On the back of the launch of the BFI Thriller Season and the new touring season of 1970s European political thrillers, The Fringes will be unleashing a new film strand at QUAD.
CRIME TIME is new monthly night bringing some of the best classic and contemporary crime films to the big screen. Crime is a broad genre and we are aiming to get into every corner, like a corrupt Cillit Bang!
We’ll be covering heist movies, spy movies, men on a mission movies, serial killer movies, gangsters movies, undercover cop movies, private eye movies, film noir movies, giallo movies, lone professional movies, hitmen movies, political crime movies, buddy cop movies, odd couple crime movies, car chase movies, hostage movies, crazy loner movies, white collar crime movies, blue collar crime movies, good cop movies, bad cop movies (but no Police Academy movies….probably), gang warfare movies, anarchy movies, crazy kids in love and on the run movies….and many more.
We launch the monthly night proper in January but first running throughout late Oct through to December, the sound of falling bullet shells will ring out at QUAD, as we bring you a packed season of crime thrillers.
We will be exploring States of Danger and Deceit: European Political Thrillers in the 1970s from the touring season emanating from HOME in Manchester. These include:
The pulse pounding political thriller Z (Costa Gravs, France, 1969). Winner of the OScar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1970, after also having been nominated for Best Picture, Z remains one of the most influential political thrillers of all time. Jean-Louis Trintignant plays a magistrate assigned to investigate the supposed accidental death of a left wing politician, memorably played by Yves Montand. In the course of his work he uncovers a series of deceits and lies that attempt to hide the real political motivation of the killing.
The Day of The Jackal (Fred Zinneman, UK/France, 1973) based on the best selling novel by Frederick Forsyth. Fred Zinneman’s legendary film explores the attempts of a right-wing paramilitary group to assassinate French President General De Gaulle following the independence of Algeria. Boasting a career-defining performance from Edward Fox and replete with many political twists and turns, Day Of The Jackal is one of the best thrillers of the 1970s.
The rather wonderful giallo Don’t Torture A Duckling (Lucio Fulci, Italy, 1972). A great example of the ways in which a popular form, here the giallo style of violent thriller, can be used to critque institutions. In Lucio Fulci’s film, a series of murders of young boys takes place in a rural village where suspicion falls on those resident’s different and considered outsiders. Rumour has it that Fulci was blacklisted due to his critical representation of Italy’s powerful social institutions.
The Man On The Roof (Mannen på taket) (Bo Wilderberg, Sweden, 1976) featuring the character Martin Beck from the long running series of novels by left-leaning Swedish crime writers Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, is a great example of a 1970s Scandi-crime film. Here Beck, played by Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt, and his team investigate a brutal murder in a hospital, encountering stories of police brutality as they progress, which in turn leads to a thrilling climax on the rooftops of Stockholm. A great opportunity to see the roots of the current wave of Scandinavian crime dramas.
The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta, West Germany, 1975). Co-directed by Volker Schlöndorf and Margarethe von Trotta and adapted from a novel by Heinrich Böll, this is a key political film of the New German Cinema. Set in a climate of fear and paranoia, Angela Winkler plays the young woman of the title whose life is slowly destroyed following her innocently meeting a man who is suspected by the authorities of being a political activist.
In conjunction with this touring season, the BFI Thriller season is in full flow and we will be rounding out the Crime Time season with a few choice cuts from this selection plus some timely re-releases.
Showings of the new re-release of the 5 time Oscar winning The Silence Of The Lambs (Jonathan Demme, USA, 1991) which achieve the impressive feat of winning all of the main Oscars at the 1992 Academy Awards (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay). Something that had only been done twice before and hasn’t been equaled since.
The Coen Brothers were not always crafting witty depictions of golden age Hollywood as in their last film Hail Caesar!. Most of their career they have been crafting grade A crime films whether it is a gangster film like the magnificent Miller’s Crossing, or the Oscar Winning Fargo, or the comedy caper crime films like Raising Arizona or The Big Lebowski. But it was the neo-noir Blood Simple (Joel Coan, USA, 1984) that launched them onto the world scene and we’ll be putting this stellar example of low key crime back on the big screen.
The Wages Of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzet, France/Italy, 1953) is not only the basis for William Friedkin’s 1977 The Sorcerer but also lead the way to Clouzet’s Les Diabolique and influenced generations of thriller writers in the process. In an unnamed South American country, four shady characters find themselves thrust together on a dangerous job. They are each offered $2,000 to drive two trucks of highly volatile nitroglycerine to a remote oil field. Tension builds between the four men as they inch their way over the treacherous mountain roads, in the knowledge that the slightest jolt could have explosive consequences.
