Home Cinema Day: Pt.1 of our Staff Choice Double-Bills

As Home Cinema Day beckons, the staff at London’s finest film emporium (yes, that’s us) have got together to raid the far corners of their hearts and minds to come up with our exclusive Scalarama selection of double bills for you and your friends/family/bitter enemies to enjoy watching together this Sunday. Plus, to make the whole thing even better, we’ve decided to let you take any of our recommended double-bills for the price of one film – Sunday 29th only! Just name the double-bill of your choice on the day – or book it in advance if you have something fancy planned – and away you go: £3 richer (sort of).

So, for our first list of recommendations:

ROB RECOMMENDS

A SPOT OF FRENCH NUTTINESS:

the-science-of-sleep-movie-poster-2006-1020451579The Science of Sleep (2006) – dir. Michel Gondry

&

A-Town-Called-Panic-UK-PosterA Town Called Panic (2009)

DIXIE RECOMMENDS

A TROUBLED DUO:

large_5XKJyw56qjuuVXGgyKZtrYMWKgUAileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) – dir. Nick Broomfield

Unexpectedly poignant documentary-portrait of Aileen Wuornos, the American serial killer, and the woman who Charlize Theron portrayed to Oscar-winning success in Monster.

&

tyson_ver2Tyson (2008) – dir. James Toback

Violent. Vicious. Mad? Vulnerable? This excellent documentary shows the man as you’ve seen him, and as you haven’t.

ANDREI RECOMMENDS

THE ULTIMATE SUNDAY HANGOVER CURE:

big-trouble-in-little-china-posterBIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986) – dir. John Carpenter.

&

Beverly-Hills-Cop-1984-Movie-PosterBeverly Hills Cop (1984) – dir. Martin Brest

posted by Dixie Turner

Home Cinema Day: 2 for 1 Rentals on Staff-Recommended Double-Bills

FIVE+GOLD+STARS

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 18.37.22

FIVE+GOLD+STARS

As part of Home Cinema Day, Video City staff are putting together a list of recommended double-bills – and we’re throwing in a 2 for 1 rental offer on Sunday 29th September (on these doubles only) just because we can.

The idea of Home Cinema Day – which is part of the Scalarama film season which celebrates different types of film screenings – is quite simply to promote communal film watching at home. So, get your hands on some choice watching material and invite your friends over to watch – maybe make a night/day of it: film-themed parties/fancy dress/food and cocktails are all on the cards! Participants are encouraged to tweet, blog and upload photos of their Home Cinema Day – SHARE YOUR PICTURES WITH US!

NB: OUR RECOMMENDED DOUBLE-BILLS WILL BE PUBLISHED THROUGHOUT THE WEEK ON THIS BLOG AND ON TWITTER – SO KEEP CHECKING IN.

OF COURSE, AS ALWAYS, YOU CAN RESERVE YOUR SELECTION – SO GIVE US A SHOUT!

scalarama2013

If you haven’t already been to any of the Scalarama screenings, you still have the rest of the week…

posted by Dixie Turner

SPECIAL VIDEO CITY PROMOTION COMING SOON…

***FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY***

joan-for-rc-cola

1940s Joan: Royal Cola “really tastes best”.

drinking films

1950s onwards Joan: It’s all about Pepsi…

***

(It has nothing to do with Cola)

NEW RELEASES: 23RD SEPTEMBER

BYZANTIUM:

Byzantium-quad-posterVampire thriller by director Neil Jordan (Crying Game). Mysterious women arrive in a small town and it turns out they have fangs. Cert. 15

TRAILER

DEAD MAN DOWN:

exclusive-dead-man-down-poster-131589-a-1365003223-470-75Black Hawk Down. White House Down. Dead Man Down? Aren’t they usually down? Seduction, revenge and betrayal are at the heart of this thriller, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). As usual, cherchez la femme… Directed by Niels Arden Oplev (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Cert. 15

TRAILER

FROM UP ON POPPY HILL:

up-on-poppy-hill-posterAnother stunning, hand-drawn animated feature from the deservedly popular Studio Ghibli. A coming-of-age tale following a group of teenagers as they fight to save their rundown clubhouse from demolition at the hands of Olympic planners. Cert U

