Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 316: Wed Nov 15

Eyes of Laura Mars (Kershner, 1978): Regent Street Cinema, 7.30pm

Regent Street Cinema introduction:
In celebration of the world premiere Blu-ray release by Indicator films, Rebecca Nicole Williams, author of the essay Disco Giallo, introduces a rare theatrical screening of the cult horror classic. From an original concept by John Carpenter, producer Jon Peters and director Irvin Kershner present a kaleidoscope of fashion and murder in late 1970s New York City. Faye Dunaway stars as Laura Mars, a controversial fashion photographer haunted by the terrifying psychic visions of a serial killer stalking the fashion community and picking off Laura’s models one by one. In an early role, Tommy Lee Jones is the police lieutenant investigating these vicious crimes. Jon Peters imagined a glamourous star vehicle with a hit disco soundtrack featuring KC & The Sunshine Band and Odyssey, for Kershner it was a prescient examination of the effects of sexualised violence in advertising that remains relevant today. Also showcasing the controversial photography of Rebecca Blake and Helmut Newton, Eyes of Laura Mars is a unique vision of a city in crisis that maintains an enduring legacy among fans of horror and fashion alike.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 315: Tue Nov 14

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (Hanson, 1992): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.15pm

This 35mm presentation, which also screens on November 19th, is part of the 'Can You Trust Her?' season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A knockout thriller that succeeds brilliantly at just about everything Scorsese's Cape Fear didn't. It's another revenge plot in which the villain (Rebecca De Mornay) attempts to destroy a family (Annabella Sciorra, Matt McCoy, Madeline Zima) from within, but there's no pretentious art agenda on the filmmakers' minds; they merely work the genre for all it's worth, which proves in this case to be plenty: the suspense is masterfully controlled, and the story, which makes effective use of Seattle locations, builds to a terrifying climax. Curtis Hanson's direction and Amanda Silver's screenplay are both models of no-flab craft and intelligence, and all the actors (who also include Ernie Hudson and Julianne Moore) are believable from the first frame to the last (1991).
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 314: Mon Nov 13

Cutter's Way (Passer, 1981): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.40pm

This film is part of the Cinematic Jukebox Season at the Prince Charles. Full details here.

Time Out review:
In Hollywood, decades aren’t so much periods of time as states of mind. So, just as early-’70s moviegoers might have been fooled into thinking it was still swinging 1967, cinema in the early ’80s was still suffused with the doubt and melancholy which had defined the preceding decade. One of the archetypal figures in that mood-shift was
Jeff Bridges, his keen, frisky but oddly lonesome persona defined in new-Hollywood masterpieces like ‘The Last Picture Show’ and ‘Fat City’. By 1981, Bridges was showing signs of wear and tear, but this only enriched his performances: sadder even than a lonely teenager is a lonely thirtysomething who still tries to live like one. ‘Cutter’s Way’ feels like a farewell to the ’70s: to honest political activism, social responsibility, excessive but essentially good-natured drug and alcohol abuse, Vietnam, California and the young Bridges. His character, Richard Bone, clings to his fading prime the way his best friend and mentor, crippled war veteran Alex Cutter (John Heard) clings to his walking stick. Together, the two men attempt to solve a murder, but that’s window dressing: this is a tale of friendship, endurance and loss, and one of the saddest movies ever made. 
Everything in the film feels tuned to capturing this spirit: Czech director Ivan Passer’s use of late-summer light is rich and entrancing, while Bridges and Heard give their all: the latter delivers a performance of spectacular rage and intensity. The result is nothing less than a modern masterpiece, and a film ripe for rediscovery.
Tom Huddleston

Guardian film writer John Patterson, who has seen it around 30 times, labelled the movie a "cinematic masterpiece" in his article here earlier this month. Do not miss.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 313: Sun Nov 12

Les Amants (Malle, 1958): Cine Lumiere, 2pm

This 35mm screening is part of the Jeanne Moreau season at Cine Lumiere. You can find all the details of the season here.

