Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 224: Sun Aug 14

The Great Silence (Corbucci, 1968): & Cut-Throats Nine (Marchent, 1972):
Mildmay Club, Newington Green, London, N16, 2.30pm

Michael McGrath-Brookes of Brunel University is introducing and screening a four-day radical Spaghetti Westerns season at the Mildmay Club in Stoke Newington (full details if you scroll down here). Tonight's double-bill is shown under the banner heading of Nihilism/Violence.

Time Out review of The Great Silence:
Growing in stature as the years pass, the bleak majesty of Sergio Corbucci’s dark, complex meditation on the human cost of progress threatens to outstrip the bleached, hallucinatory, hyper-violent ‘Django’ as his crowning achievement. Set in Utah during the Great Blizzard of 1899, it follows the mute Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a hired gun with a particular interest in the state-sanctioned bounty hunters – exemplified by Klaus Kinski’s mannered, controlled, entirely deadly Loco – who are clearing the land of anyone who doesn’t have their finger in the pie. Though overflowing with theological subtext and social indignance, it’s an uncommonly reserved film by spaghetti western (and Kinski) standards, but when that silence is broken, the noise and fury are truly something to behold. 
Adam Lee Davies

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 223: Sat Aug 13

Django Kill (Questi, 1967) & Requiescant (Lizzani,1967):
Mildmay Club, Newington Green, London, N16, 4.30pm

Michael McGrath-Brookes of Brunel University is introducing and screening a four-day radical Spaghetti Westerns season at the Mildmay Club in Stoke Newington (full details if you scroll down here). Tonight's double-bill is shown under the banner heading of 'Acid/Surrreal'

Time Out Django Kill review:
Giulio Questi (a former associate of Fellini) and Franco Arcalli (later Bertolucci's regular writing partner) devised this dour, notoriously excessive spaghetti Western, which pushes the brutality of the genre to almost surreal ends. Milian's the double-crossed Mexican gang leader out for revenge on his former partner (Lulli). The film [has] a succession of melodramatic grotesqueries, including suffocation by molten gold, roastings on a spit, and the killing of children. Not for the squeamish.
Trevor Johnston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 222: Fri Aug 12

A Bullet for the General (Damiani, 1966) & Face To Face (Solima, 1967):
Mildmay Club, Newington Green, London, N16, 6.30pm

Michael McGrath-Brookes of Brunel University is introducing and screening a four-day radical Spaghetti Westerns season at the Mildmay Club in Stoke Newington (full details if you scroll down here). Tonight's double-bill is shown under the banner heading of 'Anti-Facism.'

Time Out review of A Bullet for the General:
A spaghetti Western on a par with Leone's. It shares Volonté and Kinski with For a Few Dollars More, and Luis Bacalov's haunting score was 'supervised' by Ennio Morricone, but the politics are more radical than anything Leone stood for (it ends with a ringing call to arms: 'Don't buy bread, buy dynamite!'). Lou Castel plays a tight-lipped gringo who insinuates himself into Volonté's gang of Mexican bandits on the fringes of the revolution. The film charts the peculiar friendship between these two blinkered mercenaries, and Volonté's belated arrival at a political consciousness. This intelligent, compelling reversal of the archetypal Hollywood schema (in which an American star lends his gun to the peasants' cause) was scripted by Franco Solinas, who also contributed to Rosi's Salvatore Giuliano, Costa-Gavras' State of Siege, Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers and Queimada!
Tom Charity

Here (and above) is the trailer for A Bullet for the General.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 221: Thu Aug 11

Django (Corbucci, 1966) & Keoma (Castellari, 1976):
Mildmay Club, Newington Green, London, N16, 6.30pm

Michael McGrath-Brookes of Brunel University is introducing and screening a four-day radical Spaghetti Westerns season at the Mildmay Club in Stoke Newington. Tonight's double-bill is shown under the banner heading of 'Anti-Racism.'

