Category Archives: Now Showing

One Great Scene From The Shining

“Wendy darling, light of my life, I’m not gonna hurt you…I’m just gonna bash your brains in..”

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

Where do you start with Stanley Kubrick’s remarkable 1980 psycho-horror The Shining? A film so awash with primitive, elemental spirit that its sweaty paw print is still marking the linen of the horror genre thirty odd years on. The wonder of The Shining’s ageless malice is due to a combination of weird talents who could have only found each other on a cinema set.

There’s Kubrick with his obsessions and stern sense of mise en scene. There’s Jack Nicholson’s demented, willfully hammy turn as a walking conduit for spirits of evil. There’s Garrett Brown’s miraculous work with his own invention the Steadicam, there’s transsexual composer Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos and Rachel Elkind’s mental electronica additions to the score, cinematographer John Alcott’s old master approach to the interiors…. the list goes on.

Kubrick, ever the wannabe distributor of his own films had even worked out a killer release strategy which allowed the film to only open in a few cinemas and take a month to build by word of mouth before conquering the rest of the world.

All these things and more make The Shining a quite exceptional variation on the old haunted house B-Movie. From the schoolyard to the water cooler the post film debate about The Shining was always a fever of half remembered scenes and declarative lines (“Here’s Johnny!”), but the scene that really encapsulates Kubrick’s vertiginous, callous portrait of a family in isolation and free fall is the one where Jack finally snaps and lets loose on his baseball bat bearing wife (Shelley Duvall), as she creeps away from him backwards up the hotel’s main stairs. So odd and mannered is Nicholson’s performance, so in control and yet demonic, caught mostly from his terrified wife’s point of view as he backs her up the stairs. The hotel lobby behind him composed and oddly styled. In this scene Kubrick accesses the genuine horror of the wife beater, the drunk and the rapist. It’s a scene that culminates with a man being beaten and falling backwards and yet you are in no doubt that he will rise again. This is the queasiest and choicest of all moments in modern horror, one that lingers in the cold light of day, much like a nightmare.

The Shining will be playing at the New Zealand International Film Festival in July and at Nordisk cinemas across Denmark in November.


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The Look – A Self-Portrait Through Others

Charlotte Rampling in The Look

Charlotte Rampling in The Look

One of the greatest film critics of all time, André Bazin, posed the question in the title of one of his books, ‘Qu’est-ce que le cinéma ?’ – ‘What is cinema?’ I believe that this question can be furthered in relation to an evergreen star of cinema; ‘What is cinema without actors like Charlotte Rampling?’

The actress in question may not be the greatest or most recognised over her period yet cinema would be a far less interesting place without her presence and uniqueness.

With that in mind, it brings great excitement to see the upcoming DVD release of Angelina Maccarone’s biopic, The Look. This is an extraordinary work which was warmly received at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and will be out on DVD release in the UK on Monday 30 April.

It centres on the aforementioned Charlotte Rampling, an actress the French label as La Légende. Now 65, this Essex-born actress remains an intriguing and fascinating on-screen presence, the most recent example being in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. It is Rampling’s evocative facial expression that has influenced the documentary’s title; The Look – a term originally coined in reference to Rampling by two-time co-star, Dirk Bogarde.

Bogarde was once quoted as saying, “I have seen the Look under many different circumstances…the glowing emerald eyes turn to steel within a second, [and] fade gently to the softest, tenderist, most doe-eyed bracken-brown”. The duality of Rampling’s gaze, seen over several decades now, has been one of the great cinematic looks to appear on-screen.

The Look is not the most conventional of biographical documentaries, in part mainly due to Rampling’s influence and final say over all aspects of the project. The structure of the work is separated by eight themes chosen by the director and subject (Rampling): Exposure, Age, Resonance, Taboo, Desire, Demons, Death and Love.

Each section sees Rampling discuss an individual theme with people such as photographer Peter Lindbergh and author Paul Auster. Rampling travels the globe in search of friends and colleagues, going from London to New York to Paris, stopping off in cafés, hotel rooms and a houseboat.

She has clearly led an interesting life, much of which stems from her father’s decision (an army colonel who worked abroad) to place his two daughters in a French school when Rampling was only nine years old. The obvious language barrier made this experience a lonely one where it took her nine months before she could communicate with her fellow pupils.