Time Out review:
In Malle's second feature, he continued his association with new star Moreau in an (at the time) controversial study of bourgeois emptiness and sexual yearnings. She plays a chic, high society wife with money, a daughter, smart friends and a casual lover. Then one night, she makes passionate love with a young student of a few hours acquaintance, and leaves it all for a new life. If it now looks too much like an angry young sensualist's movie, the combination of highly pleasurable body language, Brahms on the soundtrack, and the ravishing, velvety monochrome photography of 
Henri Decaë proves hard to resist. The film established Moreau's screen persona - commanding, wilful, sultry - but it marked the stylistically-conscious Malle apart from his more tearaway nouvelle vague colleagues.

Here (and above) is the trailer.


The screening below has been cancelled owing to a damaged print

Home from the Hill (Minnelli, 1960): Prince Charles Cinema, 3pm

This Badlands Collective event features a 35mm screening of Vincente Minnelli's superb 1960 American melodrama.

Chicago Reader review:
In this small-town America melodrama, Robert Mitchum plays the coolly licentious head of a Texan family, Eleanor Parker his frigid wife. Both vie for the allegiance of their son (George Hamilton), coming to terms with his patriarchal inheritance until he discovers the existence of an illegitimate half-brother (George Peppard). Then all hell breaks loose as the sins of the father are visited on the son. Vincente Minnelli's intelligent use of scope, colour and all the technical resources Metro could offer would make it watchable enough. His ability to present the network of relationships between his quartet of characters so that all four are presented in a sympathetic light, and particularly his portrayal of the central oedipal psychodrama (Hamilton is excellent), make it explosive viewing.
Rod McShane

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 312: Sat Nov 11

Diamonds of the Night (Nemec, 1964): Regent Street Cinema, 6.35pm

This screening of this groundbreaking Czech film masterpiece is part of the 'Made in Prague Festival' season at Regent Street Cinema. You can find the full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
This remarkable directorial debut (1964) by 27-year-old Jan Nemec is a bleak, alternately realistic and hallucinatory examination of four days in the lives of two young escapees from the Nazis; its mood of desperation and paranoia works a grim magic.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the opening of the film.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 311: Fri Nov 10

Illustrious Corpses (Rosi, 1976): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.45pm

This 35mm screening, which is also being shown on November 4th, is part of the 'Who Can You Trust?' season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
The serial assassinations of judges in a provincial town trigger a national investigation in this 1975 political thriller by the first-rate Italian auteur Francesco Rosi. Trying out his theory of a lone, vengeful killer, an inspector dispatched from Rome (hound faced Lino Ventura in a hauntingly glum portrayal) uncovers an unholy coalition of established power factions concealing the truth from the people. In its depiction of pervasive corruption and rampant paranoia, the film is very much a signpost for the late 60s and early 70s; it brings to mind Coppola's The Conversation, another intricate study of a society under surveillance, whose citizens are manipulated to accept the government's version of the truth. To heighten the vague sense of menace, Rosi's camera voyeuristically suggests the characters stalking or being stalked. And the film's texture—shifting between the naturalistic and the hallucinatory, with hypothetical statements and flashbacks shot in black and white—is designed to unsettle us, as is the multilayered, almost musicless sound track. Even creepier are the deep-focused, Chirico-like images of long corridors in a hall of justice, an art museum, and a catacomb littered with the corpses of ancient magistrates—ominous spaces holding secrets of the past and present.
Ted Shen

