1. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Future Cinema’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/recommendations/somewhere-you-should-go/somewhere-you-should-go-future-cinemas-who-framed-roger-rabbit/

    Somewhere you should go… Future Cinema’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

    Future Cinema has pulled off some serious classics in their time (Ghostbusters, Casablanca, Saturday Night Fever), but I have to take my hats off to the team for coming up with this one.  If you don’t already know, Future Cinema is Secret Cinema without the surprise, immersing you into the world of the film in all sorts of clever ways; and the production values  are so high-end that  good times are generally guaranteed (unless that film is Shawshank Redemption which  sadly, is an experience that still makes us shudder).  Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was of my favourite films as a kid, so we can only imagine that the real life version of the 1988 animated/live action who-dun-it will be a hilarious romp we’ll be laughing about days later.

    roger_rabbit

    It all kicks off from Valentine’s Day onwards so  for more info, visitwww.troxy.co.uk/event/future-cinema-presents-who-framed-roger-rabbit-3

    Have you been to a Future Cinema event? Let us know in the comments…

     

  2. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Sundance London Film and Music Festival 2013

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/what-to-do-in-london/somewhere-you-should-go-sundance-london-film-and-music-festival-2013/

    Somewhere you should go… Sundance London Film and Music Festival 2013

    The appearance of a great variety of extinguished guests, from trip hop pioneer Tricky to HRH The Prince of Wales was one of the many things that made last year’s Sundance London such an absolute joy. Now as the film and music festival returns to the O2, will it be able to offer once again a highly eclectic and diverse audio-visual experience?

     photo
    The film section of the festival does include a stellar line up of films (fiction, documentaries and short films) that left the best of impressions at the latest Sundance film festival. A case in point is Mud. It’s directed by Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter), a filmmaker who may be the most interesting new voice in the American independent cinema, and stars Matthew McConaughey, who had a brilliant year ever since he decided to move away from romcoms and prove his acting chops in more demanding projects.  The story has the unparalleled enchantment of a fable as two teenage boys try to reunite a charismatic outlaw with his true love, so  it’s no wonder the film has received high praise by the critics. Another critics’ darling, Michael Winterbottom, will be present at the festival to present his latest film The Look of Love, a flamboyant biopic of the notorious “king of Soho” Paul Raymond. The fact that Raymond is played by Steve Coogan should be worth the admission fee alone.
    Moving on to the documentaries, Blood Brother presents the inspiring story of Rocky Braat who after meeting a group of children with HIV in India,  decides to stay there and restart his life dedicating himself to the  well-being of those children. Having won both the audience award and the grand jury prize at Sundance, the film will undoubtedly be a life affirming experience. For thrill seekers, there is The Summit that uses found footage as well as realistic re-enactments to convey to the viewer the breath taking experience of climbing K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth. In August 2008, 18 out of 24 climbers reached the summit of K2. 28 hours later, 11 people were dead. Up to this day we do not know what exactly happened on that fateful date.

     photo
    The music section of this year’s festival offers a far more joyful but equally electrifying experience. History Of The Eagles Part One showcases not only the defining tunes but also the stormy conflicts between the members of this classic band. Members of The Eagles will do an extended Q&A session after the screening of the film to shine more light on their fascinating story. Another American legend, Gregg Allman (of The Allman Brothers Band), will be joined by John Paul White (of The Civil Wars), to present Muscle Shoals, a documentary about the glorious “Muscle Shoals sound”, featuring interviews with Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Alicia Keys. They’ll also be performing an intimate acoustic 45 minute live performance. Last but certainly not least, the sui-generis Merrill Beth Nisker aka Peaches will grace the festival with her presence not just delivering one of her characteristic ferocious gigs but also presenting her first feature, aptly entitled Peaches Does Herself, an electro rock opera about her affair with a beautiful she-male.

    With a programme then that includes a bit of everything, it’s clear the second ever Sundance London will surpass the already high expectations. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)
    Sundance London Film and Music Festival 2013 will take place at the O2 from April 25-28. For further information visit: www.sundance-london.com

     

  3. New Post: Something you should see… Celeste & Jesse Forever

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/film/something-you-should-see-celeste-jesse-forever/

    Something you should see… Celeste & Jesse Forever

    Rashida Jones may well be familiar to anyone who’s spent the past four years watching her on the brilliant American sitcom Parks & Recreation (now picked up by BBC 4), but for anyone else, she’ll be something of a new face on our cinema screens this month. With only small supporting roles on film so far –  such as in the rather unappreciated I Love You, Man where she played Paul Rudd’s fiancée – Jones it seems has been waiting a long time for a role such as Celeste to turn up. So long, in fact that she felt compelled to write the script and role herself.