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A Night To Remember – The Titanic Centenary

Park Circus is re-releasing the esteemed ITV Studios classic, A Night To Remember this week, on 13 April, and you can expect to see Roy Ward Baker’s masterpiece at several key locations that make up part of the rich history of the Titanic, which sank 100 years ago in 1912.

We aim to be at the forefront of digitally restoring classic films and A Night To Remember is just one example of the many films we now have available on DCP. Having already received a warm reception at the Glasgow Film Festival earlier this year, A Night To Remember will also be showing at the TCM Classic Film Festival which kick starts later this month (not the only Park Circus title on show either).

One example of the film's restoration process

Following successful screenings at QFT Belfast earlier this month (where the ship was built), Park Circus has licensed screenings along the Titanic route:

– FACT Liverpool: 15 April (where the ship was registered)

– Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Southampton: 12 to 15 April (where the Titanic set off)

– Rome Capitol Theatre, New York: 21 April (where the survivors were later taken)

We spoke to the team at the Harbour Lights Picturehouse in Southampton to see why the history of the Titanic and Baker’s film adaptation is so important to their city’s history:

Get ready for another Titanic première

“Harbour Lights is proud to be showing the digitally re-mastered version of A NIGHT TO REMEMBER on the centenary of the tragic loss of the White Star vessel. Harbour Lights is the only cinema with a direct view to the actual berth from which the Titanic sailed and is close to the original White Star offices. The sinking of the Titanic still has a tremendous resonance with the people of Southampton due to the number of families that were directly affected by it. Of the 800 plus crew, over 600 came from the City and 549 of them never came back…We show this film in tribute to its brave crew and their families, to give Southampton a night in which to remember.”

In addition to the above locations, A Night To Remember will be screening elsewhere around the world:

– BFI Southbank, London: 13 to 26 April

– National Australian Maritime Museum, Sydney: 15 April

– The Monarch Theatre, Alberta, Canada: 14 April

– Swedish Film Institute, Stockholm: 16 to 25 April

We also have some fantastic archival materials of events tied to the film, courtesy of ITV Studios, on our Facebook page, including costume designs and a sophisticated menu for those who found the time to dine:

In the mean time, check out this clip from the film. Intense, gripping, dramatic and a beautiful restoration. This is the Titanic film to see this year:

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Guest post: Matt Palmer’s Halloween Top Five

Dawn of the Dead

Romero's Dawn of the Dead

With ghosts and ghouls preparing for their biggest night of the year on 31 October, we asked horror film fan and organiser of Horror All Night events, Matt Palmer, to round-up his favourites from some of the Park Circus-licensed films screening over the next few weeks.

1. Night of the Living Dead (1968) (Friday 28 October, Odeon Silverlink, Wallsend, UK)

George A. Romero’s atmospheric black and white zombie classic still packs a massive punch. Its realism and newsreel grittiness ushered in the modern horror movie era.

2. Dawn of the Dead (1978) (Friday 28 October, Stratford East Picutrehouse, London, UK)

In the sequel, Romero widens his vision and creates an ultra-gory, tense masterpiece that also serves as a vicious satire on capitalist consumerism.

3. Carrie (1976) (Friday 28 October, Odeon Silverlink, Wallsend, UK & Saturday 29 October, Little Theatre, Bath, UK)

Carrie intelligently explores sexuality and repression, literally ripping Christianity to pieces. But this is a Brian De Palma movie so it’s also sleazy, gory and chock full of visual style.

4. Pieces (1982) (Saturday 12 November, Grosvenor Cinema, Glasgow & Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, 19 November)

Pieces is an absolutely bonkers early 80s slasher movie that has to be seen to be believed. Vicious murder set-pieces and outrageous plotting abound. Topped off with the most unexpected moment of kung fu action in cinema! I’m showing this as part of my All Night Horror Madness event taking place at Glasgow’s Grosvenor Cinema on Saturday 12 November 2012.

5. The Evil Dead (1983) (various locations)

One of horror cinema’s all time classics returns. The Evil Dead is the real deal – a high-octane, demented cinematic thrill ride.

