Julieta (dir: Pedro Almodovar, 2016, cert 15)
If you have even a cursory interest in film you will know all about Pedro Almodovar and his bittersweet, blackly comic brand of eccentric and colourful Spanish cinema. His latest film Julieta explores familiar Almodovarian themes of abandonment, emotional desertion and the quest for a cleansing redemption that may possibly go unfulfilled. Adapted from the short stories of Alice Munro, Julieta may not be in the same league as some of Almodovar’s major works but it’s still streets ahead of most of his contemporaries. Always a treat.
Mon 5 Sep to Thu 8 Sep, various times at Lighthouse, Chubb Buildngs, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £7.90 light-house.co.uk Mon 5 Sep to Thu 8 various times at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70www.theelectric.co.uk/ and Mon 5 Sep to Thu 8 Sep various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH. £8 macbirmingham.co.uk
Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words (dir: Stig Bjorkman, 2016, cert N/A)
Beautiful documentary crafted together using letters, diary entries, photographs and most poignantly super 8 footage that has never been viewed publicly before. Made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bergman’s birth we are privy to a private world of a true icon of the silver screen. In an age of grim and unfettered access to celebrity lives it’s nice to be reminded of a time when stars maintained a mystique that only increased their allure. Beautiful and captivating much like Bergman herself.
Mon 5 Sep, 2pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH. £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/
The Idol (dir: Hany Abu-Assad, 2015, cert PG)
A feel good movie set in Gaza? There must be some mistake surely! A fictionalized account of the life of Mohamamd Assaf, a wedding singer from Gaza who appeared on the TV show Arab Idol. It’s a fairly straightforward rags to riches story, but what sets it apart is its setting. The grim struggle for hope and identity in Gaza is carefully realised as our hero battles adversity to achieve his dreams. Tawfeek Barhom’s performance as Assaf is intense and magnetic without ever veering into the syrupy sentimentality that can plague this kind of film. Definite shades of the great ‘Afghan Star‘ documentary and it’s always encouraging to see the middle east portrayed positively.
Tue 6 Sep, 6pm & Thu 8 Sep, 8.15pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH. £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/
The Wave (dir: Roar Uthaug, 2016, cert 15)
You can’t beat a good disaster movie. What we didn’t expect was a Norwegian Tsunami epic. Bølgen, its original title, manages to out Hollywood Hollywood with a rollicking special effects laden tale that grips from start to finish. The small village of Geiranger is under imminent threat but no one will believe our hero Kristian until it’s too late. Thoughtfully acted and ticking all the right disaster movie boxes without overuse of obvious CGI, the Scandinavian edge to the film makes it feel that much tougher. Interestingly, this is actually based on the true story of a tsunami that wiped out the village of Tafjord in 1934 killing 34 people.
Fri 9 Sep – Wed 14 Sep, various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH. £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (dir: Mel Stuart, 1971, cert U)
Prescient scheduling by the mac with the recent passing of star Gene Wilder. A lovely chance to see the role for which he was probably most remembered. Far superior to Tim Burton’s bloated and pointless remake, it carries a definite sinister edge with Wilder’s Wonka always appearing to teeter on the edge of insanity. The tunnel chicken beheading scene as Wonka obliviously sings still gives us the heebeejeebies to this day! Interesting fact, Roald Dahl disowned the film after getting the hump when the producers wouldn’t cast Spike Milligan as Wonka. That’s a film I would’ve liked to have seen!
Sat 10 Sep 12pm & 2pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH. £3 This is a Screen Juniors screening. macbirmingham.co.uk/
The Shallows (dir: Jaume Collet-Sera, 2016, cert 15)
We love killer creature features at Birmingham Wire. Be it shark, bear, crocodile, piranhas or, in the case of Night of the Lepus, rabbits. Obviously the granddaddy of them all is Jaws but in The Shallows we have a fun killer shark movie with razer sharp teeth. The eponymous stretch of water lies between between the gorgeous Blake Lively and the shore, in it swims a hungry shark of course. Plenty of thrills and bloody aquatic spills, there’s even a seagull named after Steven Seagal, what’s not to like?
Mon 5 Sep – Thu 8 Sep various times at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY. £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
Tickled (dir: Dylan Reeve & David Farrier, 2016, cert 15)
The mysterious world of online endurance tickling competitions is unearthed almost accidentally by journalist David Farrier and what begins as a whimsical examination into an eccentric subculture quickly degenerates into something far more sinister. The deeper Farrier’s investigation into the fetish goes the more hostile the response of those attempting to control it becomes. An absolutely fascinating documentary filmed with a delicate touch that never ridicules its participants, a trap into which lesser filmmakers would surely have fallen. ‘It’s not what you think’.
Tue 6 Sep, 1pm & Wed 7 Sep 3.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY. £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
Gary Numan: Android In La La Land + Q&A (dir: Steve Read & Rob Alexander, 2016, cert 15)
Gary Numan was like an alien creature in the early 80s; that weird computer music, the pale face, the costumes and those enigmatic staring eyes. Best of all parents hated it because it wasn’t real music. What fans didn’t know at the time was that Numan’s music and persona were expressions of an inner turmoil caused by Asperger’s, depression and anxiety. Otherness was not a quality respected in those days with an unfettered gutter press having free reign to print whatsoever it chose and it chose to stick the boot into Numan for his supposed weirdness. The documentary charts these episodes but also how he has come to terms with his life and continues to make music. A fascinating glimpse into an enigmatic life the screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director.
Tue 6 Sep, 8.15pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY. £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
Published on: Tue 6 Sep 2016