Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 118: Mon May 7

Theodora Goes Wild (Boleslawski, 1936): Institute of Light, 7.30pm

The Nobody Ordered Wolves' film club's latest offering is this 1930s screwball comedy ... here's Duncan Carson (of Nobody Ordered Wolves) on why he selected this unjustly neglected film: 'Theodora Goes Wild is a film I've really wanted to show for a long time. I'm a really big fan of screwball films, but it's undeniable they are products of their time in terms of gender politics. The standard plot relies on a spirited man encouraging a rule-bound woman into a world of fun. Theodora Goes Wild follows that pattern up to a point, but then the whole thing gets reversed in the second half, which is utterly delightful. I also think it's really interesting to see a film about romance novels. We give these kinds of books really short shrift in culture, while we valorise the male equivalents. It's quite similar to the way people look down their noses at melodramas, while Westerns are cinema classics. I'm really glad author Helen Cox is joining me to talk about writing romance novels and redress some of the balance.'

You can find more details here at the Institiute of Light website.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 117: Sun May 6

Antonio das Mortes (Rocha, 1969): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 5.40pm

This 35mm presentation, which is also being screened on May 12th (full details here), is part of the The Spirit of '68 season at BFI Southbank. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Part epic, part folklore, part political allegory, Glauber Rocha's 1970 reflection on the role played by legend, myth, and tradition in Brazil's social and political realities is a complex and powerful drama. Antonio (hired by the government but acting partly out of religious conviction) tracks down and kills the members of a guerrilla band, only to realize after killing the last rebel in ritualistic combat that his fight is beside the dispossessed country folk against the landowners. Rocha makes Antonio very much a contemporary figure (even equating him with Che Guevara), and uses folk songs, rhymed verse, and lush color to fashion a stunning call to arms for the Brazilians and one of the most memorable films of the Cinema Novo.

Don Druker

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 116: Sat May 5

Thunderball (Young, 1965): Cinema Museum, 7pm

The Cinema Museum presents a special screening of Thunderball:
Starring Sir Sean Connery, Thunderball (1965) is one of the most acclaimed James Bond films, but it’s also the most controversial – thanks to the legal disputes that surrounded its release. Writer Luis Abbou Planisi has published two books on James Bond that include interviews with Dame Judi Dench, Caroline Munro, Martine Beswick, John Glen and Valerie Leon among others. Luis will introduce Thunderball and talk about his latest book, published last December. After the screening, Sylvan Mason – daughter of screenwriter of the film, Jack Whittingham – will join Luis for a Q&A about the film, her father and Bond. Sylvan not only knows behind-the-scenes details about the film and the subsequent court trial, but she also keeps, as Moneypenny would do, all the documents, unpublished photos and letters between her father, producer Kevin McClory and author Ian Fleming. For your ears and eyes only!

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 115: Fri May 4

Mike's Murder (Bridges, 1984): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.45pm

This 35mm presentation, which is also being screened on May 11th (details here), is part of the 'Lost in America' season at BFI Southbank. You can find all the details of the season, taglined 'The Other Side of Reagan's 80s' here.

BFI Southbank introduction:
Los Angeles has rarely seemed more unsettling than in James Bridges’ unjustly neglected thriller, which conveys the physical dislocation and lonely anonymity behind the glitz of that freeway-crossed city. Debra Winger gives a superb performance as Betty, whose on-off relationship with wayward Mike (Keyloun) exposes her to a world of drugs, decadence and violence. A genuine rediscovery.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 114: Thu May 3

The Old Dark House (Whale, 1932): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.50pm

This classic horror re-release is on an extended run at BFI Southbank from April 27th to May 3rd. You can find all the details of the screenings here.