Find out what films are screening near you in the next four weeks by visiting

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Trailer-blazers! #2: The Shout (1978)

Alan Bates in The Shout

Alan Bates in The Shout

Trailer-blazers! look at some of the more unique trailers created for films in the Park Circus catalogue. In this edition, Jonathan Melville gives his thoughts on 1978’s The Shout.

“Greater than the frightening power of exorcism, more mystifying than any omen of reincarnation.” The opening to the trailer for Jerzy Skolimowski’s 1978 film, The Shout, doesn’t mess around when it comes to giving viewers a taste of what’s to come.

Told in flashback from the sidelines of a typically English cricket match in the grounds of a not-so-typical mental institution, the film focuses on Charles Crossley (Alan Bates), a mysterious stranger who arrives in a small coastal village and introduces himself to Anthony (John Hurt) and his wife, Rachel (Susannah York).

Having invited himself to stay in the couple’s home, Crossley begins to exert his influence over Rachel while convincing Anthony that he can kill a man with the use of a Shout, a skill learnt during his many years in the Australian outback.

The trailer shows a glimpse of Crossley’s Shout – sheep falling down dead, Anthony tumbling down a sand dune – and his power over Rachel as he steals one of her possessions before she becomes one of his.

We also catch a glimpse of the great Robert Stephens and a young Tim Curry, who both play small but important roles in the film, but most of the 2 minutes 48 is filled with Bates as the imposing-yet-charming Crossley (though he’s not quite so imposing when we see him in his underpants for some the picture).

Polish director Skolimowski, who has recently undergone reappraisal thanks to the re-release of previously thought lost Deep End (1970), took as the basis of his script a 20 page short story by Robert Graves (I, Claudius). Along with co-writer, Michal Austin, Skolimowski retained the framing of Graves’ story, in which the story is being told by Crossley himself, though whether we can find a man in an asylum a trustworthy narrator is debatable.

The trailer successfully captures the tone of the finished film, and, while it’s not quite the “soul shattering experience” that it promises, Bates/Hurt combination is a potent one. The label of horror film may have been attached to The Shout, but viewers of a sensitive disposition shouldn’t expect blood and guts galore.

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Top five Teen Wolf facts

Teen Wolf

Teen Wolf

With 1985’s Teen Wolf coming to London’s Wilton’s Music Hall on Friday 12 August as part of their Transformations season, we thought we’d kick-off our new regular Top Five feature with some facts on this memorable Michael J Fox comedy.

Teen Wolf stars Fox as Scott Howard, an awkward High School student who discovers he can change into a werewolf, causing his life to alter in more ways than one.

1. Although heavily promoted as starring “Back to the Future’s Michael J Fox”, Teen Wolf was actually filmed before the time travel comedy hit cinema screens. Realising they were going to have a star on their hands in the shape of Fox, the producers held back Teen Wolf until Back to the Future paved the way for their film.

2. Back to the Future was also an influence on Italian distributors of Teen Wolf; Fox’s character’s name from was changed from “Scott” to “Marty” in the dub.

3. The only actors to return for the 1987 sequel, Teen Wolf Too, were James Hampton as Harold Howard and Mark Holton as Chubby. Jason Bateman took on the role of Scott’s cousin, Todd.

4. Of the Teen Wolf crew, director Rod Daniel would go on to direct comedies such as K9, Beethoven’s 2nd and Home Alone 4. One of the film’s writers, Jeph Loeb, would go on to become a key figure in the comics industry and a writer/producer on the Smallville and Lost TV series, while one of Loeb’s collaborators on the Teen Wolf Too script, Tim Kring, later created superhero drama, Heroes, on which Loeb became co-executive producer.

5.  As well as spawning a sequel in Teen Wolf Two, the original film inspired an animated series, which ran from 1986 to 1987.  There were also plans for a third movie, this time starring Alyssa Milano as the werewolf, but the film failed to materialise. Most recently, a 2011 Teen Wolf TV series debuted on US screens, starring Tyler Posey as Scott McCall. The series opts for a darker tone to the film, with McCall seen to play lacrosse rather than basketball.

Share your Teen Wolf trivia and memories in the comments section.

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Now Showing: Friday 29 July – Thursday 4 August 2011

Park Circus supplies films for public screening around the world, with titles for the next four weeks listed on our Now Showing page. Each week we highlight a selection coming up in the next seven days.