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 310: Thu Nov 9

Caste (Powell/Gullan, 1930): Cinema Museum, 7.30pm

This 35mm screening is possibly the first screening since its release of Michael Powell's directorial debut. You can read more about it in historian Geoff Brown's article here.
Cinema Museum introduction:
Tonight’s attraction, from the BFI archive, is a Michael Powell film that has been long ignored or forgotten, Caste (1930). It marked the great British film-maker’s debut as a director early in the sound era. As he was only officially credited as its screenwriter, the BFI’s viewing copy hasn’t received much attention. This will be the first ever public screening of this print! Caste is a lively, constantly surprising adaptation of a famous Victorian play, T. W. Robertson’s comedy-drama about love, war, and class divisions, updated to the time of the First World War. Denis Gifford’s British Film Catalogue crisply described the plot as “Cockney drunkard’s daughter weds marquise’s son who is presumed killed in war”.
Campbell Gullan, the credited director, solely concerned himself with the actors. Powell took charge of the technical direction, working out all matters to do with the camera, and assisting in the editing. In his autobiography, Powell recalls thinking that the play’s material was “an old fossil”. But that’s not really how it seems, as the motley actors, from Sebastian Shaw (a real West End smoothie) to the delightfully forceful Hermione Baddeley, jostle together while the camera tracks or picks up an interesting detail, and striking audio-visual montages urge the “fossil” along. And Powell also recalled the exhilaration he felt when he stood in for Gullan one morning, directing the whole show: “I had tasted blood,” he wrote, “nobody would ever keep me outside the studio walls again”.
Before the film, historian Geoff Brown will set the scene with a talk and clip presentation on the tangled relations between stage and screen in the turbulent early days of British talkies, and the dynamism of young talents like Powell, devoutly opposed to “canned theatre”. The evening is presented in association with the research project ‘British Silent Cinema and the Transition to Sound 1927-1933’, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 309: Wed Nov 8

The Italian Job (Collinson, 1969): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.25pm

This 35mm screening is part of the 'Classic Films' season at the Prince Charles Cinema. You can find the full details here.

Telegraph review:
As the Mini Coopers rock from side to side along a sewage tunnel, with £4 million in gold bullion in their boots and Quincy Jones's infectious score swinging away in the background, ask yourself this: is there a film - certainly a British film - that delivers a greater infusion of pure joy than The Italian Job? The cast of this chirpily patriotic movie is led by Michael Caine, reprising his Alfie persona as Charlie Croker, a dollybird-friendly criminal who inherits a plan to rob the FIAT factory in Turin by causing the world's largest traffic jam. But if Caine embodies Sixties cool, his presence is deliciously counterbalanced by the old-world charm of Noël Coward as Mr Bridger, the urbane, royalty-obsessed crimelord who treats his prison as his castle. Yet the true stars are the cars, in particular the red, white and blue Minis used to remove the loot from the scene, whizzing through the priceless palazzos and down the marble stairs with an abandon that makes the film's shooting seem as much a joke on the Italians as its plot. Similarly, its journey into Saturday-afternoon ubiquity has spawned endless repetition of its catchphrases (all together now: "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"), while its effortless style, and the glamour and comedic tics it lends its gangsters, are to blame for much of Guy Ritchie's career. Yet the pure enjoyment it offers more than counterbalances these flaws. More to the point, the tight, witty script by Z Cars writer Troy Kennedy-Martin, smooth direction from Peter Collinson (Coward's godson), and above all that glorious extended escape sequence, made by Jones's wonderful score, power this film to a literal cliff-hanger ending that has become as iconic as the Mini Cooper itself. Just don't tell anyone that the drivers were actually French.
Robert Colvile

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 308: Tue Nov 7

Basic Instinct (Verhoeven, 1992): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm

This 35mm screening is part of the 'Can You Trust Her?' season at BFI Southbank. The film is also being screened on November 10th and you can find the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Reviewing Paul Verhoeven's 1979 Dutch feature The 4th Man, Dave Kehr objected to "conceptions of women as castrating harpies and of gays as predatory beasts that are insulting to all the sexualities involved." Working from a script by Joe Eszterhas, Verhoeven did an even better job of hammering home those notions with Basic Instinct(1992). I hated this movie when it was released, but on reflection I think that his appreciation of Sharon Stone as dominatrix/superwoman had a lot to do with what made her a star. Verhoeven also treats Michael Douglas, playing a gullible cop, with the kind of comic-book flourishes that might easily pass for derisiveness and sometimes come across as just plain hilarious. Despite (or maybe because of) his obligatory nods to Hitchcock, this is slick and entertaining enough to work as thriller porn, even with two contradictory denouements to its mystery (take your pick—or rather, ice pick). George Dzundza and Dorothy Malone are among the other actors along for the ride.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer. 

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 307: Mon Nov 6

Eternity and a Day (Angelopoulos, 1998): Picturehouse Central, 6.30pm

The 35mm screening of this art house classic is part of the Bruno Ganz retrospective at Picturehouse Central - you can find full details of the season here.