Time Out review of Django:
Originally banned in Britain for its comic-strip iconoclasm and graphic violence, this rates alongside Leone's 'Dollars' trilogy as one of the daddies of the spaghetti/paella Western. It's a clean- up-and-paint-the-town-blood-red revenge drama with a difference. Nero's mud-spattered ex-Yankee soldier, first seen squelching towards a US-Mexican border ghost town, a coffin forever in tow, has every Western hero's quality in extremis. His speed-of-light gunslinger outlaw has a romantic heart - his wife was killed by one of Major Jackson's KKK-like henchmen - and an enigmatic morality. He solves the war between Jackson's men and General Rodríguez' bandidos by dispensing death to all, but his sympathies are shown when he later teams up with Rodríguez for a gold heist. Corbucci's style is a mix of social realism, highly decorative visuals, and finely mounted action sequences. For the rest, there are enough mud-wrestling prostitutes, whippings, ear-loppings, explosions and scenes of wholesale slaughter to keep any muchacho happy. Funny, visceral, bloody, no-nonsense entertainment with a touch of class.
Wally Hammond

Here (and above) is the trailer for Django.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 220: Wed Aug 10

The Sacrifice (Tarkovsky, 1986): Prince Charles Cinema, 3.05pm

The films of Andrei Tarkovsky have been a regular feature of the London repertory cinema scene for the last few years. Now the Prince Charles Cinema are showing a season of his great movies from 35mm prints. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Andrei Tarkovsky's last film (1986) isn't on the same level as his extraordinary Stalker, but it's a fitting apocalyptic statement, made when he knew he was dying of cancer. The first and penultimate shots—ten-minute takes that are, in very different ways, remarkable and complex achievements—manage to say more than most films do over their entire length. In between these shots one finds Tarkovsky working in a mode that bears a distinct relationship to Bergman—made all the more apparent by the Swedish setting, the cinematography (by Bergman's incomparable Sven Nykvist), and the casting of Erland Josephson in the lead—but the hallucinatory camera movements and the mysticism of the plot could belong to no one but Tarkovsky. As Alexander (Josephson), a university lecturer, celebrates his birthday with family and friends, a major nuclear crisis is reported on TV, followed by a power failure. Praying for the world to return to normal, Alexander promises to give up everything he has and winds up sleeping with his maid, reportedly a witch, to seal the bargain. As with Nostalghia, Tarkovsky's previous work of exile, it's possible to balk at the filmmaker's pretensions and antiquated sexual politics and yet be overwhelmed by his mastery and originality, as well as the conviction of his sincerity. Critics have been of little help in getting to the core of this powerful visionary; a better start might be to read Tarkovsky's book, Sculpting in Time.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 219: Tue Aug 9

The Long Good Friday (Mackenzie, 1981): Garden Cinema, 8pm

Chicago Reader review:
By the early 80s the British film industry was profitably turning away from the David Lean-Carol Reed “tradition of quality” to find new life in grittier styles and subjects. This transposition of an American gangster tragedy (complete with Christological references) to London's West End doesn't quite have an American drive and assurance, yet the film is fascinating for the culture gaps it opens. Bob Hoskins gives a growly, charismatic performance as the kingpin brought low by phantom forces over the course of an Easter weekend, and there's a political theme that asserts itself with nicely rising force. With Helen Mirren and Dave King; directed by John Mackenzie (1980).
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer. 

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 218: Mon Aug 8

Red Dust (Fleming, 1932): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.20pm

This pre-Code classicis part of a season being screened at the Prince Charles Cinema (details here).