Time Out review:
The Bride of Frankenstein, James Whale's greatest film, a masterly mixture of macabre humour and effectively gripping suspense. A very simple story - a group of travellers stranded by a storm take shelter in the sinister, unwelcoming Femm household, a gloomy mansion peopled by maniacs and murderers - allows Whale to concentrate on quirky characters (Charles Laughton's brash, boorish Yorkshire mill-owner, blessed with a near-incomprehensible accent, is particularly delightful) and thick Gothic atmosphere to stunning effect. But what is perhaps most remarkable is the way Whale manages to parody the conventions of the dark house horror genre as he creates them, in which respect the film remains entirely modern. (Form JB Priestley's novel Benighted
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 113: Wed May 2

Falling Leaves (Iosseliani, 1966): Regent Street Cinema, 6.30pm

This 35mm screening is part of the Kino Klassika 'Youth on the March: the rise of the Soviet New Wave' season, tracing the clash of generations from the thaw to Perestroika, and curated by renowned film critic and journalist Konstantin Shavlovsky. Unlike the classic films of the French New Wave, these films are still unknown outside Russia. Most will be shown for the first time, certainly for the first time in their original formats. Full details of the season can be found by clicking here. This opening nigh screening will be introduced by the director.

Time Out review:
A documentary prologue – where Iosseliani is glimpsed enjoying a wine-harvest celebration – reveals his sympathies and interests when two young men – one an idealist, the other an ambitious opportunist – start work at a winery and, thanks to different attitudes to wine, women and socialising, go their separate ways. A lovely cautionary tale.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 112: Tue May 1

Out of the Blue (Hopper, 1980): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.40pm

This 35mm screening, part of the Lost America season (details here), is also being shown on May 5th. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Dennis Hopper described
Out of the Blue as a follow-up to Easy Rider, even though it contains none of the same characters or that film's fascination with motorcycle culture; rather, the connection is spiritual and stylistic. As Reader emeritus Jonathan Rosenbaum once wrote, the movie is defined by "the Hopper flavor: relentlessly raunchy and downbeat, and informed throughout by the kind of generational anguish and sense of doom that characterizes both of his earlier films [Rider and The Last Movie]." It's unmistakably a downer, beginning and ending with scenes of violent death and featuring numerous depictions of drug abuse and emotional violence along the way. It's also a haunting portrait of juvenile delinquency that ranks among the most powerful in American cinema.
Ben Sachs

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 119: Mon Apr 30

Small Soldiers (Dante, 1998): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm

This great subversive Joe Dante film will be shown from a 35mm print.

Chicago Reader review:
Director Joe Dante (Gremlins) is a national treasure, and his lack of recognition by the general public may actually make it easier for him to function subversively. His unpretentious fantasy romps have more to say about the American psyche, pop culture, and the ideology of violence than anything dreamed up by Steven Spielberg or George Lucas. This delightful 1998 adventure about war toys running amok in suburban middle America is a synthesis and extension of most of his previous movies, with echoes of Gulliver's Travels (including some of the satire). The toys in question are the villainous Commando Elite, fashioned using a microchip from the U.S. Defense Department to mercilessly slaughter the noble if freakish Gorgonites, a set of toys programmed (like other minorities one can mention) to hide and to lose; the Ohio citizens who wind up in the cross fire are strictly generic sitcom types, but we come to care about them almost as much as we care about the toys. It's typical of Dante as a pop connoisseur that he adroitly links a creepy sequence about mutated Barbie dolls to Bride of Frankenstein. His films are about not just culture and violence but also everyday cultural violence, something we all have to cope with.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 118: Sun Apr 29

if.... (Anderson, 1968): Curzon Soho, 3pm

This is the 11th screening in the excellent Enthusiasm strand at Curzon Soho and will be shown from a 35m print.

Curzon Soho introduction:
To celebrate the 50 years since Lindsay Anderson's if...., this 35mm screening will feature an introduction and Q&A from actor and playwright David Wood, who stars in the film as Johnny. David will speak of the making of the movie and work with maverick director Lindsay Anderson and actor Malcolm McDowell and afterwards will sign copies of his new book Filming if....

