Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema is proud to present the following screening:
Séance on a Wet Afternoon (PG)
Dir: Bryan Forbes. (1964) UK; 115 min.
Directed by local Forest Gate boy Bryan Forbes (also known for ‘The L-shaped Room’, ‘Whistle Down The Wind and the original ‘Stepford Wives’) we celebrate the East End born director at his best.
Myra Savage (Kim Stanley) is a medium who holds séances in her home. Her husband Billy (Richard Attenborough), unable to work because of asthma and cowed by Myra’s domineering personality, assists in her séances. Myra’s life and psychic work are dominated by her relationship with the spirit of her son Arthur, who died at birth.
Myra’s concocts a plan to kidnap a child of a wealthy couple, but her plan goes awry as her unsteady mental health begins to fray.
The film stars Richard Attenborough (who was also the film’s co-producer), Oscar nominated Kim Stanley, Nanette Newman, Mark Eden and Patrick Magee. Music by John Barry
Kim Stanley can hardly be known to most of today’s cinema audiences: she appears in only four films, and her fame rests on her stage work (even that is pretty sparse). She plays degenerating women, yet her technique is not the Mad Medusa writ large, such as Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard or Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? She’s creepier than that, and more believable. In the movie, she is married to a meek and mild Attenborough – a childless marriage in a gloomy Victorian house. She concocts a scheme to kidnap a child, and then gain notoriety by discovering the child’s whereabouts through psychomancy. Her Oscar nominated performance is utterly superb, and so too is Attenborough’s.
You can watch a clip of the film here.