TRAILER

EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN:

Everybody-Has-A-Plan-UK-PosterArgentinian crime drama, starring Viggo Mortensen (Dangerous Method). Tired with his life, a successful doctor assumes the identity of his dead twin brother and goes back to their childhood home. However it turns out he has little idea of what his brother’s life was and he quickly finds himself embroiled in a dangerous criminal underworld and accused of murder. Cert. 15

TRAILER

POPULAIRE:

POPULAIRE_QUAD_AW@50%.indd

French romantic comedy set in the ’50s about the relationship that develops between a boss and his secretary whom he encourages in her one skill – typewriting – and ultimately coaches to become  a speed-typing champion. Starring Romain Duris (Heartbreaker) and Deborh Francois (Page Turner). French with English subs. Cert.12

TRAILER

STORIES WE TELL:

stories-we-tell-uk-film-movie-quad-poster-design-london-artificial-eyeActress and director, Sarah Polley (Away From Her, Take this Waltz) directs this deeply personal documentary exploring family secrets, specifically the identity of her own father. Cert. 12

TRAILER

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

SHUN LI & THE POET:

ShunLi_hi

TRAILER

LES INVISIBLES:

Les-Invisibles-UK-PosterTRAILER

HOMELAND 2:

Homeland-Season-2-Poster-Showtime-625x840

TRAILER

BRASS TEAPOT:

The-Brass-Teapot-Poster

TRAILER

BLACK ROCK:

black_rock

TRAILER

by Dixie Turner

O So Topical: London On Film

From Notting Hill to the far-flung reaches of Westbourne Park and the darkest corners of Portobello – oh yes, the explorations of the Notting Hill flaneur knows no bounds… And so, to tie-in with the Barbican’s film season, Urban Wandering, we have gathered together, from the far corners of our shop (through France and Germany; right at Gandolf; straight ahead and over the New Releases; a pit-stop at Ealing; left at Ryan Gosling; left again at F-For Fake and straight on to…), a selection of our top London-based films… (go on: stretch your legs – or, at the very least, your eyes):
NIGHT AND THE CITY

Film_274w_NightCity_original

PEEPING TOM

01

BLOW UP

blowup1

LONDON NOBODY KNOWS

London Nobody Knows 5 Hanbury Street

LONDON MODERN BABYLON

london-the-modern-babylon

NAKED

500full

AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

an-american-werewolf-in-london1

TREACLE JR

Treacle-Junior-007

PERFORMANCE

performance2

ALFIE

station_rd10

VILLAIN

Villain small

***

urbanwandering

by Dixie Turner

Casque d’Or (1952) – dir. Jacques Becker

1103-b-golden-helmet

Reviewed by

ROB MUNDAY

Set in Paris at the turn of the 19th century Casque D’Or is a film about a group of men crippled by a thirst for power, for vanity, for money, and for love. More than that, it’s about the one lady in their midst who affects them all, Marie.

Simone Signoret plays Marie, an infuriating character who seems to flit between her suitors like a butterfly unsure where to land. But she is a modern woman pushing back against the dominant men, determined to assert herself, to climb above her role as gangster’s moll. As the story unwinds we gently get under her skin and can’t help empathise with this platinum blond stuck in the filth of the underworld.

casque-d-or-1952-16-g
What starts as a gangster film gradually shifts into romance. Serge Reggiani plays Georges Manda a reformed convict who falls hard for Marie. His is a quiet presence, aware of urges both criminal and sexual but always restraining himself – the stolid moustache giving nothing away even when we see the turmoil in his eyes.

Director Jacques Becker has a rare gift for focusing on the essential in every scene with a gentle ease that gives Casque D’Or a weightless feeling. We are caught in a dance with Marie just like the men, in a spin and not ready for the creeping dizziness.

In Becker’s world even when there is discord amongst the characters there is a calmness to his gaze, as if he is looking upon the frailties of man with a weary but sympathetic eye.