Chicage Reader review:
Lindsay Anderson indulges his taste for social allegory with a tale of a repressive boys' school rocked by student revolutionaries who listen to African music. Though clearly about Mother England and her colonies, the film found its popular success, in that distant summer of 1969, in being taken quite literally. Anderson deserves credit for sniffing out the cryptofascist side of the student movement, and his presentation of oppression—sexual and social—is very forceful. Yet the film finally succumbs to its own abstraction with an ending that satisfies neither symbolism nor wish fulfillment.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 117: Sat Apr 28

A Thousand and One Nights (Yamamoto, 1969): Castle Cinema, 9pm

This screening is part of the East End Film Festival which runs from April 11th to 29th. You can find full details of the season here.

Cigarette Burns Cinema introduction:
Before Ralph Bakshi introduced us to to his X-rated animated feature Fritz the Cat, Astro Boy’s creator and master animator, Osamu Tezuka broke new ground with 1969’s A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, the first outing of his new adult oriented animation studio. Through Tezuka’s mad, psychodelic lines we follow Aldin’s journey from poor market boy to richest man in the world, as he chases love through a vibrant reimagining of the classic Middle Eastern folk tales, encountering sailors, sultans and sirens Aldin eventually finds himself learning much more about life and the world than he ever expected. Expect the pairing of Tezuka’s innovative animation style and Isao Tomita’s pioneering space music synthscape to transport you to a land far far away from Clapton’s Castle Cinema.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 116: Fri Apr 27

A Fistful of Dynamite (Leone, 1971): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 7.45pm

This 35mm screening, which is also being shown in NFT1 on April 30th (full details here), is part of the Sergio Leone season at BFI Southbank. You can find all the details of the season here.

Chicago Reader review:
Sergio Leone's elliptical style and good performances from Rod Steiger and James Coburn combine to produce a vastly entertaining film (1971), also known as A Fistful of Dynamite, about the aftermath of the Mexican revolution. Coburn, a fugitive from the Irish "troubles," and Steiger, a Mexican bandit, team up to rob a bank and unwillingly become the focus of the counterrevolutionary forces. A marvelous sense of detail and spectacular effects--good fun all the way.
Don Druker

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 115: Thu Apr 26

The Bounty (Donladson, 1984): Cinema Museum, 7pm

Cinema Museum introduction to 35mm screening:
The Celluloid Sorceress proudly presents a revisionist masterpiece, overlooked upon release, that has grown in stature and is considered by many among the finest epics of the 1980s. The Bounty (1984) is presented from a rare US 35mm print. Developed by Robert Bolt with Sir David Lean for over a decade and originally intended as a film in two parts, The Bounty was eventually directed by Australian Roger Donaldson. Stunningly photographed by Arthur Ibbotson and with one Vangelis’s finest score it also stars a stunning array of British talent including: Daniel Day Lewis, Liam Neeson, Philip Martin Brown, Bernard Hill, Phil Davis, Neil Morrissey, John Sessions, Dexter Fletcher, Edward Fox and Laurence Olivier. We are excited to welcome editor Tony Lawson (Straw Dogs (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), Bad Timing (1980)) to the Cinema Museum to talk about The Bounty and his career in conversation with host Rebecca Nicole Williams.
Chicago Reader review:
Roger Donaldson's film of the classic tale of discipline and revolt in the British navy (1984) is far better than its predecessors, despite the dim wattage of Anthony Hopkins (as Captain Bligh) and Mel Gibson (as Mister Christian). Robert Bolt's screenplay was originally prepared for David Lean, and it contains a lot of Bolt-ish/Lean-ish disquisition on the question of civilization versus savagery. But Donaldson brings it alive by applying the agonizing rhythm of tension and release, suppression and explosion, that governed his superb New Zealand film 
Smash Palace. Hardly another filmmaker in the 80s could leap from smooth classicism to dynamic modernism with such agility and expressiveness. The appalling electronic score, by Chariots of Fire's Vangelis, is the film's only grating flaw. With Edward Fox and Laurence Olivier.
Dave Kehr
Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 114: Wed Apr 25

The Lusty Men (Ray, 1952): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.15pm

This great Nicholas Ray film will be screened from 35mm and also introduced by Ray scholar Geoff Andrew whose book on the director (details here) is highly recommended.

