Monday, 30 September 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 287: Mon Oct 14

Cossacks of the Kuban (Pyryev, 1950): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.35pm


Justine Waddell, director of Kino Klassika, introduces this film on the first night of the BFI musicals season (details here). The movie will also be shown on October 31st. Full details here.

Kino Klassika introduction:
Shot by famed Russian musical director Pyrev, this is a Soviet answer to the American musicals of the 1930s and 40s. Glorifying life on the Steppe, the film uses a Romeo and Juliet-style love rivalry between chairmen of two collective farms to throw obstacles in the way of heroine Dasha and her dashing horse breeder, Nikolai.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 286: Sun Oct 13

Ride Lonesome (Boetticher, 1959): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 2pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 12

Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.


Time Out review:One of the best of the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott Westerns, bleaker but not too distant in mood from the autumnal resignation of Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country, as Scott's ageing lawman lets time catch up with him and foregoes (even as he achieves) the vengeance he had planned on the man who hanged his wife so long ago that the killer, taxed with it, says 'I 'most forgot'. It's deviously structured as an odyssey of cross-purposes in which Scott captures a young gunman (James Best) and proceeds to take him in, ostensibly for the bounty on his head. Actually, Scott hopes to lure Best's brother (Lee Van Cleef), the man who killed his wife, into a rescue bid; two outlaw buddies (Pernell Roberts and James Coburn) tag along, biding their time, desperate to collect the amnesty that goes with Best's capture; the presence of a pretty widow (Karen Steele) stokes a measure of sexual rivalry; and there are Indians about. Beautifully scripted by Burt Kennedy, with excellent performances all round as the characters evolve through subtly shifting loyalties and ambitions, it's a small masterpiece.
Tom Milne


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 285: Sat Oct 12

Vitalina Varela (Costa, 2019): ICA Cinema, 5.45pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 11

Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film, from the Portuguese maestro Pedro Costa, is also being screened on October 13th at the Curzon Soho cinema at 3.30pm. You can find the full details here.


London Film Festival introduction:
In Pedro Costa’s 2014 drama Horse Money, Vitalina Varela made a memorable appearance, effectively playing herself. In this follow-up – less a sequel than a deeper pursuit of its themes and motifs – Varela steps into the foreground as a woman who, after years waiting for a plane ticket, arrives in Portugal three days after her husband’s funeral. A mesmerising contemplation of race, grief and exile, the film is magnificently photographed by Leonardo Simões, with a visual signature of velvet-dark night in crumbling backstreets, and human presences that acquire the grandeur of classical statuary. With its incantatory dialogue, this is essentially an opera without music, with Varela as a mightily imposing central figure alongside Costa’s ever-present everyman hero Ventura.
Jonathan Romney

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 284: Fri Oct 11

Deerskin (Dupieux, 2019): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.20pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 10

Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film, which opened the Director's Fortnight at Cannes, is also being screened on October 12th at the Vue West End in Leicester Square at 1.10pm. You can find the full details
here.

London Film Festival introduction:
To say that Georges has a fetish for deerskin would be an understatement. In fact, his dedication to his textile of choice is so unwavering, the recent divorcé blows his entire life savings on the vintage fringe jacket of his dreams. With nothing but his new coat for company, Georges holes up in a remote country inn (using his wedding ring as collateral) where he imagines being the only jacket-wearer in the world. When he meets an aspiring film editor named Denise (Adèle Haenel), Georges masquerades as an independent filmmaker, concocting a bizarre plan to make his outerwear fantasy a reality. Boasting a riotous performance from Jean Dujardin as the pelt-loving evangelist, the ever-unpredictable Quentin Dupieux’s wickedly acerbic, deliciously deranged black comedy is a tailor-made cult classic.
Michael Blyth

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 283: Thu Oct 10

Queen of Diamonds (Menkes, 1991): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.50pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 9

Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

The 4K restoration of this 1990s underground classic is also being screened on October 11th at BFI Southbank at 5.30pm. You can find the full details here.


Chicago Reader review:
One of the most jarringly original independent films of the 1990s, Nina Menkes’ lost underground classic reemerges in a gorgeous new restoration. In a neon-soaked dream vision of Las Vegas, a disaffected blackjack dealer (played by the director’s sister Tinka Menkes) drifts through a series of encounters alternately mundane, surreal, and menacing, while death and violence hover ever-present in the margins. Awash in lush, hallucinatory images, Queen of Diamonds is a haunting study of female alienation that “may become for America in the 90s what Jeanne Dielman was for Europe in the 70s—a cult classic using a rigorous visual composition to penetrate the innermost recesses of the soul”

Berenice Reynaud

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 282: Wed Oct 9

The Whistlers (Porumboiu, 2019): Curzon Mayfair, 8.45pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 8

Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This cracking modern neo-noir is also being screened at BFI Southbank on October 12th at 12.30pm. You can find the full details here.



