Capital Celluloid 2023 — Day 104: Fri Apr 14

No1 Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980): BFI Southbank, 2.30pm, 6.10pm and 8.30pm

This modern masterpiece is on an extended run at BFI Southbank and across cinemas all over London in a new 4K restoration.

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 new trailer.


No 2: Vivacious Lady (Stevens, 1938): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.20pm

This 35mm presentation, which also screens on April 1st, is part of the Ginger Rogers season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Mostly a light-hearted fable in which nightclub dancer Ginger Rogers meets, falls for, and marries Professor James Stewart. Much humour is derived from the couple's inability to consummate their wedding owing to family and social pressures, but there are also traces of a critique of the institution of marriage itself: it is always the women who have to adapt and make sacrifices for the sake of monogamy. Rogers is the accomplished centrepiece of the film, slightly atypical as the soft-focus romantic heroine, but with welcome eruptions of her tough and shrewd persona throughout.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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