Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 315: Tue Nov 15

The Woman in the Dunes (Teshigahara, 1964): Prince Charles Cinema, 3.20pm

This is a 35mm presentation.

Chicago Reader review:
'Japanese New Wave director Hiroshi Teshigahara's 1964 allegory on the meaning of freedom and the discovery of identity. An office worker (Eiji Okada) on an entomological holiday spends the night with a widow (Kyoko Kishida), whose shack at the bottom of a sand pit becomes his prison. Gradually he learns to love her and to help her in her endless task of shoveling sand, which the local villagers use to protect themselves from the elements. A bizarre film, distinguished not so much by Kobo Abe's rather obvious screenplay as by Teshigahara's arresting visual style of extreme depth of focus, immaculate detail, and graceful eroticism.'
Dan Druker

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 314: Mon Nov 14

The Draughtsman's Contract (Greenaway, 1982):
BFI Southbank, NFT1, 2pm; 6.30pm; NFT2, 8.40pm

This re-release, part of the Peter Greenaway season at BFI Southbank, starts an extended run at the cinema on November 11th. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
British writer-director Peter Greenaway’s 1982 film is entertaining as an avant-garde exercise cleverly adapted to commercial ends. In 17th-century England a landscape artist makes an agreement with the wife of a wealthy landowner to trade his work for her sexual favors. All goes well until mysterious objects begin to clutter the grounds (and the artist’s sketches), pointing to a sinister plot. Greenaway’s structuralist pedigree is evident in his elaborate visual plan, which puts both artist and audience at the mercy of incomprehensible images. Yet the film’s mass appeal is located in its dry and tony pseudo-Restoration dialogue, which skirts the sexual issues with a fashionable callousness.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 313: Sun Nov 13

Dear Louise (De Broca, 1972): Cine Lumiere, 2pm

This screening is part of the French Film Festival at Cine Lumiere. Full details here.

Cine Lumiere introduction:
The young Louise (Jeanne Moreau) is an art teacher in Annecy. When she meets Luigi (Julian Negulesco), a young Italian immigrant, she falls in love and takes him under her wing, inviting him to live in her house. But age difference and lack of money don’t make for a happy home. This classic was directed by Philippe de Broca (The Man from Rio and King of Hearts).

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 312: Sat Nov 12

Mulholland Dr (Lynch, 2001): Prince Charles Cinema, 1.15pm

Harvard Film Archive introduction:
"Like Billy Wilder’s film named after another iconic Hollywood street, Mulholland Drive tells a sordid tale of the industry of illusion and its boulevards of broken dreams – but for David Lynch, these dreams fold into dreams within dreams within dreams. Originally intended as a pilot for a television series, Lynch’s möbius riddle was rejected by TV executives. In restructuring it for the silver screen, Lynch crafted one of his finest masterworks. When the perky, wholesome Betty Elms lands in Hollywood for what could be her big break, she meets “Rita,” an ostensible femme fatale who is rendered identity-less because of amnesia from a car accident. Lynch’s (and Hollywood’s) dazzling dream factory sets to work with mysterious objects, startling visions, amusing detours and revelatory alterations in acting styles and character identities. The noir cracks open and gives way to a multi-toned, terrifyingly beautiful hallucination that is as much a complex reflection on Hollywood as it is an endlessly transforming psychological puzzle. Cinematic archetypes – including all versions of the female presented or rejected by Hollywood – double, reflect and regenerate into uncanny metaphors in Lynch’s subconscious minefield where the fluid layers of identity, nostalgia, desire, deception and projection could be in the minds of the characters, the audience, or a complete fabrication by dark, unknown forces behind the scenes … or well beyond."

There's a terrific piece on the movie written which you can find here by Robert Bright in The Quietus. 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 311: Fri Nov 11

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Mamoulian, 1931): Cinema Museum, 7pm

This Gothique Film Society evening also includes a screening of The Raven (1935).

Chicago Reader review:
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, this 1932 screen adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic is a remarkable achievement that deserves to be much better known. Fredric March won a well-deserved Oscar for his performance as the lead, and Miriam Hopkins and Rose Hobart play the two women who match the opposite sides of the hero’s nature. The transformations of Jekyll are a notable achievement for March and Mamoulian alike, and the disturbing undercurrents of the story are given their full due (as they weren’t in the much inferior 1941 Victor Fleming version with Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, and Lana Turner). Mamoulian was at his peak in the early 30s, as this film shows.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 310: Thu Nov 10

The Firm (Clarke, 1989): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 9pm

This film in the Gary Oldman season also screens on November 2nd. Details here.