London Film Festival introduction:
Political satire meets pulp fiction in the latest from Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu. It’s a playful thriller that works as both a critique of state bureaucracy and a briskly commercial film noir. Unfolding in Tarantino-esque chapters that forge their own competing timescales, The Whistlers tells the story of Cristi, a weatherworn cop who’s become part of the Bucharest crime syndicate he’s meant to be investigating. This takes him to the island of La Gomera in the Canaries, where he is schooled in the art of ‘silbo’ whistling – a secret language used by shepherds that sounds like birdsong and hence is perfect for keeping secrets from his eavesdropping colleagues. The result is a slick and engaging mystery, steeped in the classic hardboiled mythology of Hammett and Chandler.
Damon Wise

Here (and above) is an extract.


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 281: Tue Oct 8

Illustrious Corpses (Rosi, 1976): Cine Lumiere, 6pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 7

Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This restoration of Francesco Rosi's classic conspiracy thriller is also being screened at BFI Southbank on October 10th at 3.15pm. You can find the 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. 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 2019 - Day 280: Mon Oct 7

Zombi Child (Bonnello, 2019): Cine Lumiere, 8.40pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 6

Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This fascinating new film from the director of the 2016 London Film Festival hit Nocturama is also being screened on October 6th at the Haymarket Empire at 6.20pm and on October 11tht at the Prince Charles Cinema at 3.30pm.You can find the full details here.


London Film Festival introduction:
Haiti, 1962. A man is resurrected from the dead. Forced to work on a sugar cane plantation, Clairvius Narcisse is trapped in perpetual night. Fast forward to contemporary Paris. Haitian teen Mélissa is the new girl at a prestigious school, where cerebral lectures on liberalism are de rigeur. Mélissa makes her first friend in dreamer Fanny when they discover a shared passion for Stephen King. Fanny invites Mélissa to join a secret ‘literary sorority’. But while presentations on Rihanna keep their story firmly 21st-century, something more ancient is at play, with Mélissa harbouring an incendiary family secret. Influenced by the zombie films beloved by Bonello in his youth, Zombi Child teases at genre elements, stirs up post-colonial debate and builds to a truly audacious conclusion.
Kate Taylor

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 279: Sun Oct 6

The Masque of the Red Death (Corman, 1964): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 3.15pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 5
Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This classic Roger Corman film will also be shown on October 9th at BFI Southbank in NFT2 at 1.15pm. You can find the full details here.


Chicago Reader review:
Roger Corman's 1964 adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe story is a work of consummate imaginative power and originality. In medieval Italy, the devil-worshipping Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) abducts an innocent village girl (Jane Asher) and tries to interest her in his diabolical goings-on while the plague rages outside his castle. This is both beautiful and horrifying, with a fine sense of ambiguity and a wealth of subtleties.

Dan Druker


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 278: Sat Oct 5

Bacurau ((Filho/Dornelles, 2019): Odeon Luxe, Leicester Sq, 11.30am



63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 4
Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film, the Cannes jury prize winner, will also be shown on October 4th at Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square, at 9.15pm. You can find the full details here.


London Film Festival introduction:
A young woman named Teresa travels home for the funeral of her grandmother, who was the matriarch of Bacurau, a village that happily embraces its misfits, mixed-heritage outsiders, whores, hippies and queers. On arrival, Teresa discovers that the dusty little town has been wiped clean off the map by the middle-class elite from the north, who are busy ingratiating themselves, selling their country and its people (quite literally, it turns out) to rich European and American interests. Following Aquarius (LFF 2016), Kleber Mendonça Filho shares directorial credit with long-time collaborator Juliano Dornelles in this stuffed-to-the-gills futuristic parable. Evoking Cinema Novo in its wild imagination and fiery socio-political fury, as well as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Sergio Leone and John Carpenter in its ecstatic stylings, Bacurau is darkly sardonic and pleasurably complex. The filmmakers give just enough scene-to-scene narrative information to keep you leaning forward, wondering where this thing is taking you. If the odd bout of grisly explosive violence is not your bag, be warned. But this will thrill fans searching for wild-hearted ecstatic cinema with political punch.
Tricia Tuttle


Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 277: Fri Oct 4

Atlantics (Diop, 2019): Vue West End, Leicester Sq, 6pm



63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 3
Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This film, the Grand Prix winner at Cannes, will also be shown on October 8th at the Cine Lumiere (at 8.40pm) and at BFI Southbank on October 7th (at 12.10pm). You can find the full details here.


