An archive of the Film Appreciation Close-Ups that have been held during 2014
The Go Between and the Heritage Film Industry
The Edwardian era was Britain’s Golden Age and this session will examine Joseph Losey’s stunning 1970 adaptation of Hartley’s The Go Between and consider how Britain cashes in on looking back when looking forward becomes uncertain. Come along for an evening of recession-busting gorgeous costumes, beautiful settings, romantic plots and photogenic actors.
Scandinavian filmmakers such as Carl Theodor Dreyer and Ingmar Bergman have made a huge impact on cinema and modern directors from Roy Andersson to Lars Von Trier are lauded for their singular vision. This talk will consider and contrast some of the unique cinematic vision that hails from Northern Europe.
DAY SCHOOL: Shakespeare on Screen — A Celebration
Even as we celebrate the 450th anniversary of his birth, Shakespeare remains an enigma and the fascinating controversy which still surrounds the authorship of the plays will be brought to life through clips from Shakespeare in Love and Anonymous — the idea of identity crisis will provide a thread throughout the day as we consider how this influences interpretations of Romeo and Juliet. We will also compare Olivier and Branagh’s versions of Henry V to see how they reflect the attitude to war of two very different generations. The day will finish with a carnivalesque romp through two versions of Taming of the Shrew and Max Reinhardt’s bizarre and beautiful 1937 Midsummer Night’s Dream.
To Infinity and Beyond — The World of Science Fiction
Star Wars as a modern fairytale, Shakespearian robots, the threat of alien invasion, feminist mothers in outer space and a rocket through the eye of the Moon. There’s much more to science fiction than meets the eye so come along to this session and find out how this genre reflects our inner fears, hopes and desires.
Nostalgia, Romance and Intrigue: The Role of Trains in Film
As far back as the 1890s trains have fascinated film-makers. This session looks at some fascinating examples of the early use of trains and examines how trains have almost become characters in their own right, providing places for fantasy and reflection in films such as Brief Encounter and Harry Potter; places of escape and romance in The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes and murder, paranoia and intrigue in Strangers on a Train and The Manchurian Candidate. Trains have also been a constant theme for documentary makers, as evidenced in our January showing of Lynn to Hunstanton and we will conclude by looking clips from sources which range from Russian propaganda to poetry.
Filming Fitzgerald’s Gatsby — Adapting a Novel for the Screen
This session will give an insight into each of the four Hollywood versions of Gatsby (1926, 1949, 1974 and 2013) and, in so doing, touch upon some of the issues involved in adapting any novel for the cinema. We will look at each of the Gatsbys in its context by picking out certain aspects of each film treatment with reference to ‘film noir’, ‘star theory’ and ‘auteur theory’. The session will also highlight some of the critical reviews and consider aspects of Fitzgerald’s enduringly popular novel.
Unsung Heroes — Music and Film
Psycho without Bernard Hermann’s score? Brief Encounter without Rachmaninov? Pulp Fiction without Dick Dale’s “Misirlou”? From silent film to the present day, music has always played a vital role music plays in film narrative, including plot, characterisation and intertextual references. Come along to this session and find out how composers expertly underpin a whole film as well as considering how using well-known popular and classical music in film can play with audience expectations.
Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning film Twelve Years a Slave has received both acclaim and criticism. Representation of the black American experience is always controversial and in this session we will look at four films based on the work of Black American women writers: Beloved, The Color Purple, Daughters of the Dust and Precious to cinematically explore the legacy of slavery and the impact it still has on American society today.
Studio Ghibli — The World of Japanese Animation
The films of Studio Ghibli and its founder Miyazaki Hayao have developed an international reputation for brilliance among both children and adults. Beautiful, feral, enchanting, intelligent, feminist, socialist and mystical, Ghibli’s body of work has taken animation and the children’s film to a new level. This event will examine the methods, themes and perspective that make the studio so distinctive.
New Wave Film — Independence and Rebellion
This session explores the New Wave movements which swept through the film industry after the Second World War. From Japan to America and Europe, New Wave film-makers offered alternatives to the studio-bound mainstream offerings with their heady mix of youth, jazz, rebellion and innovation.
Hallowe’en Special — Nosferatu — Legend and Legacy
Murnau’s 1922 film Nosferatu, based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, has become the benchmark for vampire films. In this session we will look at the legacy of this film with clips from Shadow of a Vampire, Let the Right One In, Dead and Loving It and Werner Herzog’s 1979 remake of Nosferatu. Unbloody but in-depth, this will make you see vampires in a different light!
A Century Ago at the Picture Palace
A very special presentation of what it was like to go to the pictures a century ago, showing what audiences saw between 1907 and 1912 — with comedy, animation, news, drama — all shown on an original hand-turned Gaumont Chrono silent 35mm film projector. Nigel Lister will provide live accompaniment.
Day School: Dames, Dives and Dupes — The Enduring Appeal of Film Noir
With its tough, spiky women, often flawed male heroes, distinctive cinematic style and highly ambiguous moral tone film noir has a special place within the psyche of filmgoers of all generations. This day will explore 1940s and 50s classics such as The Maltese Falcon, Laura, Double Indemnity, Les Diaboliques, Night and the City, Night of the Hunter, Sunset Boulevard, The Killing, Mildred Pierce and Touch of Evil as well as examples of neo-noir and colour noir such as Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet and Blade Runner.