331: Fri Dec 7

Brazil (Gilliam, 1984): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.20pm


This film, which is also being shown on December 14th and 17th, is part of the Big Screen Classics season. You can find the full details here.

Terry Gilliam’s movie has a fascinating history. Universal Studios were horrified on seeing the original cut Gilliam wanted to put out and after a lengthy delay while studio executives dithered the director was forced to take a full-page ad out in trade magazine Variety demanding to know why his film had not been released.

The version of Brazil released outside the United States was very different from the one seen by Americans, which was drastically re-edited and given a happy ending. The Brazil Gilliam wanted the public to see and the one which will be screened here is a bold and superbly imaginative movie with an ending which haunted me for some time when I saw it on its initial release.

Gilliam himself said he wanted Brazil to be "the Nineteen Eighty-Four for 1984". In many ways he  succeeded, creating a nightmarish Orwellian world in which freedom is limited while fashioning a film which leaves its audience dumbfounded and despairing. No wonder Universal could not face unleashing it on an unsuspecting American public.

Chicago Reader review:
Terry Gilliam's ferociously creative black comedy (1985) is filled with wild tonal contrasts, swarming details, and unfettered visual invention—every shot carries a charge of surprise and delight. Jonathan Pryce is Sam Lowry (the name suggests Stan Laurel, and Pryce wears Laurel's expression of perpetually astonished innocence), a minor functionary in a totalitarian government of the near future; his only escape from the parodistically bleak urban environment (resourcefully rendered by Gilliam through a combination of sets, models, and locations) is in his dreams, where he becomes a winged, heroic figure rescuing a ravishing blond. Of course, it isn't long before the blond (Kim Greist) walks into his waking life. Robert De Niro contributes a gruffly funny cameo as the one knight of honor in the ashen land: a guerrilla heating-duct repairman. With Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Peter Vaughan, and Bob Hoskins.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 330: Thu Dec 6

The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, 1940): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.25pm


This 35mm screening is also screening at the prince Charles on December 13th. Details here..

Chicago Reader review:
There are no art deco nightclubs, shimmering silk gowns, or slamming bedroom doors to be seen, but this 1940 film is one of Ernst Lubitsch's finest and most enduring works, a romantic comedy of dazzling range that takes place almost entirely within the four walls of a leather-goods store in prewar Budapest. James Stewart is the earnest, slightly awkward young manager; Margaret Sullavan is the new sales clerk who gets on his nerves—and neither realizes that they are partners in a passionate romance being carried out through the mails. Interwoven with subplots centered on the other members of the shop's little family, the romance proceeds through Lubitsch's brilliant deployment of point of view, allowing the audience to enter the perceptions of each individual character at exactly the right moment to develop maximum sympathy and suspense. With Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut, Sara Haden, and Felix Bressart.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 329: Wed Dec 5

The Virgin of Stamboul (Browning, 1920): Cinema Museum, 7.45pm


Cinema Museum introduction to this 35mm/16mm double-bill:
The main feature is The Virgin of Stamboul (1920), directed by Tod Browning, and starring Browning’s wife Priscilla Dean, Wheeler Oakman and Wallace Beery. Achmet Bey (Beery), a Turkish chieftain, catches one of his many wives in adultery and murders her lover. Throwing aside the cuckolding wife, he abducts an innocent girl (Dean) to his harem. However, a brave American who loves her (Oakman) comes to her rescue. The 35mm print from the BFI will be introduced by Kevin Brownlow.  In the first half of the programme we will show a lost British feature, Maria Marten (1928), courtesy of the Pat Moules Collection. This is one of the five film versions of the Red Barn Murders of the 1820s, and is directed by Walter West and stars Trilby Clark, Warwick Ward and Dora Barton. This 16mm print will be introduced by Michael Pointon.
Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 328: Tue Dec 4

Hakob Hovnatanyan (Parajanov, 1967) + Carnival Night (Ryazanov, 1956):
ICA Cinema, 6.45pm


ICA introduction:
In association with Kino Klassika, the ICA is proud to present the UK premiere of a new restoration of Sergei Parajanov’s influential short film Hakob Hovnatanyan, followed by Kino Klassika’s annual Christmas screening of Eldar Ryazanov’s 1950s musical comedy, Carnival Night.