London Film Festival introduction:
Ada and Souleiman are in love. But Souleiman is tired of labouring without pay on the gleaming towers of Dakar. He sets out across the sea with friends, leaving Ada to face impending marriage to another man. But as the women gather in the bar where the men used to drink, it seems that something has returned after all. Employing mystical symbolism and an evocative synth score by Fatima Al Qadiri, the film flows from social drama into supernatural waters and makes lyrical use of the figure of the djinn to process a harrowing reality. Mati Diop, known to many for her acting collaborations with Claire Denis, follows a string of fascinating short films with this bold feature debut that not only poses, but answers, the question: to whom does the future belong?

Kate Taylor


Here (and above) is an extract from the film.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 276: Thu Oct 3

Krabi, 2562 (Rivers/Suwichakornpong, 2019): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.30pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 2
Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This Experimenta strand special presentation choice is also being screened at the ICA Cinema on October 13th at 12.15pm You can find the full details here.

London Film Festival introduction:
Anocha Suwichakornpong (By the Time It Gets Dark, LFF 2016) and Ben Rivers (The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, LFF 2015) merge their unique cinematic languages across reality and folklore in South Thailand, creating a stylish meditation on the eponymous tourist town. They reunite with Suwichakornpong’s celebrated Hong Kong cinematographer Ming-Kai Leung and River’s research-focused experimental sonic artist Ernst Karel for the film’s rich sound design. A cast of real and imagined characters unreliably narrate your journey from fertility caves on paradise beaches to a bat-filled abandoned cinema. Then there’s an advertisement shoot by Oliver Laxe (Fire Will Come, in this year’s Dare strand), a secluded former boxing champion and flashes of the stunning coastal landscape’s pre-historic past. Together, the artists create an absorbing and playful portrait of a people, place and time that floats across fiction and reality, leaving haunting vignettes on the legacy of our age.
Sarah Perks

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 275: Wed Oct 2

Finis Terrae (Epstein, 1929): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm


63rd LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (2nd-13th October 2019) DAY 1
Every day (from October 2nd to October 13th) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is all the information you need about the best way to get tickets.

This silent classic from Jean Epstein also screens on October 3rd at BFI Southbank in NFT2 at 8.40pm. You can find the full details here.

London Film Festival introduction:
On a tiny island off Brittany two young men eke out a living by harvesting seaweed to burn for prized soda. When one of them cuts his thumb and an infection sets in, it challenges the boundaries of their relationship and galvanises the neighbouring community. Jean Epstein’s timeless narrative about survival in extremis is underpinned by avant-garde techniques and deeply resonant images, such as the recurrent lighthouse or the sight of women sheltering by rocks like giant black birds. Even without sound you can almost hear the ocean. This is a film about the possibilities of cinema and anyone thinking of picking up a camera should watch and be inspired.
Robin Baker

Here (and above) is the trailer produced when this film was screened by the 'Nobody Ordered Wolves' film club.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 274: Tue Oct 1

Performance (Roeg/Cammell, 1970): Rio Cinema, 6.30pm


The daddy of midnight movies this was a weekly feature of the late-night cinema circuit in London in the 70s and 80s and is showing from a 35mm print. Not to be missed. I'm busy re-reading Colin McCabe's BFI Film Classics book, a wonderful introduction to what the author calls "the greatest British film ever made."

Tonight’s presentation includes a Q&A hosted by critic Jason Solomons with the film’s producer Sandy Lieberman and the author of ‘Perfomance — the Making of a Classic’, Jay Glennie.

Time Out review:
Nicholas Roeg's debut as a director is a virtuoso juggling act which manipulates its visual and verbal imagery so cunningly that the borderline between reality and fantasy is gradually eliminated. The first half-hour is straight thriller enough to suggest a Kray Bros documentary as James Fox, enforcer for a London protection racket, goes about his work with such relish that he involves the gang in a murder and has to hide from retribution in a Notting Hill basement. There, waiting to escape abroad, he becomes involved with a fading pop star (Mick Jagger) brooding in exile over the loss of his powers of incantation. In what might be described (to borrow from Kenneth Anger) as an invocation to his demon brother, the pop star recognises his lost power lurking in the blind impulse to violence of his visitor, and so teases and torments him with drug-induced psychedelics that the latter responds in the only way he knows how: by rewarding one mind-blowing with another, at gunpoint. Ideas in profusion here about power and persuasion and performance ('The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way, is one that achieves madness'); and the latter half becomes one of Roeg's most complex visual kaleidoscopes as pop star and enforcer coalesce in a marriage of heaven and hell (or underworld and underground) where the common denominator is Big Business. 