    Co-written with Will McCormack, who also stars as the resident dead-beat dealer in the fim,  Celeste & Jesse Forever’s cast list reads as a roll-call of some of the US’s most unappreciated comic actors. But it’s more than just a few laughs strung together with a loose romantic plot. There’s real heart and pain in this film about a couple attempting to navigate their divorce while still remaining best friends. Behaving as though they are still a couple, Celeste and Jesse are informed by their friends that what they are doing is ‘weird and wrong’, sending both them and their relationship into a tailspin.
    Andy Samberg as Jesse is as funny as ever, and brings a much needed vulnerability to his slacker character, whereas Jones’ type-A Celeste finds support and friendship in the unlikely form of a self-entitled, teenaged pop star. Dealing with dating demons, betrothed friends and unexpected pregnancies may not seem like a groundbreaking formula for comedy but watching Celeste & Jesse Forever feels like a breath of fresh air, proving that it’s possible to have complicated and complex characters at the heart of a hysterically funny film. (Words: Annie Taylor) 

    In cinemas now.

     

  4. New Post: Somewhere You Should Go… Netil House

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/somewhere-you-should-go-netil-house/

    Somewhere You Should Go… Netil House

    Already recognised as a centre for creativity and new trends, East London has another addition to its scene. Netil House provides a space for a meeting of creative minds, to discover inspiration and a great place for a drink. A home to 94 creative studios plus an events space, Netil House allows everyone from designers, photographers, music producers, film makers and more to meet, work together and most importantly socialise together.

     photo
    Visit the Platform Cafe, Bar & Terrace for its Persian-inspired menu or just a drink while checking out the view of London through its massive windows. With so many events constantly taking place including exhibitions, book launches, film screenings, comedy nights, themed-supper clubs, music showcases and more, you’re in for a night that will always be memorable and unique.

    You can also get away from the usual crowded London cinemas and visit their roof top cinema where you can snuggle under a blanket and watch a film under the night sky. Check out Prince’s epic rock drama Purple Rain on October 5th.

    Finally, every Saturday and Sunday,  visit Netil market for stalls selling everything including vintage home wares, jewellery designers, illustrations, original artwork, vintage clothing, niche accessories and gorgeous food stalls.

    For more info, check out www.netilhouse.com

    Share this:

     

  5. New Post: A guide to the 56th BFI London Film Festival

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/film/a-guide-to-the-56th-bfi-london-film-festival/

    A guide to the 56th BFI London Film Festival

    If you take a quick look at this year’s programme, you will see that it has undergone some significant changes – it’s only 12 days long (instead of its usual 16 days duration) and the French Revolution section is no more – but there is no reason to panic. The shorter duration of the festival is more than compensated for by the increase in the number of the relevant venues. In addition to the Leicester Square cinemas and the BFI Southbank, now for the first time, festival screenings are taking place at some of our favourite independent cinemas, from the Renoir in Bloomsbury to the Ritzy in Brixton. As for the festival’s sections, new categories have been introduced with titles such as love, laugh, debate and thrill, making it much easier for the public to navigate through the festival’s ever-eclectic selection of more than 200 films. If you need any additional help though, here is a timetable of what we believe will be the festival’s highlights:

    DAY 1, Wednesday October 10th

     photo

    Keeping in line with the general spirit of renovation, the festival kick starts with the European Premiere of Frankenweenie that finds Tim Burton expanding on his 1984 live-action short film of the same name. With a story that focuses on the attempts of a little boy to bring his beloved dog Sparky back from the dead, the film promises to be a return to form for the director who seemed to have lost something of his wonderfully gloomy touch with his recent offerings. The film will be screened simultaneously at 19:00 at the Odeon Leicester Square and at the IMAX where the public will be able to fully enjoy this gloriously crafted, stop-motion 3D animation.

