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Many New Yorks: Monsters of New York Double Bill

NYC on Film

Former Imax Cinema  |  £10 - £15

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Everyone has an image of New York defined by film. This season showcases these different perspectives through the work of film directors. This season will begin with Joseph von Sternberg’s The Docks of New York and the corrupt streets of 1950s noirs.

Then it takes us through the visceral energy of the films of New York, New York and Do The Right Thing. And we take a wild ride with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin, who show why New York is so cinematically rich they had to name it twice!

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Director: Eugène Lourié

Cast: Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey

Cert PG/ USA / 80mins

Marking the beginning of a ground-breaking special effects career, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was the first feature film that Ray Harryhausen cut his teeth on. Required to produce convincing effects on a budget of just $200,000, Harryhausen experimented with a new technique for inserting mythical creatures into real-world backgrounds called split-screen. Harryhausen would use his pioneering production style in films that are still considered classics of their genre, including Jason and the ArgonautsOne Million Years BC and Clash of the Titans. The degree of realism achieved in The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms made the film one of the most influential sci-fi productions of the 1950s.

An atomic bomb tested in the Arctic frees a gigantic dinosaur from the icy tomb that has encased it for 100 million years. An ice fall kills all witnesses except one, Professor Tom Nesbitt (Paul Hubschmid) who returns to New York with the fantastic story. No one will believe his tale, but the truth is revealed when the beast emerges from the oceans and lays waste to Manhattan. Can the Professor come up with a plan to save the city of New York before it’s too late?

Q – The Winged Serpent (1982)

Director: Larry Cohen

Cast: Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark, David Carradine, Richard Roundtree

Cert 15/ USA / 93mins

Written and directed by Larry Cohen, Q – The Winged Serpent is a classic cult monster-movie horror that takes classic stop-motion animation to the next level.

When several New Yorkers are brutally decapitated while sunbathing on their tenement building roof, two NYPD detectives are assigned to solve the case. Meanwhile, paranoid jewel thief Jimmy Quinn (Michael Moriarty) flees a botched heist and hides out on the roof of the Chrysler Building, where he unwittingly discovers the nest of the huge dragon-like creature that has been responsible for the deaths. As Quinn bargains with the police for a financial reward for his information about the creature’s nest, a mysterious Aztec cult in the city start making human sacrifices to call on the creature they believe is Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent. Can the police get the location of the nest before more people are killed? And, once there, can they destroy the monstrous creature?

NYC On Film is a partnership of Bristol Ideas, Film Noir UK, South West Silents, and Watershed. It is the third in a series of film programmes looking at cities and film as part of Bristol’s Festival of the Future City.  With thanks to the BFI Film Audience Network for their support for this programme.

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