Land of Mine (dir: Martin Zandvliet, 2015, cert 15)
et’s Second World War drama viscerally explores the hitherto little known tale of German POW’s being mercilessly used to clear minefields on the west coast of Denmark. The Nazi’s left a staggering two million mines in their wake with some two thousand German soldiers assigned the task of removing them. The horrifyingly dehumanising spectacle of war is grimly realised as teenage boys in uniform are forced to crawl through sand prodding for bombs with inevitable consequences.
Mon 4 Sep to Thu 7 Sep at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (dir: Terry Gilliam, 1998, cert 18) Cans Film Festival
The unholy combination of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and maverick director Terry Gilliam was always going to deliver a coruscating and visually violent trip. Some viewers may want to make like Tobey Maguire in an early scene and bail from Duke and Gonzo’s huge Chevrolet Impala before the duo, played with anarchic abandon by Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro, get really messy. Like a pair of jackhammer assaults on each eyeball; Gilliam’s narcotic vision is relentless, delirious and ever so slightly nauseous. Roger Ebert hated it, we love it. Screened as part of The Cans Film Festival audience members will get to sample Flying Dog Brewery’s Easy IPA.
Thu 7 Sep 8pm at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Metropolis (dir: Fritz Lang, 1927, cert PG)
Visual spectacles don’t come any grander than Fritz Lang’s outstanding expressionist sci-fi epic, Metropolis. The pioneering special effects are still dazzling almost a century later and some of the dramatic set pieces are dizzyingly hypnotic in their genius execution. For many years shown in truncated forms this is the essential full length version. Interestingly Metropolis was partly disavowed by Lang due to the Nazi Party’s love of the film, Goebbels was a big fan. A key piece of cinematic history.
Fri 8 Sep 5.30pm at RBSA Gallery, 4 Brook Street. St. Paul’s Birmingham B3 1SA £13 birminghamheritageweek.co.uk
Raving Iran (dir: Susanne Regina Meures, 2016, cert n/a)
Back in the day free raves were all the rage; be it in a field, warehouse, club or wherever, club culture took to the wilds and exercised the boundaries of the law until that law stamped them out. Imagine attempting that in one of the most repressive countries on Earth, where kids have been sentenced to jail and lashes for listening to Pharrell’s ‘happy’. This is exactly what Anoosh and Arash, underground DJ’s in Iran, had been doing for years. The film explores that underground techno culture and the pair’s one last desert techno swansong before exile in Switzerland.
Fri 8 Sep 7pm at The Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £5 veezi.com
Flatpack Floating Cinema Shorts
As part of Birmingham Heritage week Flatpack have arranged a series of short films curated by Media Archive for Central England showing films of Ladywood from the 1950s–1980s aboard the lovely Ikon Gallery barge moored at Brewmaster Bridge. No need to book just climb aboard the floating cinema and take a step back in time.
Sat 9 sep to Sun 10 Sep at Brewmaster Bridge, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2JB Free ikon-gallery.org
Starman (dir: John Carpenter, 1984, cert PG)
Carpenter surprised many when he traduced expectations and moved away from horror and action to the sweet sci-fi romance of Starman. The inter species love affair is gently and wryly told as Jeff Bridges’ alien negotiates a traditional fish out of water tale with plenty of timely cultural critique along the way. Oh and impregnates earthling Jenny (Karen Allen). A prescient screening considering this year is the 40th anniversary of the golden record that was launched into space aboard the Voyager spacecraft in 1977 to communicate with aliens, Starman intercepts this bringing him to Earth. On the big screen in the environs of beautiful Stirchley Park for none of your English pounds, all thanks to Flatpack. Cheers guys.
Sat 9 Sep 7.45pm at Stirchley Park, Ribblesdale Road Birmingham, B30 2YQ Free flatpackfestival.org.uk
The Cremator (dir: Juraj Herz, 1969, cert 15)
Dust off your senses and get ready to surf The Czech New wave; Czechoslovak Film Nights are back, after a brief hiatus, with one of the finest examples of that most eclectic and artistically fruitful of genres. The Cremator is by turns obsessive, surreal and frightening whilst being always lightly dusted with a peculiarly Czech sense of humour. It possesses a dark otherworldliness that at times feels like we’re not watching humans at all, but shadowy approximations of them as the Nazi ideas hulking at the borders of pre war Czechoslovakia seep into the narrative distilled through the prism of the creaking Communist state under which the film was made. Is it any wonder Karel Kopfrkingl’s mania unfolds. Stark, unique and unsettling The Cremator is exquisitely realised cinema.
Sat 9 Sep 8pm at The Gunmakers Arms, Bath Street, Birmingham B4 6HG Free www.facebook.com
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (dir: Robert Zemeckis, 1998, cert PG)
Groundbreaking and innovative animation that has lost none of its electric potency two decades since its release, the film that gave us the gorgeous Jessica Rabbit is a riot from start to finish. Bob Hoskins is dropped straight out of a hardboiled 1940’s film noir into that genre’s ubiquitous mac, alcoholism and the bad attitude of private dick Eddie Valiant. There’s a murderer amuck in Toontown and it wasn’t Roger rabbit, Eddie must put aside his hatred of toons, one killed his brother, and dig deep. Stay away from Judge Doom’s dip kids (and toons). Screened as part of The Cinematic Time machine season.
Sun 10 Sep 3pm at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Published on: Tue 1 Aug 2017