Fire at Sea (dir: Gianfranco Rossi, 2016, cert NR)
A stunning film, that everybody needs to view as the world’s population enters such uncertain and confusing times. In presenting the migrant crisis in human terms and not as a political brick bat to be used to engender fear and distrust, Rossi’s documentary is two hours of compelling and moving social testimony. Centred on the Sicilian Island of Lampedusa the lives of ordinary Islanders are shown in mundane detail, as they struggle to help ordinary people driven by extraordinary circumstances to risk their lives fleeing conflict. Life continues as a grim parade whilst the eyes of the world blink impassively in response. Go see.
Wed 29 Jun 2pm & Thu 30 Jun 6pm at Mac £8 www.macbirmingham.co.uk
Cemetery of Splendour – (dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015, cert NR)
Weerasethakul’s films possess an almost ethereally dreamlike quality as the ordinary becomes suffused with power by its very familiarity. Let his latest offering hypnotise you, as soldiers enduring a peculiar sleeping sickness apparently communicate with loved ones through a mysterious psychic. There is as much left unexplained as there is explained and there is always something happening, especially when nothing is happening. These are films to be experienced and less so viewed. Expect your brain to ask you a million unresolved questions as soon as the credits roll. High quality.
Tue 28 Jun 8.30pm & Thu 30 Jun 8.20pm at Mac £8 www.macbirmingham.co.uk
Howl’s Moving Castle – (dir: Hayao Miyazaki, 2004, cert U)
Birmingham fans of Studio Ghibli have been spoiled rotten this year and the enthralling genius of Miyazaki continues with this adaptation of the British writer Diana Wynne Jones’ book. Never less than beautiful to look at for a moment, as our hero ‘Sophie’ is turned into an old crone by ‘the Witch of the Waste’. There begins a crackpot chase of technicolour splendour as Sophie lurches from one psychedelically beguiling situation to the next. The ‘Victoriana’ setting is a marvel and we advise taking an extra pair of eyes, as there is so much happening on screen you won’t want to miss a thing!
Sat 2 Jul to Wed 6 Jul various times at Electric £10.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Badlands (dir: Terrence Malick, 1973, cert 15)
Recalling the real life murderous rampage of Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate in 1958. Badlands features a mean and moody Martin Sheen, collar up and pout on, nihilistically thrill killing his way through South Dakota with a simpering Sissy Spacek. Beautifully and sparingly shot the film is like a murderous fairy tale where consequence is an irrelevance. An undoubted influence on Oliver Stone’s murder marathon Natural Born Killers and a myriad other films. Screened as part of The Cinematic Time Machine season.
Sun 5 July 11.30am at Electric £10.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Doreen The Movie – (dir: David Tristram, 2016, cert 15)
“It’s just like a Hollywood comedy only funny.” A black country comedy on the big screen is what you’ve been dreaming of. Admit it! Well now we have one. Doreen, the first person ever to be diagnosed with lazy cow syndrome now has her own movie. Featuring wonderful cameos from Steve Bull, Nick Owen and Robert Plant. Finally a film we can relate to. Steve Bull leaning over the fence in his Wolves shirt and asking for his ball back is hilarious! “Can I have me ball back missus?” Watch out Hollywood here comes Walsall Wood!
Fri July 1 to Wed Jul 6 various times at The Lighthouse, Wolverhampton £7.90 www.light-house.co.uk
The trailer from the forthcoming indie Doreen movie. For details of local screenings and tickets visit www.doreen.tv
Published on: Fri 1 Jul 2016