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Video Bazaar Presents: Pacific Heights & Clearcut 18

Screened in partnership with Video Bazaar
John Schlesinger, Ryszard Bugajski, USA, Canada, 1990, 1991, 215m.

Video Bazaar is proud to present part one of A Hell Like Ours, a landmark double bill at The Garden Cinema featuring two nightmarish thrillers that explore socioeconomic anxieties and moral dilemmas in late 20th Century Cinema, John Schlesinger's Pacific Heights and Ryszard Bugajski's Clearcut.

Prepare for a chilling evening of insidious terror and moral reckoning as we delve into the psyche of Schlesinger's Pacific Heights, which probes the anxieties of urban gentrification and the precarious nature of socioeconomic status. This psychological thriller portrays Patty and Drake, a young couple who invest in a Victorian house in an upscale San Francisco neighbourhood. Their sense of security is shattered by the arrival of Carter Hayes, a seemingly ideal tenant whose malicious intentions soon become apparent. Michael Keaton’s portrayal of Hayes is a study in malevolence, embodying the fears of invasion, and the collapse of the domestic sphere. The film critically examines themes of trust, property rights, and the fragility of the American Dream.

Subsequently, we will embark on a journey to the forests of Canada with Ryszard Bugajski's Clearcut which offers a stark contrast to Pacific Heights, with its wilderness setting, and focus on environmental and indigenous rights issues. The film centres on Peter Maguire, a lawyer who becomes entangled in the struggle between a logging company and a Native American tribe. Graham Greene’s character, Arthur, represents a radical approach to activism, compelling Maguire to face the violent consequences of passive resistance. Through its intense and unflinching narrative, Clearcut interrogates themes of colonialism, environmental destruction, and moral responsibility, challenging viewers to reconsider their complicity in systemic injustices.

Both films will feature a brief intermission between the films and a pre-show seminar from Video Bazaar and writer and musician, William Deacon, which will provide an insightful exploration of the 'Yuppie Nightmare' subgenre and will delve into the recurring themes of socioeconomic anxiety, property, and ethical dilemmas, as portrayed in both films. Join us in exploring how these narratives reflect broader societal fears, the cultural context of the late 20th century, and provoke critical reactions to the complex interplay between socioeconomic status, property, and moral agency in late 20th century North America.

This screening is presented by the cult film collective, Video Bazaar, who are proud to show these rarely screened films and are dedicated to bringing the weird and the obscure to London audiences at The Garden Cinema. Please note this event will feature an intro and carefully curated pre-show material.

Tickets can now be purchased for each individual film, as well as the entire double bill.

Please note, Clearcut will start at approximately 20:40.

Please arrive promptly - we do not show adverts.

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