Mountain Express review:
Red Dust is something of an anomaly in that it’s everything you don’t expect from that most conservative of studios Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is rough, brief, to the point and gleefully trashy. The funny thing about MGM is that on the occasions when they went off the rails of “good taste,” they went off the rails with a vengeance — and presumably when Louis B. Mayer wasn’t looking. That’s certainly the case here with this very pre-code melodrama — with much comedy content — of sex and lust set on a rubber plantation in Indochina.
Ken Hanke 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 217: Sun Aug 7

Harlan County USA (Kopple, 1976): Rio Cinema, 11am

Rio introduction:
Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning film is considered one of the best American documentaries ever made. Shot on very little budget with a crew that lived with Kentucky miners for a year, it is a direct and unflinching record of the Duke Power strike at Brookside Mine. Violence and injustice pervade the county from the greedy corporation and murderous union boss to the corrupt local law and despicable gun thugs… all meted out to the sound of legendary country and bluegrass protest music.

Host Ranjit S. Ruprai and film critic Phuong Le will be exploring the connections between Harlan County U.S.A. & Kaala Patthar, both films in this double bill, before the screening.

Chicago Reader review:
Barbara Kopple’s 1977 documentary on a Kentucky coal miners’ strike is muddled on the issues, but it earned its Oscar as a dramatic, involving story, full of tough and appealing characters. Kopple’s fiercely partisan stance upsets the classic balance of cinema verite documentary, but who could fail to take sides in this timeless labor-management confrontation and still claim to have a heart?

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 216: Sat Aug 6

Trainspotting (Boyle, 1996): Everyman Screen on the Green, 10.30pm

This film is part of a '90s on 35mm' season at Screen on the Green and is also being screened on August 10t. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Danny Boyle's second feature (1996), a lot more stylish and entertaining than Shallow Grave. Far from nihilistic, though certainly calculated to butt up against various puritanical norms, this feel-good jaunt about young Scottish heroin addicts and their degradation and betrayals of one another draws a lot of its energy from Richard Lester movies of the 60s and 70s and from A Clockwork Orange (the novel as well as the movie). Adapted by John Hodge from Irvine Welsh's popular pidgin-English novel (which had already been successfully adapted for the stage) and partially redubbed for American ears, it floats by almost as episodically as 94 minutes of MTV.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 215: Fri Aug 5

Kings of the Road (Wenders, 1976): Picturehouse Cinemas across London

Chicago Reader review:
The first masterpiece of the New German Cinema. Wim Wenders's existentialized road movie (1975) follows two drifters—an itinerant movie-projector repairman and a child psychologist who has followed his patients by dropping out—in a three-hour ramble through a deflated Germany, touching on their private pasts and their hopes for the future. It's full of references to Hawks, Ford, and Lang, and one scene has been lovingly lifted in its entirety from Nicholas Ray's 
The Lusty Men. As the hommages indicate, one of the subjects is the death of cinema, but this isn't an insider's movie. Wenders examines a played-out culture looking for one last move. An engrossing, enveloping film, made with great craft and photographed in highly textured black-and-white by Robby Müller.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above is the trailer).

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 214: Thu Aug 4

Black Caesar (Cohen, 1973): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.25pm

This 35mm presentation is only £1 for Prince Charles Cinema members.

Chicago Reader review:
A 1973 American-International programmer by popular cult director Larry Cohen (It’s Alive!, The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover). The idea, apparently, was to take the old Warner Brothers gangster formula and recast it for black audiences, yet what emerges is a very tortured, often incoherent cry of outrage against most of the precepts of American society—moral, material, and sexual. Fred Williamson is the Harlem shoeshine boy who rises to gangland power by mass murder, filling swimming pools with corpses. Cohen’s technique is almost laughably crude, but a core of frightening conviction remains.
Dave Kehr

Here (and aboove) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 213: Wed Aug 3

The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.20pm

This movie presentation is part of the Duke Mitchell Film Club 2022 Festival and here is the introduction to the evening's activities:

Author & filmmaker Sean Hogan is one of the most talented figures on the U.K’s arts landscape, and his metafictional novel ‘England’s Screaming’ proved to be a welcome tonic for our sanity during the multiple lockdowns of 2020-21.

