a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The repertory writer becomes the repertory writee. Or something.

Hello, all of you in the Philadelphia area. Forgive the relative formality of the following missive. I'm reprinting this from a mass e-mail I've been sending around.

On Saturday, Sept. 23 at 2pm, I'm going to be showing Age of Consent (1969), Michael Powell's final feature-length film. If you know me at all, you've probably heard me blabber at great length about Powell, who's best known for his nearly two-decade-long collaboration with Emeric Pressburger from the '30s to the '50s. (Some of these lavish and eccentric films include The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcisuss, The Red Shoes, and The Tales of Hoffmann.) This one, made almost a decade after the serial killer pic Peeping Tom unfairly ruined his career, is a lot more grounded than the aforementioned, but still plenty rich and strange. James Mason, who co-produced with Powell, plays a painter working through feelings of obsolescence via Australia's Great Barrier Reef and the oft-clotheless antics of a young Helen Mirren. (And yes, that movie where Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth is due in a couple weeks. Sheesh.) The insane Jack MacGowran (The Fearless Vampire Killers, How I Won the War) pops up for a stretch as his nefarious, speed-talking agent, as do many picturesque ocean shots.

The film will be projected from a DVD that's...well, not great. Consent, however, has never been released on video (at least stateside) and enjoys a life of quiet obscurity, seen only by hungry Powell completionists and horny teenagers. However crappy (but presentable) the conditions, this is a rare chance to see this unjustly-ignored minor classic.

If that's not incentive enough for you to mutter away part of an afternoon, then you'll get to see me -- whose first public screening since college this is -- fight through my fear of public speaking as I introduce this fool thing. I may even bust out my James Mason impersonation voice.

And besides, it’s free.

This showing will be part of the Goodbye to the Cinema, once known as the sticky-floored Cinemagic. Rich Wexlers lording over the whole thing, and many a fine repertory film programmer is involved, including Joe Gervasi, Andrew Repasky McElhinney, Michael Dennis and Dan Buskirk. Complete line-up here.

And now for the pertinent info:

(1969, Michael Powell)
Sat., Sept. 23, 2pm.
The Cinema, 3925 Walnut St.

Michael Powell filmography right here.

Thanks, and do venture out. And tell your friends!

(Also, hat tip to Marisa for yapping about this over at Philly Metroblog.)


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