This month we're excited to present a long-gestating retrospective on David Lynch's extraordinary genre-bending oeuvre. Drawing heavily upon dreams, the American iconoclast portrays the pervasive, nefarious influence of the subconscious upon our waking lives. In anticipation of Twin Peaks' revival in May, this programme presents a selection of the director's deeply cinematic works, including: new restorations of Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive; 35mm prints of Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Fire Walk with Me, Lost Highway, and (ironically) Inland Empire; and a number of unique additions including a rare screening of early short The Grandmother and two editions of our ongoing Take Two double bill series.
Elsewhere this month we continue our new strand of Saturday matinees, in which we present a series of films, animations and cartoons to the wonder of children and parents alike - beginning with Paul Grimault and Jacques Prévert's beautiful animation The King and the Mockingbird. We'll also be hosting Carroll/Fletcher gallery once again for a trilogy of films by young Indian film-maker Pallavi Paul – exploring the contours of fantasy, resistance, politics and history she extricates the political from a language of nostalgia or mourning to get to the heart of resistance.
We conclude the month by marking the occasion of Miloš Forman’s 85th birthday with a collaborative programme with Czech Centre London that seeks to uncover the striking and instructive resemblances in the development of the Czech New Wave and British Free Cinema movements which evolved on parallel and sometimes interconnecting courses – screening mostly from original 16mm and 35mm prints.
As always, advance booking is strongly recommended for all of these screenings.
David Lynch’s films expose the horror and turmoil that lurks within the pores of society. Drawing heavily upon dreams, Lynch portrays the pervasive, nefarious influence of the subconscious upon our waking lives. Lynch’s films are tragedies about the overwhelming tendency for people to condemn themselves to a world of darkness and confusion, by succumbing to violence and the desire to control others. The characters in Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive create fragile illusions to escape from reality; find happiness only through death in Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me; or are cynically portrayed as finding improbable contrived happiness in Blue Velvet and Wild At Heart. Moments of humour and joy are expressed in Lynch’s films and he truly believes in the powerful bonds of friendship and family. By abandoning objective realism, and making visuals and music dominant over narrative, Lynch has generated a body of work that captures a unique emotional reality, reflecting dread, sorrow, and, sometimes, hope.
Close-Up and Czech Centre London present a season focusing on the rejection of established cinematic norms core to the early works of Czech director Miloš Forman and his contemporaries from the British Free Cinema movement. Marking the occasion of Miloš Forman’s 85th birthday, and screening mostly from original 16mm and 35mm prints, this programme uncovers for the first time the striking and instructive resemblances in the development of Czech and British cinema which evolved on parallel and sometimes interconnecting courses. Czech director Miloš Forman, mostly known for his multiple Academy Award winning films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, started his film career in opposition to classic narrative cinema harnessed to ideological conformity. As was the case in Britain, everyday reality was absent from Czech screens so Forman started to use mainly non-professional actors and scripts almost totally lacking in conventional dramatic development, based on the reality surrounding him.
Close Up and Carroll/Fletcher Onscreen present a trilogy of films by young Indian film-maker Pallavi Paul. Central to the trilogy is the revolutionary poet Vidrohi (the rebel), who began writing in the 1970s, as India was witnessing a time of great political turbulence and violence from both the state and far-left groups. However, as Paul notes in her preface to the first film in the trilogy, Nayi Kheti, "the films are not about the persona of Vidrohi, rather I attempt to use his poems as a kind of laboratory to test the tensile strength of resistance as a material of life." Throughout the trilogy, as Paul explores the contours of fantasy, resistance, politics and history she extricates the political from a language of nostalgia or mourning to get to the heart of resistance. Pallavi Paul will be in conversation with writer Juliet Jacques following the screening.