Film_270w_CasqueDOr_original
You can see the influence of this film on later gangster dramas as in the scene where Georges and the audience are introduced to the gang and their respective nicknames that surely provided inspiration for Scorsese’s Goodfellas. There is also an edge to the sex and violence that (as with Rififi) sets this apart from its Hollywood equivalents.

The quality of the acting, the sparseness of the dialogue, the elegant mix of studio and location shooting mean that Casque D’Or remains fresh 60 years on. As in Noir these characters are resigned to their fate, happy to enjoy the ride and dance a waltz, spinning toward the inevitable endgame.

casquereview

***

RECENT ADDITIONS

Not only do we have brand new films for you every week, but we also have golden oldies, and not so oldies newly added to our collection – things either previously unavailable or films we deliberately kept from you in an attempt to control your film knowledge, thereby forcing you to come to us to ask questions like: What was that 1977 film with Paul Newman about a failing ice hockey team?? Answer?

SLAP SHOT

newman-slap-shotYep you say – that’s the one! Directed by George Roy Hill, who also directed Newman in The Sting (with Robert Redford) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (also with Robert Redford).

Also we hear you ask: What was that film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, where Richard Gere plays a trumpet player in a famous jazz club in Harlem?

COTTON CLUB

cotton_club_ver4_xlgIf you think Boardwalk Empire is just swell, then you should definitely check this one out – gangsters, mafia, fantastic outfits, dames and wise guys galore!

harlem_nocturne

CHECK OUT THESE – AND ALL THE REST – WITH OUR 2 FOR 1 WEDNESDAY OFFER…

Made me Happy

New Releases: 16th September

RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST:

the-reluctant-fundamentalist-wallpaper-01Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) directs Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Ill Manors), Liev Schrieber (Salt) and Kiefer (Jack Bauer) Sutherland in this thriller concerning one man’s torn loyalties as he pursues the American Dream on Wall Street, becomes embroiled in a hostage crisis and feels the cultural and political pull of his Pakistani homeland. Cert. 15

TRAILER

 

OUR IDIOT BROTHER:

my-idiot-brother-posterJudging by the trailer, looks like an idiot film… Stupid, life-loving, naive brother. Three sisters. I guarantee that was the pitch. I imagine this alone left the executives ROTFL. Oh and it’s another film with Steve Coogan (he and Matthew McConaughey seem to have films all stitched up right now – not sure why other actors bother to turn up for auditions).

TRAILER

UWANTME2KILLHIM?:

uwantme2killhim-poster01First off, just because it has the worst title ever, doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching. Secondly, it’s by the same director as the incredibly watch-worthy road-trip documentary, Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus. AND it’s based on a true story – and they tend to have to be pretty good, or else why bother? Also, the subject matter is sadly very topical – teenagers and internet abuse. Cert.15

TRAILER

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

FIRE WITH FIRE:

fire-with-fire-poster

TRAILER

FAST AND FURIOUS 6:

Fast and Furious 6 movie poster

TRAILER

BIG C SEASON 3:

the-big-c-season-3-poster

CALIFORNICATION SEASON 5:

a3c90754b5bea1ab80ed07739a1184e3

By Dixie Turner

2 for 1… Pumping Iron and Mouchette?

NEWLY ADDED TO OUR SHELVES:

arnold-schwarzenegger-posingPUMPING IRON (1977)

Watch the former Governator as he prepares to defend his title for Mr. Olympia 1975 in this classic body-building docu-drama, unavailable on DVD until now. Sweat, blood, tears, weed and a whole lot of mental determination and game-playing go on as Arnie (looking like a pink Incredible Hulk) shows why he is ‘numero uno’.

5.0.3

MOUCHETTE (1967) directed by Robert Bresson.

Far away from the world of oil-slicked biceps, Mouchette is the story of a young girl growing up in rural France caught between an abusive father and a dying mother. Running off into the woods she encounters a poacher who believes his has killed a local policeman and who attempts to use Mouchette as an alibi. Shot with deliberate simplicity and comprising a cast made largely of non-professionals adding to the film’s naked, gritty feel, Mouchette is a tough but moving film, honoured with many awards and well worth watching.

Trivia – apparently the trailer was made by Jean-Luc Goddard….

