Film Screening 27th September, 2003

Poster for Quadrophenia


8:00 PM, 27th September, 2003

  • R
  • 120 mins
  • 1979
  • Franc Roddam
  • Dave Humphries, Franc Roddam, Martin Stellman, Pete Townshend
  • Phil Daniels, Jimmy Cooper, Leslie Ash, Philip Davis, Mark Wingett, Sting

Based on the 1973 album by The Who, Quadrophenia is set in 1964 England and follows the battles between rival bike gangs, the Mods and Rockers. The story is seen through the eyes of Jimmy Cooper (Daniels), an alienated and disillusioned young man whose hatred of authority is matched by his passion for rhythm and blues music. Jimmy identifies himself with the sharp-dressing, scooter-riding Mods, who listen to American soul and British pop-rock. The Rockers, on the other hand, are leather-jacketed, black-booted, motorcycle-riding tough guys who listen primarily to classic American rock and roll. Jimmy admires a Mod named Ace (Sting, in his film debut). When the Mods and Rockers arrive in Brighton, a riot breaks out and Jimmy lands in prison. Jimmy returns to London and is kicked out of home by his parents and loses his job. A final humiliation leaves Jimmy confused and enraged and this leads to the film's bleak climax. Cinematically, this is a more successful film adaptation than The Who's Tommy. The music is secondary to the story and enhances the already powerful images.

Tony Fidanza

Poster for Freaks


10:00 PM, 27th September, 2003

  • PG
  • 64 mins
  • 1932
  • Tod Browning
  • Al Boasberg, Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon, Edgar Allan Woolf
  • Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates, Henry Victor

Set in a traveling circus, Freaks tells the story of a beautiful trapeze artist, Cleopatra (Baclanova), who agrees to marry a suave midget, Hans (Earles), even though she detests him, because she learns that he is about to inherit a fortune. In collusion with the circus strongman, Hercules (Victor), she plots to do away with Hans, but when the circus freaks discover the plot they exact a macabre revenge on her. Todd Browning, who directed the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula (1931), was given a free hand with this production and he cast people with real deformities as the circus freaks. Although the film humanises the characters, audiences at the time could not handle the concept of seeing real 'freaks' on screen and the film almost ended Browning's career. The film was cut by MGM from its original 90 minutes of screen time to 64 minutes following an adverse preview (and the original footage has been lost). Later, the film was pulled from distribution in the USA and it was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years. Gripping and creepy, Freaks is now regarded as a horror masterpiece and the final ten or twenty minutes of the film are quite chilling.

Tony Fidanza