CINEMA RISING X GRANDFIELDS FLEUR
September 7th, 2021 Stoke Newington
We were approached by independent florist Grandfields Fleur to program an evening of flower-themed cinema as part of a week-long event in Stoke Newington. Rather than go the obvious route, we selected three short films based around naturalism: Ofrenda (1978), The Garden of Earthly Delights (1981) and All My Life (1966). We concluded with Shūji Terayama's lurid Pastoral: To Die In The Country (1974).
May 24th, 2022 Peckham Levels
For the first night of our new events programme, we showed Spanish cult classic Arrebato (English title: Rapture), directed by Iván Zulueta.
Arrebato follows a drug-addicted director, miring in the world of low-budget horror films. After he receives a mysterious reel of film, and a cryptic message, from an eccentric young filmmaker, he journeys into the countryside where illicit substances, sexual tension, and cinematic obsession combine to create a mind-altering fervour from which there might be no escape.
August 2nd, 2022. Avalon Cafe, Bermondsey
We showed Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's 2009 Gerard Butler vehicle Gamer, a film that has provided a uniquely prescient look at our new reality. In addition to the film, the event was introduced by critic and author Steven Shaviro and we followed the screening with a DJ set inspired by the film from our friend Badger.
Location: Avalon Cafe
Captured with Neveldine and Taylor's signature frenetic style, Gamer anticipates our present moment without ever deviating from the duo’s primary goal of delivering a hugely entertaining sci-fi actioner shot in the style of a videogame. The film is set in the near future - the world is enamoured with two virtually augmented reality games created by demented tech overlord Ken Castle (a hammy, but very fun Michael C. Hall). One is called Slayers, in which players hijack the minds of death-row inmates, forcing them to participate in first-person-shooter-inspired death matches based on the flimsy premise that they might survive thirty games and earn their freedom. Butler plays Kable, who, having won twenty-eight games, is intent on blasting his way to liberation to reunite with his wife Angie (Amber Valleta) and their daughter. In her husband's absence, Angie has found work in another VR/mind-control game called Society, a bubblegum-coloured Sodom and Gomorrah where sickos and perverts steer the bodies of the underclass into glitchy, humiliating sexual encounters.
Stylish, gruesome, and strangely moving, Gamer has found a "second-life" in recent years, due to its crass, yet insightful exploration of how technology is used by elites as a tool of both distraction and outright oppression. Perhaps only a film as grotesque and brutal as Gamer could ever do justice to the unrelenting grimness of our brave new world. As Michael C. Hall says (for real) in the film "We live in society".
October 10th, 2022 The Garden Cinema, Soho
After his daughter mysteriously disappears, Jake Van Dorn (George C. Scott) sees her in an 8mm porn film and journeys from Grand Rapids, Michigan to the sordid underbelly of Los Angeles, intent on finding her. Directed by Paul Schrader (American Gigolo, First Reformed, The Card Counter), Hardcore is an evocative and troubling neo-noir informed by the director’s strict religious upbringing and his outsider status in Hollywood.