Tommy screening plus Ken Russell Q&A at the BFI - plus a whole weekend of cool Vintage movies
As part of the Vintage event taking at the Embankment in London over 29th, 30th and 31st July, there's a programme of rather cool movies screenings by the BFI, headed up by Ken Russell himself.
The headline act is, as we type (although not 100 per cent confirmed), Ken Russell presenting a screening of his 1975 adaptation of Tommy at the BFI. Not only that, the screening on Sunday 31st July will also feature a Q&A with the eccentric director too, right after the big screen showing.
If that's not enough, other movies are showing too, the likes of The Party's Over, The Damned, The Lavender Hill mob and so on. Full details over the page.
The Naked Truth
UK 1957. Dir Mario Zampi. With Terry-Thomas, Peggy Mount, Peter Sellers, Shirley Eaton. 92min. U
A great gallery of rogues here. A hypocritical TV host (Sellers), a plagiarising novelist (Mount), a philandering peer (Terry-Thomas) and a glamour model (Eaton) join forces to thwart a gutter press blackmailer (Price), the biggest rogue of them all. A lively-paced romp with all the leads on splendid form in Michael Pertwee’s constantly amusing satire.
Fri 29 July 20:45 NFT1
School for Scoundrels
UK 1960. Dir Robert Hamer. With Terry-Thomas, Alistair Sim, Ian Carmichael. 94min. U
A classic comedy tour de force which cunningly exploits its basic premise to great effect. Carmichael is the genial sap whose general niceness allows others to ride roughshod over him. When he encounters a roguish rival (Terry-Thomas in fine arch-cad form) for his dream girl’s affections, he
enlists the aid of the School of Lifemanship to learn how to cheat and scheme his way to his goal.
Fri 29 July 18:30 NFT1
Kind Hearts and Coronets
UK 1949. Dir Robert Hamer. With Alec Guinness, Dennis Price, Valerie Hobson. 106min. Digital. U
Dennis Price is again the biggest rogue here as the rakish Louis Mazzini, who embarks on a murderous spree to eliminate the eight D’Ascoyne family members (all played by the brilliant Alec Guinness) who stand between him and a huge inheritance.
Sat 30 July 16:00 NFT1
Optimum Releasing will release Kind Hearts and Coronets at BFI Southbank and in cinemas from 19 August
The Lavender Hill Mob
UK 1951. Dir Charles Crichton With Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James 78min Digital U
Sympathetic rogues Henry Holland (Guinness) and Pendlebury (Holloway) plot an audacious bank robbery, their inexperience in the field counterbalanced by the veteran (but small-time) underworld accomplices Lackery (James) and Shorty (Bass) they enlist as help. A hugely enjoyable caper from the pen of one of the greatest Ealing scribes, TEB Clarke.
Sat 30 July 18:30 NFT1
The Party’s Over
UK 1963. Dir Guy Hamilton. With Oliver Reed, Eddie Albert, Anne Lynn. 95min. Blu-ray
Controversial in its day (and suffering a stringent censor’s cut at the time, but screening here in the uncensored version), The Party’s Over is a rarely seen, bitter and dark morality tale distinguished by a brilliant and charismatic central performance by Oliver Reed as atypical gang leader Moise. The wild parties that the gang members attend are suitably frenetic but a moral vacuity suffuses the atmosphere, painting the nascent Swinging London as a quick-fix hedonistic playland with dark
consequences awaiting just around the corner.
Sat 30 July 20:45 NFT1
The Damned aka These Are the Damned
UK 1963. Dir Joseph Losey. With Oliver Reed, Macdonald Carey, Shirley Ann Field. 87min
Reed again shines as ‘teddy boy’ gang leader King, a psychotic violent type, incestuously jealous over his sister Joan (Field). They become mixed up with wealthy American tourist Wells (Carey) and fall into a plot involving radioactive children with a poisonous touch. The blacklisted Losey’s first feature for Hammer (he had earlier made the short The Man on the Beach for the company) was finished in 1961 but shelved for two years by the nonplussed producers, released only after his reputation blossomed following his masterpiece The Servant.
Sun 31 July 15:20 NFT1
UK 1971. Dir Ken Russell. With Vanessa Redgrave, Dudley Sutton, Gemma Jones. 111min. Video
Masterful art-rogue Russell cut his teeth on TV but it was the big screen that provided the most apt landscape for his outrageous vision, and The Devils represents a defining moment in his career. This fiery classic is a stunning account of a 17th-century French town beset by demonic possession – or is it political hysteria? Oliver Reed is the worldly priest who discovers his true religion in the face of satanic corruption. Thanks to Mark Kermode, Mike Bradsell and Ken Russell, sequences deemed too strong for public taste in the early 70s were restored for this high-quality video presentation, including the ‘rape of Christ’ scene.
Sun 31 July 17:30 NFT1
Tommy plus Ken Russell Q&A
UK 1975. Dir Ken Russell. With Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Jack Nicholson. 108min. 15
Russell’s glorious OTT take on The Who’s groundbreaking concept album extends the scope of its source material to deliver a metaphysical, kaleidoscopic view of life in the 50s and 60s. The pulsating soundtrack resonates with memorable tunes – most realised via such stunning set-pieces as Elton John’s ‘Pinball Wizard’ sequence and the stunning bordello backdrop to Tina Turner’s explosive ‘Acid Queen’. Play loud.
Sun 31 July 20:20 NFT1