The mighty Flatpack Festival is here all week check out our top ten feature here including David Lynch’s 4K restored Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead with a live score, Bugs followed by insect taster menu, the Birmingham set Cliff Richard stinker Take Me High with complimentary Brum Burger, Kill Bill and Chinese buffet, several hours worth of the infamous Cremaster Cycle and lots more. With this and all the films listed below too you may need a spare set of eyeballs.

Free Fire (dir: Ben Wheatley, 2017, cert 15)
1970’s Boston is the setting for a full on kinetic bullet fest as a major arms deal goes wrong, as they always do, with violent consequences. The mayhem is complemented by some serious facial hair, polyester suits, crackling dialogue, laughs and a bristling Cillian Murphy as visiting Republican terrorist Chris. Uproariously violent fun.
Mon 3 Apr to Thu 6 Apr at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50
Mon 3 Apr to Thu 6 Apr at Everyman, 116 The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1RF  £13.50

Elle (dir: Paul Verhoeven, 2017, cert 18)
A modern paranoid noir as Isabelle Huppert, in a career best performance, searches for the man who assaulted her. Unsettling, uncomfortable and at times hilarious. Verhoeven’s abrasive magic is still there.
Mon 3 Apr to Thu 6 Apr at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8
Mon 3 Apr to Thu 6 Apr at Lighthouse, Chubb Buildings, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £8.15

Get Out (dir: Jordan Peele, 2017, cert 15)
Not only is Get Out a fresh and original horror film it also fearlessly pokes a stick into the glibly dangerous racism of white middle class suburbia. But that’s just the start. An aching dread seeps gradually through every pore of the movie building to an unforgettable climax. A stunning directorial debut from Jordan Peele.
Mon 3 Apr to Thu 6 Apr at Everyman, 116 The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1RF  £13.50

Homelands (dir: Jaha Browne and Tara Manandhar, 2016, cert tbc) + Q&A + live performance from Saskilla
Wonderful evening at the mac with a screening of the inspirational documentary Homelands. The film follows four UK based black musicians, including MOBO award winner Shakka, with diverse backgrounds and explores the influences their heritage has had on them. A Q&A with the director’s and some of the artists featured follows and, best of all, there is a live performance from Senegalese born grime MC Saskilla. A Flatpack event check out our other recommendations here.
Wed 5 Apr 7.45pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

The Very Private Life of M. Sim (dir: Michel Leclerc, 2015, cert 12A) + Jonathan Coe Q&A 
An adaptation of Jonathan Coe’s best selling novel ‘The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim’, Leclerc’s film, and its source, will have a special resonance for anyone who has ever felt ‘out of step’ with the world. Mister Sim, played with a hang dog charm by Jean-Pierre Bacri, doubts the point of his existence after a series of unsettling life events. The screening is followed by a Q&A with Coe. A Flatpack event check out our other recommendations here.
Wed 5 Apr 6pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Bozzetto Non Troppo + Allegro Non Troppo (dir: Marco Bonfanti and Bruno Bozzetto, 2016/1976, cert U)
You may not have heard of Bruno Bozzetto but he is a hugely influential Italian animator renown for the satirical bite of his work. Bozzetto Non Troppo is a charming documentary with contributions from such luminaries as John Lasseter and Nick Park. This is followed by a screening of Bozzetto’s greatest work, the trippy and beautiful anti-Fantasia Allegro Non Troppo. A Flatpack event check out our other recommendations here.
Fri 7 Apr 3.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

The Red Turtle + Q&A (dir: Michael Dudok de Wit, 2017, cert PG)
The Studio Ghibli produced The Red Turtle is a breathtakingly beautiful film, with every hand drawn shot fostering a sense of awe in the viewer. The Robinson Crusoe with magic style story is a subtly wordless exploration of one man’s journey from isolation and frustration to an acceptance of the need for mutuality. There will be a Q&A with director Michael Dudok de Wit following the screening. A Flatpack event check out our other recommendations here.
Fri 7 Apr 8.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