Hakob Hovnatanyan, Dir. Sergei Parajanov, Russia, 1967, 10 mins.
Widely acknowledged as the stylistic precursor to Parajanov’s masterpiece The Colour of Pomegranates, this short meditation on the art of Armenian-Georgian portraitist Hakob Hovnatanyan revives the culture of 19th century Tbilisi. This new restoration was produced by Daniel Bird in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia, Fixafilm Poland and Kino Klassika Foundation.

Carnival Night, Dir. Eldar Ryazanov, Russia, 1956, 78 mins.
Ryazanov’s charming musical comedy, a group of young people preparing New Year’s Eve celebrations in their local House of Culture are faced with the arrival of a new director determined to make celebrations educational and moral. The team realise they will need all their cunning to prevent him from ruining their plans and to give the town a genuinely celebratory New Year’s ball. This classic of 1950s Soviet cinema occupies a place in Russian culture similar to that of The Sound of Music or My Fair Lady in the West. A newly restored digital version of the film screens.

The films will be introduced by Guardian film critic, Peter Bradshaw.

Here (and above) is an extract from Carnival Night.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 327: Mon Dec 3

The House of Mirth (Davies, 2000): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6pm


This 35mm screening, which is also being shown on December 2nd and 20th (details here), is part of the Big Screen Classics season at BFI Southbank. You can find the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
If she slipped she recovered her footing, and it was only afterward that she was aware of having recovered it each time on a slightly lower level." Edith Wharton's encapsulation of the narrative form of her tragic (and sexy) 1905 novel, describing the progressive defeat of socialite Lily Bart by the ugly indifference of Wharton's own leisure class, is given an extra touch of Catholic doom in Terence Davies's passionate, scrupulous, and personal adaptation (2000), which to a surprising degree preserves the moral complexity of most of the major characters. It's regrettable if understandable that the Jewishness of social climber Sim Rosedale (Anthony LaPaglia) is no longer an issue, and Lawrence Selden, Lily's confidant, is somewhat softened by a miscast Eric Stoltz, but the cast as a whole is astonishing—especially Gillian Anderson as Lily and Dan Aykroyd in his finest performance to date. Davies feels and understands the story thoroughly, giving it a raw emotional immediacy that would be unthinkable in the shopper-friendly adaptations of Merchant-Ivory and their imitators, and the film's feeling for decor and costumes, derived from both John Singer Sargent paintings and Orson Welles's The Magnificent Ambersons, is exquisite.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 326: Sun Dec 2

My Man Godfrey (La Cava, 1936): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 3.40pm


This masterpiece screwball comedy is also being shown on December 4th and 7th. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Gregory La Cava's improvisational style received its highest critical acclaim for this 1936 film, a marginally Marxist exercise in class confusion during the Depression. Carole Lombard is the bubbleheaded heiress who needs an oppressed proletarian to round out a scavenger hunt; she picks up tramp William Powell and lets him stay on to be her butler. Meanwhile, mad poet Mischa Auer assumes the role of the intelligentsia under late capitalism by imitating a gorilla. With Alice Brady, Eugene Pallette, and Gail Patrick.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 325: Sat Dec 1

Atoll K (Joannon, 1951): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 3.45pm


BFI introduction to special screening:
Laurel and Hardy aficionados won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to see ‘the Boys’ in their final feature. This odd atomic-age comedy sees Stan and Ollie inherit a uranium-rich island that becomes a haven for lawless ruffians from every corner of the globe. Much maligned over the years, this troubled international co-production was plagued by disputes with the crew and ill-health for its stars; but it was a spirited attempt by the team to move in a new direction, and it remains fascinating viewing for fans. It screens here in a BFI archive print made from nitrate master materials. Plus Grand Hotel (aka Laurel and Hardy Visit Tynemouth, UK 1932, Dir JG Ratcliffe, 10min, silent): The team are rapturously received when they visit Tynemouth in 1932, and Stan clowns for the camera with his dad.
We are delighted to announce that this programme will now include previously unseen silent amateur footage of Stan and Ollie opening a Gymkhana at Eastwood Park, Giffnock, during their visit to Scotland in June 1947. We can also confirm that we’re going to screen the full length English version of the film which runs 98min, not 95min as listed in the BFI Southbank Guide.
Introduced by Glenn Mitchell, author of The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia, and Archive curators Vic Pratt and William Fowler.
Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 324: Fri Nov 30

