Halloween (dir: John Carpenter, 1978, cert 18)
The granddaddy of the slasher genre it laid the blue print that all slasher films subsequently followed. Don’t want to get murdered by the evil bad guy? Then don’t be promiscuous kids. There is very little actual on screen violence in Halloween but there are copious unsettling scares. It maliciously pricks away at the proverbial fear of the dark and the unknown in all of us. Was that a cat outside? Or was it a lumbering vengeful psychopath with a machete? John Carpenter’s simple score effectively grates on the psyche and sticks in the imagination. A perfect horror.
Mon 31 Oct 8pm at Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Birmingham B9 4AA £5 www.facebook.com/
The Town Hall is carrying a special Halloween screening of silent movie classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with a live organ score on Mon 31 Oct.
Later this week look out for the relentless creepiness of It Follows screening at the Mockingbird which also welcomes Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector and a spot of human snacking in Silence of the Lambs.
I, Daniel Blake (dir: Ken Loach, 2016, cert 15)
An important antidote to the vile class stereotyping so beloved of the Daily Mail and its ilk and the most relevant film you will see this year. You have been told. It seems an age since Ken Loach picked up the Palme D’or at Cannes for I, Daniel Blake and it has rarely been out of the headlines since. No sitting on the fence here and the message is certainly hammered home, but when the rhetoric of the right wing press is likewise hammered into popular consciousness it’s a necessary voice in the dark.
Fri 4 Nov to Thu 10 Nov various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/ Mon 31 Oct to Thu 3 Nov various times at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/ Fri 4 Nov to Thu 10 Nov various times at Lighthouse, Chubb Building, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT light-house.co.uk/
The Angels’ Share (dir: Ken Loach, 2012, cert 18) Whisky Drinkalong Screening
Ken Loach’s bittersweet comedy heist movie is screened at the Electric in association with the Birmingham Whisky Club who are providing a tastealong and 4 whisky samples. Read our full preview here
Thu 3 Nov 7.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £25.50 www.theelectric.co.uk/
The Invisible Man (dir: James Whale, 1933, cert PG)
More Universal horror from Black country boy James Whale and the film that made Claude Rains a star despite his physical self only being seen briefly on screen. His voice is the star and it’s some voice. Astonishing special effects for the time, Whale creates an effectively creepy atmosphere throughout as Rains’ character Jack Griffin’s mind unravels. Despite the horror there are still laughs to be had and its breezy running time of time of 71 minutes harks back to a time before even the most inconsequential of films grated for hours. A lot of fun.
Mon 31 Oct 8.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
Mulholland Drive (dir: David Lynch, 2001, cert 15)
Named as the greatest film of the 21st century in a recent BBC Culture poll. One of Lynch’s most impenetrable films with the DVD release containing a card with 10 clues to unlocking the film (watch out for the red lamp shade). Actively annoying several critics leading to reviews such as “a load of moronic and incoherent garbage” Mulholland Drive is a lesson in multi layered, imaginative and challenging film making. The viewer has a mystery to solve or not and maybe there is no mystery to solve anyway and maybe that’s the mystery – or not. A surreal exercise in higher cinematic intelligence and form.
Wed 2 Nov 8pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
Oh, Mr Porter! (dir: Marcel Varnel, 1937, cert U)
Will Hay’s most memorable film as the bumbling and incompetent triumvutate of Hay, Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott take on gun runners and the ghost of one eyed Joe. Riotous fun ensues as our ineffectual heroes somehow overcome personal indifference, stupidity and plain laziness to resolve the mystery of Buggleskelly. Quintessentially English with a bewitching old world charm Will Hay’s films are always a delight.
Sun 6 Nov 11am at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (dir: Michel Gondry, 2004, cert 15)
Charlie Kaufman’s academy award winning screenplay tackles that most pernicious of subjects, romantic disentanglement. What if you could just erase the memory of an ex from your mind or do you feel like an ex has erased you from their minds? The existential dread is writ large in a beautifully bittersweet film. Jim Carey turns his mugging histrionics down several notches and makes for a sympathetic character.
Sun 6 Nov 12pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
Baden Baden (dir: Rachel Lang, 2016, cert 15)
Join Ana as she endures a quarter life meltdown and returns to her home town of Strasbourg to put her life in order. Salomé Richard is wonderful as Ana creating chaos whilst seeking order. Lang’s breezy film contains some genuine laugh out loud moments and is touched with a charming eccentricity.
Mon 31 Oct to Wed 2 Nov various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/
My Scientology Movie (dir: John Dower, 2016, cert 15)
Shining a light on the dark insanity of a powerful cult, Louis Theroux’s disarming, almost bumbling charm, focuses on the shadowiest corners of Scientology. The paranoid church, and its celebrity worshippers of the galactic overlord Xenu, have rarely been forthcoming regarding their religion. Well no matter, because Theroux subverts this masterfully and brings the aggressive lenses of the Scientology cult to him in a curious cat and mouse film off.
Mon 31 Oct to Thu 3 Nov at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/ Tue 1 Nov and Thu 3 Nov various times at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
The Girl With All The Gifts ( dir: Colm McCarthy, 2016, cert 15)
Joining an expanding list of apocalyptic movies made in Birmingham that has culminated with Steven Spielberg’s current redressing of Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter as dystopian doubles of the future. Don’t quite know what that says about our city. Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine are our heroes trying to protect mankind’s only hope of survival, the infected child genius Melanie. To do this they must escape Glenn Close’s child dissecting evil doctor and hoards of infected “hungries”. A bit like negotiating Broad Street on a Saturday night then.
Mon 31 Oct to Thu 3 Nov various times at Lighthouse, Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £8 light-house.co.uk/
Elsewhere this week, the incredible Iranian documentary Sonita opens at the mac Friday and Sidney Lumet’s bizarre 1978 re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz The Wiz shows at the mac Saturday as part of their Screen Juniors sessions.
Published on: Mon 10 Oct 2016