Chicago Reader review:Winner of the 1998 Palme d'Or at Cannes, this rambling but beautiful feature by Theo Angelopoulos may seem like an anthology of 60s and 70s European art cinema: family nostalgia from Bergman and seaside frolics from Fellini; long, mesmerizing choreographed takes and camera movements from Jancso and Tarkovsky; haunting expressionist moods and visions from Antonioni. Yet it's such a stirring and flavorsome examplemdfar richer emotionally and poetically than Woody Allen?s derivations—that I was moved and captivated throughout its 132 minutes. Bruno Ganz is commanding as a Greek writer who's recently learned that he's terminally ill; the part was conceived for the late Marcello Mastroianni, yet Ganz seems perfect for it (though he's dubbed by a Greek actor, as Mastroianni undoubtedly would have been). Brooding over the loss of his seaside retreat and family home in Thessaloniki, the hero meets an eight-year-old illegal alien from Albania (Achilleas Skevis) and spends the day crisscrossing the past and visiting his familiar haunts, sometimes in the flesh and sometimes in his imagination, and Angelopoulos is masterful in orchestrating these lyrical and complex encounters.
Jonatahn Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 306: Sun Nov 5

High and Low (Kurosawa, 1963): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 4.50pm

This 35mm screening, which is part of the 'Big Thrill Double Bills' season at BFI Southbank, can also be seen on November 12th. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
I would nominate this authoritative 1962 adaptation of Ed McBain's novel The King's Ransom as Akira Kurosawa's best nonperiod picture, though Ikiru and Rhapsody in August are tough competitors. It's a 142-minute 'Scope thriller in black and white, except for one partly colorized shot, about a kidnapping that goes awry: a chauffeur's son is accidentally spirited away instead of the son of the businessman the chauffeur works for. The title refers to the topographical layout of the action as well as class divisions, and Kurosawa's script and masterful mise en scene do a lot with both. Scorsese has been talking for years about doing a remake of this, but it's hard to believe he could equal it. With Toshiro Mifune. In Japanese with subtitles.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 305: Sat Nov 4

Nowhere To Hide (Myung-Se, 1999): Regent Street Cinema, 8.30pm

This 35mm screening is part of the London Korean Film Festival. You can find full details of the season here.

Chicago Reader review:
Images about imagery can be diverting, even insightful, but this painterly 1999 feature piles up studies in elaborately choreographed motion that are their own reason for being. An Inchon detective obsessed with bringing a fugitive to justice is one of the elements writer-director Lee Myung-se uses to take apart film noir so he can put it back together again. Other elements include a pointillist use of rain and snow, sound effects that compare an archetypal detective's bullets to his typewriter keys, and a femme who isn't exactly fatale.
Lisa Alspector

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 304: Fri Nov 3

The Dream (Chang-ho, 1990): Close-Up Cinema, 8pm

This 35mm screening plays in the Bae Chang-ho retrospective at Close-Up Cinema, which is part of the Korean Film Festival. Full details here. The film will be introduced by Mark Morris and feature a director Q&A.

Close-Up Cinema introduction:
Once upon a time back in the era of the Shilla Dynasty when Buddhism was the religion of peasants and kings, there lived a young monk named Jo-shin. Of all of the temples in all of the kingdom, Dal-lae had to walk into his. Ten years of studying and training melt from him at the sight of the beautiful young woman. Jo-shin manages to have his way with her, then this unlikely couple flee the temple, proper society and Dal-lae’s enraged fiancé. Passion cools, and their lives are soon full of hardships they never imagined.

Here (and above) is the trailer for the London Korean Film Festival. 