Starburst review:
What The Firm does so well is, not only does it explore the notion of hooliganism itself, it also serves as an insight into Thatcher’s Britain and all that it encompassed. At that time, hope was at a minimum, and so certain people would seek to get some sort of a pep in their step by smashing the face in of a rival football fan. Simple? Yes. Savage? Yes. Bleak? Yes. But that’s the point of The Firm; it highlights the tribalism and belonging that was craved by so many with little to hold onto or look forward to. Even when things take a turn for the worst – as ever with these things – those involved still somehow manage to flip that into yet another cause to go out cracking skulls over. The ’80s was a depressing time for many, and Clarke used that bleakness to perfection here as these everyday sorts crave some form of buzz, with Gary Oldman delivering one of his most impressive performances ever (which is quite the statement in itself). The Firm may be outdone by the likes of The Football Factory and Green Street when it comes to the brutal violence that’s draped over such tales – truth be told, the actual fight scenes in The Firm look terribly outdated and poorly choreographed – but Clarke’s film is so much more than any of its contemporaries even though it was released over 25 years ago. To this day, The Firm remains the finest exploration and examination of football hooliganism, yet still manages to be far more than simply the sum of its parts.
Andrew Pollard

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 309: Wed Nov 9

Inferno (Argento, 1980): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.40pm

This film, also screening on November 26th, is part of the 'In Dreams Are Monsters' season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Horror expert Kim Newman hailed Inferno oin his seminal Nightmare Movies book as Dario Argento's greatest work, his "masterpiece".

Empire review:
Defiantly refusing to make narrative sense, this revolves around two evil houses - one in Rome, one in New York - and the witch-like goddesses who haunt them. A succession of unfortunate mortals become intrigued by the mysteries surrounding the houses, and mainly come to bad ends in sequences staged by Argento with all the imaginative flair of Busby Berkeley dance routines. Argento goes overboard with the vivid camera work, and anyone expecting a story is doomed to extreme frustration. There is, surprisingly, an unusual degree of cynical humour to the proceedings and the requisite collection of blankly beautiful actresses. The kind of film that starts off with a climax and builds to a plateau of surrealist delirium that, one way or another, will have you shrieking.
Kim Newman

Here (and above) is a trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 308: Tue Nov 8

The Abyss (Cameron, 1989): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.15pm

This is a 35mm presetnation.

Chicago Reader review:
The third collaboration of writer-director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd was a big-budget action thriller about a group of underwater oil diggers who go looking for a lost nuclear submarine and wind up encountering extraterrestrials. Shot largely underwater and with direct sound, it had a visceral kick to it that enhanced Cameron’s flair for high-tech special effects and streamlined storytelling, but the attempt to extract the essences of several genres (cold-war submarine thriller, love story, Disney fantasy, pseudomystical SF in the Spielberg mode) and mix them together ultimately led to giddy incoherence. This “special edition,” actually Cameron’s original three-hour cut, is 27 minutes longer than the 1989 version, and according to most descriptions it’s also vastly superior.
Jonathan  Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 307: Mon Nov 7

Three Colours Trilogy (Kieślowski, 1993-94): Prince Charles Cinema, 6pm

This is a 35mm presentation.

Guardian review (extract):
Krzysztof Kieślowski films that meake up the trilogy are Three Colours: Blue (1993), Three Colours: White (1994) and Three Colours: Red (1994), notionally colour-schemed in the manner of the French flag, and – again, notionally – structured around the classic themes of the French republic: liberty, equality and brotherhood. With a little effort, the relevance of each can be detected in each film, but as Kieslowski himself cheerfully conceded, these concepts were there because the production funding was French. The real themes of the trilogy are more disparate, more chaotic, less high-minded, and far more interesting: the unending torture of love, the inevitability of deceit, the fascination of voyeurism and the awful potency of men's fear and loathing of women. To throw everything away, including one's very identity, and start again – that is another powerful, recurrent motif.

They are about entirely different people in different cities, though there are little overlapping, disorientating touches in which the leading character of one film is glimpsed in cameo in another, a technique which effectively points up the artifice of everything that is being presented on screen. (Lucas Belvaux's Trilogy (2002) was similar, but the Venn-diagram overlaps were much closer, and the three films more intimately interconnected.)

