Tuesday, August 18, 2009

[screenings] Bastards out off Hell

She stayed until the Greek came back, about an hour. We didn’t do anything. We just lay on the bed. She kept rumpling my hair, and looking up at the ceiling, like she was thinking.

‘You like blueberry pie?’

‘I don’t know. Yeah. I guess so.’

‘I’ll make you some.’

-James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice

Everyone on these streets knew if you turned around and saw the man, all seven feet, looking down at you, you had at best start saying your last and final prayers and make them good, remember everything, cash in your chips and for what its worth, ask for forgiveness from the Man up there cause down here, about a second ago, your last chance just passed you by. And if don't believe in the Almighty then, do what you have to do. You have a got a minute at most. No point running or making a fuss about it or asking to speak to your mother and kids. Go down easy. Rest in Peace. And that's one half of the reason they call him `Tombstone'. The other reason's got to with that beautiful face of his. A striking mug- whichever way you stare at him, like one of those ancient Greek statues they dug up from the grime of centuries ago but now they been beaten in by time and weather so much that they look like something that came from outer space. Of childhood and memories, there is no trace, neither does it look modern. It is a face marked by graves of what must once have been a gorgeous masculine profile. Eyes hardened and purpled during the time he spent as a POW in a Nazi camp in Litzmannstadt, Poland. One ear lost in a scuffle with some dealer punks during his time in Harlem, the other ear burnt from sleeping too close to the boiler from when he worked the railroads. The mouth was slit at Johnny Friendly's Bar and the nose punched in by the feds trying to get him to rat on his customers. But if there was indeed a scar on that dead face which he sported like a goddamn charm, it was the gash across his forehead. Before every hit, he licks his fingers and runs it along the flesh-and-wound barb-wire. No one knows where he's got that from. Legend has it, that he got it from a dame. He had turned up piss-late and dirt-broke for a meeting, having blown every dime in his pocket at the crap tables. It didn't go down too well with her. She went at him with a stiletto.

-Elwood Reinhardt, Severe Burns

Noir is in the air. Blood-stained collars are back in fashion and ladies, it is very very chic to sport a gun. As a tribute to the glorious second half of ‘Kaminey’ and on the eve of the new Tarantino, the much awaited and greatly debated ‘Inglorious Basterds’, Bangalore Film Society is proud to present to you a weekend of the tough, the dead, the crazy, the wild and the reckless. We present to you the works of one of cinema’s masters-by-default Seijun Suzuki, the man who knew very clearly where to point and what to shoot. We present Bastards out Off Hell.

Friday, 21st August 2009 Time: 6.30pm
Out of the Past (1947/93min) Dir: Jacques Tourneur

‘We called them B-pictures’
- Robert Mitchum

‘So what’s the big idea? I thought it was going to be Seijun Suzuki.’ Well, BFS would advise you not be vocal if you get the aforementioned thought it your head. Why? Simply cause you don’t want to mess with the kid. The original gangster-preacher, the charm, the suave, the street- Robert Mitchum in his most explosive performance yet in the great Jacques Tourneur’s tour-de-force noir joined by no less than the seductive Jane Greer and a terrific Kirk Douglas. Regarded now as a classic Hollywood noir, ‘Out of the Past’ is a sensationally told tale like only Tourneur could, of dead-end detective whose past returns to catch him in a tale of deceit and intrigue. The dialogue itself is a doozy.

Saturday 22nd August, 2009 Time: 6.30pm
Branded To Kill (1967/98min) Dir: Seijun Suzuki

“People think I have an interesting walk. Hell, I'm just trying to hold my gut in.”
- Robert Mitchum

Now that the kid’s outta the way, we can bring in The Man. And at his flamboyant best. A blue-collar director hired to churn out movies off the assembly line, Suzuki was a true visionary- ask Tarantino, ask Jarmusch, they’ll tell you. He may not be able to hold sway on it like Godard, but for Suzuki, like the greatest- Fuller, Houston, Imamura, Kurosawa, Hawks et al, he had a gut feeling about it and went all over town with it. ‘Branded to Kill’ is one the epitomes of the Suzuki aesthetic, a brash, perverse, fast and furious dynamic tale of ‘No.3 Killer’ who must hang on to his life and fight his way to No.1. If you haven’t seen Suzuki, you haven’t seen anything like it ever before. Starring the one and only Joe Shishido- imagine Elvis playing a yakuza.

Sunday 23rd August, 2009 Time: 6.30pm
Youth of the Beast (1963/92min) Dir: Seijun Suzuki

“Where are the real artists? Today it`s four-barreled carburettors and that`s it.”
- Robert Mitchum

Visually, the pictures have seldom done better. Suzuki outdoes himself in this exciting twist-laden tale of crooks, cops and revenge. Mirrors, smoke, yellow dust, strange landscapes, hallucinations- Seijun turns it upto eleven and sweeps the senses turning yet another run-of-the mill script handed to him by his bosses into plush extravagance and searing beauty and cinema- oh yes, the cinema! The great Joe Shishido turns up yet again as the protagonist Joji 'Jo' Mizuno and sometimes it just doesn’t get any better than this.

Venue: Ashirvad, 30, St. Mark's Road cross, Op. State Bank of India



(Members whose membership has expired are requested to kindly renew their membership.)


chaipatti said...

The blog is not cluttered. I like the red, actually. Cheers. :-)

loosefocus said...

the red is temporary. it's smarting like hell, joe shishido, mitchum and whatnot.. we went red with a /smack/. Very soon, with so much water under the bridge, we gonna go blue..