Then for comparison’s sake we’ll be showing 40th Anniversary screenings of WIlliam Friedkin’s Sorcerer starring Roy Scheider. This version of the Wages Of Fear storyline had the unfortunate luck of being released 40 years ago….on the same day as Star Wars! Needless to say it didn’t gain much traction in cinemas at the time. A shame because the film is a gem and we’re happy to be bringing it back to the big screen for another chance at glory!
John Dahl’s first three film have set him up as a firm member of the Crime Club of America (ed- Not a real organisation). Kill Me Again had Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer in a violent love triangle, while the excellent Red Rock West tamed the natural forces of Nicholas Cage and Dennis Hopper for a tale of a mistaken hitman and a beautiful woman. But we are jumping to the third film in this loose thematic neo-noir trilogy and the exquisite The Last Seduction (John Dahl, USA, 1994) the tale of the femme fatale Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino). Having made off with the ill-gotten gains of a drug deal, Bridget washes up in Beston, a tiny town in New York State. There she pulls Mike (Peter Berg) into her web and starts living a simple suburban life. Needless to say, her hard-boiled past catches up with her, with her robbed husband (Bill Pullman) hot on her trail.
Ida lupino’s gritty noir deserves to become a classic of the thriller genre. And to that end we are giving this favourite of Martin Scorsese another shot at unsettling you on the big screen. The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino, USA, 1953) is based on the case of psychopathic murderer Billy Cook, the story begins with two friends (Edmund O’Brien and Frank Lovejoy) taking a fishing trip. Picking up a hitch-hiker (William Talman), they quickly realise their mistake as he forces them on a grim road trip. The hitcher is a demonic figure, sadistically taunting the two men and frustrating their escape attempts with nail-biting results. A terrifying ride into the heart of darkness.
Staying with the noir end of the crime genre, we’ll be showing two classic that are being re-released to coincide with the new film Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool about Hollywood star Gloria Grahame. They may not die in Liverpool but they are certainly shining in the two gems from Grahame’s career coming up.
The Big Heat is the Fritz Lang directed tale of honest cops, ruthless criminals, sultry women all wrapped up in a gripping plot. Grahame plays the gangsters moll opposite Glen Ford’s honest cop.
Then we get to a genuine classic of cinema in Nicholas Ray’s In A Lonely Place where Humphrey Bogart plays Dixon Steele, the intense screenwriter with a hair trigger temper. When a hat check girl he had been seen with is murdered, his neighbour Laura (Gloria Grahame) provides him with an alibi. As they become closer, she starts to wonder if he did have something to do with her death.
Flying from the LA of the 1950s to the lonely roads of Holland next for George Sluzier’s The Vanishing. A gem of a thriller that was remade (by the same director) with Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock in 1993, but it is the 1988 Dutch original that we’ll be showing. An incredible look at obsession, this film follows a man whose girlfriend disappears on a lonely road. He spends years trying to find her when suddenly the kidnapper contacts him and offers to show him what happened to his girlfriend but he must experience the exact same things that she went through…
And finally, we head back to the 1970s and bring Francis Ford Coppola’s classic tale of paranoia The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, USA, 1974). Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) is a surveillance expert, tasked with recording a couple with cold professional distance by an unknown client. But what he captures raises unsettling, deadly questions. Caul is tormented by past mistakes and is forced to confront his work’s moral implications. Released within years of the Watergate scandal, Coppola’s film is embued with the paranoia of the 1970s but also is a reminder of a time when surveillance wasn’t so prevalent.
I know if you’re anything like me you’ll be like “Oh Adam, why so many amazing crime films? I want to watch them all but I can’t afford that!!” Well worry no more because we’ve got you crime cinephiles covered.
Buy a CRIME TIME UNLIMITED THRILLS pass for £50 and see everything in the season! That works out at under £3.50 per film! It would be….criminal not to.
The Hit List In Full
Blood Simple: The Director’s Cut – Friday 27th & Saturday 28th October
The Wages Of Fear – Monday 30th & Tuesday 31st October
The Conversation – Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th November
Z – Monday 6th & Tuesday 7th November
Sorcerer – Friday 10th – Sunday 12th November
The Man On The Roof – Monday 13th & Tuesday 14th November
The Silence Of The Lambs – Friday 17th & Saturday 18th November
The Hitch-Hiker – Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st November
The Last Seduction – Monday 27th & Tuesday 28th November
Don’t Torture A Duckling – Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd December
The Day Of The Jackal – Monday 4th & Tuesday 5th December
The Vanishing – Friday 8th & Saturday 9th December
The Lost Honour Of Katharina Blum – Monday 11th & Tuesday 12th December
The Big Heat – Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th December
In A Lonely Place – Friday 29th & Saturday 30th December
Tickets for the films and the season will be on sale soon. Then once the dust has settled and the spent shells cleared away, Crime Time will launch on a monthly basis from January.
Stay tuned for our opening shots.