Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 267: Wed Sep 28

8 Women (Ozon, 2002): Cine Lumiere, 6.15pm

This 35mm presentation, also being screened on September 25th and 30th plus October 11th, is part of the Isabelle Huppert season. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
A factory owner is found dead, and the finger of guilt passes from one occupant of his glamorous home to another: his coolly fashionable wife (Catherine Deneuve), his willful daughters (Virginie Ledoyen and Ludivine Sagnier), his morally loose sister (Fanny Ardant), his miserly mother-in-law (Danielle Darrieux), his neurotic sister-in-law (Isabelle Huppert), and the home’s two domestics (Firmine Richard and Emmanuelle Beart). Francois Ozon directed this slaphappy musical melodrama (2002), drawing on Douglas Sirk for his dramatic mise-en-scene and Vincente Minnelli for his saturated color schemes and iconic handling of the stars. The scandalous secrets come tumbling out in such profusion that the women’s issues are buried, and by the end the mystery has begun to crumple of its own weight. But the French screen royalty assembled by Ozon and the film’s sheer exuberance in its own artifice make this a delight from beginning to end.
JR Jones

Here (and above) os the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 266: Tue Sep 27

The Marriage of Maria Braun (Fassbinder, 1978): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.15pm

This film, also being screened on September 29th, is part of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder season at the Prince Charles Cinema. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
In 1979, Rainer Werner Fassbinder retreated from the failures of Chinese Roulette and Despair with what, for him, was an extremely naturalistic and accessible work. The sublime Hanna Schygulla stars as a plucky frau perennially separated from her husband, first by war, then by prison, and finally by pervasive capitalist malaise. She channels her frustrated romantic energy into the construction of an industrial empire—a plot that mixes love and money in the manner of Mildred Pierce. Though Fassbinder takes a more open attitude toward his characters, letting them exist as fully developed psychological specimens, his deadly irony continues to operate on the level of mise-en-scene, drawing his actors into an unstable world of seductive surfaces and shifting meanings. Fassbinder argues that happiness delayed is happiness denied, tempering the film's emotion with precise analysis.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 265: Mon Sep 26

Arabian Nights (Pasolini, 1974): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.15pm

This film, also being screened on October 3rd, is part of the Pier Paolo Pasolini season at the Prince Charles Cinema. Full details here.

Time Out review:
If The Decameron represented an intense vision behind its humourous facade, and The Canterbury Tales - the trilogy's weak point - a loss of ground amid a welter of sexual exhibitionism, the Arabian Nights
 emerges as a wonderfully relaxed and open puzzle of interlinked tales dedicated to the multiplicity of truth. It yields an engrossing array of mysterious, profound and liberating moments. The tales revolve around slaves and kings, demons, love, betrayal, loss and atonement. Zumurrud (Ines Pellegrini), a slave turned monarch, after her 'drag' wedding, amid delightfully conspiratorial laughter, reveals her true sexual identity to her diminutive (and equally delighted) bride. Shot on location in North Africa, the film has rarely been seen in Britain after its release in 1975 by United Artists - in an insanely dubbed version, ludicrously cut by the censor.
Verina Glaesser

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 264: Sun Sep 25

Mother (Naruse, 1952): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.20pm

This 35mm presentation, which will also screen on September 19th, is part of the Kinuyo Tanaka season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Slant magazine review:
Simultaneously sentimental and meta, director Mikio Naruse’s 
Mother depicts a period in the life of Masako Fukuhara (Kinuyo Tanaka) as narrated by her teenage daughter Toshiko (Kyôko Kagawa). Forced to take over the family dry-cleaning business after the death of her husband, Masako attempts to cope with her daughter’s rebellious behavior while also supporting her sickly son Susumu (Akihiko Katayama), now confined to a sanitarium. Toshiko, meanwhile, harbors suspicions that her mother is falling for her Uncle Kimura (Daisuke Katô)—fondly nicknamed “Uncle Prisoner” after his time as a POW in Manchuria—even as she herself starts to feel the first stirrings of love and passion. The mood throughout is, rather surprisingly for Naruse, almost sickly sweet, but there’s clearly a self-awareness to Mother, nowhere more evident than in the director’s brilliant use, during a movie-within-the-movie sequence, of a “The End” intertitle that rather harshly defuses the sentiment on display. Indeed, the characters seem acutely aware of the influence that populist art has on their lives; one of them even states, when speaking of a local movie-house offering, to “Bring your handkerchiefs.” Self-reflexivity can only take a film and its makers so far, so it’s no surprise that Naruse finds a perfect object of attention in Tanaka, her every gesture permeated with a truthfulness that counteracts even the most melodramatic of situations. Though Mother isn’t one of Naruse’s best, it does contain one of his finest closing images in which an exhausted Masako brushes back an errant strand of hair while Toshiko immortalizes her in poetic voiceover.
Keith Uhlich