Chicago Reader review:
A masterpiece by Nicholas Ray—perhaps the most melancholy and reflective of his films (1952). This modern-dress western centers on Ray's perennial themes of disaffection and self-destruction: Arthur Kennedy is a young rodeo rider, eager for quick fame and easy money; Robert Mitchum is his older friend, a veteran who's been there and knows better. Working with the great cinematographer Lee Garmes, Ray creates an unstable atmosphere of dust and despair—trailer camps and broken-down ranches—that expresses the contradictory impulses of his characters: a lust for freedom balanced by a quest for security. With Susan Hayward, superb as Kennedy's wife.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 113: Tue Apr 24

Be Pretty and Shut Up (Seyrig, 1981): Barbican Cinema, 6.30pm

This film is part of the 'Nevertheless, She Persisted' season at the Barbican. Full details here.

Barbican introduction:
Frustrated by her own and other women's experiences in the film industry, French actress and activist Delphine Seyring interviewed two dozen French and American actresses in 1976. The expectation to 'be pretty and shut up' is not new, nor has it disappeared since actress-activist Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad, Jeanne Dielman ...) recorded these interviews over 40 years ago. Seyrig speaks to 24 French and American actresses, including Maria Schneider, Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine, about their experience across the industry. 
Through their words, Seyrig reveals the frustrations of working within the patriarchal studio system that offers a stereotypical and reductive view of women through unimaginative and regressive roles. A compelling and ever-relevant cinematic herstory, this frank document gives voice to the concerns of women in the industry and demonstrates the way in which actresses have always supported each other privately, and the power of public declaration to effect change.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 112: Mon Apr 23

Pickups (Thraves, 2017): Everyman Screen on the Green, 7pm

This one-off film is the movie at the opening night of the Unrestricted View Festival, dedicated to showcasing independent cinema. You can find full details of the festival here.

London Film Festival preview:
Aidan Gillen stars in a playful comedy about an actor struggling to keep things real after his divorce. In Pickups, the well-known Irish actor Aidan Gillen plays a well-known Irish actor called Aidan. He’s not playing himself – or at least we hope not, given the murderous lengths to which the onscreen Aidan takes his method acting when playing a serial killer – but this spry, fleet-footed and very funny new film from director Jamie Thraves rings true throughout. Revolving around the fictional Aidan’s post-divorce life as he prepares for a new film role and tries to reconnect with his teenaged son, this is at once a free-wheeling comedy of ideas about the uneasy, constantly moving line between real life and make-believe that all actors must tread, and a poignant, delicate, unblinkingly observed study of a mid-life crisis.
Edward Lawrenson

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 111: Sun Apr 22

The Charge of the Light Brigade (Richardson, 1968): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 3pm

This  screening, which is also being shown on April 26th (details here), s part of the Woodfall season at BFI Southbank. You can find all the details of the season here.

Time Out review:
If the 1935 Hollywood version enshrined Tennysonian heroics, this revisionist spectacular sees the strategic bungling that doomed the Light Brigade as an emblem of Victorian England's moral inadequacy. The jingoistic media (represented by the period caricatures in Richard Williams' splendid animated interludes), an establishment hidebound by ideological intransigence, the lower classes grist to the mill of colonial domination, Richardson lays it all bare. Vietnam's never far from the equation either. Still, coherent drama never emerges from the combination of righteous anger, detailed historical trappings, a stellar cast and Charles Woods' wondrously flowery dialogue. Chief sins are an extraneous romantic subplot and flaccid pacing early on, but the climactic carnage is chilling indeed, and Gielgud and Howard are cherishably distracted and ornery respectively as the military top brass. Bitty, yet fascinating, it's never quite the film it ought to have been.
Trevor Johnston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 110: Sat Apr 21

Kuroneko (Shindo, 1968): Masonic Temple Cinema, Andaz Hotel, Liverpool St, 12.30pm

This screening is part of the East End Film Festival which runs from April 11th to 29th. You can find full details of the season here. The days starts at 12.30pm with The Uninvited (Allen, 1944), which will be followed by a panel discussion where The Final Girls, who have organised the event, will dive into what are the cinematic archetypes for female ghosts, and their hidden feminist power.