    DAY 2, Thursday October 11th

     photo

    Cinema has an unparalleled power to transfer you to places (geographical or emotional ones) that are far away from your ordinary life. A fascinating case in point is Wadjda (15:30 VUE 7), the debut feature of female director Haifaa Al Mansour. It offers us a unique glimpse into everyday life in a country where cinemas have been banned for over 30 years, through the story of a little girl who challenges the traditions of the Saudi society in the capital city of Riyadh. Laurence Anyways (18:00 VUE 7) has an equally exciting premise, examining through an impressive visual style how the unexpected decision of Laurence (the wonderful Melvil Poupaud) to make the transition from male to female affects his relationship with his long term girlfriend. If your heart has not yet been broken to pieces by this exquisite melodrama then have a go at the gala screening of Amour (20:45 Mayfair 1). The recent Palm d’Or winner tells the story of Georges and Anne, a loving couple who are both in their 80s. When Anne suffers a stroke that leaves her partly paralysed and speechless they both try to cope with this new challenge, never losing their love for each other. Featuring incredible performances by the legendary actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, Amour is the first film in the oeuvre of  Michael Haneke that will engage both your mind and your heart.

    DAY 3, Friday October 12th

     photo

    Takashi Miike’s For Love’s Sake (12:00 NFT1) may have the word love in its title but as we have come to expect from this eccentric director, it is certainly not soppy. With his frenetic visual style, Miike offers an explosive mix of violence, romance and music galore with the characters singing and dancing to vintage Japanese pop songs. Gimme the Loot (18:15 VUE 7) will offer the perfect antidote to Miike’s delirium. The debut feature of Adam Leon follows the adventures of two Bronx kids, Malcolm and Sofia determined to make a mark on the city by tagging the famous NY Mets home-run apple. This subtle gentle little tale with a big heart earned the Grand Jury Prize at the South by Southwest festival and is a bonafide crowd pleaser. As far as heart-warming experiences go though, it will be really difficult to find a more sensational film released this year than Beasts of the Southern Wild (20:30 OWE 2). It blends the escapist power of fantasy with the harsh reality of life at a remote southern delta community – and with a performance from five- year – old actress Quvenzhané Wallis that has to be seen to be believed, the film has easily gained the glowing acclaim of both the public and the critics, receiving major awards at both Sundance and Cannes.

    DAY 4, Saturday October 13th

     photo

    Continuing with films that have been praised at some of the biggest film festivals in the world, The Hunt (18:30 OWE 1), which has been hailed as a return to form for Danish director Thomas Vinterberg deals with the taboo subject of paedophilia (a much –loved kindergarden teacher is accused by a young girl in his class of sexually abusing her) with the same raw emotional ferocity and complexity that made his debut Festen a difficult but essential viewing experience. Jacques Audiard on the other hand, has never put a foot wrong and his latest film Rust and Bone (20:30 OWE 2) is an excellent example of how a film with a paraplegic main character (Marion Cotillard in a strong performance) can offer genuine emotions without succumbing to sentimentality.

    DAY 5, Sunday October 14th

     photo

    The We and the I (15:00 VUE 5), the latest film from Michel Gondry, presents to us the hopes and dreams of a number of students at a Bronx high school on the last day of term, in his usual utterly charming way. Moving from hope to nightmare, the documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (18:15 NFT 1) explores the controversial issue of paedophilia in the Catholic Church using as a starting point the shocking accusations against the Catholic priest Lawrence C Murphy of molesting as many as 200 boys for more than 25 years at St John’s School for the Deaf in St Francis Wisconsin. The Oscar –winning filmmaker Alex Gibney wil discuss this film and his overall career in what will surely be a fascinating screen talk on Tuesday 16 at 18:15 at NFT 2.

    DAY 6, Monday October 15th

     photo

     As its title suggests Love, Marilyn (12:30 OWE 2) is an affecting homage to the legendary Hollywood actress by the Academy Award nominated director Liz Garbus who has collected an impressive array of home movies and photographs of Monroe. But perhaps more intriguingly, she has also filmed a diverse range of contemporary Hollywood stars and starlets from Ellen Burstyn to Lindsay Lohan doing performative readings of extracts from the recently published Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn. Stanley Kubrick may have never received the same amount of worship as Marilyn – but his undisputed genius and the air of mysticism that surrounded him throughout his life has earned him a significant cult following and has made him the subject of a continuing growing number of intense debates and well thought essays. Room 237 (14:00 ICA) tries to uncover the hidden meanings and mystic codes within one of the great filmmaker’s most celebrated works The Shining. That it manages to do so with an engaging combination of wit and intellect makes this documentary an unexpected delight.

