Ian Sinclair: 70 x 70

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17 May 2014

11am to 6pm


Time: 11.00 -18.00, Saturday 17 May
Venue: Podium Lecture Theatre London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, SE16SB

To celebrate Iain Sinclair's 70th birthday, a season of 70 films that have appeared in his novels. London College of Communication is pleased to host this special triple-bill with writer and filmmaker Iain Sinclair and producer, writer and curator Gareth Evans (both in attendance.)
11.00: introduction by Gareth Evans and Stanley Schtinter
11.10: Too Hot to Handle (107 mins) - introduced by Gareth Evans
1pm: Lunch
13:30: Iain Sinclair (15 minutes)
13.45 The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (90 minutes)
15.15 break
15.30 The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (135 mins)
17.45: End
Too Hot to Handle 1960. Dir. Terence Young.
Too Hot to Handle has an alternative title: Playgirl After Dark. Jayne Mansfield is an exotic dancer – now, in real life, her main source of income. Las
Vegas: market value plummeting, cash managed by the latest predator boyfriend. The last in a long line is a short abrasive Jew called Sam Brody – who, in an earlier incarnation, played a minor role in the Jack Ruby trial. The more interesting aspects of the Mansfield visit happened off-screen: she opened the East London Budgerigar Show in Haggerston Church Hall and cut the ribbon on the section of road where JG Ballard had his shunt.

The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz 1955. Dir. Luis Buñuel.
The title twins with Peckinpah’s Head of Alfredo Garcia. Exile projects. Buñuel fits as well in Mexico City as anywhere else. Better than Trotsky. Better than Budd Boetticher. With less collateral damage than Burroughs. Gary Walkow, visiting Courtney Love, getting her to take the Joan Vollmer role in Beat, speaks of wanting to retreat to the sanity of a hotel room and a quiet viewing of The Criminal Life. Which should not be confused with Joseph Losey’s The Criminal (shot in an Irish prison, pretending to be England). Losey’s was a different category of exile: money-politics, strategic retreat. Buñuel uses frustration as momentum with masterly precision and stylistic purity. Cinema served him well.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie 1976. Dir. John Cassavetes.
A standard plot (originally a TV play) reprised by Alexander Baron in his 1963 novel The Lowlife. The Jewish gambler (Anthony Newley) trying to clear his debt to the heavies by calling on a respectable brother (Warren Mitchell). Soho photographed by Wolfgang Suschitsky. In the clubland setting and the foregrounding of sweaty performance, there is some relation to The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (John Cassavetes), and to the anchoring role played by Ben Gazzara. Night moves. Strippers. Pancake make-up. Artificial light. Cigarettes. On-stage rictus. Out into hostile city. The Cassavetes could go on indefinitely. The Hughes is played to the clock. Baron’s novel allows the space to fill in the social background, the changing demographic of Hackney, the transit between suburb and centre. For Newley every action is part of the drama.

All welcome.
This event is organised in association with the London College of Communication Graduate School.