Capital Celluloid 2024 — Day 30: Tue Jan 30

Secrets and Lies (Leigh, 1996): ICA Cinema, 6.45pm

This is the third night in the exciting 'Last Movies' season at the ICA Cinema. Full details of all the screenings in the five-month long repertoire can be found here.

Last Movies remaps the first century of cinema according to what a selection of its key cultural icons saw just before dying. Conceived and created by Stanley Schtinter to enable an audience ‘to see what those who see no longer saw last,’ the ICA hosts a five-month programme to coincide with the publication of his book of the same title, described by Alan Moore as ‘Profound and riveting . . . a remarkable achievement,’ and by Laura Mulvey as ‘deeply thought-provoking.’

According to Erika Balsom, Last Movies ‘abandons all those calcified criteria most frequently used to organise cinema programmes ... period, nation, genre, director, star, theme: nothing internal to these films motivates their inclusion, their ‘quality’ least of all ... Last Movies embraces chance.’

Introduction to tonight’s screening:
In March 1997, an affluent San Diego suburb became a site of international intrigue, as 39 members of a religious group, Heaven’s Gate – early adopters of the internet who believed the Hale Bopp comet was hiding a spaceship destined for heaven – were found dead, covered in purple shrouds wearing brand new Nike trainers (the ‘Decade’ model was cancelled shortly afterwards, making it the most sought-after trainer in this world and the next). Receipts from the days leading up to their ‘exit’ showed $417.27 spent at a pizza parlour, and a trip to the cinema to see Mike Leigh’s Hackney-based drama on class and race, the Timothy Spall and Brenda Bleythn starring Secrets & Lies.

An extended excerpt of Brian de Palma’s Carlito’s Way will be screened in advance of Secrets & Lies, tethered to Last Movies through a relation to Hackney-cartoonist Mel Calman, who passed away watching it only minutes away from the ICA at the Empire Cinema on Leicester Square (cutting the movie at the point he crossed over).

Adrian Dannatt, professional obituary-writer and child star of Just William, joins Stanley Schtinter to discuss the legacy of Heaven’s Gate, in a freewheeling conversation on art, religion, the south coast of America in the 1960s, the East End of London in the 1990s and ... those trainers.

Here (and above) is the trailer for Secrets and Lies.

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