Showing posts with label park circus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label park circus. Show all posts

28 February 2014

Film Review - Funny Face (1957)

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Musical, Comedy, Romance
Park Circus
Rating: PG
Re-Release Date:
28th February 2014 (UK)
Stanley Donen
Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson

Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) happily works as an assistant in an obscure New York bookstore. One day a top fashion glossy takes over the shop as the setting for a photo shoot. During the shoot the magazine's editor Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) and her top photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) discover Jo whom they declare as the next 'big thing'! She is then whisked to Paris by the scheming duo, where she not only causes a sensation on the catwalks of the fashion capital but soon becomes the focus of Avery's attention on both sides of the camera.

For those who think cinema's fascination with fashion is a recent phenomena, with films like The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and The September Issue (2009) - think again. Funny Face (1957), the piece of cinematic whimsy directed by Stanley Donen - who made such Hollywood classics as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) - proves that as far back as the 1950s the public was obsessed with the beautiful world inhabited by stick thin models, demanding editors and temperamental photographers. The film shares endless similarities with the real world of fashion, and especially the refined echelons of couture: not surprising considering the character of Maggie Prescott was rumoured to be modelled on Diana Vreeland, the real-life Editrix of fashion bible American Vogue, whilst the inspiration for Astaire's photographer apparently derived from one of the most influential super snappers ever, Richard (Dick) Avedon.

As with the exclusive world of high fashion, Funny Face is one of those rare films which not only transcends fads and passing tastes, but stands out from the rest thanks to its effortless style, wit and sophistication. Hepburn simply fizzes in the role of Jo, the feisty young woman battling with the attentions of Astaire's older, more worldly-wise mentor - a role she would repeat a few years later in My Fair Lady (1964) alongside Rex Harrison.

Like the industry it so wittily sends up, the evergreen Funny Face is beguiling, tasteful and painfully chic. The film's timely rerelease coincides conveniently with the close of the bi-annual fashion circus which has been making its way around the clothing capitals of the world. Few of us will ever get the chance of a ringside seat at these events. However glossy magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar allow people to be a part of these fantasies, vicariously through their pages. Films such as the exquisite Funny Face - where all the ingredients came together in a picture perfect composition - also allow us to share, even if only for a brief time, in this land of adult make-believe.


Cleaver Patterson

13 August 2013

Don't Mess With Tony's Hair, Saturday Night Fever Coming Back To UK Cinemas September

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John Travolta is back as Tony Manero. The original uncut version of Saturday Night Fever will be lighting up dancefloors and illuminating screens nationwide on 24 September. It put the subculture of disco on the map and shot Travolta to Hollywood stardom, bringing him an Oscar-nomination in the process. The Bee Gee’s iconic soundtrack then became one of the most successful albums of all time and remains the only disco album to win Best Album of the Year at the Grammys.

This Cineworld Exclusive Special Presentation of the pop culture classic is back on the big screen across 78 cinemas for a one-day special.

"Would ya just watch the hair. Ya know, I work on my hair a long time and you hit it. He hits my hair" - Tony Manero

Every Saturday Tony puts on his wide collared shirt, flared trousers and platform shoes and heads out to the only place where he's seen as a god rather than some young punk. Away from the strobe lights and glitter ball though, Tony’s story as a Brooklyn paint store clerk becomes one of tragic disillusionment, violence and heartbreak. Highlighting issues of gang culture and racial tension, Saturday Night Fever remains a powerful and provocative tragedy that carries as much weight now as it did in 1977.

It is more than just a film that defined the music and fashion of a generation. It is a provocative urban tragedy that will attract audiences old and new upon its return to cinemas.

The Cineworld Exclusive Special Presentation of Paramount Pictures’ Saturday Night Fever screens nationwide for one-day only. So dust off the cobwebs, dig out the old suit , iron the that perfect crease up your trousers but if your too young get your dad's old suit as 24th September is the your body will move once again.