What on earth have these people and these stories got to do with each other? At first glance, the final moments of Three Colours: Red would seem to provide an explanation to be applied retrospectively in a backstory "twist", making the Three Colours comparable to Michael Haneke's 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994) or indeed Emilio Estevez's Bobby (2006), about the assassination of Robert Kennedy. But at second or third glance, those final moments – that shivering parade of bewildered people on a lifeboat – are quite as perplexing as everything else.
Peter Bradshaw (you can read the full review here)

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 306: Sun Nov 6

The Falls (Greenaway, 1980): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 2.40pm

This presentation, also screening on October 22nd, is part of the Peter Greenaway season at BFI Southbank. Full details of the season can be found here.

Time Out review:
Peter Greenaway's fantasy expands enormously the same obsessions as his earlier A Walk Through H and Vertical Features Remake: a cross between Alice after the Holocaust and the ramblings of a deranged film librarian. Set in a strangely serene future - after a Violent Unexplained Event which has irrevocably changed Life as We Know It - The Falls sets out to document the biographies of 92 victims of the event, all selected on the basis that their names begin with the letters 'Fall'. The strategy is ingenious, substituting an amazing excess of 'content' for the formalism that has (usually) defined the avant-garde. Not recommended to people who like one story, two characters, and a happy ending. But for those who like riddles, acrostics, sudden excursions, romantic insights, and the eerie music of Michael Nyman (plus bits of Brian Eno)...come to Xanadu.

Here (and above) is a trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 305: Sat Nov 5

The Wedding March (Von Stroheim, 1928): Cinema Museum, 8pm

This 35mm screening is the highlight of the Kennington Bioscope's sixth Silent Film Festival. You can find all the details here.

Time Out review:
Like Foolish Wives, Greed and Queen Kelly, The Wedding March (originally made in two parts, of which only the first is extant) survives as a mutilated masterpiece, even this first part having been cut from 14 reels to ll. Charting the ill-starred romance between a Viennese prince (Von Stroheim in an unusually sympathetic role) and a lowly commoner (Fay Wray), the film would perhaps appear to be its cynical creator's most romantic work, were it not for the marvellously detailed portrait of the corruption of society in general, rich and poor. Nevertheless, it is the love scenes, played beneath shimmering apple blossoms in lyrical soft focus, that stick in the memory, ironically turning what is now the film's ending - the frustration of that love - into one of the director's most bitterly pessimistic scenes.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the inroduction to the film when shown on Channel 4 in the late 1990s.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 304: Fri Nov 4

The Straight Story (Lynch, 1999): Prince Charles Cinema, 12.15pm

This 35mm presentation is also being screened on November 6th and 10th, and is part of the David Lynch season at the Prince Charles. Full details here.

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 2022 — Day 303: Thu Nov 3

 Home Suite (Smith, 1994): Close-Up Cinema, 8.15pm

This film, along with the short 'Blight' being shown this evening, is part of the John Smith Introspective season at Close-Up season. Full details here plus below the Close-Up introduction.

Home Suite
John Smith, 1993-94, 96 min

Home Suite is a close-up journey through a domestic landscape and a journey through memory. Playing upon ambiguity and the unseen, the tape uses physical details of the space to trigger fragmented verbal descriptions of associated memories.

"John Smith takes us on a real time tour of the home from which he is being evicted, chronicling the history of the everyday items he has lived with and bringing them back to life. Reminiscences of the emotional scenes which have been played out on the stair carpet, the confusion of trying to remember who brought each of the many toothbrushes, and the problems of decorating the kitchen, are both hilarious and poignant. The ephemera and detritus of everyday life as seen through the eyes of a comic genius." – Abina Manning  

"The space gradually fills with its history: complex, eccentric, funny, until it has become a kind of monumental environment, about which epic stories could be told for ever more. The work serves to remind us about the complexities of the history of even simple spaces and objects, a complexity to which most films do not even begin to do justice."
Nicky Hamlyn

John Smith, 1994-96, 14 min

Blight revolves around the building of the M11 Link Road in East London, combining images and sounds of demolition and road building with the spoken words of local residents. Taking these actualities as its starting point, Blight exploits the ambiguities of its material to create its own metaphorical fictions. The emotive power of Jocelyn Pook’s music is used in the film to overtly aid this invention, investing mundane images with dramatic significance.

"A stunning montage depicts the destruction of a London street to make way for new roads. The rhythmic, emotive soundtrack is partly musical and partly a collage of the residents’ voices. Shots and sounds echo and cross-link in the film’s 14 minutes to reinvent a radical documentary tradition."
A.L. Rees

Here (and above) John Smith discusses Home Suite and Blight, the films being shown at this screening.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 302: Wed Nov 2

Let's Scare Jessica To Death (Hancock, 1971): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.45pm

This 35mm presentation, also being screened on November 19th,
is part of the 'In Dreams Are Monsters' season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Kim Newman has written about this film in the latest Sight & Sound as it's in his top ten in the magazine's forthcoming Greatest Films poll and it's well worth a read.