First up this week, Chapter Cinema in Cardiff will be playing Labyrinth on Saturday 30 July and Wednesday 3 August. Directed by ‘The Muppets’ creator Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas and designed by Brian Froud, this spectacular fantasy film stars David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. The plot reads: ‘A teenager babysitting her little brother accidentally sends him to the land of the Goblin King, and she must get him back by midnight – or he will be turned into a goblin.’ Following its original release in 1986, the title quickly received a cult status and many devoted fans. According to Wikipedia, “an annual two-day masquerade ball called the ‘Labyrinth of Jareth’ is being held in Hollywood, CA, where revelers come dressed in costumes inspired by the film”.

In the Japanese animation Paprika from 2006, directed by the late Satoshi Kon, a group of scientists have developed a form of psychotherapy with the invention of a machine which enables a person to enter another’s dreams. When the device is stolen by a ‘dream terrorist’, it is up Atsuko Chiba – a scientist under the code name ‘Paprika’ – to track down the apparatus and save the world from madness. This action-laden anime feature is screening at Odeon Sistema Toscana Cinema in Firenze, Italy on Sunday 31 July.

This summer, BFI Southbank in London is presenting a season of classic Dirk Bogarde titles under the banner ‘He Who Dared‘. Victim, Basil Dearden’s ground breaking 1961 thriller, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011 and will be showing as part of the season on Wednesday 3 August. Following the screening, cast members Sylvia Syms and Peter McEnery will join John Coldstream for a Q&A hosted by Brian Robinson. With its location shooting, noir-ish lighting, and doomed characters, Victim was instrumental in paving the way for the legalisation of homosexuality in Britain. In the film, Bogarde portrays Melville Farr, a closeted gay lawyer. When his former lover Jack (McEnery) is blackmailed, Farr (who is married) agrees to investigate. The case is complicated by his fear of being exposed and a sudden mysterious death.

Based on the popular novel, Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder in Mesopotamia will be available for audiences to watch on the big screen at Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin on Thursday 4 August. Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, one of the prolific and legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie’s most famous characters, finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery while on vacation in the Middle East. When the beautiful, but neurotic, wife of a renowned archaeologist is murdered during the excavation of an ancient site, Poirot (brilliantly played by David Suchet) is on the scene and investigates the motley characters involved in the dig, with the help of Captain Hastings.

Our final highlight this week stars John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda and Ian McKellen in Scandal – the true story of a sensational sex scandal that rocked British government and society in the late 1950’s. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones, this controversial film about a call-girl who enjoys a relationship with a government minister while also sharing her sexual favours with the Soviet Naval attache, was originally released in 1989. Chicago Sunday Times’ Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars and noted: “The movie’s strength is that it is surprisingly wise about the complexities of the human heart“. Scandal is showing at Filmpodium der Stadt Zurich, Switzerland on Thursday 4 August – Wednesday 10 August.

Use our Find a Screening search to see what’s showing near you.

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Now Showing: Friday 22 – Thursday 28 July

Park Circus supplies films for public screening around the world, with titles for the next four weeks listed on our Now Showing page. Each week we highlight a selection coming up in the next seven days.

It’s fair to say that we’ve gone a little film noir crazy this week, with the re-release of Gilda at selected cinemas – London’s BFI Southbank and Curzon Mayfair, Edinburgh’s Filmhouse and the Irish Film Institute – taking over on Twitter and Facebook.

That’s maybe why we also decided to shout about a screening of another classic film noir, 195o’s In a Lonely Place, at Austria’s Filmarchiv Vienna on Sunday 24 July. It features one of Humphrey Bogart’s finest performances as writer Dixon Steele and bears up to repeated viewings as a complex story unfolds involving Gloria Grahame’s Laurel.

Cork’s Triskel Arts Centre will be screening another memorable Bogey performance between Sunday 24 and Wednesday 27 July, in the recently restored version of John Huston’s The African Queen. Shot on location in Africa, the film centres on river-boat Captain, Charlie (Bogart) and his new passenger, Rose (Katharine Hepburn). Bogart won an Oscar for his performance and audiences around the world have been finding out why during the film’s recent return to cinemas.