Now he’s back with a sequel, ‘Twilight’s Last Screaming’ which picks up the plot threads begun in the first book but now takes the continuing story to North America. Combining fiction and film criticism, he once again crafts an enticing tale full of unexpected connections and brilliant narrative flourishes. Both a deconstruction of American horror cinema and a reassembly of it into something wholly original, we are honoured to be hosting the launch for the book as the closing event of Dukefest 2022.

Not only that, but Sean will also be bringing along his brand new companion piece, ‘That Fatal Shore’, which, like its Eurohorror predecessor ‘Three Mothers, One Father’, examines an entirely different aspect of international genre cinema – namely, Australian horror films.

The event will include an ultra-rare screening of underrated horror classic ‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’ followed by an extensive Q&A with Sean, hosted by none other than brilliant author and all-round legend Kim Newman. Sean will be signing copies of both books after the Q&A.

‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’ is the very definition of a 70’s supernatural chiller (starring David Elliott AND Shirley MacLaine) concerning a Manhattan socialite who, to her growing unease, starts to realise that her brother is behaving more and more bizarrely - and even more concerningly, might be involved in a series of brutal murders …

Here (and above) is the trailer,

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 212: Tue Aug 2

Death in Venice (Visconti, 1971): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.45pm

Guardian 1971 review:
Some people will be bored by Death in Venice. Those omnipresent office girls who invade press shows in far greater numbers than critics were certainly rustling long before the end of Luchino Visconti’s latest film. But then it is about an elderly gentleman with a platonic passion for a young boy and it is culled from a novella by Thomas Mann in which nothing much actually happens except within the mind’s eye. It is a very slow, precise, & beautiful film, proportioned by a master who is about to embark on a version of Proust’s life story and, whatever some think of it, it is important to say that it is 100% better than 99.99% of what’s on offer in London at the moment. The whole remains an immensely formidable achievement, engrossing in spite of any doubts. As a successor to The Damned it marks an astonishing return to Visconti’s first principles. As a predecessor to the Proust venture, it whets a wondering appetite. Above all, it makes most other offerings of recent months look like amateurs’ nights out.
Derek Malcolm

Here (and above) is the trailer,

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 211: Mon Aug 1

Love Letter (Tanaka, 1953): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.15pm

This film is part of the Tanaka Kinuyo seaason at BFI Southbank. Here are details of the other screenings in the retrospective.

Barbican introduction (from another season):
Masayuki Mori plays Reikishi, an emotionally repressed man who makes an unusual living: translating love letters from Japanese women to American GIs they met during the Occupation. One day, Reikichi's beloved ex-girlfriend Michiko (Yoshiko Kuga) appears, needing his services. Actor Kinuyo Tanaka, a regular star of the films of Kenji Mizoguchi, including The Life of Oharu and Ugetsu Monogatari, made a tremendous directorial debut here with Love Letter, creating a moving and constantly surprising melodrama starring Kurosawa regular Mori. Unusually, Tanaka explores societal attitudes towards ‘fallen women’ through the eyes of the male protagonist, emphasising that it is he who needs to change rather than the vulnerable woman. This unique portrait of post-war Japanese masculinity is very rarely screened in the UK.

Here (and above) is an introduction to the movie.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 210: Sun Jul 31

Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette, 1974): ICA Cinema, 6.15pm

A personal favourite. This is a long movie and I took a hip flask in when I went to see this on a date at Notting Hill's Electric Cinema back in the day. That worked wonderfully as this is a meandering film, probably best seen under some sort of influence.

A special 35mm screening co-presented with the London Short Film Festival and Zodiac Film Club as part of their Eye Rituals programme.

Before the screening, ticketholders are invited to a workshop with author, death midwife and mystic Tree Carr. Echoing the playful remodelling of reality led by Jacque Rivette’s characters, they will learn how to effortlessly capture, weave, and navigate their dreams, and make the most of one’s dream time.