Carol (Haynes, 2015): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.15pm


This 35mm presentation will also be shown on December 4th and 13th. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Todd Haynes's Far From Heaven (2002) slayed critics with its provocative presentation of modern racial and sexual issues through the lens of a high-Hollywood 50s melodrama. Haynes returns to that formula with this adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel The Price of Salt, which deals with a lesbian affair. Cate Blanchett is the title character, a New York wife and mother struggling to escape from her straight marriage, and her mix of bravado and vulnerability has seldom been used to greater effect; Kyle Chandler is moving as her anguished husband, who refuses to accept the truth about her sexuality and leverages custody of her daughter against her. Unfortunately their fine work is weighed down by Rooney Mara's inert performance as Carol's young lover, a countergirl at Bloomingdale's who suggests a doll with the battery removed. As a love story this left me unsatisfied, though I enjoyed the lush period trappings (from costumer Sandy Powell and production designer Judy Becker) and the flattering sense of how enlightened I am compared to people in the 1950s.
JR Jones

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 323: Thu Nov 29

Lake Mungo (Anderson, 2008): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.50pm


This film is part of the ‘Terror Vision’ strand at BFI Southbank.

BFI Southbank introduction:
Despite being one of this century’s most critically acclaimed horror films, Joel Anderson’s multi-layered faux-documentary remains criminally underseen. Following the sudden death of their 16-year-old daughter, the distraught Palmer family invite a psychic and a parapsychologist into their home to uncover the truth behind the tragedy. A beautifully constructed meditation on grief, Lake Mungo is as tender as it is terrifying.

Here (and above) is the trailer.


Sunday, 11 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 322: Wed Nov 28

The Entertainer (Osborne, 1960): Regent Street Cinema, 12pm & 3.30pm


Chicago Reader review:
Laurence Olivier gives one of his most affecting screen performances in Tony Richardson's 1960 film about a seedy song-and-dance man on the seaside-resort circuit whose selfishness and nastiness ruin the lives of everyone around him. Excellent support from Alan Bates, Albert Finney, and Joan Plowright, but Richardson's direction drags more than a bit; adapted by John Osborne and Nigel Kneale from Osborne's play.
Don Druker

Here (and above) is an extract.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 321: Tue Nov 27

Wings of Desire (Wenders, 1987): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.20pm


This is the first in a new series at BFI Southbank offering filmmakers, film professionals and thinkers an opportunity to reflect on European cinema.

BFI Southbank introduction: This month the European Union turns 25 – just as Britain’s relationship to the Union hangs in the balance. 12 Stars is a new series offering filmmakers, film professionals and thinkers an opportunity to reflect on European cinema and identity at a time of profound cultural and geo-political transition. In this first event Sebastián Lelio will introduce Wings of Desire with his thoughts on why the film particularly resonates. It’s the perfect moment to return to this romantic fantasy where angels keep watch over Berlin’s citizens shortly before the fall of the Wall. Two years after the film was released, Germany was re-unified and a new Europe was born.

Chicago Reader review:
Wim Wenders's ambitious and audacious feature (1987) focuses mainly on what's seen and heard by two angels (Bruno Ganz and Otto Sander) as they fly over and walk through contemporary Berlin. These are the angels of the poet Rilke rather than the usual blessed or fallen angels of Christianity, and Wenders and coscreenwriter Peter Handke use them partially to present an astonishing poetic documentary about the life of this city, concentrating on an American movie star on location (Peter Falk playing himself), a French trapeze artist (Solveig Dommartin), and a retired German professor who remembers what Berlin used to be like (Curt Bois). The conceit gets a little out of hand after one of the angels falls in love with the trapeze artist and decides to become human; but prior to this, 
Wings of Desire is one of Wenders's most stunning achievements, certainly in no way replaceable by City of Angels, the ludicrous 1998 Hollywood remake.

