Capital Celluloid - Day 223: Saturday August 13

King Kong (Cooper/Schoedack, 1933): Roxy Bar & Screen, London Bridge, 7pm

Tonight is the start of the Scala Forever season, a programme of 111 films at 26 venues through to October 2 that will celebrate the wonderful Scala cinema at King's Cross which closed in 1993. Here is an article I wrote in the Guardian on the history of the cinema and the season and here are the details of all the movies and special events on offer, via the Scala Forever website.

The team at the Roxy explain the reasoning behind the opening night choice: "So it seemed only right to start off with the very first picture screened at The Scala (programmed as it was in a nod to the venue's previous life as a 'primatorium'!!).  Step forward King Kong, the original of course, co-directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack and with the groundbreaking special effects from Willis O'Brien. Following the screening there will be the launch party for the season, with DJs and a special live VJ / DJ set from Screenjunkie.  If you've seen him here before you'll know to expect an outstanding live mix of films, promos and visuals!"

Additionally Gareth Edwards, Brit-director of the recent hit Monsters, will be on hand to introduce the film and talk about his work.

Time Out review:

'If this glorious pile of horror-fantasy hokum has lost none of its power to move, excite and sadden, it is in no small measure due to the remarkable technical achievements of Willis O'Brien's animation work, and the superbly matched score of Max Steiner. The masterstroke was, of course, to delay the great ape's entrance by a shipboard sequence of such humorous banality and risible dialogue that Kong can emerge unchallenged as the most fully realised character in the film. Thankfully Wray is not required to act, merely to scream; but what a perfect victim she makes. The throbbing heart of the film lies in the creation of the semi-human simian himself, an immortal tribute to the Hollywood dream factory's ability to fashion a symbol that can express all the contradictory erotic, ecstatic, destructive, pathetic and cathartic buried impulses of 'civilised' man.' Wally Hammond

Here is an extract. 

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