Chicago Reader review:
Jacques Rivette's 193-minute comic feminist extravaganza is as scary and unsettling in its narrative high jinks as it is exhilarating in its uninhibited slapstick (1974). Its slow, sensual beginning stages a meeting between a librarian (Dominique Labourier) and a nightclub magician (Juliet Berto). Eventually, a plot within a plot magically takes shape—a somewhat sexist Victorian melodrama with Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier, Barbet Schroeder (the film's producer), and a little girl—as each character, on successive days, visits an old dark house and the same events take place. The elaborate Hitchcockian doublings are so beautifully worked out that this movie steadily grows in resonance and power. The four main actresses scripted their own dialogue with Eduardo de Gregorio and Rivette, and the film derives many of its euphoric effects from a wholesale ransacking of the cinema of pleasure (cartoons, musicals, thrillers, and serials).
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is Mark Kermode's take on the movie.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 209: Sat Jul 30

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Pasolini, 1975): Prince Charles Cinema, 6pm

This 35mm presentation is also being shown on July 29th and August 3rd. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Pier Paolo Pasolini's last feature (1975) is a shockingly literal and historically questionable transposition of the Marquis de Sade's 
120 Days of Sodom
 to the last days of Italian fascism. Most of the film consists of long shots of torture, though some viewers have been more upset by the bibliography that appears in the credits. Roland Barthes noted that in spite of all its objectionable elements (he pointed out that any film that renders Sade real and fascism unreal is doubly wrong), this film should be defended because it "refuses to allow us to redeem ourselves." It's certainly the film in which Pasolini's protest against the modern world finds its most extreme and anguished expression. Very hard to take, but in its own way an essential work.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 208: Fri Jul 29

Turtle Diary (Irvin, 1985): BFI Soutbank, NFT2, 8.30pm

This 35mm presentation, also being shown on July 21st, is part of the Glenda Jackson season at BFI Southbank. You can find the full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Two victims of urban malaise, a bookstore clerk (Ben Kingsley) and an author of children’s novels (Glenda Jackson), discover a mutual obsession—to free the sea turtles held in a dank London aquarium. Based on a novel by Russell Hoban (Riddley Walker), this British production threatens all kinds of cuteness and whimsy; the chief pleasure of the film lies in the way Harold Pinter’s straightforward script and John Irvin’s nicely distanced, unemphatic direction avoid all of the obvious sentimental pitfalls. This one earns its charm by rolling back the rhetoric and sticking close to the texture of daily life: the plot payoffs, when they come, seem much more triumphant and honest in this restrained context. With Richard Johnson, Eleanor Bron, and Jeroen Krabbe.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 207: Thu Jul 28

Blood Games (Rosenberg, 1989): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.20pm

This film is part of the Terror Vision strand at BFI Southbank.

BFI introduction:
After Babe and her all-female baseball squad snatch victory from a team of hostile backwoods chauvinists, their humiliated opponents prove to be anything but good sports. But when the girls’ bus breaks down just outside the town, Babe’s kickass posse find themselves trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse. A lipstick-smeared little sister of Deliverance, Tanya Rosenberg’s rough-and-ready wilderness survival shocker is pure exploitation perfection.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 206: Wed Jul 27

The Movement of Things (Serra, 1985): ICA Cinema, 6.15pm

The Machine That Kills Bad People* is
a bi-monthly film club programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacois Cruz and Ben Rivers. Tonight's programme for their latest screening:

O Movimento das Coisas (The Movement of Things), 1985, Dir. Manuela Serra, DCP, 88 min 

, Dir. Rose Lowder, 1992, 16mm, 13 min

Time Out review of The Movement of Things:
This film, the only one by Portuguese Manuela Serra, had a complicated production, which lasted from 1979 to 1985. It was shown at a couple of festivals and at the Cinemateca, and in sessions outside the commercial circuit, and is now premiered in a restored digital copy, with a final plan that was not included in the original editing and was introduced by the director.
The Movement of Thingswas shot in the northern village of Lanheses, following the daily lives of three local families, and as an only child and rarely seen, it gained the status of a cult film and a singular work of national cinematography. But it is far from being comparable to the tapes of António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, in whose line it belongs. It is a curious and significant document about life in rural Portugal in the years after the 25th of April, even though the interior of the country had not been profoundly modified by the socio-economic and customs changes caused by the revolution.
Eurico de Barros

Here (and above) is the trailer.

