Monday, 5 November 2012

Death Laid an Egg

25th November 2012
Colorama II, Lancaster Street London SE1
Doors open 7PM
Film at 7.30PM

DEATH LAID AN EGG [La morte ha fatto l'uovo]
Giulio Questi - Italy, 1968

This is a deliriously strange thriller about a scientist (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who is breeding headless, boneless chickens at a high-tech farm. He's having an affair with Ewa Aulin, who is plotting with him to kill his wife (Gina Lollobrigida)...and she's plotting with Aulin to kill him...and he and Lollobrigida are plotting...oh, it's too confusing, but extremely memorable. 

The bizarre, only semi-linear editing and trippy cinematographic techniques are artifacts of the psychedelic era and combine with the twisted story to make any Euro-cultist's dreams come true. A film that defies easy categorization, it veers uneasily between giallo, drug film, and science-fiction, with heavy doses of romance and Antonioni-like weirdness. 

It was the time of the economic boom. The process of industrialization was a growing tide that swept everything away. It was a hymn to the future, a frenetic packaging of products without distinction between animate and
inanimate. Products that were still alive were screaming in terror and anguish. Large factory farms were a symbol of this. Every man was a chicken, every hen a woman, every chick a child. Wealth was accumulated on their skin. And, above all, "the egg" triumphed; white, smooth, perfect, with a life locked inside it. Sexual perversion became the only possible way out. 

G. Questi

FRRRRREE, as usual. 

Venue confirmed

Colorama II, Lancaster Street London SE1 
(not the old colorama, but the building next door)
More info watch this space | or the twitter space 
@un_cine | or FB Full Unemployment Cinema

There's an informative post on the film here:


The factory is the real villain of the film - the modern technology implemented by the matriarchal owner Anna has eliminated the need for human workers. The process has become entirely automated and the unemployed workers seethe with undisguised hate and resentment. The factory is coveted by Gabrielle and Mondaini and their thirst for the wealth it is about to generate motivates murder and duplicity. It is also the site for a series of monstrous and grotesque experiments, the culmination of which is the birth of a mutated headless chicken. Its destruction the only sensible thing that the confused and emasculated Marco does. His capitalist overlords however are less than happy with this, their eyes shine with greed at the prospect of a poultry product which will have no waste attached to it. If this isn’t enough the factory even claims the life of a harmless pet dog! The critique of capitalism and aggressive mechanised production techniques emerges as the most salient theme of the film. It feeds into a general sensibility of inhumanity which is reflected in the cynical and selfish behaviour of the main characters.

Friday, 2 November 2012

There's No Whiteness 4 November 7pm

T4 November | 7pm | Free

Upstairs at Freedom Bookshop / Autonomie Club

Angel Alley 84b Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QX

The White Bus (1967)
Directed by Lindsay Anderson, 46 mins)
Written by Shelah Delaney

The Man in the White Suit (1951)
Directed by Alex Mackendrick, 85 mins

The White Bus (1967)
Directed by Lindsay Anderson, 46 mins
Written by Shelah Delaney

Lindsay Anderson and Shelagh Delaney's The White Bus is a surrealistic film about a secretary who takes a strange trip, part of which takes place on the eponymous vehicle. The nameless girl has a seemingly dull life, which is interrupted by periodic flights of fantasy involving suicide, recreations of paintings, and pieces of meat that suddenly run blood-run. Between these fantasies are the details of her real life, especially as she begins a journey home to visit her family. She encounters a wide variety of people -- a teen-ager exceedingly angry that his rubgy team has lost a match, a young man who proposes marriage, a lord mayor who enjoys feeling her leg -- as she travels to locations ranging from a community center and a public library to a natural history museum and a civil defense demonstration. Along the way, the girl maintains a façade of passivity, even when events become quite surreal, as when all of her traveling companions turn into human dummies during the civil defense drill. At the end of the film, she enters a restaurant and eats dinner while the owners pile chairs on the tables around her, obscuring her from view and complaining about the never-ending pace of work. 

The Man in the White Suit (1951)
Directed by Alex Mackendrick, 85 mins

A classic Ealing comedy running fast out of  wartime austerity into a post-war rearrangement of class, capital and technology about combine again in a headlong collision. The films central tension makes for an interestingly prescient take on theories of communisation: "A young scientist invents a material that is indestructible and repels dirt. He soon finds himself caught between the moguls of the textile industry and the trade unions, all equally determined that his invention never sees the light of day." - Screenonline

The Man in the White Suit is a whirling mess: of sabotage and complicity, of things falling apart against the threat of never falling apart.  A desperate, clinging defense - capital and labor, all together now, or we're all fucked! - in the name of decay and forced obsolescence.  A coming together as a nasty collective (headed up by arch-capitalist Sir John Kierlaw, seen above with cane, seen elsewhere haunting the dreams of child labor, a Dark Crystal Skeksis of textile monopoly, his laugh a hissing poisonous exhalation that has to be declared after the fact to have been laughter ) to destroy to protect the order of things that are destroyed, run-down, and cast out "naturally."

Essay by E.C.W. -