Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 362: Sat Dec 31

When Harry Met Sally (Reiner, 1989): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.15pm

An appropriate annual New Year's Eve screening of this re-released crowd-pleaser, the Prince Charles Cinema trumping the other venues showing the movie by screening on 35mm.

Time Out review:
Too often dismissed as the bland, cutesy, cakey-bakey face of the modern romcom, the late Nora Ephron was an unacknowledged genius when it came to screenplay construction – and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ remains her finest work. This is a film where everything works: Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan’s just-this-side-of-smug central couple, the gorgeous photography of New York through the changing seasons, even Harry Connick Jr’s jazz-lite soundtrack. And it’s all rooted in that flawless script. The story is simple: Crystal and Ryan meet after college, and loathe one another on sight. As the years pass the random meetings pile up, and dislike turns to reluctant friendship. But, as the film insistently, infamously asks, can men and women ever really be just friends? It’s not just that Ephron poses these kinds of obvious-but-important questions. It’s that she does so while circumventing romantic clichés left and right, creating unforgettably loveable characters and throwing in some of the most fluid, insightful and witty set-piece conversations ever written (the diner orgasm is the most famous, but it’s the tip of a very large iceberg). ‘Perfect’ is a big word to use about any film, but in this case no other will do.
Tom Huddleston

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 361: Fri Dec 30

Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994): Prince Charles Cinema, 7.30pm

This is a 35mm presentation.

Time Out review:
'A sprawling, discursive fresco: three stories bookended by a prologue and epilogue. In the first story, a mobster (John Travolta) is charged with looking after the irresponsible wife (Uma Thurman) of his vengeful boss. In the second, a washed-up boxer (Willis) tries to trick the Mob by failing to throw a fight. And in the third, two hitmen (Travolta and Jackson) carry out a job, only to call on the services of a 'cleaner' (Harvey Keitel) when it gets messier than planned. It's the way Tarantino embellishes and, finally, interlinks these old chestnuts that makes the film alternately exhilarating and frustrating. There's plenty of sharp, sassy, profane dialogue, and there are plenty of acute, funny references to pop culture, though the talk sometimes delays the action, and the references sometimes seem self-consciously arch. And there are, too, the sudden lurches between humour and violence - shocking, but without moral depth. What writer/director Tarantino lacks, as yet, is the maturity to invest his work with anything that  might provoke a heartfelt emotional response to his characters. Very entertaining, none the less.' 
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.


Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 360: Thu Dec 29

Day of the Dead (Romero, 1985): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.20pm

This film, also being screened on December 19th, is part of the In Dreams are Monsters season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Part three of George Romero's “Living Dead” cycle (1985) takes an unexpected turn away from satire and spectacle and into an intimate, discursive tone. The action is largely confined to a huge cavern (shades of Edgar G. Ulmer) where a team of scientists is investigating what makes the zombies tick. But months underground have eaten away at them and their military aides: the chief scientist has embarked on a series of increasingly grotesque and pointless experiments on his zombie specimens, and the chain of military command has passed to a brutal psychopath. As always in Romero's films, the minority characters—a woman, a black, an alcoholic intellectual—provide the only positive contrast to the American nightmare of power lust and compulsive consumption, yet this time the focus is less political than philosophical. Beginning from a position of absolute misanthropy, Romero asks what it means to be human, and the answers are funny, horrifying, and ultimately hopeful.

Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 359: Wed Dec 28

Cape Fear (Thompson, 1962): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.15pm

This film also screens at the Prince Charles Cinema on December 27th. Details here.

