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What's On

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Now showing at Bussey Building/The CLF Art Cafe 133,Rye Lane,Peckham,London,London SE15 4ST 020 7732 5275

  • A Clockwork Orange
  • City Of God (Cidade De Deus)

A Clockwork Orange 4 stars

Long awaited re-release of Kubrick's 1971 drama. A hooligan in a futuristic Britain agrees to undergo so-called aversion therapy to numb his anti-social and violent tendencies. Supposedly cured, he is released back into society, but his former friends and the world around him are just as sick, twisted and depraved as they ever were. And now, he is set to be the victim.

  • GenreAdaptation, Classic, Drama
  • CastMalcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Warren Clarke, Adrienne Corri.
  • DirectorStanley Kubrick.
  • WriterStanley Kubrick.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration137 mins
  • Official site
  • Release17/03/2000 (re-release)

There's a great line in Michael Mann's Oscar nominated true-life drama, The Insider, spoken by 60 Minutes frontman Mike Wallace (played by scene stealer Christopher Plummer) who observes that "You get 15 minutes of fame. Infamy lasts a little longer." The infamy surrounding Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange has endured for more than 28 years: released in the UK in January 1972, nominated for four Academy Awards and two BAFTAS, winner of Best Foreign Film at the Venice Film Festival, and then sensationally withdrawn from theatrical release in this country at the director's behest after supposed links between on-screen and real life violence. In the intervening years, the picture has taken on an almost mythical status, and so this re-release one year after the death of its reclusive director can justifiably be heralded as a major cinematic event. Not least because those staunch guardians of public taste and decency - The British Board Of Film Classification - have passed the film with an 18 certificate, uncut. Kubrick accomplished the seemingly impossible with his adaptation of Anthony Burgess's dystopian fable: digesting a provocative and sometimes disturbing novel written in an invented pidgin Russian language, and regurgitating it as a visually striking and, on the whole, acsessible cautionary tale about the violence that festers beneath the deceptively placid surface of our green and pleasant land. The film follows juvenile delinquent Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his three Droog buddies - Pete (Michael Tarn), Dim (Warren Clarke) and Georgie (James Marcus) - on one of their nightly orgies of "ultra-violence" and rape which culminates in Alex murdering a middle-aged lady and being apprehended by the long arm of the law. Sent to prison to atone for a multitude of sins, Alex agrees to enrol in a controversial Government-backed scheme to rehabilitate violent offenders through so-called aversion therapy which, if successful, will curb his desires to maim and assault and gift him early release. After two weeks of treatment, Alex is deemed "cured" and returned into the welcoming arms of society where his dysfunctional parents (Philip Stone, Sheila Raynor) want nothing to do with him, old friends Dim and Pete have become police officers, and his victims are now embittered souls thirsty for revenge on the young hooligan who destroyed their lives all those years ago. Like all of Kubrick's films, A Clockwork Orange is a feast for the senses, shot with boundless energy and an impeccable eye for detail. From the opening tracking shot in the Korova Milk Bar, where Alex and his friends prepare for their fun and games over a glass of Moloko (milk), to the carefully orchestrated sequences of the Droogs on the rampage, every frame has been meticulously crafted for maximum impact. Music plays an intrinsic role in the film just as it did in Burgess's novel. Alex is obsessed with Beethoven (or as he calls him, "lovely, lovely Ludwig Van") and several key moments in the film are set to different movements from the monumental 9th Symphony. Indeed, almost every episode in Alex's misadventures has some form of musical accompaniment: a rape set to "Singin' In The Rain", a fight between two gangs choreographed to Yorkston's "Molly Malone", a riverbank stabbing replayed in slow motion to the tune of Rossini's "The Thieving Magpie". With the music, these scenes take on a hallucinogenic, dreamlike quality - like fragments of someone's unconscious flashing before the audience's eyes. McDowell, with his distinctive eye make-up and natty bowler hat, captures the coiled up rage and fiery sexuality of the film's anti-hero with gusto, narrating the action by way of a disconcertingly monotone voiceover. His transformation into model citizen at the prison is not for the squeamish: the sequences in which he is strapped down to a chair, his eyelids held open with metal clips so he cannot close his eyes, and he is then forced to watch hours of sickening film footage, are almost unbearable. The irony of the situation was not lost on Kubr