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 263: Sat Sep 24

Pre-History of the Partisans (Tsuchimoto, 1969): Close-Up Cinema, 6pm

Organised by Open City Documentary Festival, a nine-screening programme of documentary maker Tsuchimoto Noriaki's films
will take place throughout September at the ICA and Close-Up, with a series of central screenings coinciding with the festival dates. Tonight, a part of the Close-Up programme, is a UK premiere.

Close-Up Cinema introduction:
Pre-history of the Partisans 
is one of the most extraordinary films about the student struggles taking place globally at the end of the 1960s. In 1969, Tsuchimoto (together with members of Ogawa Productions) had access to a self-organised group of students barricaded inside the Kyodai University in Kyoto. Tsuchimoto was critical of the sectarian conflict that divided the various leftist student groups, but at the same time was interested in their ability to organise, and willingness to act autonomously. The film, a direct-cinema masterpiece that would be a turning point in Tsuchimoto’s own method of working, documents in detail the discussions between the members of the group as they organise and discuss their ideas, define their tactics, prepare their fight, build barricades, and seek ways to broaden their struggle to overthrow not only academic authority but society as a whole.

“This film is perhaps the best documentary made, anywhere, about the student protests of the 1960s. Tsuchimoto was the only filmmaker or journalist allowed to witness the secret workings of an ultra-radical splinter group at the prestigious Kyoto University (alma mater of Oshima Nagisa). As Ogawa has done in Forest of Pressure, Tsuchimoto virtually lived with his subjects during the course of the shoot. Tsuchimoto, however, emerges as more even-handed than Ogawa toward his subjects, more dispassionate as a filmmaker. This is probably a function of the Partisan group’s overt desire for direct, violent confrontation with the authorities. While Tsuchimoto himself does not necessarily share his subjects’ views on the efficacy of violence, he does convey the honesty and intensity of the group members themselves.” – David Desser

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 262: Fri Sep 23

Brothel No 8 (Kumai, 1974): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm

This 35mm presentation, which will also screen on October 1st, is part of the Kinuyo Tanaka season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

BFI introduction:
A young female journalist researching ‘karayuki-san’ – impoverished Japanese girls and women sent abroad to work as prostitutes – interviews survivor Osaki (Tanaka), now an old woman. Recalling her story in flashback, Osaki reveals the painful reality of forgotten women in Japan’s history. Tanaka’s stunning performance won her the Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival and the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 261: Thu Sep 22

Who's Afraid of the Bogey Man? (Misselwitz, 1989): Goethe Institute, 7pm

This double-bill is part of
Portraits from an Other Germany, a season of screenings and discussions dedicated to the work of East German documentary filmmaker, Helke Misselwitz. The season is curated by Emily Mason in partnership with the National Film and Television School, the Goethe-Institut London and the ICA. 

As one of the most significant documentary filmmakers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), Helke Misselwitz first gained national recognition within East Germany for her 1988 feature film After Winter Comes Spring. In this, as in much of her work, her sensitive and perceptive interview style creates an intimate frame through which to view the private lives of her contributors. Misselwitz tirelessly seeks out personal stories from ordinary people, an approach which occasionally brought her into conflict with film censors when these stories did not conform to official narratives. 

Goethe Institute introduction:
To begin the season, we will look at some of Misselwitz’s most timely work, filmed in the years leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Bulky Trash (1990) the signs of the times are ever present, with protests against the GDR’s leadership forming the tumultuous background against which the four young musicians at the centre of the film live their lives. Through their punk band, Bulky Trash, ideas around youth culture are explored, as well as questions of how young people relate to older generations, and how they view the possibility of German reunification. 