Rentalution

by Dixie Turner

Vertigo (1958)?.. Barbie (1959)? It Can’t Possibly Matter To You…

We’ve all watched classic films where at some point someone says something or something in the plot makes you frown or roll your eyes at the sheer jarring implausibility of the whole thing. Did people really talk like that? Did audiences really swallow this stuff? For some people this is why they don’t watch films made before… well, now. For the rest of us it’s just a matter of how things were and if you care about films etc, you put them in the context of the times they were made and view them accordingly…

But sometimes even the most die-hard classic movie lovers hear something and just think WHAT!?

It can’t possibly matter to you

 

vertigo-1958-011-00m-gmt-scottie-judy-brooch_590

Can’t you just love for who I am, Scottie?

Scottie (James Stewart) falls in love with Madeleine (who is in fact Judy, pretending to be Madeline), a girl whom he has been tailing. When he believes Madeleine dies, Scottie encounters Judy who reminds him of Maddie (because, unbeknownst to him they, are one and the same) and he urges her to dress like Maddie and eventually to dye her hair to look more like her, imploring her with the words:

It can’t possibly matter to you

Is this just shabby dialogue, designed to move the plot along or the assertion of a genuine belief?

Change your hair, your clothes, everything about you until you become my fantasy – do it for me; it can’t possibly matter to you…

Despite a recent renewal in interest due to its being voted the Greatest Film EVER (really?!) by Sight and Sound, I have never watched Vertigo (1958) on the big screen so I can’t attest to how modern-day audiences react to this exclamation, however, I imagine (and actually hope) there are at least a few snorts of laughter… Did audiences at the time receive it without batting an eyelid? And if so, how?

Blog+Art+-+Vertigo+Novak

“It can’t possibly matter to you” – so casually thrown in you could easily not give it another thought, but WHAT?! Why could it not possibly matter to her? Is it just the way she wears her hair that could not possibly matter? That the way she styles herself means nothing to her and adds nothing to her sense of identity? Or is it the whole thing that couldn’t possibly matter – allowing herself to be re-made by another; to become a reproduction of someone else’s vision, of someone else’s obsession?

hitch-novak-vertigo

As he wants her.

You can’t help but suspect that this is the true voice of Hitch as he sculpts his ideal femme – the director playing with his toys: you exist solely for my gratification; it can’t possibly matter to you as without me you’re nothing, just inert matter in need of guiding hands to bring you to life – like a Barbie doll.

Did Hitch invent Barbie (1959)?

3114a5026605t

As he wants her.

Vertigo2

vertigo-movie-poster

By Dixie Turner

New Releases: 9th September

IRON MAN 3:

iron-man-3-international-poster

TRAILER

THERESE DESQUEYROUX:

kinopoisk.ru

TRAILER

THE RETURNED SEASON 1:

 

returned-slate._V360666706_SX385_SY342_

TRAILER

PLAY:

PLAY-1

TRAILER

EDEN:

 

eden

TRAILER

CHERRY:

 

about_cherry_xlg

TRAILER

SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF:

21014038_20130620102239862

TRAILER

21 AND OVER:

21-and-over-poster

TRAILER

Make It a ‘Blue Wednesday’ With Our 2 For 1 Offer

Just to clarify, I’m not talking about ‘blue’ movies but, rather, the colour of our boxes…

Check out our Recent Additions shelf, newly relocated in the New Releases section in the middle of the shop lest it should otherwise allude your beady eyes.

New to the shelf this week:

peyton-place-movie-poster-1957-1020259553

Peyton Place (1957)

A year before her teenaged daughter stabbed Lana’s lover to death (the notorious mobster Johnny Stompanato) and two years before she made Imitation of Life (the biggest box office success of her career and a story hinged around the troubled relationship between a single mother and her teenaged daughter), Turner made Peyton Place in which she plays… a single mother struggling with a troubled relationship with her teenaged daughter.

In actual fact, Peyton Place, is a smart, critical (albeit cynical) look at small town America made at a time where small town American life was being held up – and sold – as the ideal.

Scandal abound amongst the residents of this otherwise quiet and seemingly tranquil New England haven. Suicide, murder, incest and unmarried mothers are all discussed and EXPOSED in this film, nominated for 9 Oscars (including one for Lana, acting close to the bone).