Time Out review:
An irredeemable criminal exacts his revenge on the family of a lawyer who put him away. This supremely nasty thriller - originally severely cut by the British censor - boasts great credentials: a source in John D MacDonald's novel The Executioners, Robert Mitchum as the sadistic villain (a bare-chested variant on his Night of the Hunter role), Gregory Peck as the epitome of threatened righteousness, seedy locations in the Southern bayous, and whooping music by Bernard Herrmann. If director J Lee Thompson isn't quite skilful enough to give the film its final touch of class (many of the shocks are just too planned), the relentlessness of the story and Mitchum's tangibly sordid presence guarantee the viewer's quivering attention.
David Thompson

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 358: Tue Dec 27

Jules et Jim (Truffaut, 1962): Prince Charles Cinema, 3pm

This 35mm presentation also screens on December 26th. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
That eternal theme of melodrama—the love too fine to last—given intelligent and sensitive treatment by Francois Truffaut. Oskar Werner and Henri Serre are the two friends of the title, who, when World War I breaks out, must fight on different sides; Jeanne Moreau, in a performance that combines the intensely physical and the fleetingly enigmatic, is Catherine, the woman who loves them both. With this 1961 film Truffaut comes closest to the spirit and sublimity of his mentor, Jean Renoir, and the result is a masterpiece of the New Wave.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 357: Mon Dec 26

How The West Was Won (Hathaway/Marshall/Ford, 1962):
Prince Charles Cinema, 8.05pm

This epic film (£1 for Prince Charles members) is also screened on December 28th. Details here. This movie has sequences filmed by three directors but it's the section helmed by John Ford that demands to be seen at this very rare screening.

New York Times review:
It is John Ford who rises to the challenge most poetically, chiefly by ignoring it. “The Civil War” is an exquisite miniature (unfortunately padded out by some battle sequences lifted from “Raintree County,” an earlier MGM Civil War film) that consists of only three scenes: a mother (Ms. Baker) sends a son (Peppard) off to war; the son has a horrible experience as night falls on the battlefield of Shiloh; the son returns and finds that his mother has died. The structure has a musical alternation: day, night, day; exterior, interior, exterior; stillness, movement, stillness. In the first and last scenes the famous Fordian horizon line extends the entire length of the extra-wide Cinerama frame. In the aftermath of the battle the horizon line disappears in darkened studio sets. The sense of the sequence is profoundly antiwar — Generals Sherman and Grant, played by John Wayne and Henry Morgan, briefly appear as a couple of disheveled, self-pitying drunks — and it gradually becomes apparent that the elderly Ford is revisiting one of his early important works, the 1928 drama “Four Sons.”

The expressionistic middle sequence, with its studio-built swamp, refers to F. W. Murnau, whose “Sunrise” was one of the great influences on the young Ford, while the open-air sequences that bracket it, with their unmoving camera, long-shot compositions and rootedness in the rural landscape, recall the work of the American pioneer D. W. Griffith. When, in the final panel of Ford’s triptych, a gust of wind tousles Peppard’s hair in the foreground and then continues across to the forest in the middle distance and on to the stand of trees in the most distant background, it seems like a true miracle of the movies: a breath of life, moving over the face of the earth. No less formidable a filmmaker than Jean-Marie Straub has called “The Civil War” John Ford’s masterpiece.
Dave Kehr (you can find the full review via the link here)

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 356: Sun Dec 25


The repertory cinemas are closed today but you can catch my twitter recommendations for great movies on the television over the holiday period via my twitter handle @tpaleyfilm and the hashtag #bestxmasholidayfilmonTVtoday.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 355: Sat Dec 24

It's A Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946): Prince Charles Cinema, 12.30pm & 5.45pm

Christmas Eve and It’s A Wonderful Life at the Prince Charles is always one of the best screenings of the year. Don’t worry if you can’t get along on December 24th their are plenty of other screenings of this bona fide great film (regardless of Christmas or not). You can find the full details here (and they are all being screened from 35mm).

Chicago Reader review: 
The film Frank Capra was born to make. This 1946 release marked his return to features after four years of turning out propaganda films for the government, and Capra poured his heart and soul into it. James Stewart stars as a small-town nobody, on the brink of suicide, who believes his life is worthless. Guardian angel Henry Travers shows him how wrong he is by letting Stewart see what would have happened had he never been born. Wonderfully drawn and acted by a superb cast (Donna Reed, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, Lionel Barrymore, Gloria Grahame) and told with a sense of image and metaphor (the use of water is especially elegant) that appears in no other Capra film. The epiphany of movie sentiment and a transcendent experience.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 354: Fri Dec 23

This overlooked British classic is on an extended run at BFI Southbank. Details here.