Who’s Afraid of the Bogeyman? (1989) focuses on coal delivery workers, with the female owner of a family coal business at the forefront. Rather than an overly sentimental view of the work they do, we instead gain an understanding of the problems faced by these workers. Misselwitz’s emphasis on their private lives would have previously been considered taboo in East German cinema, not least due to the discussions of alcoholism, suicide and the possibility of escaping to the West.
35mm screening

Here (and above) is an extract from some of the director's work.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 260: Wed Sep 21

Mad Max 2 (Miller, 1981): Everyman Screen on the Green, 10.30am

This great sequel is part of the 'Mad Max on 35mm' season at the Everyman Islington Screen on the Green. This 35mm presentation also screens on September 17th. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
George Miller’s 1981 sequel to his 1980 sleeper, Mad Max. Set in a postapocalyptic Australia, where nomadic tribes battle each other for precious gasoline, it’s a highly stylized, roaringly dynamic action film that shuns plot and characterization in favor of a crazy iconographical melange—it’s like the work of a western punk trucker de Sade. The style is more spectacular and comic-bookish than that of the original, which isn’t all to the good: without the crude but functional motivations of the first film, the violence here comes to seem somewhat arbitrary and distasteful. But for pure rhythm and visual panache, Miller has few real competitors; the climactic chase, with its deft variation of tempo and point of view, is a minor masterpiece. With Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, and Vernon Wells; originally titled Mad Max 2.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 259: Tue Sep 20

The Last Supper (Alea, 1976): Barbican Cinema, 6.30pm

This film is part of the 'Cinema Restored' season at the Barbican and will be introduced by Cuban film expert Michael Chanan. Full details here.

Time Out review:
A brilliant Godardian parable, reflecting the contemporary Cuban situation through a tale of a slave revolt on a sugar plantation in late 18th century Havana (historically, the moment when the old slave-based industry was under pressure from the new mechanised European techniques of sugar refining, and when the heady scent of freedom was sniffed in the air). The action takes place over the days of Easter, culminating when a rich, fanatically religious landowner reconstructs the Last Supper with twelve slaves. But when the slaves' response theatens his economic interests, the pious Christian suppresses the uprising. This complex indictment of religious hypocrisy and cultural colonisation reflects the same subtlety as Alea's earlier Memories of Underdevelopment.
Lynda Myles

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 258: Mon Sep 19




The Films of Andy Warhol 1963-65: Barbican Cinema, 6.15pm

Barbican introduction:
Across the important period of 1963 - 1965, when Andy Warhol would first begin to work with film, he created multiple seminal works, that would rank among his most iconic and celebrated films, including Sleep (1963) and Empire (1964). This event will provide a rare opportunity to see a number of the films on 16mm. After the screening we will be joined by esteemed curators and writers John G. Hanhardt  and Dr. Elena Gorfinkel who will discuss the creative approaches and conceptual innovations which this period of Warhol’s career was characterised by. Following this conversation, audience members will be invited to the cinema foyer for a wine reception. This special event coincides with the announcement of The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne - 1963-1965 being awarded the 2022 Kraszna-Krausz Book Award for best Moving Image Book.


Jill and Freddy Dancing (16mm)  
US 1963 dir Andy Warhol 4 min

Eat (16mm)
US 1964 dir Andy Warhol 45 min

Restaurant (16mm)
US 1965 dir Andy Warhol 34 min

Here (and above) is an extract from Eat.


Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 257: Sun Sep 18

Story of Women (Chabrol, 1988): Cine Lumiere, 2pm

This 4K restoration, also screening on September 20th, is part of the Isabelle Huppert season at Cine Lumiere. Full details here.
The screening on 18 September will be preceded by an introduction from Professor Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze (Durham University).

Chicago Reader review:
A bit mislabeled—the French title is Une Affaire de Femmes, which translates better as “Women’s Business”—Claude Chabrol’s accomplished and generally uncharacteristic period film (1988), loosely adapted from a nonfiction book by lawyer Francis Szpiner, gives a plausible and wholly unsentimental account of a housewife and mother in occupied France (Isabelle Huppert at her finest) who becomes an abortionist and is sent to the guillotine for it. Married to a French soldier (Francois Cluzet) who’s in a POW camp, she doesn’t want to sleep with him after his return; she soon becomes the family breadwinner—a tough survivor who’s also helping other women out. Chabrol’s mise en scene and his handling of the period and performances are masterful.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 256: Sat Sep 17

The World of the Siberians (Tsuchimoto, 1968): ICA Cinema, 4.20pm

This 35mm presentation, a UK premiere, is part of the ICA Cinema retrospective devoted to the great Japanese documentary filmmaker Noriaki Tsuchimoto (full details here).