*The Machine That Kills Bad People is, of course, the cinema – a medium that is so often and so visibly in service of a crushing status quo but which, in the right hands, is a fatal instrument of beauty, contestation, wonder, politics, poetry, new visions, testimonies, histories, dreams. It is also a film club devoted to showing work – ‘mainstream’ and experimental, known and unknown, historical and contemporary – that takes up this task. The group borrowed their name from the Roberto Rossellini film of the same title, and find inspiration in the eclectic juxtapositions of Amos Vogel’s groundbreaking New York film society Cinema 16.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 205: Tue Jul 26

The Bay of St Michel (Ainsworth, 1963): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.30pm

Actor and writer William Roberts will join BFI curator Josephine Botting in introducing this 35mm presentation which is part of the Projecting the Archive strand.

BFI introduction:
Bored and crushed by post-war life, a trio of ex-commandos are only too pleased to be summoned by their CO to undertake one final mission. In pursuit of treasure looted by the Nazis, they’re joined by a former French resistance fighter – but can she be trusted? Director John Ainsworth mostly worked in TV but his own wartime experiences inform this rarely seen feature, making for a taut thriller despite its low budget. Among its pleasures are Mai Zetterling doing the twist and a rare co-starring role for versatile Australian actor Trader Faulkner – a great supporter of the BFI who died last year.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 204: Mon Jul 25

Bodysong (Pummell, 2003): Genesis Cinema, 6.50pm

This 35mm presentation is part of the Jonny Greenwood season at Genesis Cinema. Details here.

Time Out review:
Moving from the micro (spermatozoa advancing on an egg) to the macro (Earth suspended in space), this first feature-length work from acclaimed animator/experimentalist Simon Pummell offers an exhilaratingly fresh look at the human experience. Boasting a fine score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, it's essentially a montage of archive footage sourced from a century of cinema and television. It's structured primarily according to the chronological progress of the human body, but also includes a few well-chosen detours into sex, illness, conflict, religion, art and politics. In sum, it embraces both individual and species, physics and metaphysics, body and soul. The images are enthralling, of course, but what lifts the movie above the picturesque if intellectually stunted posturing of such superficially similar projects as Koyaanisqatsi are the imaginative, witty and revealing links used to thread them all together. Fascinating.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 203: Sun Jul 24

The 400 Blows (Truffaut, 1959): Castle Cinema, 2pm

This 16mm presentation (also being screened on July 28th) is from the Cine Real team.

Chicago Reader review:
More conventional than Godard and more sentimental than Chabrol, Francois Truffaut spearheaded the breakthrough of the French New Wave with this highly autobiographical first feature (1959). Jean-Pierre Leaud is the wide-eyed boy who flees his battling parents only to find himself irrevocably alone. Distinguished by its intensity of feeling and freewheeling use of the wide-screen frame, the film ranks among Truffaut’s best.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.


Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 202: Sat Jul 23

Stevie (Enders, 1978): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 12 noon

Glenda Jackson’s knockout performance in a biopic about an extraordinary talent in an everyday world screens from a 35mm print in a season devoted to the actress.

BFI introduction:
Poet and novelist Stevie Smith (known as Peggy to her family) is the subject of this biopic based on the play by Hugh Whitemore. Jackson plays Smith, the accomplished writer who lives an unremarkable life in a suburban house with her aunt (Mona Washbourne), and reminisces about her past. Both leads bring to life an insightful script about an artist at different stages in her life, as she changes roles and faces inevitable truths.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 201: Fri Jul 22

The Big City (Ray, 1963): BFI Southbank, NFT1 5.50 (+ NFT2, 2.30 & NFT3, 8.20)

This film, the highlight of the Satyajit Ray season, is on an extended run at BFI Southbank. You can find the full details here.