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer. 

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 320: Mon Nov 26

The Cable Guy (Stiller, 1996): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.50pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Comedy Genius season (full details here) but there’s something more than comedy going on here. Something much darker ...

Chicago Reader review:
This curious piece of work (1996) starring Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick has been passed off as a comedy, and I suppose I laughed a few times during the first third or so; but it coheres only as a vaguely homoerotic nightmare patterned loosely after Fatal Attraction, with suggestive notations on TV pathology. As such it's a fairly interesting effort—much more ambitious than most Carrey vehicles. Broderick plays an architect recently evicted by his girlfriend and getting settled in a new flat; the technician (Carrey) who sets him up with free cable turns out to be a lonely, psychopathic control freak who makes his life miserable. Ben Stiller directs Lou Holtz Jr.'s script with plenty of unsettling edge, and Carrey throws himself into his part as if it meant something.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 319: Sun Nov 25

The General (Keaton, 1926): Electric Cinema, Portobello, 2pm


This is part of the season which marks the 50th anniversary of the Electric Cinema Club, when the Electric Portobello's programming inspired the likes of Stephen Frears and Nic Roeg, and spawned any number of cineastes.

Chicago Reader review:
Buster Keaton may have made more significant films, but The General (1927) stands as an almost perfect entertainment. Keaton is a locomotive engineer in the Civil War south whose train is hijacked by Union spies; his attempts to bring it back become a strangely moving and very funny account of man's love for machine. Marion Mack is the girl, who can't quite compete.
Dave Kehr


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 318: Sat Nov 24

Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942): Prince Charles Cinema, 6pm


This 35mm screening is part of the Classic Film Season at the Prince Charles. Details here

Time Out review:
Half the world can repeat half the dialogue of Michael Curtiz’s great wartime (anti-)romance and half of Hollywood’s scriptwriters worked on it. If Peter Bogdanovich is right to say the Humphrey Bogart persona was generally defined by his work for Howard Hawks, his Rick, master of the incredibly ritzy Moroccan gin-joint into which old Paris flame Ingrid Bergman walks, just as importantly marked his transition from near-psychopathetic bad guy to idiosyncratic romantic hero.
Sixty-odd years on, the film still works beautifully: its complex propagandist subtexts and vision of a reluctantly martial America’s ‘stumbling’ morality still intrigue, just as Bogart’s cult reputation among younger viewers still obtains. Claude Rains is superb as the pragmatic French chief of police, himself a complex doppelgänger of Bogart; Paul Henreid is credible and self-effacing as the film’s nominal hero; Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre give great colour; and Bergman literally shines. Arguably, cinema’s greatest ‘accidental masterpiece’, it still amounts to some hill of beans.

Wally Hammond

Here (and above) is the trailer. 

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 317: Fri Nov 23

Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960): Royal Academy, 6.30pm



Royal Academy introduction to this special screening:
With Cornelia Parker’s PsychoBarn in our courtyard, watch a special screening of the film that inspired it – followed by a talk with the Metropolitan Museum of Art curator who originally commissioned the work, examining the psychological associations of the architecture in the film. Inspired by the installation Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) by Cornelia Parker RA in the RA’s Annenberg Courtyard, we have joined forces with MUBI for a special screening of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest masterpieces, Psycho (1960). Psycho is a thriller illustrating the case history of the young Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins, whose deep attachment to his mother gives him a murderous split personality. Filmed in black and white with long, tense shots including little dialogue, Hitchcock crafts a slow burning suspense movie that leaves you constantly on edge. Using two iconic buildings as a background for the film: the Bates’ Motel and House, the architecture became the inspiration behind Parker’s PsychoBarn. Originally commissioned in 2016 for the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, PsychoBarn merges two iconic examples of American architecture: the red barn and the infamous mansion on a hill from Psycho, itself inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper. Parker’s large-scale sculpture is created from a deconstructed red barn and seems at first to be a genuine house, but is in fact a scaled-down structure consisting of two facades propped up from behind with scaffolding. Simultaneously authentic and illusory, the project evokes the psychological associations embedded in architectural spaces, in the same way that the Psycho house was designed and repurposed over the decades for different movies. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the original commissioner of Cornelia Parker’s installation, Beatrice Galilee, Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at The Metropolitan Museum, New York.