ICA introduction:
Tsuchimoto made this travelogue film in 1967, documenting a five-month journey from the port city of Nakhodka on the coast of the Sea of Japan, to Moscow on the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

Beautifully shot in colour, Tsuchimoto moves the camera from celebrations and official parades to the expressions of ordinary daily life, portraying the experiences of young people in Siberia. This commissioned film was televised, but this theatrical version was never released, and it is rarely shown.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 255: Fri Sep 16

Original Gangstas (Cohen, 1996): BFI Southbank, NT3, 9pm

This 35mm presentation, also being screened on September 20th, is part of the Pam Grier season at BFI Southbank. You can find the full details of the season here.

Time Out review:
Gary, Indiana: a dying steeltown. A young basketball hopeful is killed by hoodlums. An elderly cornerstore proprietor tells the cops who did it. The Rebels shoot him. The man's football-coach son (Williamson) returns from LA and, with the help of angry oldies, including the dead boy's mum (Grier) and estranged, ex-boxer father (Brown), sets about cleaning up the town. He declares war on the Rebels - ironic, given that two decades earlier he'd been a founder of the gang. Despite its standard formula, this belated blaxploitation picture is something of an oddity. First, it attempts to frame its story of ghetto warfare within an economic and political context; second, it pits '70s stars against the kind of younger, more heavily armed and more nihilistic characters familiar from '90s fare. In siding so explicitly with the old-timers in their outrage at mindless murder, it flirts with sentimentality, but at least it's not seduced by the gangstas' macho posturing; moreover, Williamson and Brown's own former irresponsibilities - abandoning families and struggling communities - are presented as being at least partly to blame for the chaos and carnage now on the streets. As an action-thriller the film never quite delivers; sociologically, however, it's not without interest.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 254: Thu Sep 15

The Life of Oharu (Mizoguchi, 1952): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6pm

This 35mm presentation, also being screened on September 24th, is part of the Kinuyo Tanaka season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
In 17th-century Japan, an aging prostitute (Kinuyo Tanaka) recalls her unfortunate life. Kenji Mizoguchi’s 1952 film is stately, controlled, and impeccably constructed. His fascination with the social roles of women leads him, in this film as in many others, to a profound discovery of elevated emotional states. A near-perfect work.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 253: Wed Sep 14

A Hen in the Wind (Ozu, 1948): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.50pm

This 35mm presentation, also being screened on September 10th, is part of the Kinuyo Tanaka season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Yasujiro Ozu’s 1948 feature stars Kinuyo Tanaka as a destitute mother, living on the industrial outskirts of Tokyo, who faces a moral quandary when her son becomes seriously ill. Unable to pay the child’s medical bills, she turns briefly to prostitution to raise the money, only to be confronted by her long-absent husband when he unexpectedly returns home from the front. A pointed moral indictment of Japan’s postwar society, this is also one of Ozu’s most emotionally charged movies. The mother’s willingness to submit to repeated humiliation for the sake of her family is a bit difficult to stomach at times, but the film has undeniably powerful moments, and the final shot is a beauty.
Reece Pendleton

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 253: Tue Sep 13

The Shiranui Sea (Tsuchimoto, 1975): ICA Cinema, 6.30pm

This 16mm presentation is part of the ICA Cinema retrospective devoted to the great Japanese documentary filmmaker Noriaki Tsuchimoto (full details here).

ICA introduction:
After the first compensations had been paid, Tsuchimoto turned his camera to the sea and to the reality of people’s daily affected lives and struggles with Minamata disease. The sea that carried the disease also provided the livelihood of these populations, who for generations had relied on traditional fishing for sustenance.The film establishes a comprehensive report about the Minamata situation throughout the years. There is a great sensibility in the way Tsuchimoto draws a portrait of these people, who tell about their experiences and expectations for the future, as they live with the disease and carry on with their lives. The Shiranui Sea is a lyrical tribute to the people’s resilience; a film of healing that establishes the caring dimension of Tsuchimoto’s cinema: a time-honed and collaborative way of filmmaking, deeply sensitive and alert. This screening opens with an introduction by Ricardo Matos Cabo.

The Shiranui Sea is a transcendent film in its lyrical evocation of place, in its formal audaciousness, in the sensitivity and firmness of its approach to its human subjects, and in the beauty of the tribute it pays to humanity revealing itself under extreme conditions.” Chris Fujiwa

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 252: Mon Sep 12

Friday Foster (Marks, 1975): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.45pm

This movie is part of the Pam Grier season at BFI Southbank. Here are details of the other 35mm screening (on September 21st) of this movie and here are the full list of films in the Grier season.

