- Pigs and Battleships, Dir Shohei Imamura, 1961
Shown as part of the Japanese avant garde and experimental film festival. The Barbican website describes the film as: 'The film that launched Shohei Imamura’s career, this is an agile, whip-smart mockery of a greed-driven, post-occupation Japan. Much of Imamura’s breakout film concerns itself with the activities of a gang operating in Yokosuka. With piercing, CinemaScope shots, Pigs and Battleships explores the real-world consequences of American control, and its continued military presence in Japan. Imamura’s gangsters are involved in every aspect of life in the impoverished town, allowing the director to wryly follow along; peering into doorways and down alleyways to give us a cinematic time capsule of 1960s Japan. Exploring high and low, Imamura’s film captures the very breath of the city.' The screening lasts 108 mins and is short on 35mm. It is followed by a 11 min 2019 digital short 'Kokutai' on the aesthetics of basketball by Japanese director Ryushi Lindsay (also included in your ticket). We will meet back in the foyer after the short and cross over to the Silk road Barbican Kitchen to discuss the film.
40th anniversary screening of this modern classic. London 1965: Like many other youths Jimmy hates his life, especially his parents and his dead end job. It's only when he's together with his friends, a mod clique, cruising London on his scooter and listening to the music of 'The Who' does he feel free and accepted but can it last? Directed by Franc Roddam in 1979. The film is 120 mins long. Afterwards we'll meet back outside the entrance to the box office and head to a local pub to discuss the film.
Souvenir, winner of the Grand Jury prize at the 2019 Sundance festival, is the story of the life-altering relationship between student film maker Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne), and charismatic, manipulative Anthony (Tom Burke). "Brilliantly cast and almost perfectly composed ... Swift and inexorable, the absolute specificity of this story makes it universal. It’s the best British film for a long time." (Evening Standard)
- Sunday: Bait (UK, 2019, Mark Jenkin)
Join us for the 4pm screening in NFT 3. Gruff and taciturn Martin (Rowe) is a fisherman without a boat since his brother repurposed their father’s vessel for tourist trips. As Martin struggles to buy his own boat he must also cope with family rivalry and the influx of London money, stag parties and holiday homes that is displacing the locals in his picturesque Cornish harbour village. Summer brings simmering tensions to a head within the community. Stunningly shot on a vintage 16mm camera using monochrome Kodak stock, Bait is timely and poignant, yet full of humour as it gets to the heart of a community facing unwelcome change. Link for tickets: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/default.asp Other write ups: IMBD: Martin is a fisherman without a boat, his brother Steven having re-purposed it as a tourist tripper. With their childhood home now a get-away for London money, Martin is displaced to the estate above the harbour. EIFF 2019 / FILM FESTIVAL / FILM REVIEWS / INDEPENDENT FILM 2019 Edinburgh Film Festival Review – Bait (2019) June 21, 2019 - by Ewan Wood - Bait is a true cinematic experience, utilising every tool in film school to make a seemingly non-descript melodrama into a gripping feature. Developed on 16mm film, Mark Jenkin’s Cornish feature, emanates a detachment in keeping with the locals of the fishing village that it documents. At times, it feels like an old BBC newsreel, the mundanity of everyday life fighting with the struggle at the centre of the film. Jenkin edits his film sublimely, ramping up the tension at every opportunity, turning a minor squabble between a fisherman and encroaching tourists into a full-blown drama. Although, the film has a tendency to overdo it on the cinematic techniques, it’s also one of its greatest strengths. This is a brilliant debut, reminiscent of classic British filmmakers such as Ken Loach. The decision to use 16mm is inspired, giving the whole piece a nostalgic feel, emphasising Martin’s desire for a return to the old ways of the village. Indeed, as the films crackles, it feels as if Bait could have been an old home-video, rediscovered years after its creators have passed. Jenkin’s dedication to old cinema-craft and, at times, surreal editing elevates the film to an even greater level. Dialogue is overdubbed, sound effects seem both immediate and ethereal and arguments are spliced together with uncomfortable close-ups to create something that feels alien, despite its generic story roots. Bait is unlike anything I have seen in the cinema in recent years. A testament to experimental film, Mark Jenkin transforms his typical locals v tourists into an expressionist piece of work that keeps you glued to the screen. Even as his protagonist slowly drags his net in, you can’t help but stare at the detached anti-beauty that is presented on screen. If you do look away, you might miss something.