Time Out review:
A funny and ambiguously ironic account of a young woman's progress from subdued, traditional housewife to wage earner, finally achieving equality when she resigns her job - a gesture of solidarity for a sacked friend - and joins her husband among the ranks of the lower middle class urban unemployed. Set in 1955 in a bank crash-ridden Calcutta, Ray's Ozu-like comedy about anglicised Indians who sprinkle their conversation with English phrases marks a step forward from the famous pastorales which made his name in the West.
Peter Watts

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 200: Thu Jul 21

The Mirror Has Two Faces (Streisand, 1996): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6pm

Barbra Streisand’s underappreciated revamping of Le Miroir à deux faces (1958) is part of the 'Woman With a Movie Camera' strand and is introduced by BFI Events Programmer Kimberley Sheehan.

Chicago Reader review:
I haven’t seen the 1958 Andre Cayatte feature this 1996 Barbra Streisand picture is based on, but given the usual glumness of that writer-director—a former lawyer and the French equivalent of Stanley Kramer—I wouldn’t have expected such lightheartedness. Adapted by Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King) and directed by Streisand, this is a quirky romantic comedy about two faculty members at Columbia University—an absentminded math teacher (Jeff Bridges) determined to have a sexless union and a “romantic literature” teacher (Streisand) who wants something more. A strange amalgamation of New Age sentiment and old-fashioned Hollywood glitz, all taking place on the far side of the moon, it’s kept watchable mainly by the performers—especially Bridges (in an offbeat departure), Streisand, and Lauren Bacall (as Streisand’s mother), but also Mimi Rogers, Pierce Brosnan, George Segal, Brenda Vaccaro, Elle Macpherson, and Austin Pendleton.
Jonathan Rosenabum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 199: Wed Jul 20

The Gambler (Reisz, 1974): Prince Charles Cinema, 6pm

This film, starring the late James Caan, is part of the Cinematic Jukebox season at the Prince Charles Cinema. Full details here

Time Out review:
James Caan's gambler (a fine performance) is a university lecturer who gets into hot water with the mobsters over his debts, and uses Dostoievsky to intellectualise his weakness into tragic compulsion. Predictably, his increasingly desperate measures are at the expense of those closest to him, and are accompanied by a deepening masochistic streak. In keeping with this definition of classic impulses, Karel Reisz's direction is panoramic, with aspirations towards the epic, when it should have been closer in and faster. The result is a highly melodramatic and romantic film, for all the veneer of disillusion, whose weighty statement too often swamps the potentially strong suspense. The Gambler looks all the more old-fashioned for coming in the wake of Robert Altman's systematic demythology of the subject in California Split; and James Toback showed how his script might perhaps have been tackled when he came to make his own directing debut with Fingers.
Chris Peachment

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 198: Tue Jul 19

Eve's Bayou (Lemmons, 1997): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.45pm

Chicago Reader review:
Unlike most stories that allude to incest, this intriguingly fractured 1997 narrative acknowledges the complexity of the faddish topic. Samuel L. Jackson plays the roguish father of ten-year-old Eve (Jurnee Smollett), whose mother and aunt seem to tolerate his extramarital affairs. Subplots are woven stealthily into the story, taking the pressure off the central drama, allowing it to be affecting rather than melodramatic, and heightening the atmosphere of the lush Louisiana setting. Aunt Mozelle (Debbi Morgan), who’s both clairvoyant and practical, is intimidated by the idea of fate and delivers some of the movie’s edgiest dialogue when she worries that she may be cursed because the men she marries keep dying.
Lisa Alspector

Here (and above) is the trailer.