Chicago Reader review:
Standard Pam Grier action extravaganza (1975), glutted with sex and death. Someone notes near the beginning that Grier has “more balls than brains,” and ample evidence is provided as she tracks down a sinister organization called “Black Sunday” that’s plotting the mass murder of America’s black leaders. The film’s pretensions are so small that it’s almost charming in its self-abnegation.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 251: Sun Sep 11

Greased Lightning (Schultz, 1977): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 12pm

This movie is part of the Pam Grier season at BFI Southbank. Here are details of the other 35mm screening (on September 15th) of this movie and here are the full list of films in the Grier season.

BFI introduction:
Richard Pryor and Pam Grier team up for this biopic, loosely based on the life story of Wendell Scott, the first African American NASCAR race winner and 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. In 1930s Virginia, Wendell has made a name for himself as one of the fastest drivers. After a stint in the army, he returns home, marries Mary Jones (Grier) and tries to settle down. But a brush with the law finds him returning to the track and he soon proves himself the best.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 250: Sat Sep 10

Foxy Brown (Hill, 1974): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 2.45pm

Today's screening includes a Q&A with star Pam Grier. Here are details of other screenings (on September 13th and October 3rd) of this movie and here are the full list of films in the Grier season.

Chicago Reader review:
With her strong, chiseled features and take-no-prisoners attitude, Pam Grier was the best of the blaxploitation heroines of the 70s, transcending the tawdriness of vehicles like this one through sheer presence. She gamely bears the weight of this 1974 feature’s ideological inconsistency, functioning simultaneously as heroine and victim, avenger and sex kitten, conscience of the community and law unto herself. The film is dated, but its mixed message—and its potential to offend virtually everyone—still makes it a powerful discussion starter. Grier’s Foxy has to rescue her younger brother from a drug ring, fight organized crime, and prevent a drug shipment from reaching the streets of her community, and along the way she’s manhandled, abused, degraded, and displayed as a spectacle. Not for those made squeamish by torture, rape, castration, or foul language.
Barbara Scharres

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 250: Fri Sep 9


The Great Silence (Corbucci, 1968): & Cut-Throats Nine (Marchent, 1972):
Mildmay Club, Newington Green, London, N16, 6.30pm

Michael McGrath-Brookes of Brunel University is introducing this screening, cancelled at the recent 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 249: Thu Sep 8

Minamata: The Victims and Their World (Tsuchimoto, 1971): ICA Cinema, 8pm

This film is part of the ICA Cinema retrospective devoted to the great Japanese documentary filmmaker Noriaki Tsuchimoto (full details here).

Sight and Sound review:
A turning-point in Tsuchimoto’s life and work came with his involvement in the struggle for recognition and reparation for the victims of an environmental disaster and a devastating neurological disease both known by the name of the fishing village of Minamata. From the 1930s, the Chisso Corporation had been dumping mercury-filled waste from its local plant into the sea; the mercury attacked the central nervous system of those who ate locally caught fish, causing a range of debilitating symptoms and even death. The disease also struck foetuses carried by afflicted women, causing deformities and mental impairment.

The body of work Tsuchimoto devoted to the victims, their families and their surroundings encompassed 17 films, of which Minamata: The Victims and Their World is the most widely known. Tsuchimoto isn’t afraid to let his camera roll for extended shots of afflicted patients, with results that are alternately harrowing, tender and deeply sad. He also commits himself to the texture and details of the everyday lives of the people of Minamata: a striking sequence shows an octopus fisherman trudging through shallow water, the many-tentacled bundle of his catch dangling behind him on a rope. In such scenes, the film suggests life continuing and the possibility of renewal.