Time Out review: Pushkin’s marvellously histrionic tale of cupidity and terrible vengeance gets a suitably wild-eyed treatment in Thorold Dickinson’s 1949 film. In Tsarist Russia, Captain Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook) watches enviously as aristocratic officers lose more at the card table than he can expect to see in a lifetime. He hears of an old countess (the wonderful Edith Evans) who knows the secret of winning at cards, and determines to use her pretty ward to force her to reveal it. The upshot is a tense, increasingly scary battle between good and evil that – despite Walbrook’s Austrian accent and everyone else’s cut-glass RP – displays excesses which feel authentically Russian enough to have made Eisenstein proud. Nina Caplan 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 353: Thu Dec 22

Wild At Heart (Lynch, 1990): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.35pm

This film is part of the David Lynch Over The Rainbow season at BFI Southbank and also screens on December 7th and 30th. Full details here.

Time Out review:
As petty criminal Sailor (Nicolas Cage) and his lover Lula (Laura Dern) go on the run through a murderous Deep South, fleeing but meeting sleazy oddballs hired by Lula's mom (Diane Ladd) to end their relationship, Lynch evokes a surreal, sinister world a mite too reminiscent of his earlier work: bloody murder, violent sexual passion, kooky kitsch, freaky characters immersed in private fantasies, digressive metaphors, symbols and cultish references, and bizarre humour to lighten the nightmare. This 
déjà vu weakens the film; sometimes the weirdness seems so forced that Lynch appears merely to be giving fans what they expect. But it's churlish to focus on flaws when so much is exhilaratingly unsettling. Even more than a virtuoso shoot-out, two scenes - Stanton tortured by a gang of grotesques, a truly nasty car crash - exemplify Lynch's ability to disturb through carefully contrived atmosphere; while the performances lend a consistency of tone lacking in the narrative (but ever-present in Fred Elmes' fine camerawork). The film, finally, is funny, scary and brilliantly cinematic.
Geoff Andrew

(and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 352: Wed Dec 21

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Black, 2005): Everyman Screen on the Green Cinema, 10.30am

This 35mm presentation (also being screened on December 17th) is part of the 35mm Noughties season at the Screen on the Green. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Screenwriter Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero) makes his directing debut with this cheerful mess of a pulp-fiction parody, pumped full of laughs by Michelle Monaghan, Val Kilmer, and Robert Downey Jr. An east-coast thief (Downey) is improbably lured out west for a screen test and schooled for his role by a gay private eye (Kilmer); after the crook encounters an old childhood friend (Monaghan), the three are drawn into a convoluted web of intrigue. Downey’s character provides voice-over narration, a task he mocks along with the story’s other pulp conventions; when the structure is this rickety, crashing through the fourth wall isn’t a bad idea.
JR Jones

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 351: Tue Dec 20

To Live and Die in L.A. (Friedkin, 1985): Prince Charles Cinema, 6.15pm

A 35mm presentation also screening on December 16th. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
'A B-movie script about a U.S. Treasury agent (William L. Petersen) who will stop at nothing to nail a diabolical counterfeiter (Willem Dafoe), treated in a kinky, weirdly aestheticized manner by William Friedkin; it's like an episode of Miami Vice directed by Helmut Newton. Friedkin seems to take the screenplay only as an excuse to display a range of postmodernist colors and lighting effects (beautifully captured by cinematographer Robby Muller), never really connecting with the characters or the situations. But at the same time, he's clearly magnetized by the story's sexual subtext (the battle between the two men becomes some strange, violent ritual of seduction and possession), and the general affectlessness of the proceedings is punctuated by rhapsodic images of male power and destructiveness. Friedkin isn't nearly in enough control of his material for the film to qualify as an artwork, yet it's one of his few films with a real emotional current.'
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 350: Mon Dec 19

Nightwatching (Greenaway, 2007): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6pm