Featuring a stunning cast of horror greats – Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre – alongside a certain Jack Nicholson, Roger Corman’s The Raven swoops into Amsterdam’s Eye Film Institute Netherlands on Wednesday 27 July. As the trailer shows, nobody was taking themselves too seriously during the film’s production:

Finally, back in the UK, the Bo’ness Hippodrome in Scotland will be showing the Frank Capra screwball comedy classic, It Happened One Night, on Thursday 28 July. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert star as the couple thrown together when she runs away from her father’s choice of husband. Initially thought to be a disaster in the making by Colbert, the film turned out to be a hit and won five Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Actress for the two leads.

Use our Find a Screening search to see what’s showing near you.

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Now Showing: Friday 15 – Thursday 21 July

Park Circus supplies films for public screening around the world, with titles for the next four weeks listed on our Now Showing page. Each week we highlight a selection coming up in the next seven days.

Germany’s Haus der Jugend in Osnabruck will screen Buster Keaton’s 1925 silent classic, Seven Chances, on Friday 15 July. When Buster gets word that if he can be married by seven o’clock that evening, he will inherit $7 million, he proposes to everyone in skirts, including a Scotsman!

Three titles can be seen in two separate Zurich cinemas this week. First up, on Saturday 16 July at Sommerkino Rontgenplatz, is Jon Avnet’s heartwarming journey through life and love, 1992’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe, starring Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy. Then, between Saturday 16 and Wednesday 20 July, spoof Western, Cat Ballou, plays at Filmpodium der Stadt Zurich, while 1969’s Easy Rider can be seen on Monday 18 July.

Poland’s Stowarzyszenie Nowe Horyzonty will be showing Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, two films which display the director’s unique cinematic vision, between Thursday 21 and Sunday 31 July.

At Vienna’s Filmarchiv Austria on Thursday 21 July, Woody Allen’s 1983 mock-documentary, Zelig, will be screened. The film profiles Leonard Zelig, a 20’s phenomenon known as the “human chameleon”, who can imitate anyone he meets. Mia Farrow co-stars with Allen.

Finally, at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse, two Park Circus titles will screen as part of the cinema’s retrospective of composer Bernard Herrmann’s work: Don Chaffey’s 1963 epic, Jason and the Argonauts, can be seen on Saturday 16 July, while Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver returns to the cinema in its recently restored form on Thursday 21 July.

Use our Find a Screening search to see what’s showing near you.

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Now Showing: Friday 8 – Thursday 14 July

Park Circus supplies films for public screening around the world, with titles for the next four weeks listed on our Now Showing page. Each week we highlight a selection coming up in the next seven days.

Featuring the voice of Matt Damon explaining how the recent economic meltdown came to be, Inside Job, screening at Italy’s Associazione Umbria Film Festival on Friday 8 July, is a documentary that will make you think again about the way our financial institutions are being run.

Jacques Audiard’s gripping 2009 French prison drama, A Prophet, will be shown in Bogota, Columbia at Embajada de Francia en Colombia on Monday 11 July.

In Australia, head to Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales between Wednesday 13 and Sunday 17 July for a screening of Bob Rafelson’s 1970 drama, Five Easy Pieces. Jack Nicholson stars as a classical pianist turned oil rig worker who has to face up to his past when his father falls ill. This is a digitally restored print.

Staying Down Under, Martin Scorsese’s 1976 classic, Taxi Driver, can be seen in Sydney and Melbourne between Thursday 7 and Wednesday 13 July. Head to Melbourne’s Cinema Nova or Sydney’s Dendy Cinema in Newtown, where it’s showing exclusively for one week only. To celebrate the film’s 35th anniversary it has been digitally restored by Sony Pictures and is now back in cinemas worldwide.

In the UK, cult movie fans will be treated to Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness at London’s Prince Charles Cinema on Monday 11 July. Bruce Campbell stars as Ash, the unwitting hero sent back in time to defeat an evil force that threatens Earth.

Finally, the award for our most extensive screening has to go to Walt Disney Pictures 2010 animated comedy, Tangled, which can be seen in over 80 locations around the country in the next four weeks. Featuring the voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, the film tells of the magically long-haired Rapunzel, who has spent her entire life in a tower. When a runaway thief stumbles upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.

Use our Find a Screening search to see what’s showing near you.

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