Tsuchimoto uses the synchronisation of sound and image as an emotional element. At one point a woman says with great passion that, having seen the truth of the state, she must fight against it till the end of her life – but at the same time a non-synchronous close-up shows her talking much more composedly. The sound-image relationship reaches its height of complexity in the film’s magnificent set-piece sequence of a Chisso shareholders’ meeting, where a group of Minamata Disease sufferers and their supporters confront the corporate officers over the company’s responsibility for the tragedy. As we watch the executives on stage making their ceremonial speeches, their voices are completely absent from the soundtrack, while their accusers’ impassioned voices alone are heard. Watching such scenes in the wake of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in north-east Japan and the nuclear crisis at Fukushima, it is impossible not to feel the resonance of Tsuchimoto’s examination of environmental disaster and governmental and corporate responsibility.
Chris Fujiwara

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 248: Wed Sep 7

The Last of the Mohicans (Mann, 1992): Screen on the Green, 10.30am

This great Michael Mann movie is part of the '90s Films on 35mm' programme at the Everyman Islington Screen on the Green. This also screens on September 3rd.  Details here.

Time Out review:
Set in the mountainous frontier wilderness of the colony of New York in 1757, this charts the role played by Hawkeye (Daniel Day Lewis) in the complex war waged between the English and the French and their respective allies among both settlers and Indians. Adopted as a child by the Mohican Chingachgook (Russell Means) after his white settler parents were killed, Hawkeye belongs to neither one culture nor the other. Similarly, he is both warrior and peacemaker; and it is this dichotomy which simultaneously alienates him from the English military and wins him the love of the colonel's daughter (Madeleine Stowe). While few would deny the impressive spectacle Mann provides in some truly magnificent battle scenes, criticisms have been levelled at the way the film changes from a historically accurate account of the war into a full-blown love story. Indeed, it is best seen as an epic romantic adventure of a sort seldom executed with much intelligence these days. As such, Mann's characteristic mix of rousing, profoundly physical action, lyrical interludes, and strikingly stylish imagery, serves to create superior mainstream entertainment.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 247: Tue Sep 6

The Kid Stays in the Picture (Burstein/Morgan, 2002): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6pm

This screening will be introduced by joint-director Brett Morgen.

Chicago Reader review:
If you ever suspected that assholes are running the world, this 2002 documentary adapting producer and former actor Robert Evans’s autobiography, narrated with relish by Evans himself–the cinematic equivalent of a Vanity Fair article, complete with tuxes and swimming pools–offers all the confirmation you’ll ever need. A particularly telling moment occurs when Evans boasts about convincing his pal Henry Kissinger to attend a premiere just before flying to Europe on a diplomatic mission, leading one to speculate whether the world would be different today if Evans had become secretary of state and won the Nobel Peace Prize in the mid-70s and Kissinger had been pegged to play Irving Thalberg and a matador, then star in The Fiend Who Walked the West. Evans is equally proud of having produced Love Story and Chinatown, and his friendship with such comrades in arms as Kissinger and Peter Bart, the current editor of Variety, is further evidence or how wide–or how narrow–his talents are. He’s also not bad at impressions–whether he’s imitating Kissinger or his producer pals. Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein do a swell job of making this self-dramatization entertaining.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 246: Mon Sep 5

Shunkinsho: Okoto to Sasuke (Shimazu, 1935): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.10pm

This 35mm presentation, also being screened on September 5th, is part of the Kinuyo Tanaka season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Film at Lincoln Center review:
Among Tanaka’s personal favorites, the first of many adaptations of Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s classic novel A Portrait of Shunkin casts the 25-year-old actress as a blind music teacher, Okoto, living affluently in Osaka during the Meiji era. She rejects nearly every male suitor, but her servant Sasuke (Kōkichi Takada), who escorts her to lessons, takes his growing adoration for her to bizarre lengths. Employing a sharply confined, period-specific space and a sync soundtrack of koto-shamisen music, Shimazu transforms the source text’s masochistic romance into something more like a chaste melodrama, while Tanaka’s magnetic, astonishingly modern performance instigates the film’s palpably tense climax.

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 245: Sun Sep 4

Loulou (Pialat, 1980): Cine Lumiere, 2pm

This 35mm presentation, also screening on Tuesday September 6th, is part of the Isabelle Huppert season at Cine Lumiere. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Maurice Pialat’s 1980 film is a study in erotic revolution; in it, sex becomes a force that shatters not only class allegiances and social patterns but even the order represented by traditional narrative structure. Isabelle Huppert is a model middle-class wife who leaves her possessive husband (Guy Marchand) for street tough Gerard Depardieu; he lives off her money, but Pialat artfully blurs the line between exploiter and exploited—it’s hard to say who is using whom. The film, shot largely in handheld long takes, addresses the question of possession—of how much our society, and even the stories we tell, depends on the notion of one person’s “right” to another. It’s one of the most original French films of the period, and, I think, a great one.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.