- Pain and Glory (Dir: Almodovar)
In Almodóvar’s most personal film to date, Salvador Mallo (Cannes 2019 Best Actor, Antonio Banderas), a film director facing ill health, takes us through his recollection of love, breakups, art, cinema, mothers, the act of writing and making a film, and importantly the experience of desire and pleasure that seem lost to him. Almodóvar operates on a kind of internal combustion engine of creativity and I felt that this movie was running so smoothly and so seductively that it could have gone on for another five hours. A ‘sensuous and deeply personal gem’ (The Guardian). 113 mins In Spanish with English subtitles Director: Pedro Almodóvar, with Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz Tickets: £13 from: https://www.institut-francais.org.uk/cine-lumiere/whats-on/new-releases/pain-and-glory/ We will meet after the film for drinks/food/coffee and to chat about the film and other topics.
- Watch American Movie
This meetup is for the 6.15pm screening of the documentary American Movie. Chris Smith’s film about the very driven, fanatical horror film director Mark Borchardt and his best friend Mike Schank is a cult classic. It’s an incredibly funny film, but also a portrait of how dreams and aspirations are often bound by economic status. There's lots of tickets available at the moment, but the film is showing in a small cinema so it's a good idea to book in advance if you want to come along, We'll meet by the box office before and and after the film. Call or text Heather on[masked] if you can't find us.
- Sylvia Scarlett
The film that paired Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant for the first time. "Condemned by the Legion of Decency and a disappointment at the box office, 'Sylvia Scarlett' (1935) now enjoys a reputation as a highlight of director George Cukor’s impressive filmography. In a scheme to help her embezzling bookkeeper father escape Marseilles for London, Sylvia (Katharine Hepburn) cuts her hair, dons a fedora, and changes her name to Sylvester. En route, they encounter a “gentleman adventurer” (Cary Grant, at his most louche) and together the trio starts grifting ..." (Films at the Lincoln Centre)
- Sunday: East of Eden (1955, Elia Kazan, USA)
This was James Dean's first major film role. Of the three films in which he starred (the others were Rebel Without a Cause and Giant), this is the only one to have been released during Dean's lifetime and the only one he saw when it was finished. Elia Kazan’s adaptation of Steinbeck’s novel – which updates the Cain and Abel story to the California farmlands at the time of WWI – boasts Dean’s feature debut as the ‘bad’ son, anxious that his devoutly religious father (Massey) prefers his brother. He’s also shaken by suspicions about his late mother... Ted McCord’s ’Scope camerawork richly evokes time and place, while the performances are predictably superb. Dean received a Golden Globe Special Achievement Award posthumously for Best Dramatic Actor for his role. It also won the Best Dramatic Film at the Cannes Film Festival and numerous other awards and nominations including an Academy Award for Jo Harris as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Link for tickets here: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/mapSelect.asp
- In the Palm of Your Hand - BFI Salon Mexico
*** Please book early for this film as 50% of tickets have already sold *** Jaime Karin is a fortune teller and a con artist who uses his wife, who works in an elegant beauty salon, to find out information on wealthy clients. Karin seduces the widow of a millionaire, only to learn that she'd plotted with her lover to murder the late husband. A tense game of cat and mouse ensues - but who's the cat? Perhaps the greatest crime thriller ever made in Mexico, Roberto Gavaldon's In the Palm of Your Hand received 11 nominations and won eight Ariel Awards in 1952, including Best Picture and Best Director. Part of the BFI's Salon Mexico: The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema season. 114 minutes Spanish with English subtitles Director: Roberto Gavaldón Buy tickets (£12.50) for the 3.20pm screening at: https://bit.ly/2xayozc Please book your ticket in advance to avoid disappointment. We will meet up again afterwards for coffee/drinks/food and to discuss the film and other topics.
- Never Look Away
"Inspired by the life of one of the most influential contemporary artists, Gerhard Richter, Never Look Away spans over three decades of German history. It tells the story of Kurt, an art student in the 1950s, who falls in love with classmate Ellie. Professor Seeband, Ellie’s father, is dismayed at his daughter’s choice of boyfriend, and vows to destroy the relationship ..." . This acclaimed art-drama/suspense-thriller is the 3rd film by Henckel von Donnersmarck, director of the Oscar-winning "The Lives of Others".