We Watch Lies.
VFX work and background design is meant to be invisible and unnoticed. But some films take a step beyond Naturalism, embracing a unique art direction of artifice. In an age where digital effects and 360 immersive green-screens can create 'anything', the technical craft and tangible 'reality' to these films demonstrate a different path of film's boundless imagination - even if here, you can touch the sky.
DICK TRACY (1990) [35mm]
+ INTRO by critic KAMBOLE CAMPBELL
+ Virtual Q&A w/ Matte Painter David Mattingly
Sunday 19th November 2023, 7:30pm
Dir. Warren Beauty, USA, 105 minutes
Leaping out of Chester Gould’s 1930s cartoon strips, Dick Tracy (1990) is a comic book adaptation unlike any other. Ace policeman Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) takes on mob boss Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) while resisting femme fatale Breathless Mahoney (Madonna). Warren Beatty’s bizarre passion project boasts extraordinary matte paintings and prosthetics to create an incredible pop-art world on film captured by Vittorio Storara’s cinematography. This stylishly unique Hollywood flick is a stunning, primary coloured spectacle with a surprisingly sincere love story within this righteously corny pulp-noir.
PERCEVAL LE GALLOIS (1978)
+ INTRO by Curator
+ Panel Discussion w/ Medieval Scholar Sarah Salih, Director of Sarner Ed Cookson and 'LARP Expert' Vicky Hawley
Friday 24th November 2023, 7:00pm
Dir. Eric Rohmer, France, 140 minutes
Unique amongst auteur Éric Rohmer’s output, Perceval le Gallois (1978) places its Arthurian legend between Medieval illustrations and classic studio-bound Westerns. As naïve Perceval (Fabrice Luchini) seeks to become a knight, he roams around a hermetically-sealed set with painted castles and minimalist trees. Rohmer’s adaptation of Chrétien de Troyes’s 12th Century poem makes no attempts at ‘realism’, instead rendering the Medieval world as it saw itself, including third-person narration and a singing chorus. A rare but celebrated treat, Perceval is a fascinating film that finds beauty in its literal and figurative simplicity, with Andréa Picard calling it “Éric Rohmer’s masterpiece maudit, undoubtedly one of the most original, daring and meticulous devised films in all of cinema.”
THE FABULOUS BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1962) [DIGITAL RESTORATION]
+ INTRO by Professor PAUL WELLS
Wednesday 29th November 2023, 7:30pm
Dir. Karel Zeman, Czech Republic, 83 minutes
This slice of storybook surrealism shows the wild imagination of Karel Zeman (known as the Czech Méliès) mixing matte paintings, tinting, animated compositions, and more for this dizzying tall tale. After astronaut Tony (Rudolf Jelínek) encounters the boastful Baron Munchausen (Miloš Kopecký) on the moon, they quickly fall into a breath-taking adventure involving an imprisoned Princess and a raging sea monster. The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (1962) emulates the cross-hatched illustrations of Gustave Doré, crafting some of the most stunning and magical sequences on film in this delightful romp.
Co-organised with generous support of the Karel Zeman Museum.
YOU, THE LIVING (2007) [35mm]
+ INTRO by Curator
+ Virtual Q&A w/ production manager Johan Carlsson
Friday 8th December 2023, 7:30pm
Dir. Roy Andersson, Sweden, 93 minutes
An absurd comic cry about everyday life, You, the Living (2007) sees Roy Andersson take on loneliness and melancholy in hilarious, immaculately constructed tableaus. These flattened, static scenes – all crafted inside of Andersson’s Studio 24 – recall the aesthetic of Modernist painters like Edward Hopper or Otto Dix combined with the dry comic touch of Jacques Tati. Poignant, bleak yet surprisingly empathetic, You, the Living displays hypnotic dioramas that evoke both laughter and doom.