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 303: Thu Nov 2

Floating Clouds (Naruse, 1955): BFI Southbank, NFT, 6.05pm

This 35mm screening, which is also being shown on November 5th, is part of the 'Women in Japanese Melodrama' at BFI Southbank. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Mikio Naruse belongs with Ozu and Mizoguchi in the great classical tradition of Japanese cinema, though he remains almost unknown to American audiences. Like his famous colleagues, he specialized in melodrama, but his work rigorously denies both the spiritual transcendence of Mizoguchi and the human connections of Ozu, moving instead toward a sense of defeat and futility. Floating Clouds (1955), which was a huge popular success in Japan and remains his best-loved film today, tells of a young woman's determined love for a man she knows to be worthless; the film piles betrayal upon betrayal, but her hope is never shaken. Naruse's visual style is austere to the point of invisibility; his meanings are contained in his actors' faces and in his distinctive dovetailing of dramatic incidents, a narrative pattern that allows his characters no rest, but affords a strange peace in its constancy.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 302: Wed Nov 1

People in the Slum (Chang-ho, 1982): Close-Up Cinema, 7.30pm

This film plays in the Bae Chang-ho retrospective at Close-Up Cinema, which is part of the Korean Film Festival. Full details here. The film will be introduced by Mark Morris and feature a director Q&A.

Close-Up preview:
A shantytown miles south of Seoul has collected poor people and misfits from all over the country into its twisting alleyways and scruffy landscape. Myeong-suk, a fading beauty among the tough women there, is known as ëblack gloveí for the one on her hand badly burnt in saving her baby boy. Myeong-suk tries to raise her son, keep one step ahead of her dodgy husband and run a small grocery shop. But her ex-husband is out of jail, again, and drives his nice green taxi cab right back into her already complicated life.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 301: Tue Oct 31

Ghostwatch (Manning, 1992): Genesis Cinema,

Genesis Cinema introduction:
On October 31st 1992, at 9.25pm, a BBC television show aired that shocked and mentally scarred millions of viewers for life. This iconic show was an originator of ‘alternative news’ in its most sinister form and its first broadcast lead to 30,000 calls logged to the BBC within 1 hour, the show being banned for around a decade and sleepless nights across the country. This show was Ghostwatch.
Through its genius cast of national treasure Sir Michael Parkinson and other known celebrities such as Craig Charles, Sarah Greene, Mike Smith and Gillian Bevan in combination with its masterful writing and direction, Ghostwatch lured a whole nation into terror as the innocent ghost hunting folly they assumed they were watching turned into a nightmarish experience live on television right in front of them. Following the airing of the show national newspapers were packed with stories of the outrage and trauma that the 90 min horror drama caused in the UK. On October 31st, exactly 25 years on from its initial airing, Pilot Light TV Festival will be paying homage to the controversial show by screening the entire first episode and inviting key creators and cast members to discuss their work on the show, the traumatic impact it had across the country and its place in Television history. Joining Pilot Light at this very special event for a Q&A will be creator Stephen Volk, director Lesley Manning, actress Gillian Bevan and the writer/director of Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtains, Rich Lawden.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 300: Mon Oct 30

Rage (Aduaka, 1999): Ritzy Cinema, 6.30pm

This film is in the 'Lost Classics' strand in the Film Africa season. You can find all the detailsof the season by clicking here.

Time Out review:
'Tell me about your reality.' Rage (or Jamie to his mum) dreams of cutting a rap record with his friends Thomas (a DJ), and Godwin, a talented pianist. They're each struggling in their own way to grapple with questions of identity and race on the streets of south London. Rage, the most rebellious, is also walking a moral knife-edge, trying to help an elderly mentor out of his drug debts, but feeling the pressure to cross the law himself. Aduaka's independent, improvised feature isn't a smooth ride ('This ain't no Hollywood movie'), but it feels real, and it has something important to say about where young people are at right now. It's made with sincerity, but more than that, with integrity.
Tom Charity

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 299: Sun Oct 29

La Baie Des Anges (Demy, 1963): Cine Lumiere, 2pm

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

Time Out review:
Jacques Demy's second feature has a ravishing Jeanne Moreau, ash-blonde for the occasion and dressed all in white, as a compulsive gambler who doesn't care what happens to her so long as she has a chip to start her on the roulette tables. Ostensibly the subject is gambling, but the real theme is seduction - with Moreau casting a spell on Mann that turns him every which way - and this is above all a visually seductive film. Shot mainly inside the casinos and on the sunstruck promenades of Nice and Monte Carlo, it is conceived as a dazzling symphony in black and white. Moreau's performance is magnificent, but it's really Jean Rabier's camera which turns the whole film into an expression of sheer joy - not only in life and love, but things. Iron bedsteads make arabesques against white walls; a little jeweller's shop becomes a paradise of strange ornamental clocks; a series of angled mirrors echo the heroine as she runs down a corridor into her lover's arms; roulette wheels spin to a triumphant musical accompaniment; and over it all hangs an aura of brilliant sunshine.Tom Milne

Here (and above) is the brilliant opening to the movie.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 298: Sat Oct 28

Suspiria (Argento, 1977):  Regent Street Cinema, 11pm

Josh Saco, the man behind the Cigarette Burns film screenings, is giving you the chance to see Dario Argento horror classic Suspiria from a 35mm print. Don't pass up the opportunity ... plus ...

