Screening Update: March and April Screening Cancellations

Please be advised that, regretfully, the following screenings have been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID 19 (coronavirus) situation:

Chained for Life (25 March)
A Long Days Journey Into Night (29 April)

I really didn’t want to make this decision but feel that, given the current advice being issued, it’s the sensible thing to do. Clameur Du Cinema simply does not have the ability to abide by the recommended social distancing guidelines and run financially viable events.

All tickets already purchased will be refunded.

I love screening films but it’s just a hobby and I’m pretty sure that everyone could do with a break from my terrible intros and awkward raffle.

Please remember that you can the latest information and guidance on COVID 19 (coronavirus) at https://www.gov.gg/coronavirus.

We are planning to return on Wednesday 27 May with a screening at Beau Cinema. We’ll be announcing the film soon, once the licence is confirmed, and I think it’ll be a real BIG SCREEN treat.

Please accept my apologies for any disappointment and I hope to see you all in May!

Regards and thank you for you ongoing support!

Wynter

Clameur Du Cinema: Screenings and COVID-19 (coronavirus) info.

Clameur Du Cinema is all about bringing people together to watch films and, due to the current situation, I just wanted to highlight the following regarding our upcoming events…

There is currently no advice suggesting that public events should be cancelled / postponed. At present, all listed screenings will take place as planned. Please be assured that we will follow the latest advice as it evolves and act accordingly.

We are guests at our screening locations and we will act according to and in full support of any future decisions regrading events and hire.

If you are due to attend one of our events and are ill, or even just in doubt, please contact us and we will refund your ticket. We advise caution and consideration for yourself and fellow attendees in all cases. This is no different to any other time.

Clameur Du Cinema operates on a ‘covering costs’ basis. We are not sponsored or funded by any external group so if audiences decide that they wish take a break from attending events we will also take a break. We’ll go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for this all to blow over.

In the event that any of our screenings are cancelled please accept our apologies for any disappointment and / or inconvenience caused. Full refunds will, of course, be provided.

If you are concerned about COVID-19 please note that there is lots of great advice and info at gov.gg/coronavirus

Thank you

Clameur Du Cinema

Review: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)

Much like its title (already altered to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey), Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) contains all the right ingredients but can’t help get in the way of itself.

Following Harley (played by Margot Robbie’s sheer sense of enjoyment), the film centres on a rather basic MacGuffin hunt and simple nasty antagonist (although Ewan McGregor is typically bland especially stood next to Chris Messina absolutely killing it as Mr Zsasz). It also features a couple of outstanding fight sequences that perfectly blend the film’s violence and neon glitter aesthetic. When this film moves, it really moves but where it doesn’t fare so well is in the constant diversion. I understand why it does it, the film is narrated by Harley and she is an erratic storyteller, but it often feels like we are stumbling around rather than moving forwards and there just aren’t enough straight lines for our hero to feel like a genuine agent of chaos.

But the good bits are rather good and if you do like this version of Harley Quinn as much as Margot Robbie does, then I suppose the time spent just hanging out will be just as enjoyable.

Recommended.

Special Event: A Long Day’s Journey Into Night (3D)

Clameur Du Cinema presents Gan Bi’s A Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018) in 3D.

This special screening will take place at The Mallard Cinema and will be a unique chance for Guernsey audiences to see this film, containing a 59 minute single take shot in 3D, presented as intended.

Directed by Gan Bi, A long Day’s Journey Into Night chronicles the return of Luo Hongwu (Huang Jue) to Kaili, the hometown from which he fled many years before. Back for his father’s funeral, Luo recalls the death of an old friend, Wildcat, and searches for lost love Wan Qiwen (Tang Wei), who continues to haunt him.

Suitable for ages 12+ (BBFC info)

Due to the change in venue ticket prices for this unique event are £9 (including 3D glasses).

Book Now

Thinking On Your Feet: George Orwell and 1984

On 24 January I was invited by the Thinking On Your Feet arts group to introduce a screening of Michael Radford’s 1984 (1984), which was part of a series of local events celebrating the author George Orwell.

Here’s what I said…

1984 means a lot of different things to different people.

Some people see nothing but the Party, The State, any State, The States, a traffic warden. Others see CCTV, mass surveillance, Facebook and the internet of things. Some focus on the language. The loss of words, changing meanings, political correctness. One local politician invoked it when some students at a university decided they wanted Maya Angelou’s words on their common room wall rather than Kipling’s. For me, Orwell’s genius lies in the personal. Or rather the portrayal of obliteration of the personal, private experience in the face of the party.

Tonight’s film is Michael Radford’s 1984 adaptation of 1984. There have been numerous films and TV productions that play with the themes but we are perhaps most familiar with two of the direct adaptations. The first being the BBC / Nigel Kneale adaptation starring Peter Cushing, broadcast live in 1953. Questions were asked in Parliament about the violence and it was repeated, live, to a much bigger audience, the largest since the Coronation. In 1956 Michael Anderson directed a feature film adaptation starring Edmund O’Brien. Whilst the film retains much of the spirit by far the interesting aspect is that, like the wonderful Halas and Batchelor animation of Animal Farm, it was partly funded by the CIA. Ironically Orwell had already been branded ‘prematurely – anti fascist’ by the US Government.

Both of these versions are fine in their own right but Radford’s film succeeds for me because it is tactile and grounded in physicality. John Hurt as Winston looks broken and weathered. You can almost feel him rattle. The same is true of the surroundings and supporting cast. You can feel the room at the two minutes hate, the breath and the spit. You can almost taste the dust of the locations, the bitter cigarettes and oily gin. This is important because it’s a film about being human and human contact, it’s about intimacy, moments freely given and received, when all the world disappears. In a society without fixed meanings, where love isn’t for people but only for the Party, touch, the first gift we receive at birth, is everything, even if it is a boot stamping on your face – forever. Freely given and received.

