The Salesman (dir: Asghar Farhadi, 2016, cert 12A)
The tense Oscar winning drama about middle class Iranian values has had a cultural resonance far beyond cinema. Caught up in the initial Trump travel ban Farhadi refused to attend the awards ceremony, instead sending two prominent Iranian Americans to collect it on his behalf, a NASA scientist and female astronaut. It’s a downbeat but compelling movie and recalls that other sombre filmmaker Michael Haneke.
Mon 17 Apr 7pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Mon 17 Apr to Thu 20 Apr at Lighthouse, Chubb Buildings, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £8.15 light-house.co.uk
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (dir: Howard Hawks, 1953, cert U)
Drop Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell into a film together and sparks are guaranteed. The pneumatic pair play best friends with material aspirations and intent on grabbing a rich husband. Highlight has to be Monroe cooing her way through ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ in a beautifully kitsch pink gown. High camp joy from a golden era of comedy musicals. A cinematic Time Machine screening.
Mon 17 Apr 3pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (dir: Milos Forman, 1975, cert 15)
Still the greatest English language film about mental health and it has lost none of its mordant potency in the four decades since its release. Briefly uplifting but ultimately heartbreaking, the battle of wills between Jack Nicholson’s Randle McMurphy and Louise Fletcher as the terrifying Nurse Ratched plays out compellingly but there can be only one winner. A gut wrenchingly harsh conclusion from the Czech New wave director Milos Forman.
Mon 17 Apr to Wed 19 Apr at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Sun 23 Apr 8pm at Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £7 ticketing.eu.veezi.com
The Lost Boys (dir: Joel Schumaker, 1987, cert 15)
Before the current glut of teenage friendly vampire movies there was The Lost Boys. A murderous gang of rather smug blood suckers in California are hunted down by the two Corey’s, Haim and Feldman, in Schumaker’s riot of laughs and gore. Just about keeps the right side of silliness throughout, The Lost Boys is a landmark eighties release.
Mon 17 Apr to Tue 18 Apr at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
The Handmaiden (dir: Park Chan-wook, 2017, cert 18)
Park Chan-wook is one of the most daring filmmakers at work today, he doesn’t so much push the envelope as douse it in petrol and burn it. His name and an 18 certificate are a cast iron guarantee that your senses are going to be getting one hell of a workout. The Handmaiden is a dizzyingly extravagant thriller soaked in an uneasy and intelligent eroticism, don’t relax for a second because Park Chan-wook will trip you up. Superior contemporary filmmaking.
Mon 17 Apr to Thu 20 Apr at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Mon 17 Apr to Thu 20 Apr at Everyman, The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1RF £13.50 www.everymancinema.com
All About Eve (dir: Joseph Leo Mankiewicz, 1950, cert U)
Bette Davis is at her acerbically bitchy best as the ageing and rancorous actress Margo Channing, dripping with poisonous one liners and sarcastic put downs. The battle of wills between Davis and rising starlet Eve, played by a fresh faced Anne Baxter, is pure cinematic gold. George Sanders is in deliciously caustic form and there’s an early appearance by Marilyn Monroe. An absolute classic. ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!’
Tue 18 Apr 7pm Birmingham LGBT, 38-40 Holloway Circus, Birmingham B1 1EQ Free www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk
Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (dir: Tomohiko Ito, 2017, cert 12A)
The first full length film set in the anime world of Sword Art Online in which 10,000 gamers are trapped in a virtual reality “death game” called SAO. For Kirito and Asuna the line between the virtual world and reality begin to blur with horrifying consequences. Just wait till our heroes get to floor 100. Kinetic and imaginative mayhem that will batter your senses, confusing in parts yes, but just enjoy the ride.
Wed 19 Apr 8.15pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Raw (dir: Julia Ducournau, 2017, cert 18)
Be warned, at some screenings of this gruelling French cannibal horror ambulances have been called to attend to the audience and even sick bags handed out. Hype or not there is no denying the involuntary revulsion your stomach will experience as the red stuff begins to flow in ever more imaginative and gruesome ways. What elevates Raw from basic gorehound fare is the female gaze of director Julia Ducournau and the deep symbolism throughout as lifelong vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) creeps towards the excruciating world of adulthood. Potent and vicious, you may watch the entire film through your fingers. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Fri 21 Apr to Thu 27 Apr at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
I Am Not Your Negro (dir: Raoul Peck, 2016, cert 15)
The one time Haitian Minister of Culture, Raoul Peck, brings to life the unpublished writings of literary heavyweight James Baldwin. Marrying imaginative contemporary clips with Samuel L Jackson’s electric sharp reading lends a heady resonance to a voice that was a powerful symbol of black and gay rights. In a nation still riven along racial divides this is a prescient and compelling documentary.
Fri 21 Apr to Thu 27 Apr at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Fri 21 Apr to Wed 26 Apr at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
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.
Fri 21 Apr to Wed 26 Apr at Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £5.95 ticketing.eu.veezi.com
Fri 21 Apr to Thu 27 Apr at Lighthouse, Chubb Buildings, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £8.15 light-house.co.uk
Easter Parade (dir: Charles Walters, 1948, cert U)
Just looking at the cast gives us goosebumps and the urge to tap our toes. Judy Garland and Fred Astaire with a score punctuated by Irving Berlin tunes, this is one of the classiest musicals from the 1940’s heyday of the genre. Gleaming with sparkly Hollywood gloss and feel good shine, the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Garland and Astaire really are a couple of swells.
Sun 23 Apr 2pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Seven Samurai (dir: Akira Kurosawa, 1953, cert PG)
Seen by many critics as the pinnacle of Kurosawa’s astonishing career, the tale of hapless villagers seeking protection from ruthless bandits by employing the titular samurai is not just a highlight of the Japanese master’s extraordinary canon it is one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever made. Thrilling, heartbreaking and filled with light comic touches, it is a visionary masterpiece that begat a whole Hollywood sub genre such as The Magnificent Seven and The Dirty Dozen. The iconic and uber cool Toshiro Mifune excels in one of his 16 collaborations with Kurosawa. A cinematic Time Machine screening.
Sun 23 Apr 11am at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Published on: Mon 10 Apr 2017