For more scandal AND more Lana, watch the original movie version of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946).

Poster - Postman Always Rings Twice, The_02

***

Made me Happy

by DIXIE TURNER

New To Us; New To You…? Recent Addition, Samuel Fuller’s PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET

pickup-on-south-street-movie-poster-1020413528Pickup On South Street (1953)

When petty thief Skip McCoy (Widmark) unwittingly steals a role of micro-film containing top-secret information, he finds he has not only the Communist agents whom he stole it from, but also the police and government agents on his back.

Beautifully shot, fantastic dialogue (Fuller wrote the screenplay himself, as he did for almost all his films) and truly great performances – especially from Thelma Ritter, who received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Moe, the tough but kind-hearted tie-seller/information-peddlar/underworld know-all and Skip’s best friend.

Sam Fuller’s outstanding noir is essential viewing, oozing style and pushing boundaries (note the naturalistic fight sequences, especially the one with Jean Peters, and the dialogue which, whilst snappy, is less pat than dialogue written by other noir masters, most notably Raymond Chandler).

Get in the spirit: watch with a chapeau/ view with a kill.

By Dixie Turner

New Releases: 2nd September

MUD:

MudPoster

One of this years most highly anticipated releases, starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. Two young boys discover and befriend a stranger living in a disused boat. Together they plan on helping him repair the boat and go in search of his lost love. But when the law turns up, claiming their new best friend is a killer, the two boys question their loyalties… Starring an outstanding cast including Sam Shepard and the currently unstoppable Michael Shannon (best known for his role as former FBI agent Nelson Van Alden in Boardwalk Empire). Directed by Jeff Nichols who made the apocalyptic pyscho-drama, Take Shelter (2011), also starring Michael Shannon. Cert. 15

TRAILER

STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS:

Star-Trek-Into-Darkness-First-Official-Teaser-Poster-Is-Here

Special-effects sci-fi joy/disaster; sequel to the successful 2… Star Trek film which followed the characters from the original TV series when they were back in their academy days. This time the tear-away Captain Kirk comes up against Benedict Cumberbatch and his dangerous annunciation… Will he be able to save the Enterprise/the world/his reputation?? Will the Star Trek team deliver a film equal to the last?? I’ll let you be the judge of that. (But the correct answer is NO.) Cert. 12

TRAILER

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED:

Love-Is-All-You-Need-Poster
Syrupy rom-com by Danish director, Susanne Bier (After the Wedding). Described by critics as Mamma Mia! without all the Abba. Well, what’s the point then? Oh yes – the rom-com. Well, critics have been luke-warm on this front claiming the script has neither spark nor cynicism. Sadly, a lack of chemistry between the two leads does nothing to rectify this… Perhaps one to watch with a cuppa and your gran? Having said that, it is rated ’15’, so if this is your plan: be careful.

GIMME THE LOOT:

GimmeTheLoot-poster-web
Festival favourite from debut director, Adam Leon, who was once Woody Allen’s production assistant. A couple of graffiti artists determine to outdo their rivals by planning to graffiti the ultimate NY location. A sweet and easy ode to the Big Apple. Cert. 15

TRAILER

HANNIBAL SEASON 1:
tumblr_static_222709-hannibal-hannibal-poster

American serial killer series, trading in on the Hannibal Lector books and films. Judging by the trailer only, the most impressive thing about it appears to be the cast: international favourite Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne and local lad, Hugh Dancy. A troubled profiler is forced into joining teams with the eminent Dr. Lector, who enjoys – as we all know – some dark, dark games (along with a bottle of Chianti). Cert. 18

TRAILER

Also Out This Week:

 

GOOD WIFE SEASON 4:

652x967xthe-good-wife-poster_652x967.jpg.pagespeed.ic.qEeGMXoqjT

COMMUNITY SEASON 3:

Community-Season-1-Promo-Posters

***

50 Foot Woman

By Dixie Turner

Remember To Join The Wednesday RENTALUTION!!

50 Foot Woman

JUST BECAUSE WE CAN!!!

X

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 283 other followers