This 35mm presentation, which is also at NFT3 on December 3rd, is part of the Peter Greenaway season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Peter Greenaway returns to the premise of The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)–an artist destroyed by his aristocratic clientele–with this 2007 drama about the creation of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. The story opens in Amsterdam in 1642, when Rembrandt (Martin Freeman of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) is at the height of his fame and fortune. His wife Saskia (Eva Birthistle) advises him to undertake a commission for a monumental portrait of a local militia representing the wealthiest families in Holland, but Rembrandt, suspecting that two militiamen colluded to murder another, fills the canvas with clues to their guilt and motives. Trained as a painter, Greenaway has often relied on such painterly devices as chiaroscuro, symbolism, and tableaux vivants, and this dense, highly theatrical feature is a lesson in visual literacy as well as a challenging whodunit. With Toby Jones and Jodhi May.
Andrea Gronvall

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 349: Sun Dec 18

Black Sunday (Bava, 1960): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6.30pm

This film is part of the In Dreams are Monsters season (and also being screened on December 9th) at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Time Out review:
A classic horror film (from a story by Gogol) involving Barbara Steele as a resurrected witch who was burned to death in a small medieval town and seeks revenge on her persecutors. The exquisitely realised expressionist images of cruelty and sexual suggestion shocked audiences in the early '60s, and occasioned a long-standing ban by the British censor.
David Pirie

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 348: Sat Dec 17

The Uninvited (Allen, 1944): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 2.30pm

This film is part of the In Dreams are Monsters season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

In the post-Rebecca cinematic landscape, Lewis Allen’s homoerotic, fabulously eerie ghost story emerged from the glut of imitators as one of the enduring classics of the genre ...

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

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 347: Fri Dec 16

The Fog (Carpenter, 1980): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 9pm

This film, also being screened on December 28th, is part of the In Dreams are Monsters season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

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

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 346: Thu Dec 15

The Apartment (Wilder, 1960): Prince Charles Cinema, 3.30pm

This 35mm presentation also screens at the Prince Charles Cinema on December 3rd and 22nd. You can find the full details here.

Time Out review:
Re-teaming actor Jack Lemmon, scriptwriter Iz Diamond and director Billy Wilder a year after ‘Some Like It Hot’, this multi-Oscar winning comedy is sharper in tone, tracing the compromises of a New York insurance drone who pimps out his brownstone apartment for his married bosses’ illicit affairs. The quintessential New York movie – with exquisite design by Alexandre Trauner and shimmering black-and-white photography – it presented something of a breakthrough in its portrayal of the war of the sexes, with a sour and cynical view of the self-deception, loneliness and cruelty involved in ‘romantic’ liaisons. Directed by Wilder with attention to detail and emotional reticence that belie its inherent darkness and melodramatic core, it’s lifted considerably by the performances: the psychosomatic ticks and tropes of nebbish Lemmon balanced by the pathos of Shirley MacLaine’s put-upon ‘lift girl’.
Wally Hammond
Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 345: Wed Dec 14

The Terrace (Scola, 1980): Cine Lumiere, 7.45pm

This film – also being screened on December 11th – is part of the season devoted to Jean-Louis Trintignant at the Cine Lumiere. You can find the full details here.

Cine Lumiere intrduction:

In this star-studded film, often considered of the best Italian films of its era, Trintignant and Gassman are united again, along with Marcello Mastroianni, Ugo Tognazzi, Serge Reggiani, Stefano Satta Flores, Stefania Sandrelli, Carla Gravina, Ombretta Colli and Milena Vukotic, in an acerbic portrait of a certain class of intellectuals on the decline. The lives and experiences of multiple characters intertwine in five different episodes seen from five different points of view on the same Roman terrace.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 343: Tue Dec 13

Kwaidan (Kobayashi, 1964): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 5.40pm

This 35mm presentation (also screening on December 1st) is part of the In Dreams are Monsters season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Time Out review:

Based on traditional Japanese folk tales and filmed in ravishing wide-screen on hand-painted sets, these four stories – of raven-haired women, beautiful female spectres, blind singing monks and ghostly samurai warriors – created a template for much of the indigenous supernatural cinema that would follow. The eternally youthful wife in The Black Hair, in particular, prefigures the many raven-haired women with shadowed ivory faces found in modern J-horror movies such as Ring. Kobayashi’s stylised use of colour is more symbolic than naturalistic, and coupled with the avant garde electronic score by Toru Takemitsu, which also incorporates sampled natural sounds, it generates both a haunting atmosphere and some subtle supernatural chills.
Nigel Floyd

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 342: Mon Dec 12

The Navigators (Loach, 2001): Genesis Cinema, 6.10pm

This screening willl feature a Q&A with director Ken Loach.