Some quick notes on the film. On its original release the film featured music by the Eurhythmics. Michael Radford detested this change, forced on the film by Virgin Films, and much preferred Dominic Muldowney’s original score. The colour palette is cinematographer Roger Deakins’ answer to not being allowed to shoot in black and white. This was Richard Burton’s last film performance.

For further watching I would suggest Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, original title 1984 and a half, a film that sees totalitarianism run not by Big Brother but petty middle management. Dystopia brought to you by the people who can’t even run the bin rounds. I also implore you to seek out The Missing Picture, a documentary about the Khymer Rouge and the degradation of the private life, told by survivors and, as no film exists, illustrated by hand made dioramas.

Thank you again to Thinking on Your feet for inviting me to introduce the film. I hope that the film speaks to you and that it pops into your head when you are least expecting it in a few day’s time. Reread the book, because you’ll find something new there, turn off the voice command function on your TV and, no matter what, remain human.

Oddly, on the night, I said Burt Lancaster rather than Richard Burton and, looking back, here’s what I said in 2017 about the film…

Personally, I don’t think they really crack Winston Smith’s inner monologue (his diary) and that single piece of privacy is vital to the whole work. Also, although John Hurt is perfect as Smith, I’ve never quite liked Richard Burton as O’Brien. For me, the only actor who springs to mind when I think of the immortal line “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” is Burt Lancaster. But as one of Smith’s musings is whether O’Brien feels the same way he does… I wonder if Lancaster would just be too imposing for this to be credible?

If you are interested in diving into the film a bit more you can always try on of the following…

The Projection Booth’s podcast episode on the various adaptations

Local arts blogger Tom Girard’s review of 1984 (1984)

The film, and I suppose the book, is available on loan from Guille-Allès Public Library, Guernsey

Thinking On Your Feet

Review: Uncut Gems (2019)

There is no doubt that Uncut Gems, directed by Josh and Benny Safdie who also co-wrote the script with Ronald Bronstein, feels like the missing film at the Oscars. Starring Adam Sandler, the film centres on a New York jeweller and gambling addict Howard Ratner as he tries to stay one step ahead of a series of bad debts and terrible decisions.

Not only is this film one of the most anxious and compulsive cinematic journeys of recent years, but it’s also the one of the most complete. Every moment feels integral, as does the city of New York itself with its electric pulse and sea of humanity. On top of this the cast is phenomenal. Sandler, a constant ball of tension, absolutely inhabits the brilliantly named central character but the supporting players are all perfect. Particular praise goes to Julia Fox and Idina Menzel as the two women in Howard’s life, reflecting the conflict that your brain is going through.

This could be the film of the year and it almost killed me.

Highly Recommended.

Review: Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Directed by Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit tells the story of a fanatical member of the Hitler Youth in the last days of WWII who is forced to question his devotion to the cause when events land closer to home. The gag is that Jojo is a ten year old boy, and Hitler is his imaginary friend. The disappointment is that the film is completely empty.

With an aesthetic that leans heavily on the cinema of Wes Anderson, and Nazi officers that have goosestepped straight out of ‘Allo ‘Allo, the film struggles to find it’s own feel and the few moments of laughter that do pop up have no actual attachment to the context (not hard when there isn’t one). This is also true of the drama. The antagonists in the film are drawn so widely that they have no power and exert no danger whilst one moment of intended heartbreak is so divorced from the perpetrators that is is rendered almost meaningless.

Jojo Rabbit reads like a movie made by a culture so dominated by a comic book sensibility that it is now incapable of discussing actual ideas. A movie where a murderous, nationalist, racial insanity is neatly compartmentalised down to a bunch of cartoon idiots. Of course, cartoon Nazi’s have been done before but spend five minutes in the presence of a film like To Be or Not to Be (1942) and you’ll see the difference. Ernst Lubitsch’s film has a lot of broad strokes, the Nazi’s are preening, idiotic in their devotion, even clownish, the humour is dark, but he never lets us forget the danger. In contrast, Jojo Rabbit just doesn’t seem interested in anything outside of the central conceit and, as a result, there is nothing there.

Our Next Screening: Bait

Our first film of 2020 is Mark Jenkin’s Bait (2019).

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.

Film critic Mark Kermode calls Bait “a genuine modern masterpiece, which establishes Jenkin as one of the most arresting and intriguing British film-makers of his generation.

Suitable for ages 15+ (BBFC info)All pre-bookers will be entered into a draw for a movie to take home. 

Our Next Screening: Blade Runner

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Original advert for Blade Runner’s 1982 run at Guernsey’s Gaumont Cinema.

Based in November 2019, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) remains one of the most iconic sci-fi movies ever made. As a piece of visual design its impact is still being felt, whilst the story it tells is remains a point of debate amongst fans.

It’s also a film that splits opinion.

 

On it’s release in 1982 it wasn’t well received by critics and there are plenty of criticisms that are hard to shake; it’s a detective film without much detecting, its sexual politics were old hat when it was released, and one has to wonder where the film would sit if it hadn’t been revised and re-released in different forms (my set contains five versions!)…

…and yet the film endures and, thirty seven years after it was originally screened at The Gaumont Cinema, we are bringing the original theatrical cut (the ‘European Theatrical Cut’ to be precise) back to the big screen in Guernsey.

The screening takes place at Beau Cinema at 7.30pm on Wednesday 27 November.

Suitable for ages 15+

Tickets £7 – Book Here