- Fri 14 at 7.30: Nightmare Alley (1948)
A rare screening of an awesome circus noir classic. Tyrone Power is a carny mentalist, strutting around in his tight white t-shirt, whilst hot little Colleen Gray makes big eyes at him. But he’s on his way up and out of the carnival and his supreme self-confidence shades into megalomaniac arrogance as he gets his coveted nightclub act and falls for mysterious society dame Helen Walker. They use his powers of suggestion and attention in a high-rolling scam which culminates in a terrific fake haunting, but Powers’ ego-trip rise is inevitably followed by a fall twice as far. It was made by whip-smart Englishman Edmund Goulding, husband once to Louise Brooks, but who was rarely so black-hearted (or weird) as here. Strikingly shot in black and white by Lee Garmes (Scarface, Duel In The Sun, The Lusty Men and, nominally, a couple of Sternbergs), the carnival milieu of the beginning is quite wonderful, sinister and grubbily authentic (lovely brash Joan Blondell is Powers’ partner) before giving way to the sort off-kilter moneyed world that pops up in Raymond Chandler. Dark, strange and completely compelling.
Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre:
- Sat 15 at 7.30: Stop-Motion Rarities Night!
Stop-motion has been a staple of film-making since its inception, providing a tremendous outlet for both the surrealist and the maquettiste. It’s always been popular in Poland; promised tonight is something from Ladislaw Starewicz whose mini-melodramas with (re)animated insects are credited as the earliest plotted examples (they’re remarkable). Also present will be something from the best-known practitioner of recent times, Jan Svankmajer; otherwise, just expect some far-out shit from all over.
images: candyvan, tesseract