... this is part of a Halloween all-nighter which will also include Filipino lunacy in Killing of Satan; classic 80s slasher The Boogey Man; a rare screening of an imported Sony archive print of 70s Satanic panic shocker The Brotherhood of Satan and 80s schlock Re-Animator. All films will play from 35mm. Musical accompaniment will be provided by Pentagram Home Video.

London Film Festival preview extract for Suspiria: 
Four decades ago, Italian genre master Dario Argento brazenly subverted expectations by abandoning the giallo tradition upon which he had built his reputation, launching headlong into a fantastical tale of the supernatural. The resulting film remains not just one of the director’s most celebrated works, but a defining classic of horror cinema. American ballerina Suzy Bannion arrives in Germany to study at the prestigious Tanz Dance Academy. But as a series of murders and a variety of other inexplicable events begin to pile up, Suzy realises her new school houses a terrifying secret. Dripping in dark imagination, Suspiria ranks as one of Argento’s most visionary works – its garish colour palette and bravura set pieces adding to a frenzied sense of dread.
Michael Blyth

Here (and above) is the original trailer. 

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 297: Fri Oct 27

Halloween (Carpenter, 1978): Prince Charles Cinema, 2.15pm

This classic groundbreaking horror film is on an extended run at the Prince Charles Cinema until November 2nd. You can find the full details here.

Please Note: All weekday matinee performances will screen digitally. All other performances will screen from an original 35mm print! Due to the age of the print, there is a bit of colour fade; but overall is lovely for its age.

Time Out review:
A superb essay in Hitchcockian suspense, which puts all its sleazy Friday the 13th imitators to shame with its dazzling skills and mocking wit. Rarely have the remoter corners of the screen been used to such good effect as shifting volumes of darkness and light reveal the presence of a sinister something. We know, and Carpenter knows we know, that it's all a game as his psycho starts decimating teenagers observed in the sexual act; and he delights in being one step ahead of expectation, revealing nothing when there should be something, and something - as in the subtle reframing of the girl sobbing in the doorway after she finally manages to kill the killer, showing the corpse suddenly sitting up again behind her - long after there should be nothing. Perhaps not quite so resonant as Psycho to which it pays due homage, but it breathes the same air.
Tom Milne

Here (and above) is the original trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 296: Thu Oct 26

October (Eisenstein, 1928): Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

Here is the Barbican introduction to this special Kino Klassika screening:
26th October 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, one of the most important events in 20th-century history, and one whose consequences are still being felt to this day. To mark the date, the Kino Klassika Foundation presents a screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s cinematic masterpiece October (1928). This is one of the most iconic films of the 20th century, and is screened with a live score performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Eisenstein’s October is an epic recreation of the events that led to the storming of the Winter Palace in October 1917. On the basis of the success of Battleship Potemkin (1924), the film was commissioned by the Soviet government to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Revolution. The film occupies a unique place in Eisenstein’s work: its powerful, highly personal and controversial propagandist images led to widespread banning, with the first screenings in Britain only in 1935.
This is an extraordinary opportunity for London audiences to see a newly restored version of the film screened at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012, alongside the British premiere of a new restoration Edmund Meisel's original 1928 score.