28 January 2013

Park Circus To Re-Release Jerry Schatzberg's Digitally Restored Scarecrow

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Park Circus have announced 26th April 2013 sees the UK re-release of Jerry Schatzberg's Scarecrow,starring Al Pacino and Gene Hackman. Scarecrow has been digitally remastered to celebrate the Palme d'Or winning film's 40th Anniversary.

From professional photographer Jerry Schatzberg won the Palme d’Or in 1973 for this rarely screened eccentric on-the-road American classic, starring the acclaimed duo Gene Hackman and Al Pacino. A tale of intense and newfound friendship between lowly Max (Hackman – stated as his favourite ever role) and Lion (Pacino), Scarecrow is digitally restored and ripe for rediscovery on the big screen.
Opening amidst an isolated backdrop of dusty American landscape, Max, just released from prison, happens upon Lion. A muted meeting at first soon blossoms into the beginning of a new friendship that takes them hitchhiking across America to realise Max’s dream of opening his own car wash in Pittsburgh. Encountering a series of oddball characters along the way, often delving deep into the protagonists’ peculiarities and personal problems, Scarecrow is an intriguing, gritty gem from a significant period of great American cinema.

Scarecrow has been newly restored by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film will open in the UK on 26th April at BFI Southbank and selected cinemas nationwide.

22 November 2012

The Muppet Christmas Carol Review

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2012 has seen not only the bi-centenary of Charles Dickens' birth, but also celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the strangest screen adaptations of perhaps his most famous ghost story (of which he wrote several), A Christmas Carol. Directed by Brian Henson, the son of the late Muppet master Jim Henson,The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), starring Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat, as well as a wonderfully sour Michael Caine, is sheer bliss from start to finish.

Charles Dickens' seasonal tale, which is not only a warning against greed and the love of money, but also a classic example of the benefits of doing good to your fellow man, is brought to life by noneother than that loveable team of misfits, the Muppets.

No matter who you are or where you come from Jim Henson's mad offspring have an indefinable quality which has universal appeal. As their successful reinvention in The Muppets (2011) proved, their brand of magic is timeless, which also means now is the ideal opportunity to reissue one of their most succeful and best loved big screen outings.

The quirky characteristics of the various members of the Muppet troupe make them the perfect candidates to bring Dickens' supernatural tale to life. The role of the quick tongued and buxom Emily, matriarch of the Cratchit family was tailormade for Miss Piggy whilst Kermit is ideal as her kind hearted husband Bob. There are a few diviations from Dickens' original version, but giving Scrooge's dead partner Jacob Marley a brother called Robert, allows for grouchy Muppet regulars Statler and Waldorf to perform their popular rountine of putdowns and corny jokes. The casting as a whole is pure genius on the part of Casting Directors Suzanne Crowley, Mike Fenton and Gilly Poole, and brings a breath of fresh air to a story which often appears stale through overfamiliarity.

The humans, though mainly in supporting roles, add believability to the whole affair whilst not detracting from the impact of the film's main stars. Other than Steven Macintosh as Scrooge's nephew Fred, Caine is the only other human to play a major role in the film. His interpretation of Scrooge, the crotchety and miserable moneylender, is marvelously chilling yet pitiful, inducing sympathy from the viewer as he is shown the mess he has made of his life and given one last chance to mend his ways before his time runs out.

If there was to be any downside to the film one would imagine it would result from the addition of the sacharine and fluffy songs without which no Muppet production would be complete. However the clever placement of these serves to strengthen the storyline, bringing a lighter touch to what can sometimes be a brooding and cautionary tale.

Christmas is ultimately a time for children, and the rerelease of this magical family treat will be the perfect antidote to the big budget blockbusters which take over many local multiplexes at this time of year.

Cleaver Patterson


Rating: U
Re-Release Date: 23rd November 2012 (UK)
Directed ByBrian Henson
CastMichael CaineSteven MackintoshKermitMiss Piggy