Wiener-Dog (dir: Todd Solondz, 2016, cert 15)
Now if you haven’t seen a Todd Solondz film before you really do need to pull your eyeballs out of their comatose state but also please set your awkwardometers to painful. Poking his lenses into the darkness of human behaviour, his is a peculiar ouevre filled with unsettling behaviour and gentle black humour. It takes a special kind of filmmaker to get laughs from rape, paedophilia, suicide and murder as he did in ‘Happiness’ (1998) but then still leave an audience moved. Wiener-Dog follows similar themes of helpless futility as the titular creature goes from home to home. Solondz’ funniest film to date but you may question just who is laughing at who.
Mon 29 Aug to Thu 1 Sep various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/
The Confession (dir: Ashish Ghadiali, 2016, cert 15)
This is one of the most important documentaries you will see featuring one of the most valuable contributors to the debate on global Jihad and the West’s disastrous response. Birmingham born Moazzam Begg’s incredible journey has taken him through some of the most war ravaged zones of the world and into Guantanamo Bay. A unique voice as a supporter of Jihad that condemns terrorism, Begg’s experiences offer unprecedented insight into the societal conditions that foster support for global Jihad. His narrative does not go unchallenged by Ghadiali’s direction. Fri 2 Sep to Sat 3 Sep 6pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/
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. One of the most enigmatic and imaginative directors working today. 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.
Fri 2 Sep to Thu 8 Sep various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8 macbirmingham.co.uk/ and Mon 29 Aug to Thu 1 Sep various times at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/ and Fri 2 Sep to Thu 8 Sep various times at Lighthouse Media Centre, Chubb Buildings, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £7.90 light-house.co.uk/
Sundown Cinema at mac: The Blues Brothers (dir: John Landis, 1980, cert 15)
The wonderful Sundown Cinema season of outdoor screenings hosted by the mac comes to a conclusion (see what you’ve missed here) with Jake and Elwood’s unforgettable mission from god. Packed full of incredible stunts, deadpan humour and quite possibly the greatest film score ever exposed to the big screen. Under the stars with a gaggle of your peers is a great way to see this film and why not accentuate the whole experience with a blues cocktail and four fried chicken courtesy of the mac’s fine catering team. ‘Use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of the Blues Brothers HAS been approved.’ Wear shades and shake your tail feather, see you there! Sat 3 Sep 8.30pm £12 at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH macbirmingham.co.uk/
The Breakfast Club (dir: John Hughes, 1985, cert 15)
Growing up in the 80’s meant a lot of things; Thatcher, big hair, the miner’s strike, loadsamoney and of course an ingrained nostalgic affinity with the Brat Pack movie classic The Breakfast Club. Revisit your baby faced heroes and learn that friendship and love can be found in the most unexpected of places and individuals cannot be defined by stereotype. If you want to stand at the end and raise your fist with John, and maybe shed a tear, then please do because we will! Who are you? A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a criminal. Mon 29 Aug 12pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (dir: Steven Spielberg, 1982, cert U)
The prolific and exhaustive Cinematic Time Machine bods bring us this timely screening of another eighties classic (see above and below). What with the critical nostalgic fuss surrounding lauded TV series Stranger Things and Steven himself filming his new movie up the road in Digbeth, never has there been a better time to bask in the comforting eighties glow of the tale of a simple alien who just wants to go home. Your heart will be so warmed it will be sizzling with joy. Three boys on bikes saving our hero, sound familiar?
Mon 29 Aug 3pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
The Lost Boys (dir: Joel Schumacher, 1987, cert 15)
Violent teen vampires anyone? A genre so diluted by the torrent of earnest nice guy blood suckers woodenly and prolifically abreast our screens in both TV and movies it’s easy to forget there are actually some cool vampire films out there. Lost Boys manages to be cool, silly and stylishly violent despite some of the frilliest new romantic haircuts ever seen. Kiefer Sutherland’s undead bouffant posse wreak teenage bloody havoc as the Corey boys, Haim and Feldman, try to put a stake in the works. Great soundtrack, the peak of which is Echo and the Bunnymen covering The Doors’ ‘People Are Strange’. “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires.” A total blast and for extra fun count how many times the name ‘Michael’ is said out loud! Answer below!
Mon 29 Aug 6pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.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?
Fri 2 Sep to 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’.
Sat 3 Sep 3.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (dir: John Hughes, 1986, 12A)
John Hughes was the king of eighties comedy and in the wish fulfillment of Ferris Bueller, played by Matthew Broderick, struck a nerve with college kids everywhere looking to bunk off and have fun. Throughout Broderick breaks the fourth wall, our favourite movie conceit, to chat conspiratorially with the audience and offer advice on truancy. Who wouldn’t want to lie to their head teacher if it meant driving around Chicago in a Ferrari Spyder sightseeing. Engaging, innocent (was the eighties really so fresh faced and cute?) and sweet.
Sun 4 Sep 4pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70 www.theelectric.co.uk/
SOLD OUT: Suede – Night Thoughts + band Q&A (dir: Roger Sargent, 2016, cert 15)
At The Electric Wed 31 Aug See our full feature here
Published on: Sun 7 Aug 2016