Chicago Reader review:
Sergei Eisenstein was given a free hand and a mammoth budget to re-create the October Revolution for its tenth anniversary (1927), but the results displeased the authorities—for reasons both political (Trotsky, suddenly banished from the Soviet Union, had to be hurriedly eliminated from the final cut) and aesthetic (Eisenstein's extreme formalism, here at its most abstract and theoretical). Much of the montage plays better in analytical retrospect than it does on the screen, but much of the film is genuinely stirring—when he wasn't theorizing, the man really could cut film.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the Kino Klassika trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 295: Wed Oct 25

Dawson City: Frozen Time (Morrison, 2016): Curzon Soho, 6.15pm

At this DocDays screening, director Bill Morrison be on hand for a Q&A following a rare theatrical screening of his acclaimed documentary. His short film Dawson City: Postscript will follow the Q&A - this will be the short's international premiere.

Chicago Reader review:

Bill Morrison, whose extraordinary documentary Decasia (2002) turned decomposing film stock into the stuff of avante-garde reverie, returns with another staggering journey into the past. In 1978 a construction crew in Dawson City, Yukon, uncovered hundreds of reels of silent film that were used as landfill after a local theater switched over to talkies in the 1930s. Drawing on these materials as well as archival photos and other movie clips, Morrison reconstructs the history of the frontier town from its gold-rush heyday to the present, even as he connects it to the emergence of the American cinema. The movie honors the silent-film aesthetic with a majestic score and the narration in onscreen titles, though composer Alex Somers cuts loose with a little electronic noise whenever Morrison presents one of his abstract studies in peeling emulsion. Included is rare footage of the Chicago "Black Sox" playing the infamous 1919 World Series.

JR Jones

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 294: Tue Oct 24

Lights in the Dusk (Kaurismäki, 2006): Close-Up Cinema, 7.30pm

This 35mm screening is psr of the Aki Kaurismäki season at Close-Up Cinema. You can find the full details of the season here.

Time Out review:
The predictably rewarding final instalment of Aki Kaurismäki’s ‘Loser Trilogy’ follows its predecessors’ themes of unemployment (‘Drifting Clouds’) and homelessness (‘The Man Without a Past’) with that of loneliness. Shy nightwatchman Koistinen (Janne Hyytiäinen) is virtually ostracised by his fellow security guards and lives alone in a modest apartment… until he meets blonde-bombshell-of-his-dreams Mirja (Maria Järvenhelmi), who seems to respond to his slightly old-fashioned, even gentlemanly manner. Sadly, however, Koistinen’s sense of honour is no longer the norm in a world brutishly devoted to the advancement of social standing, political power and material wealth … Kaurismäki’s delightfully delicate cautionary fable charts his unassuming hero’s descent into an unforeseen nightmare of deceit and violence with a characteristically low-key blend of humane compassion and deadpan mordant humour. The distinctively bitter-sweet tone is deftly maintained not only by the pleasingly laconic performances but by cinematographer Timo Salminen’s superb evocation of nocturnal Helsinki; there’s also a beautifully judged music track that juxtaposes Puccini with the tangos of both Carlos (‘Volver’) Gardel and Finland’s Olavi Virta. The film may not offer the exquisite formal perfection and comic genius of ‘Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatjana’, and churlish critics might justifiably insist that it offers no significant advance on its two predecessors. That said, it’s a very poignant reminder of the bleak lot of the emotional ‘have-nots’ in our world. A dark jewel of a movie, it glows with warmth and, finally, a small but enriching glimmer of hope.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 293: Mon Oct 23

The Hills Have Eyes (Craven, 1977): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.10pm

This is part of the Prince Charles Cinema's HorrOctober season. Full details here. 

Time Out review:
A baby cries, granddaddy is crucified, cannibals with CB radios stalk a land where even the hills have eyes. Somewhere in the desert a clean WASP family of six are stranded; there are murmurs of atomic tests, and at the local gas station, an old man talks of a monster mutant son he abandoned in the wilds. To little avail: the Carters are besieged in their trailer and the nightmare begins. The baby is kidnapped (for supper), half the family die. From there, it's a question of the 'civilised' family acquiring the same cunning as their cannibal counterparts in a fight to the death. Parallel families, Lassie-style pet dogs who turn hunter-killers, savage Nature: exploitation themes are used to maximum effect, and despite occasional errors (the cannibal girl who protects the 'human' baby), the sense of pace never errs. A heady mix of ironic allegory and seat-edge tension.
Chris Auty

Here (and above) is the trailer.