This week i’ve picked a real mix of films, from classic japanese cinema, soviet live scores, to intense one-man dramas, and powerful documentaries.
Wed 14 – Sun 18 January 2015 – Whirled Cinema, 259 Hardess Street Loughborough Junction SE24 0HN
At the beginning of the film, ‘concrete farmer’ and family man Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) gets in his car and begins driving. From here on in, the film stays with him as he drives, and begins to spin both a back story and an unravelling drama in real time through a series of phone calls. With each call, the story starts to become clear just and the fallout starts to take effect. Hardy is excellent as a man trying to maintain a sense of control and containment over the unfolding chaos, and ‘do the right thing’. A claustrophobic, intense but ultimately human drama that balances the stylistic constraint, rather than being burdened by it.
Thurs 15 January 2015 – Fredericks, 32 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9AX
The passionate Liverpool cineastes Think Cinema have been running free ‘film + debate’ screenings in Liverpool for a couple of years now. Here they screen Yasujirô Ozu‘s 1932 film, a story of a family and a father under financial pressure, told from the perspective of two young boys. A great chance to catch an popular Ozu film and all meet some fellow film buffs.
16 January 2015 · 7:00pm – Neuadd Ogwen, Stryd Fawr, Bethesda, Wales, LL573AN
This film made an impact at festivals last year, though I was lucky enough to catch it on Danish television of all places. An unflinching, critical and yet utterly poetic documentary using film from the Swedish archives to outline a series of colonial struggles in Africa. The images and interviews are by turns moving and shocking, but also extremely valuable documents of oppression and resistance between the various European invaders and the native peoples and cultures who. Structured in chapters almost as a life cycle of colonial struggle, the counterpoint to the archive film is Frantz Fanon’s text ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, narrated by Lauryn Hill, which advocates the use of violence as a natural, and inevitable expression of liberation against oppression. Key phrases frequently appear onscreen in a large serif font, anchoring the narration and the images. It’s a bold stylistic move that could backfire both aesthetically and critically, but it works. You quickly accept it, and engage with the text and the film, the result of which seems to encourage a questioning of the text itself. Unlike many documentaries that are apparently open and yet force an implicit reading, this overt anchoring actually makes a critical space for interpretation.
17 January 2015 · 8:00pm – Cube Microplex, Bristol
There is another great live score this week (see METROPOLIS, below), but I’ve picked this one simply because I’ve never heard of it before. The superb Cube Cinema present a BFI commissioned live score to this “spectacular early epic of Stalinist Russian cinema that depicts the building of a railway through some of the most inhospitable desserts in the world.”
18 January 2015 · 5:00pm – Alhambra Cinema, St John’s Street Keswick Cumbria CA12 5AG
The consistently interesting Keswick Film Club in Cumbria present another film this week dealing with colonialism and the clash of cultures. A drama about an aboriginal man who rejects the ever encroaching restraints of ‘white fella laws’ and heads to the bush to live ‘the old way’. The trailer is well worth a look.
Slaughterhouse Five – Chapter, Cardiff – Sun 18 – 20 January 2015A great translation of Kurt Vonnegut’s brilliant sci-fi novel about a man who cant help time travelling.