Here is an extract from Tom Fellows' review at the website:
That Let's Scare Jessica to Death should be overlooked as one of the finest horror pictures of the 1970s is apt. Lacking the guttural, attention grabbing scares of contemporaries Night of the Living Dead and Last House on the Left, the film is a more somber, subdued affair. Its autumnal light casts dark shadows and the rural farmhouse location becomes secondary to the inner landscape of a mentally unstable mind. Also Let's Scare Jessica to Death refuses the sensationalism usually associated with movie madness (no cannibal doctors or men dressed as their mothers here) and instead retreats inward, sharing whispered thoughts and ghostly warnings. Like its central protagonist, it is a movie that shyly refuses to draw attention to itself, but underneath lays insanity, sadness and startling beauty. A masterpiece.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 301: Tue Nov 1

I Walked with a Zombie (Tourneur, 1943): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.10pm


This 35mm presentation, also screening on October 20th, is part of the 'In Dreams Are Monsters' season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
This elegant little 1943 film by Jacques Tourneur, a tale of voodoo and devil worship in the West Indies, is one of the most poetic works to emerge from the Val Lewton unit at RKO in the 40s; it transcends the conventions of the horror genre and remains one of Lewton-Tourneur's most compelling studies in light and darkness. Not to be missed. With Frances Dee, Tom Conway, and Edith Barrett.
Don Druker

Here (and above) is the opening to this deeply fascinating movie.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 300: Mon Oct 31

Mandy (Mackendrick, 1952): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 2pm

This film is free for BFI members over 60.

Chicago Reader review:
Alexander Mackendrick was chiefly known for his wry comedies (The Man in the White Suit, Whisky Galore); this 1952 film was one of his rare forays into drama, and it shows him the master of an understated but highly charged style. What seems at first a typical problem drama of the period—a mother’s attempts to secure some kind of education for her deaf daughter—is revealed as only the central image in a more general evocation of the failures of communication in the British family structure. The vivid performances Mackendrick elicits from his players (Phyllis Calvert, Mandy Miller) combine with a subjective camera style to create one of the few emotionally demanding experiences in the British cinema. With Jack Hawkins and Terence Morgan; retitled Crash of Silence in the U.S.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 299: Sun Oct 30

Szyfry (Has, 1966): Close-Up Cinema, 8.15pm

This film is part of the Never on Snday season at Close-Up Cinema. Full details of past films here.

Close-Up Cinema introduction:
Championed for his intricate narratives and hypnotic imagery by people like Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, Luis Buñuel and Martin Scorsese, Wojciech Has uses a historical frame only to bend the notions of time and space. The result, Szyfry (The Codes), is one of the most complex Polish films about the moral dilemmas of Second World War. Made right after his international breakthrough, The Saragossa Manuscript, Szyfry is about a Second World War veteran returning to Warsaw from his long London exile to meet the wife and son he has left behind. His son, a former member of the resistance, open his father's eyes to the fate of the fourth member of their family, his disappeared brother, and the inconvenient truth that he might have been a Nazi collaborator. Featuring some of Has's most staggering dream/nightmare sequences, this rarely seen gem is one of the essential films of Polish cinema of the 1960s.”
Ehsan Khoshbakht

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 298: Sat Oct 29

Bram Stroker's Dracula (Coppola, 1992): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.30pm

This film, which also screens on October 19th with Sir Christopher Frayling introduction, is also at BFI Southbank on 23rd November and is part of the Gary Oldman season. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Most film versions of Dracula
 have been based not on the 1897 novel but on the 1927 stage adaptation. Francis Coppola’s ambitious 1992 version, written by coproducer James V. Hart, brings back the novel’s multiple narrators, leading to a somewhat dispersed and overcrowded story line that remains fascinating and often affecting thanks to all its visual and conceptual energy. (Some of this derives from musings about what was going on culturally in Europe at the turn of the century, including the decadent art of Beardsley, Klimt, and Huysmans and the birth of both movies and psychoanalysis.) Still the overreacher, Coppola suffers from a surfeit of ideas. But this is still a visual feast with those ideas, more disturbing than scary. Gary Oldman stars as the infamous count, and the costars include Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Sadie Frost, and Tom Waits (the latter two are especially good).
Jonathan Rosenabum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 297: Fri Oct 28