The Room (dir: Tommy Wiseau, 2003, cert 15)
An oasis of ineptitude in a week of high quality cinema. Tommy Wiseau’s appalling The Room is filmmaking of the lowest order and worthy of your utmost cinematic contempt. For two nights the Electric have kindly given punters the opportunity to vent their disdain and possibly throw plastic spoons at the screen. Makes Ed Wood look like Eisenstein. “You, you’re just a chicken. Chip-chip-chip-chip-cheep-cheep.” It gets worse.
Fri 7 Apr 10.45pm & Sat 8 Apr 11pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Phantasm (dir: Don Coscarelli, 1979, cert 18)
Two of horror’s most iconic creations are that murderous silver sphere and the terrifying Tall Man from Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm. The film careers nightmarishly from one fantastical bloody sequence to the next in a plot so wonderfully bizarre, and barely followed, your jaw will break as it hits the floor on first viewing. Great on the big screen but we’ll always have a soft spot for the fuzzy VHS version. A Flatpack event check out our other recommendations here.
Fri 7 Apr 11pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Suntan (dir: Argyris Papadimitropoulos , 2016, cert 18)
The Greek summer sunshine is the setting for Argyris Papadimitropoulos’s uncomfortable coming of middle age drama. Dr. Kostis, played with a doleful resonance by Makis Papadimitriou, is an ageing failure at life that becomes infatuated with the youthful beauty and exuberance of a hedonistic young woman. No punches are pulled in the awkward juxtaposition of the ‘lived in’ Dr. Kostis and the  smooth skinned perfection of the object of his affections. There is no sympathy to be found in Papadimitropoulos’ unflinching eye, a hypnotically cruel film. A Flatpack event check out our other recommendations here.
Sat 8 Apr 10.15pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

The Cinema Travellers (dir: Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, 2017, cert 12)
A subtly understated documentary that explores the great magic of cinema as a medium. Taken for granted in the Western world of the obscenely overpriced and ubiquitous multiplex, Abraham and Madheshiya take us on a journey with the ‘travelling talkies’ around the region of  Maharashtra in India. There’s something sweetly beguiling seeing the joy with which films are screened and enjoyed in the remotest of areas. The cinematic love is palpable. A Flatpack event check out our other recommendations here.
Sun 9 Apr 6.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

The Other Side of Hope (dir: Aki Kaurismäki, 2017, cert 12)
Finnish director Kaurismäki has been ploughing a uniquely leftfield vision for decades and his films are always touched with a gleeful wink to the surreal and unusual. We’ve been big fans since the hilarious ‘Leningrad Cowboys Go America’. In ‘The Other Side of Hope’ Kaurismäki expounds the relationship between a Syrian refugee and a curmudgeonly Finn, their relationship beginning in typical Kaurismäki style with a fist fight. It’s a seriously prescient film that delights throughout. A Flatpack event check out our other recommendations here.
Sun 9 Apr 8.45pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Goodfellas (dir: Martin Scorsese, 1990, cert 18)
“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster”, and so begins the greatest gangster film ever made. The story of Henry Hill’s ascent and descent in the Lucchese crime family is a rollercoaster ride of extreme violence and nihilistic self destruction without compare. That rarest of beasts a perfect film. Stands repeated viewings but demands to be seen on the big screen. A major milestone in cinematic history and remember “Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut”.
Sun 9 Apr 1pm, 4pm & 7pm at Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £9.50

John Carpenter Season at Mockingbird
The undisputed master of the eighties horror, sci-fi and action genres, Carpenter not only blazed an anarchic trail through cinema he also revolutionised the movie score. The Mockingbird is screening four of his most renown films over two days. The Fog is an effective creeper as a mysterious mist brings with it murderous vengeful ghosts to the town of Antonio Bay. Escape From New York introduces Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken, an ex special forces bad boy, tasked with rescuing the President, an excellent Donald Pleasance, after Air Force One crashes into a Manhattan Island that has been turned into a gigantic prison in a dystopian future. They Live is a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream, Earth has apparently been overtaken by aliens encouraging human conformity and only our hero Roddy Piper can see after he finds a pair of sunglasses that reveal the aliens true selves. Big Trouble in Little China once again sees Kurt Russell in the starring role as tough truck driver Jack Burton, reluctantly propelled into a breathtaking fantastical martial arts journey through (and under) San Francisco’s Chinatown.
They Live Fri 7 Apr 7pm, Big Trouble in Little China Fri 7 Apr 9pm
The Fog Sat 8 Apr 7pm Escape from New York Sat 8 Apr 9pm
The Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £5 or 4 film pass for £15


Mon 3 Apr - Sun 9 Apr
Giles Logan
Published on:
Tue 4 Apr 2017