Genesis Cinema introduction: United East End and the Genesis Cinema presents an evening of trade union solidarity and film, with Ken Loach. From 6.10pm, Ken Loach will introduce his 2001 film The Navigators, about privatisation, health and safety in the rail industry, followed by a Q&A. Beforehand, from 5pm, join us in The Yard to hear how local unions are resisting the threat of privatisation and the cost-of-living crisis. Members of the RMT, CWU and others will explain why they're striking for better pay and conditions and local community groups will talk about the damage more cuts will do.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 341: Sun Dec 11

Imitation of Life (Sirk, 1959): 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.

Why you can’t miss it: Let’s start by this film’s hefty pedigree: it is directed by Douglas Sirk, whose lush melodramas (such as Magnificent Obsession (1954) and Written on the Wind (1956)) have been a huge influence on queer directors such as Todd Haynes and Pedro Almodóvar. It is also produced by gay Hollywood producer extraordinaire Ross Hunter, who sold audiences on artifice, not reality.
Writer Rick Gould summarises the film best: “the 1959 remake is a soap opera as grand opera: every emotion is emblazoned, every scene is elegant pageantry. Lana Turner’s glamorous face and figure mightily sold Imitation of Life, but ultimately, Juanita Moore was the movie’s heart.” With this grandest of all melodramas, we explore how camp could be used not only to create a glossy and sensuous world, but also to expose socially conscious topics while still eliciting a strong emotional response from audiences.

Chicago Reader review:
Douglas Sirk's 1959 film was the biggest grosser in Universal's history until the release of Airport, yet it's also one of the most intellectually demanding films ever made in Hollywood. The secret of Sirk's double appeal is a broadly melodramatic plotline, played with perfect conviction yet constantly criticized and challenged by the film's mise-en-scene, which adds levels of irony and analysis through a purely visual inflection. Lana Turner stars as a young widow and mother who will do anything to realize her dreams of Broadway stardom; her story is intertwined with that of Susan Kohner, the light-skinned daughter of Turner's black maid, who is tempted to pass for white. By emphasizing brilliant surfaces, bold colors, and the spatial complexities of 50s moderne architecture, Sirk creates a world of illusion, entrapment, and emotional desperation. With John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Dan O'Herlihy, Robert Alda, and Juanita Moore.
Dave Kehr

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 340: Sat Dec 10

Almost Famous (Crowe, 2000): Everyman Screen on the Green, 11pm

This 35mm screening (also screening on December 14th at 10am) is part of the Everyman Screen on the Green 35mm Noughties season. You can find all the details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Writer-director Cameron Crowe's autobiographical fourth feature (2000)—after Say Anything . . . , Singles, and Jerry Maguire—concerns the adventures of a 15-year-old rock journalist (Patrick Fugit) touring with a band (the fictional Stillwater) in 1973 for Rolling Stone. This has much of the warmth and feeling for adolescence that Crowe displayed in his first feature, though the slick showboating of Jerry Maguireisn't entirely absent either. Part of what Crowe's exploring here is the ethical confusion that can arise from the differences between being a journalist and being a groupie. With Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Philip Seymour Hoffman (especially good as the legendary rock critic Lester Bangs), Zooey Deschanel, and Anna Paquin.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 339: Fri Dec 9

Alexander (Stone, 2004): Regent Street Cinema, 6pm

Acclaimed film director Oliver Stone will be at Regent Street Cinema to present the definitive and rarely seen cut of perhaps his most ambitious film, in the shape he originally wanted it to have.