Tom Milne

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 273: Mon Sep 30



This film, brilliantly played by leading man Cary Grant and the befuddled David Niven, is part of the Grant season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Time Out review:
Samuel Goldwyn-produced whimsy, cashing in on the success of '40s angelic fantasies such as Here Comes Mr Jordanand It's a Wonderful Life. Angel Grant responds to a bishop's plea for help after his devotion to his plans for a new cathedral has alienated him from family and parishioners. Cary's charm works as successfully upon audiences as it does upon the film's characters, and his relaxed wit plus Loretta Young's delicate loveliness makes for a frothily touching comedy.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 272: Sun Sep 29





On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Hunt, 1969): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 1pm


This is a 50th anniversary special screening introduced by David Walliams and including a Q&A with George Lazenby, who made his only appearance as James Bond in this movie.

The press reviews of the films don't capture the excitement of this retrospective for Bond fans and I am recommending the Blogalongabond series by Neil Alcock (aka @theincrediblesuit on Twitter). Here is his take on On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 271: Sat Sep 28

The Straight Story (Lynch, 1999): Prince Charles Cinema, 3.20pm



This screening, part of a short David Lynch season, is from 35mm.

Chicago Reader review:
A welcome change of pace (1999) from David Lynch, based on the true story of Alvin Straight, a midwestern septuagenarian who rode 240 miles on a lawn mower to visit his estranged brother after the latter suffered a stroke. The wonderful Richard Farnsworth plays the lead, and he was clearly born for the part; the script is by John Roach and Lynch's editor and coproducer, Mary Sweeney. Lynch's imaginative and heartfelt direction falters only when he tries for some of his relatively familiar weirdo effects. Otherwise this is a highly affecting and suggestive spiritual odyssey with plenty of all-American trimmings and reflections about old age. If some of the imagery suggests very-high-level calendar art, Lynch's use of the 'Scope frame is even more attractive than inBlue Velvet, and the film's reflective rhythms are haunting. With Sissy Spacek.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 270: Fri Sep 27

American Psycho (Harron, 2000): Prince Charles Cinema, 5.05pm



This 35mm presentation at the Prince Charles begins an extended run at the cinema. Details here.

Time Out review:
It's not easy being Patrick Bateman. Strive as he might to do the right thing, it's not clear anyone's taking any notice. And when they do he feels sullied, because they're all filthy oiks anyway. 'I like to dissect girls. Did you know I'm utterly insane?' he offers a bartender, but she doesn't even blink. And there are already enough unblinking Manhattanites filling his brushed steel fridge. Writer/director Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol) has sensibly excised the gratuitous gore at the sick heart of Bret Easton Ellis's yuppie slasher novel, leaving a provocative socio-psychological satire balanced tantalisingly on the cusp of chilly horror and outrageous comedy. Bateman may be the (barely) human face of a particularly '80s brand of narcissism and materialist vacuity, but he's also a spoilt dork without cause or taste. And while the production relies on '80s period trappings for much of its humour, Bateman's hollow obsession with body and status are hardly bygone phenomena. The film makes wonderfully unsettling entertainment; crucially - and gloriously - Christian Bale nails Bateman with a sublimely dead-eyed and deadpan performance.



Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 269: Thu Sep 26

Alphaville (Godard, 1965): Castle Cinema, 7.30pm


This is a special 16mm presentation of the classic Jean-Luc Godard movie from the Cine-Real film club and is also being screened on September 29th. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
The unadorned streets of Paris become Alpha 60, Capital of Pain, in Jean-Luc Godard's smoky, acrid 1965 science fiction film. It's the most political of Godard's films before his complete radicalization, and probably his most anguished. The terrain crossed by special agent Lemmy Caution (B movie star Eddie Constantine) is relentlessly sterile and oppressive, a wilderness of glass-box architecture and endless white corridors. The view of technology as inherently evil is too facile for Godard's fine, paradoxical mind, and the film as a whole is light on insight. But it remains an outstanding example of the filmmaker's power to transform an environment through the selection of detail: everything in it is familiar, but nothing is recognizable. With Anna Karina and Akim Tamiroff. 
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2019 - Day 268: Wed Sep 25

Sunshine State (Sayles, 2002): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.30pm


This 35mm presentation, which is also being shown on September 30th, is part of the Angela Bassett season at BFI Southbank. You can find the full details here.

BFI introduction:
When out-of-town real estate developers descend upon the sleepy coastal enclave of Delrona Beach, Florida, the allure of big money weighs precariously against the daunting prospect of irreversible change and the dismantling of community. Angela Bassett, Edie Falco and Timothy Hutton anchor a powerful ensemble cast in John Sayles’ quietly contemplative indie drama.

Here (and above) is the trailer.