Close Up

24 April - 31 May 2019: Close-Up on Scott Walker


In memory of the late great Scott Walker, Close-Up is honoured to present three films featuring of his original scores alongside a selection of cinematic masterpieces originally selected by Scott for his edition of Meltdown Festival in 2000.

Pola X
Leos Carax, 1999, 134 min, 35mm
French with English subtitles

Carax takes the ingredients of melodrama and scrambles them into an audacious postmodern opera of artistic angst. Like the novel that inspired it – Herman Melville’s controversial Pierre; or, The Ambiguities – this enigmatic, unrestrained film maudit was met with divisive skepticism upon its release, but today looks more and more like an essential work of blazingly personal vision. read more

The Childhood of a Leader
Brady Corbet, 2015, 116 min
English and French with English subtitles

Brady Corbet will be in conversation with Stacy Martin following the screening.

Brady Corbet delivers an audacious directorial debut with this allegory of totalitarianism in the wake of World War I. Loosely inspired by the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre and Margaret MacMillan, The Childhood of a Leader is a nightmarish coming-of-age tale charting the early stirrings of despotism in a French choirboy. Corbet’s ambitious reflection on the dark forces of history features a thunderous orchestral score by Scott Walker. read more

Vox Lux
Brady Corbet, 2018, 115 min

Glitter-spritzed spectacle and 21st-century trauma collide in this audacious art pop musical. Built around an electrifying performance from Natalie Portman, Vox Lux traces the meteoric rise of Celeste who, after she survives a school shooting, becomes a teenage pop superstar and emblem of national healing. Interweaving original songs by Sia with a score by Scott Walker, the sophomore feature from Brady Corbet is both a provocative dissection of celebrity culture and a delirious sensory explosion. read more

Scott Walker: 30th Century Man
Stephen Kijak, 2006, 95 min

Stephen Kijak expertly traces Walker's remarkable career, exploring his early days as a jobbing bass player on the Sunset Strip, to mega-stardom in Britain's swinging 60's pop scene with The Walker Brothers. read more

A Man Escaped
Robert Bresson, 1956, 99 min
French with English subtitles

A Man Escaped tells the true story of a Frenchman’s escape from a German prison camp during World War II. Although the title reveals the film’s denouement, the taut filmmaking keeps viewers on the edge of their seats throughout, suspense deriving from process and ritual rather than narrative surprise. read more

The Leopard
Luchino Visconti, 1963, 187 min
Italian with English subtitles

The Leopard is not an “objective” account of the Risorgimento; instead, it tells the story of Italy’s unification as seen by the putrefying aristocracy it rendered irrelevant. Walled away in their Sicilian villa, the Salina family waits and prays as history circles around them like a noose. Visconti harnesses all his familiarity with the sentiments, architectures and experiences of Italian aristocracy to create a period piece that is cosmic in scale and damning to the last shot. read more

Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964, 116 min
Danish with English subtitles

Dreyer’s final film, Gertrud, is last in a run of masterpieces. A portrait of a woman in crisis, the film follows Gertrud Kanning (a marvelous Nina Pens Rode), a former opera singer looking for a way out of her loveless marriage to a neglectful man enraptured with his career as a lawyer. Widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. read more

The Round-Up
Miklós Jancsó, 1965, 94 min
Hungarian with English subtitles

Set in a detention camp in Hungary 1869, at a time of guerrilla campaigns against the ruling Austrians, Jancsó deliberately avoids conventional heroics to focus on the persecution and dehumanization manifest in a time of conflict. A profound influence on filmmakers from Sergio Leone to Béla Tarr, The Round-Up is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of world cinema. read more

Henning Carlsen, 1966, 106 min
Danish with English subtitles

Pontus, a young penniless poet, wanders about in 1890 in Oslo, freezing and in search of love and work while trying to preserve his self-respect and integrity. Hunger exhausts him and blurs the boundary between fantasy and reality. Based on Knut Hamsun's novel of the same name. read more

Ingmar Bergman, 1966, 81 min
Swedish with English subtitles

One of the most influential films of the 1960s and widely regarded as Bergman’s greatest work, Persona is a cinematic chamber piece whose simplicity belies a represents complex intervention into both the nature of human relationships and the limits of the cinema. read more

Chinese Roulette
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1976, 96 min
German with English subtitles

Forever experimenting with form and tone, Fassbinder ventures into Edward-Albee-meets-Gothic-thriller territory with this account of the Christs, an affluent Munich couple whose polio-stricken daughter, Angela brings them together at a country house with their respective lovers. Brilliantly shot by Michael Ballhaus with a constantly roving camera, the film keeps shifting the POV to establish the subjectivity of experience. read more

Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana
Aki Kaurismäki, 1994, 65 min
Finnish with English subtitles

This droll tale of longing and awkward romance follows two misfits – a coffee addict and a vodka-soaked mechanic – as they hit the road in their Soviet-built Volga. Along the way they manage to pick up two women, the Estonian Tatjana and the buxom Russian Klavdia, despite sharing no common language and being completely clueless as to what to do with them next. Set to a thumping rock and roll soundtrack, this beautifully observed and comically understated gem is classic Kaurismäki. read more

Drifting Clouds
Aki Kaurismäki, 1996, 96 min
Finnish with English subtitles

Among Aki Kaurismäki's finest films, Drifting Clouds follows the dwindling fortunes of restaurant hostess Ilona and her tram driver husband Lauri who find themselves unemployed at the same time. Embarking on an unforgiving search for work in a recession-hit Helsinki, the comic masterpiece transforms the pair's plight into a hugely affecting story of hope and survival. read more