    DAY 7, Tuesday October 16th

     photo

    Death of a Man in the Balkans (14:00 ICA) brings a much needed breath of fresh air into the tired found film footage premise. Shot in only nine takes, this highly inventive Serbian film is presented via a webcam that was set up by a lonely composer just before committing suicide. As we watch a great set of characters, from the neighbours to the undertaker, entering a flat after they have heard gunshots, we become witnesses of not just a perfect example of black comedy but also of a sharp critic of the absurd reality we live in. Hyde Park on Hudson (18:45 Empire) may not share an equally inventive visual style but it is directed by the always dependable Roger Michell (The Mother) and besides, the chance to watch Bill Murray in the role of American president Franklin D Roosevelt is worth the admission fee alone. And now for something completely different. A Liar’s Autobiography (21:00 Empire) is a lovely animated tribute to the late Graham Chapman filled with the Pythons’ legendary bonkers style and the best film that Chapman has been in after he died.

    DAY 8, Wednesday October 17th

     photo

    There are many things to enjoy in the Sundance sensation The Sessions (12:30 VUE 5). John Hawkes and Helen Hunt both give extremely moving performances in this story about a 38-year old paraplegic who wants to lose his virginity and his sexual surrogate who helps him with his endeavour. The film’s strongest merit however is the wonderfully written script by writer-director Ben Lewis, based on a true story, which walks the thin line between comedy and drama, despair and hope, with enviable ease. Argo (19:00 OLS) makes another strong case in support of the notion that reality is often far more exciting than fiction. The incredible true story of a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist who, during the Iranian revolution, came up with the imaginative plan to go to Tehran pretending to be a producer of a sci-fi movie scouting for location, is helmed by Ben Affleck, who has made an astonishing transition from a mediocre actor to a well-respected director.

    DAY 9, Thursday October 18th

     photo

    In his latest film, Everyday (15:00 OWE 2), the renowned and impressively productive British director, Michael Winterbottom captures the effects that the imprisonment of a man for drug smuggling has on his hard-working wife and their four children over the course of five years with an acutely observational style, a perfect accompaniment to the deceptively simple script. That said, simplicity is one of the few qualities that you would not associate with The Rolling Stones. The legendary band has been writing rock history for 50 years now and Crossfire Hurricane, which will have its world premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square at 19:00 promises to be the definite documentary about the Stones and a fitting celebration of the group’s anniversary.

     photo

    DAY 10, Friday October 19th

     photo

    Why not start your afternoon with an emotional punch in your guts courtesy of Craig Zobel’s much talked about Compliance (15:00 OWE 2)? Based on true facts, the film is about a prank call that gradually breaks every moral code known to men. Then, get some much wanted comic relief by watching Seven Psychopaths (18:00 OWE 2) Martin Mc Donagh’s highly anticipated follow up to the cult masterpiece In Bruges. It offers another endlessly witty script and a cast to die for (Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken).  Then finish your day in style with the world premiere of the restored version of Alfred Hitchcock’s classy silent melodrama The Manxman (20:30 Empire) that will bring the BFI’s grand scale project “The Genius of Hitchcock” to a glamorous end.

    DAY 11, Saturday October 20th

     photo

    Slavoj Žižek is finally back. After six years, the sui generis Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic returns to the big screen with The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (18:00 OWE 2).  Be prepared to see popular films, from The Sound of Music to The Dark Knight, from a completely different perspective and give it your best shot to refrain yourself from bursting into laughter. Another welcome return is that of Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace, Kill List). Sightseers (21:00 OWE 2) follows the romantic trip of two lovers that soon becomes a murder spree. The bloodshed that prevails in Wheatley’s previous efforts is still very much present but for the first time romance is thrown into the mix. The final result should be really interesting.

    DAY 12, Wednesday October 21st

     photo

    What a great way to start the last day of the festival by watching (or re-watching) Robert Aldrich’s cult classic What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (15:00 Hackney) and marvel at the Grand Guignol fight to the death between decaying divas Joan Crawford and Bette Davies who blur the line between performance and reality. Compared to these highly deranged characters, Miss Havisham is an exemplary human being who just does not cope so well with rejection. Still Miss Havisham remains one of Dickens’ most fascinating creations and she is definitely a perfect match for the perennial gloomy Helena Bonham Carter. She is surrounded by equally aspiring choices of actors (Ralph Fiennes in the role of Magwitch, Jason Flemyng as Joe) that make this latest adaptation of Great Expectations (19:00 OLS) by Mike Newell not just a must-watch film but a fitting melancholic choice to close this year’s festival. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)