For anyone interested in looking in more depth at the film (and this is truly in-depth) the BFI book by celebrated British film critic Raymond Durgnat called A Long Hard Look at Psycho is a must.

Chicago Reader review:
A dark night at the Bates Motel, in the horror movie that transformed the genre by locating the monster inside ourselves. Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece blends a brutal manipulation of audience identification and an incredibly dense, allusive visual style to create the most morally unsettling film ever made. The case for Hitchcock as a modern Conrad rests on this ruthless investigation of the heart of darkness, but the film is uniquely Hitchcockian in its positioning of the godlike mother figure. It's a deeply serious and deeply disturbing work, but Hitchcock, with his characteristic perversity, insisted on telling interviewers that it was a "fun" picture.

Dave Kehr

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 316: Thu Nov 22

Les Choses de la Vie (Sautet, 1970): Cine Lumiere, 4pm


This film is part of the Classics season at Cine Lumiere. Full details here.

Time Out review:
A not uninteresting attempt to make a film about ordinary, everyday minutiae, with Michel Piccoli as an average sensual man, vaguely torn between a demanding mistress (Romy Schneider) and an ex-wife (Lea Massari) to whom he still feels bound. Quietly and deftly, Claude Sautet sketches in the portrait of a man gradually becoming aware that he is coming to a crossroads in his life. But since the opening sequence reveals that he is shortly to die in a car crash, his attempt to make some decision about his life is much ado about nothing - which is precisely the point of the film. Difficult to make a film about banality without being boring in the process, but Sautet all but pulls it off, thanks to a beautifully understated performance from Piccoli which manages to extract a whole lifetime of meaning from a simple gesture like lighting a cigarette, and to illuminate the film's meticulously detailed naturalistic surface.

Tom Milne

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 315: Wed Nov 21

City of Lost Souls (Von Praunheim, 1983): Castle Cinema, 6.45pm


Castle Cinema introduction:
City of Lost Souls is an explosively fun musical set in West Germany's only trans-owned burger bar, presided over by the incredible Leila, played by Jayne County. With the celebratory approach to deviance you find in John Waters' work, the wonky cabaret of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the inclusive, permeable underground of Derek Jarman's work, this is hilarious, raunchy, low budget delightful filmmaking. All topped off with some amazing songs.

Come and see this rare screening of a hidden classic of queer cinema, introduced by Juliet Jacques (Trans). All profits for this event for Trans Day of Remembrance, supporting the amazing work of Gendered Intelligence, helping trans youth.

This event is programmed by Nobody Ordered Wolves.

Time Out review:
Rosa von Praunheim's fictionalised account of the lives of his expatriate American acquaintances in Berlin. On the surface, a deranged comedy caper; sympathetically observed TVs and TSs, bizarre cabaret artistes, prostitutes, gays, straights, blacks and whites thriving in adversity in a Berlin of hallucinogenic fast-food outlets, lunatic self-improvement cults, cartooned nightclub life and immigration-squad raids. But behind the laughter there are numerous pointed comments on modern-day Germany, on fascism and on sexual, social, political and geographical statelessness. Heavy stuff - but von Praunheim ends up celebrating his friends' lives in a funny, startling and mocking 'punk' musical that even finds time for a Broadway-style happy ending. Jayne County's rise to Iron Curtain pop stardom is debilitatingly funny, and the whole might be described as a Rocky Horror Gastarbeiter Problem.
John Gill

Here (and above) is an extract.