Alexander is his account of the life, quest and battles of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) from his boyhood in Greece to Babylon and Persia and the edge of modern India. It is an epic that follows in the tradition of the astonishing Cinemascope and Vista Vision movies of the 195os and 60s such as Ben-Hur, Quo Vadis or The Ten Commandments. It stars Colin Farrell as Alexander and a remarkable cast including Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy, Angelina Jolie as Alexander's ruthless mother Olympias and Val Kilmer as his bloodthirsty father Philip.

Ahead of the film Oliver Stone will be in conversation with Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Professor of Ancient History at Cardiff University and a historical consultant on the original film.

Alexander Revealed, The Final Cut has a running time of 213 minutes and will be shown with a short intermission. This screening accompanies the British Library exhibition Alexander the Great: the Making of a Myth which runs until 19 February 2023.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 338: Thu Dec 8

The Shining (Kubrick, 1980): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.40pm

This launch event ties in with the release of a new three-volume collector’s edition book from TASCHEN. Edited by Academy Award-winning director Lee Unkrich (Coco, Toy Story 3), the book features hundreds of unseen photographs, rare documents from the Kubrick Archive and new interviews with the cast and crew.

If you want to read an intelligent discussion on the movie, and a good introduction to tonight's screening here is one by long-time fan Jonathan Romney in the Independent on Sunday.

Time Out review:
All of Stanley Kubrick’s films – be it ‘The Killing’ or ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ – demand to be seen on a big screen. They’re about people trapped in huge, indifferent machines gone wrong, from a heist plot to a spaceship, and only the huge indifference of the cinema does them justice. In ‘The Shining’, the machine is a haunted house: the Overlook Hotel, created by Stephen King and turned by Kubrick into an awry environment in which mental stability, supernatural malignance and the sense of space and time shimmer and warp to terrible effect. The story sees Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) drag his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) up a mountain to be the hotel’s winter caretaker. Things go badly. This is the original 1980 US version, 24 minutes longer than the one familiar to UK audiences. On the upside, it fleshes out the family’s city life and includes an intriguing TV-watching motif; on the downside, there are some daft scare shots and it didn’t ever exactly feel short at two hours. Still, a masterpiece.
Ben Walters

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 337: Wed Dec 7

Cat People (Tourneur, 1942): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 8.50pm

This 35mm presentation is part of the In Dreams are Monsters season at BFI Southbank. Full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Like most people with a cat phobia, Val Lewton, the legendary producer of RKO’s horror cycle, was fascinated by them. His first film (1942), eerily directed by Jacques Tourneur, is dedicated to his fetish. Based on a wholly fabricated Serbian legend about medieval devil worship, Cat People describes the effects of this legend on the mind of a New York fashion designer (Simone Simon) who believes herself descended from a race of predatory cat women. More a film about unreasoning fear than the supernatural, this work demonstrates what a filmmaker can accomplish when he substitutes taste and intelligence for special effects.
Don Druker

Here (and above) is the trailer.

Capital Celluloid 2022 — Day 336: Tue Dec 6

Il Sorpasso/The Easy Life (Risi, 1962): Cine Lumiere, 6.20pm

This film, which also screens on December 4th with an introduction by Richard Dyer, is part of the Jean-Louis Trintignant season at Cine Lumiere. Full details here.

Time Out review:
“Loneliness, inability to communicate—that stuff’s all the rage now,” says motormouthed Bruno (Vittorio Gassman, on fire), behind the wheel of his Lancia Aurelia. Dino Risi’s lightning-fast Italian comedy won’t ever be confused for a mood piece. (Bruno’s verdict on Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Eclisse: “Had a nice nap.”) Knowingly situated outside the art house, Il Sorpasso still feels unmissable: a flourish of the zany commedia all’italiana that eventually fell out of style. Then again, you’ll recognize every road movie from Sideways to Borat and The Hangover in this impulsive summer drive—a quest for fun. In their own obnoxious way, Bruno and his unwitting student sidekick, Roberto (Jean-Louis Trintignant, stunningly youthful), have come to exert a colossal influence on modern-day movies. It’s a film that leavens the cruising and carousing with a fair share of internal reflection. Yes, the frame is filled with the era’s bikini-clad pulchritude, but the fuel here is primo neurosis.
Joshua Rothkopf

Here (and above) is an extract.