    The 56th BFI London Film Festival takes place from 10-21 October. Tickets go on sale September 24th, but for more info about the programme go to www.bfi.org.uk/lff

    Share this:

     

  6. New Post: Something you should see… A Quiet American – Ralph Rucci & Paris

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/film/something-you-should-see-a-quiet-american-ralph-rucci-paris/

    Something you should see… A Quiet American – Ralph Rucci & Paris

    The public fascination with the inner workings of the fashion world shows no signs of slowing down; witness the rash of street style blogs springing up all over the internet, the hordes of fashion bloggers attending the shows, not to mention the numerous books and movies providing the inside take on the fashion world. Who could forget the fabulosity (and sometime-ferociousness) of Valentino The Last Emperor, or the bitchy world of The Devil Wears Prada?

     photo

    Which is why it’s refreshing to see a documentary celebrating the pure craft and the passion of an industry veteran. Ralph Rucci may not be a household name on this side of the pond but the couturier, who celebrates 30 years in the business this year, is the only American designer to have been invited to show at haute couture since Mainbocher in the 30s.

    C. S. Leigh’s documentary follows the designer through four years in Paris in New York, as he negotiates the haute couture process from conception to catwalk, working with the world’s best artisans along the way. Featuring interviews with industry heavyweights Andre Leon Talley, Suzy Menkes and Cathy Horyn it seems this unsung great of the fashion world is finally taking his bow in the spotlight.

    A Quiet American – Ralph Rucci & Paris is showing at Horse Hospital, Colonnade Bloomsbury, WC1N 1HX on September 17. For more info, visit www.thehorsehospital.com

     photo photo photo photo photo photo photo
     

  7. Something you should see… Stop Making Sense

    With the summer days almost over and the melancholic autumn breeze slowly creeping in, you might find yourself more inclined to just chill and watch a decent flick two.  Well, the good folks at Sugarhouse Studios have been kind enough to offer an eccentrically joyful mix of sounds, images (and puppets!)  to help you do just that.

    Stop Making Sense

    Widely regarded as one of the best rock movies ever made, Stop Making Sense (directed by Jonathan Demme, who went on to win an Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs) follows the innovative American New Wave band Talking Heads for three nights at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater in December 1983 as part of their tour to promote their album Speaking in Tongues. Captured in a straightforward manner,  the film is a visual and aural feast from beginning till the end.

    Those of you unaware of the genius that is David Byrne and his band mates, brace yourself because you’re in for a treat. As for the loyal fans,  this interactive film experience will give them  a chance to try and come with even more eccentric clothes than the ones wore by the group and imitate the otherworldly dance moves of Mr Byrne. Part of the Scala Beyond film season (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)
    Sugarhouse Studios and Assemble present STOP MAKING SENSE takes place on Saturday 25 August at Sugarhouse Studios. For more information visit www.sugarhousestudios.co.uk/stop-making-sense

     

  8. Something you should see… The Goonies at Nomad Cinema

    The summer weather that has finally come to the UK (a month before the beginning of autumn) has been a blessing not just for sports fans who can go to Greenwich Park and enjoy the thrills that the Olympic Equestrian competitions will undoubtedly provide but also for all those film lovers who had been looking forward for the moment they would be able to move as far away from the drab concrete walls of a multiplex as possible.

    For the last couple of weeks, special outdoor film screenings seem to take place every other day, promising a unique movie experience. The prospect of an exciting location, up-and coming live music acts and a great bunch of other surprises is certainly enticing. If the actual film though, is nothing really special, why bother going in the first place?

    The Goonies
    For anyone then, who grew up in the 80s the names of Mikey, Chunk, Data, Mouth, the Fratelli Brothers and of course “One-Eyed” Willy, should be enough of a reason to go to the Nomad screening of The Goonies at Queen’s Park. Written by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), directed by Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon) and produced by Steven Spielberg, this wild adventure of a group of kids who stumble upon a treasure map is not only one of the few examples of great mainstream fun to have come out during the largely kitsch decade of the 80s, but also captures of the excitement of being a child and the importance of friendship at such a tender age.

