Savage Cinema is a new collective based in London celebrating some of the most breathtaking examples of transgressive, alternative cinema. We begin with a double-bill of two of the most celebrated American independent genre films of the 1970s: George A. Romero’s gritty, self-reflexive yet haunting classic MARTIN (1977), the director’s favourite of his own films; and the UK premiere of the director’s cut of Bill Gunn’s spellbinding, formerly ‘lost’ blaxploitation/avant-garde masterpiece GANJA & HESS (1973).
“More than just a midnight-movie classic, MARTIN is inventive, haunting and bitingly smart… see Romero at the top of his terror game.” - Film4
“GANJA & HESS is an underground classic… the most complicated, intriguing, subtle, sophisticated, and passionate Black film of the Seventies.” - James Monaco, American Film Now
Both films, shot on grainy 16mm with tiny budgets, could nominally be termed ‘vampire’ films, but are far more ambitious and elusive than such a label suggests. MARTIN’s eponymous young protagonist, banished to a dilapidated Pennsylvania mining town in the care of a superstitious family member, uses razorblades in place of fangs and, it is suggested, may not even be a vampire at all. GANJA & HESS uses its titular upper-class New York blood-drinkers to represent tensions surrounding identity within contemporary African-American culture.
Lest this seem all too heady, both films also possess buckets of style to boot, ranging from off-kilter editing, striking photography, and two of the most radical, underrated music scores ever heard in genre cinema. The connections don’t end there: GANJA & HESS features one of the few rare lead performances by Duane Jones, who was of course also the star of George Romero’s groundbreaking debut, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
Tickets cost £7 for the whole double bill, and available from We Got Tickets here: http://www.wegottickets.com/savagecinemauk.
The night will take place at the fantastic Roxy Bar & Screen, described by Urban Life as “probably the coolest cinema venue in London, if not the UK.” The Roxy has a great, reasonably-priced selection of food and drink on offer throughout the evening. For more information check out their website: http://www.roxybarandscreen.com/
For more information, visit Savage Cinema at:
Further information is available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A great video review of Ganja & Hess by filmmaker Masli Dukan. The film screens July 24th 2012 at the Roxy Bar & Screen in London.