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 1st June 2016

City Of God (Cidade De Deus) 5 stars

Rocket is a poor black kid who lives in the notorious Cidade de Deus housing project in Rio de Janeiro. Desperate to escape the violence that surrounds him, yet eager to tell the world about his dangerous world, Rocket turns to photography as a means of salvation, witnessing death and poverty through the lens of his camera. In the process, he meets drug dealer and murderer Lil Ze, who holds the balance of power, and will let nobody wrest it from his grasp.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Comedy, Drama, Thriller
  • CastAlexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Matheus Nachtergaele.
  • DirectorFernando Meirelles.
  • WriterBraulio Mantovani.
  • CountryBra
  • Duration129 mins
  • Official site
  • Release03/01/2003 (selected cinemas)

The new year gets off to a cracking start with Fernando Meirelles's breathtaking crime thriller, which takes a breakneck journey through three decades of violence and gang warfare in Rio de Janeiro's drug-riddled streets. City Of God (Cidade de Deus) is unflinching in its depiction of the bitter rivalry between teenage drug barons and gangs of gun-toting children, who see intimidation and murder as the only means to settle scores. The film makes the same astonishing visceral impact as Tarantino and Peckinpah at their very best - the young protagonists wield their pistols like toys, seemingly oblivious, or perhaps all too comfortable, with the terrifying power they hold. The scenes of bloodshed and barbarity are all the more chilling because much of the story is true, adapted from Paolo Lins's shattering novel. City Of God charts events from the '60s until the beginning of the '80s in the notorious Cidade de Deus housing project, one of the most dangerous favelas in Rio de Janeiro. The film opens in the sepia tones of the late '60s. A poor black kid named Rocket (Luis Otavio) dreams of a life without violence, perpetuated largely by small time hoodlums Shaggy, Clipper and Goose. The balance of power shifts completely with the arrival of Lil Dice (Douglas Silva), a wannabe gangster with a wicked nature who aspires to become the city's most feared criminal. When Shaggy and his gang give Lil Dice the opportunity to prove himself, and to kill for the first time, he revels in the thrill of the kill. Soon after, he kills Shaggy. The story then fast-forwards to the '70s. Desperate to escape, yet eager to tell the world about the dangers of Cidade de Deus, Rocket (now played by Alexandre Rodrigues) turns to photography as a means of salvation. In the process, he crosses paths once more with Lil Dice, who has renamed himself Lil Ze (Leandro Firmino da Hora), and now controls the local supply of cocaine and grass. A challenger to Lil Ze's domination emerges in the shape of bus collector Knockout Ned (Seu Jorge), whose girlfriend was raped by the young gangster and his cronies. Joining forces with Carrot (Matheus Nachtergaele) and a rival gang of armed kids, Ned plots to bring down the whole of Lil Ze's empire. Rocket witnesses the ensuing gun fights and revenge killings through the lens of his camera. City Of God bombards the screen with shocking images of brutality that leave you feeling emotionally numb. It seems incomprehensible that small children would spend their formative years roaming the streets, with guns tucked in the back of their shorts, poised to give up their young lives for the sake of their gangs. But Meirelles paints a horribly convincing portrait of wasted youth and shattered innocence. The young cast, many of whom have never acted before and were cast from open auditions in Cidade de Deus, are extraordinary. In particular, Rodrigues delivers a compelling performance as the film's beleaguered narrator, and Silva and later da Hora radiate seething ambition and rage as the pint-sized killer with a heart of stone. City of God will blow your mind.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 2nd June 2016