Time Out review of The Uninvited:
Set in a distinctly Hollywoodian but nevertheless persuasive Cornwall, this is an impressive supernatural thriller, not unlike 
Rebecca in its use of an eerily atmospheric house and a sense of morbid brooding about the troubled past. Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey are the siblings who buy the old house, only to find it haunted and exerting a sinister influence over the previous owner's granddaughter (Gail Russell). Allen's direction tightens the screws of tension to genuinely frightening effect, aided by an intense performance from Russell as the girl who believes herself haunted by the malevolent ghost of her mother, and by beautiful camerawork in the noir style from Charles Lang. The real strength of the film, though, is its atypical stance part way between psychology and the supernatural, achieving a disturbingly serious effect.

Geoff Andrew

Here is the trailer. 


Chicago Reader review of Kuroneko:
Samurai soldiers rape and murder a woman and her daughter-in-law living alone in a house near the forest, but a black cat licking at their abandoned bodies spells trouble for the perpetrators: years later, as the same men happen one by one through the forest, each is seduced by two ghostly women and led to his doom. Kaneto Shindo directed this hypnotic Japanese chiller (1968), whose bold visual simplicity—the high-contast black-and-white photography; the dramatic compositions; the austere, kabuki-style staging—may leave you unprepared for the occasional bursts of kinetic, howling violence. Based on a Japanese folktale, the movie capitalized on the public appetite for period ghost stories (e.g. Masaki Kobayashi's 
), and it's a classic of the genre—eerie, erotic, and unnerving.
JR Jones

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 109: Fri Apr 20

Dazed and Confused (Linklater, 1993): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.30pm

This film is showing as part of a double-bill with the director's 2016 movie Everybody Wants Some!!, and is in the 'Double Feature' season at the Prince Charles Cinema. Full details here.

Time Out review:
School's breaking up for the summer of '76. The seniors debate party politics while next term's freshmen run the gauntlet of brutal initiation rites, barely comforted by the knowledge that they'll wield the stick one day. No one's looking much farther ahead than that. This has a free-wheeling, 'day-in-the-life-of' structure which allows writer/director Richard Linklater, in his second feature, to eavesdrop on an ensemble cast without much in the way of dramatic contrivance. There's a quirky counter-cultural intelligence at work: sympathy for those on the sidelines, and a deadpan pop irony which places this among the hippest teenage movies. While the camera flits between some two dozen youngsters (played by uniformly excellent unknowns), Linklater allows himself to develop a handful of stories. Seriously funny, and shorn of any hint of nostalgia or wish-fulfilment, this is pretty much where it's at. 
Tom Charity 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2018 - Day 108: Thu Apr 19

The Fog (Carpenter, 1980): Genesis Cinema, 7pm

This screening of John Carpenter's horror classic is part of the East End Film Festival which runs from April 11th to 29th. You can find full details of the season here.

Time Out review:
The Fog will disappoint those expecting a re-run of the creepy scares from Halloween
. Instead, expanding enormously on the fantasy elements of his earlier films, John Carpenter has turned in a full-scale thriller of the supernatural, as a sinister fog bank comes rolling in off the sea to take revenge on the smug little town of Antonio Bay, N. Calif. No shotguns pumping; no prowling of dark corners; no tricksy dry-ice chills. Instead you'll find a masterful simplicity of style, a lonely and determined group of characters under siege, and a childlike sense of brooding fear that almost disappeared in the '70s. Carpenter's confidence is outrageous; the range of his models even more so (from Poe to RKO); and the achievement is all his own, despite ragged moments and occasional hesitations.
Chris Auty

Here (and above) is the trailer.