Meantime (Leigh, 1983): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 5.50pm

This film, also being ahown on October 17th, is part of the Gary Oldman season. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
What produces a skinhead is the subtle subject of Mike Leigh’s powerful and mysterious feature for British TV, though it may take you most of the film to realize it. We’re treated to the bitter inertia of a family on the dole in a cramped high rise in London’s East End, with particular emphasis on a raspy layabout (Phil Daniels) who berates and undermines his nearly catatonic kid brother (Tim Roth, who played van Gogh in Vincent and Me); a street punk; a young woman in the neighborhood; and the boys’ aunt, who has married into the middle class. Watch for an interesting early performance by Gary Oldman, as well as contributions from Marion Bailey and Alfred Molina.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is an extract.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 296: Thu Oct 27

The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (Grau, 1974): Prince Charles Cinema, 4pm

This film is also being shown on October 6th. Full details here.

Time Out review:
'Although made in the Lake District with a mainly dubbed cast, Arthur Kennedy as a very American English policeman, and a plot indebted to Night of the Living Dead, this works against all the odds. Through intelligent handling of locations, England becomes a very bleak place indeed, full of sinister quietness. Hero and heroine, thrown together by chance, find themselves pursued by both police and an army of cannibalistic living dead through this increasingly nightmarish landscape. It's a film of unrelieved blackness, from the seedy photographer who snaps his junkie wife cowering in the bath to homicidal babies, from mongol child at a petrol station to Kennedy's brutal sergeant. It's all the more absurdly fatalistic for refusing to draw political, moral or social conclusions.'
Verina Glaessner

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 295: Wed Oct 26

Manhunter (Mann, 1986): Prince Charles Cinema, 6pm

This 35mm presentation also screens on October 6th. Details here.

Time Out review:
'Michael Mann hits top form with this splendidly stylish and oppressive thriller adapted from Thomas Harris' Red Dragon. The plot is complex and ingenious: FBI forensics expert Will Graham (William Peterson), blessed (and tormented) by an ability to fathom the workings of the criminal mind through psychic empathy, is brought back from voluntary retirement to track down a serial killer, the 'Tooth Fairy'. Focused on the anxiety and confusion of the hunter rather than his psychotic prey, the film functions both as a disturbing examination of voyeurism, and as an often almost unbearably grim suspenser. Mann creates a terrifying menacing atmosphere without resorting to graphic depiction of the seriously nasty killings: music, designer-expressionist 'Scope photography, and an imaginative use of locations, combine with shots of the aftermath of the massacres to evoke a world nightmarishly perceived by Graham's haunted sensibility. The performances, too, are superior, most memorably Cox's intellectually brilliant and malevolent asylum inmate. One of the most impressive American thrillers of the late '80s.'
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 294: Tue Oct 25

The Decks Ran Red (Stone, 1958): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.30pm

This is a 35mm presentation as part of the Projecting the Archive strand.

BFI introduction:
First Officer Ed Rumill (James Mason) can’t turn down his first chance to helm a ship, even though it’s a rusty old freighter and the last captain died in mysterious circumstances. He soon realises that mutiny is brewing and enlists the help of the cook’s attractive young wife (Dorothy Dandridge) to save the ship. Dandridge, whose centenary is this November, holds her own among the testosterone-fuelled cast, giving a compelling performance that takes her character from femme fatale to action hero. With implausible plotting and over-the-top dialogue, the film is a rollercoaster ride of adventure and melodrama.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 293: Mon Oct 24

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 292: Sun Oct 23

Walk on the Wild Side (Dmytryk, 1962): Cinema Museum, 6pm

Cinema Museum introduction to 35mm screening:
The Vito Project LGBTQ+ Club
 returns with its brand new season – Imitations of Life: Deconstructing Camp in Classic Hollywood. We will explore how camp has been used not only to bring joy and laughter to audience, but also as a tool to get subversive queer, feminist and socially-charged content to the screen – all the while eluding critics in the process! Each movie is preceded by an introduction and followed by a panel discussion discussing the movie through a queer lens, and a conversation with the audience.

With Walk on the Wild Side, directed by Edward Dmytryk, the Vito Project returns to one of its favourite themes: queerness under censorship in Classic Hollywood. This torrid and lurid slice of Southern Gothic melodrama is not only dripping with atmosphere and repressed queerness, but also features three generations of Hollywood grand dames: tough-as-nails Barbara Stanwyck as a gloriously decadent lesbian bordello madam, Anne Baxter stripped off her Eve Baxter malice and instead sporting a quasi-Latino accent, and new kid on the block Jane Fonda as the not-quite-ingenue who is about to be corrupted by a simmering hotpot of vice and sin.

