Wednesday, 12 February 2020

MARCH Monday 23rd: LA DOLCE VITA - Connaught Cinema  

Special Presentation in 4K!

PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS. 
APOLOGIES AND HOPEFULLY WE WILL BE ABLE TO RESCHEDULE SOON.

March's screening is Italian director Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) at The Connaught Cinema.
Date: MONDAY 23rd March 2020
Tickets: free to members/ member's one guest £5
£7.50 for adults £6.50 for seniors and students
Doors open: 8.00pm


WFC are proud to present the decadence and decay of Fellini’s ‘sexy, surreal masterpiece of modernity’ - La Dolce Vita, in this its 60th Anniversary. Aptly and ironically the title translates to The Sweet Life where Federico Fellini's groundbreaking 1960 satire put Italian cinema firmly on the world stage with its tale of hedonistic excess, delivering a new type of cinema. Pitched between his earlier neo-realist films I Vitelloni and La Strada and his later more aggressively arthouse films like and Amarcord, La Dolce Vita manages to straddle both arthouse and box office blending both into an accessible, beautiful, bold large-scale satire with grand set pieces and forceful visual metaphors. The riveting and  stylish cinematography and Fellini's bizarre, extravagant visuals have ensured the film’s longevity, influence and iconic status. Thrilling the critics and audiences outside of Italy but condemned by the Vatican, it managed to eloquently capture the bold new vision, stylistically and morally of a new decade, aptly signalling the birth of modernity.

Foregoing the tradition of neorealism the film introduced a new kind of cinema appropriate to a country that had emerged from fascism, the Second World War and post-war poverty to embrace (at least in Rome and the north) a glitzy affluence and a changed set of values that challenged Catholic morality. The neo-realist pictures were shot in the streets; but here La Dolce Vita, like Fellini’s later pictures, was made for the most part on expensive sets at Cinecittà. This use of sets cleverly heightening the sense of the artificiality of the the hollow lives on display, after all the film asks how real is any of this?

From the opening shot that shows a helicopter lifting a statue of Christ into the skies and out of Rome - where God symbolically departs - the way is paved for Fellini's extraordinarily prophetic vision of a generation's spiritual and moral decay. La Dolce Vita is at once a rebuke and a celebration of all that had come before and of all that would be to come. The depravity is gauged against the exploits of Marcello (Mastroianni), a playboy hack who seeks out sensationalist stories by bedding socialites and going to parties. Marcello - like us - is both repelled by and drawn to the lifestyles he records. Fellini targets at once both a godless society that has become a kind of hell (there are pointed references to Dante) and Religion that has that is on the precipice of playing the celebrity game itself. Coining the phrase Paparrazzi (derived from the word for mosquitos) the film predicts a world of celebrity hollowness and the industry that thrives on and drives it. 

La Dolce Vita may not have the shock value it once had but it's still a unrivalled masterpiece with Fellini’s genius for revealing dreamlike and surreal images everywhere. Big, bold and surreally beautiful, but with much food for thought, we at WFC headquarters cannot wait to screen it for you, and in pristine 4K! What an absolute treat.

Watch the trailer here


‘It is a brilliant film, but there is nothing sweet about it.’ Peter Bradshaw - The Guardian


‘But it has not lost the power to fascinate, stimulate and provoke, and it remains a work of moral force and a visual delight.’ Philip French  - The Observer

***Don't forget you can join our film club with membership still only £30 for a year of screenings! Pay cash or cheque on the night, with at least FOUR screenings at the Connaught included in your subscription PLUS use of our extensive DVD library, priority booking with any other on location or WFC screening and exclusive invite to our lavish Christmas party. You KNOW it makes sense!***

Monday, 6 January 2020

FEBRUARY: Holy Mountain - Connaught Cinema  - Monday 10th


February's screening is Chilean/French director Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain (1973).
Date: MONDAY 10th February
Doors open: 8.15pm
Tickets: free to members / £7.50 for adults £6.50 for seniors and students
Connaught Cinema on Monday 10th February


Opening up 2020 with a cinematic  bang WFC are proud to present Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 mind bending and visually stunning The Holy Mountain. Financed by an ex-Beatle (John Lennon) and subsequently produced and stashed for decades by the band's ex-manager (Allen Klein), Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain is certainly unique cinema and experience extraordinaire. Skewering organized religion, consumerism, and both American peace-and-love hippiedom and militarism via a surreal search for spiritual enlightenment, The Holy Mountain is a rainbow-hued phantasmagoria of Dali-esque dementia.

Born in Chile in 1929 into what he called an abusive family, Jodorowsky left the familial home at 23 never to return. He read avidly, dabbled in poetry, spent two years at university only to leave and become interested in theatre, where after he left for France. In France he worked as a novelist, screenwriter, a poet, a playwright, an essayist, a film and theatre director and producer, an actor, a film editor, a comics writer, a musician and composer, a philosopher, a puppeteer, a mime artist, a psychologist and psychoanalyst, a draughtsman, a painter, a sculptor, and a spiritual guru. But it is his venerated avant-garde and cult cinema, such as El Topo (1970), The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre (1989), all filled with violently surreal images coupled with a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation that he will best be known for.

The Holy Mountain is another complex, multi-part story that featured a man credited as "The Thief" and equated with Jesus Christ, a mystical alchemist played by Jodorowsky, seven powerful business people representing seven of the planets, a religious training regimen of spiritual rebirth, and a quest to the top of a holy mountain for the secret of immortality. Difficult to classify, and nearly impossible to explain to those who have yet to experience it; It is simultaneously beautiful and disgusting; at times it is pretentious and shallow, and other times fascinating and profound. It is nothing short of a masterpiece, and comes riddled, top to tail, with all manner of extraordinary and breathtaking set pieces, unfurling like a hallucinogenic daydream. The Holy Mountain is a film that truly must be seen to be believed.

And here at WFC Towers we can’t wait to screen it for you and at the fantastic Connaught too! Please don’t miss it. Watch the trailer here

 ‘Neither for the faint of heart or the linear of thinker, The Holy Mountain qualifies both as a fascinating period relic and an enduringly transfixing jaw-dropper.’   Geoff Pevere - The Toronto Star


***Don't forget you can join our film club with membership still only £30 for a year of screenings! Pay cash or cheque on the night, with at least FOUR screenings at the Connaught included in your subscription PLUS use of our extensive DVD library, priority booking with any other on location or WFC screening and exclusive invite to our lavish Christmas party. You KNOW it makes sense!***