    With all the major studios currently unable or uninterested in successfully transporting us to back to the time when we were young and restless, the chance of watching The Goonies on the big screen should not be missed by anyone. That such a screening will take place in one of London’s most beautiful parks is just the icing on the cake. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)

    Lexi Cinema presents The Nomad: THE GOONIES will take place on Saturday 18 August at Queen’s Park. Live music will be provided by Yellowwire , while the Salt Yard Group will be in charge of the food. For more information visit http://www.whereisthenomad.com/events/goonies-pg-queens-park/

     

  9. Something you should see… Salute

    You’ll be hard pushed to find a more iconic image than the photograph of the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics. It has become an image that epitomises a century of civil rights, politicised youth and defiance against archaic laws. But this new feature documentary by Matt Norman highlights a part of the image that you may not have previously noticed: the third Olympian in the image. Australian Peter Norman - Matt’s uncle - won silver that day but never competed in athletics for his country again, just like African-Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Why? because he was complicit in the politics on the podium.

    Salute

    The doc follows the road to the Mexico City Olympic games and the events that surrounded that fateful year. Working with a variety of found footage and interviews Norman has created a tense and emotional doc that makes for compelling viewing. It provides a great insight into the history of the time (for any of us who missed the details first time round) addressing reasons why the young athletes chose to act and the bravery it took to stand up at that moment - with innumerable sniper rifles around the stadium.

    Their solidarity that day and Norman’s support for his fellow athletes stayed with the civil rights movement until his recent death. The documentary paints a genuinely heartwarming image of camaraderie, in the face of such horror elsewhere. With the Olympics around the corner it couldn’t be released at a more opportune moment so it’s a must see if you have any doubts about what sportsmen can do for the world. (Words: Laura Thornley)

    Salute is on general release July 13th. 


     

  10. Somewhere you should go… Shirley MacLaine Season at BFI Southbank

    The timing could not be more perfect. Recently, Shirley MacLaine became the 40th recipient of the prestigious American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award - and from June 15th film lovers will get the chance to enjoy some of MacLaine’s most glowing appearances on the big screen at BFI Southbank.

    As we have come to expect from a BFI event, the selection of films is highly eclectic. Undisputedly though, the jewel in the crown is Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. Widely regarded as one of the best films ever made, it offers almost everything one is looking for in a movie: a great script, a strong dose of sophisticated humour, a wonderful chemistry between the two leads (MacLaine and Jack Lemmon) not to mention the most romantic ending ever committed to celluloid. A harrowing but equally powerful finale can be found in Some Came Running. The tragic love story of Dave Hirsh (Frank Sinatra) , an alcoholic and bitter war veteran who returns to his home town, and Ginnie Moorehead (MacLaine) a simple factory girl who idolises him, becomes alive in the hands of Vincente Minnelli, a master of melodrama, a visual as well as an emotional tour de force.

    Shirley-Maclaine-classic-movies-9328647-1629-2200

    The two other stone-cold masterpieces that will be screened in this event are: The Children’s Hour and Being There. In the former, MacLaine gives arguably the best performance of her career alongside Audrey Hepburn,   while the latter, directed by cult filmmaker Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude) moves effortlessly between joy and sadness. It tells the story of a gardener (Peter Sellers) who has never left the comfort of the inside of his house but when he is forced to leave, he is promptly run over by a car owned by an elderly business mogul (MacLaine). She takes him to her home to recover and soon a strong bond is forged between them.

    This admirable balance between comedy and drama is achieved once again in Terms of Endearment. There are not many things to say about one of the most famous tearjerkers of all time that gave MacLaine her first and up to this date only Academy Award - just remember to bring your handkerchiefs.

    MacLaine did not have just great acting skills but also admirable vocal chords. A case in point is the much-loved musical Sweet Charity directed by the genre’s king Bob Fosse. Just listen to her singing the classic tune If My Friends Could See Me Now and it is guaranteed that you will feel all fuzzy inside. So how did she follow this lurid love letter to New York? She starred in a western with feminist undertones alongside Clint Eastwood (pictured above). Two Mules for Sister Sara is a nice little curio that will be deeply enjoyed by anyone who always wanted to watch a cowboy and a nun joining forces in a film.

    It is this admirable willingness of hers to try out her acting skills in different genres that is highlighted in this season. And this wonderful actress, now in the age of 78, has not shown any signs of succumbing into a comfort zone. Her latest film role was in a black comedy alongside Jack Black that was directed by indie wunderkind Richard Linklater, and we will next see her in the immensely popular drama TV series Downton Abbey. Perhaps her lifetime achievement award was given to her a little bit early. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)


    The Shirley MacLaine season runs at the Southbank Centre from June 15-30. For the full listings visit the BFI website.