Set in Depression era New Orleans, in Walk on the Wild Side down-to-earth, good-natured Dove Linkhorn (Laurence Harvey) train hops from Texas to Louisiana with Kitty Twist (Jane Fonda) in search of his lost love Hallie (Capucine), a soft-spoken, sophisticated artist. Once in New Orleans, Dove is devastated to discover that she has been reduced to working in the “Doll House”, a high society bordello run by ruthless madam Jo Courtney (Barbara Stanwyck). But when Dove tries to take Hallie away he finds himself fighting for his life against bordello thugs and the jealous Jo who wants Hallie for herself.

Here (and aboove) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 291: Sat Oct 22

Strange But True (Lipkes, 2017): Close-Up Cinema, 8.15pm

Close Up Cinema introduction to this screening:
We’re excited to present the second part of a programme of films by Michel Lipkes, in collaboration with Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image. Lipkes’s films explore human solitude and yearning in a context of overwhelming urban alienation, in which relationships of power condition existential predicaments. His films convey a sense of cinema based on a variety of influences that go from Nicholas Ray to Robert Bresson and from Samuel Beckett to JG Ballard.

Rotterdam Film Festival introduction:
Jonathan and Yesi are in love, but fearfully keep this from Mister Clean, their dodgy boss on the bin wagons. In Mexico City, there is no end to the refuse. Cardboard and plastic are separated on the spot, and half-empty bottles of drink finished off in one go; for tips, they will collect the refuse from your kitchen. Everything changes when a body turns up among the containers, its pockets stuffed with cash. Mister Clean comes up with a plan that will benefit them all. In today’s Mexico, it’s simply impossible not to get tangled up in the wretchedness of the violent underworld. This second feature by Michel Lipkes shows an inescapable downward spiral – though not without a glimmer of hope – in luscious black-and-white. Film buff Lipkes nods to masters through clever references and symbolism, making
Strange but True both an homage and movie-spotter’s delight on several levels. Hope, love, and belief in the power of cinema.

Here is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 290: Fri Oct 21

The Saddest Music in the World (Maddin, 2003): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.10pm

This film, also beign shown on November 3rd, is part of the Guy Maddin season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Mannerist film antiquarian Guy Maddin takes a bold step forward with this 2003 feature, a comic/melodramatic musical enhanced by his flair for expressionist studio shooting (in grainy black and white, with selected scenes in two-strip Technicolor). The project originated as a script by novelist Kazuo Ishiguro; revising extensively, Maddin and George Toles, his usual collaborator, turn it into an allegory about Canada’s colonial relationship with the U.S. In the depths of the Depression, a Winnipeg beer baroness (Isabella Rossellini) launches an international contest to come up with “the saddest music in the world.” Competing for the U.S. is her former lover (Mark McKinney), a brassy Broadway producer; for Serbia the producer’s older brother (Ross McMillan), who grieves for his dead son and vanished amnesiac wife (Maria de Madeiros); and for Canada both men’s father (David Fox), a surgeon who’s drunkenly amputated Rossellini’s legs. Not to be missed
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 289: Thu Oct 20

Habit (Fessenden, 1997): ICA Cinema, 6.30pm

ICA introduction:
Larry Fessenden’s horror-infused exploration of loss, addiction, paranoia and madness in 1990s New York has continued to resonate in the three decades since its US release – and we’re delighted that this UK premiere screening will be followed by a Q&A with writer, director, editor and lead actor Larry Fessenden, who will discuss the film and the broader role of his production company Glass Eye Pix since its formation in 1985. After losing his father and splitting with his girlfriend Liza (Heather Woodbury), alcoholic Sam (Fessenden) finds solace with the mysterious, unpredictable Anna (Meredith Snaider), who he meets at a Halloween party hosted by his friend Nick (Aaron Beall). But there’s something strange about the seductive Anna – and as their relationship progresses, Sam’s grip on reality begins to crumble.  Recently the subject of a 20-film retrospective at MoMA in New York, Fessenden and Glass Eye Pix are beginning to receive the recognition they deserve for a four-decade legacy of intelligent, auteur-driven, low-budget filmmaking and their nurturing of emerging talent as diverse as writer/directors Ti West and Kelly Reichardt.

Here (and above) is the trailer.