Men and Chicken (dir: Anders Thomas Jensen, 2016, cert 15)
There is something uniquely dark about Scandinavia, it permeates their culture and begets such wonderful pitch black television and film. The humour can be so transgressive that guilt pangs at laughing can rise before said laugh has been fully expelled from your mouth. Which brings us neatly to the world of Men and Chicken, a world where casual bestiality and wanton violence are as normal a part of the landscape as bread and cheese. Ex Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen stars in this genre defying tale of existential turmoil and rank familial dysfunction. You will be offended. Mon 8 Aug to Thu 11 Aug various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8

The Confession + Q&A (dir: Ashish Ghadiali, 2016, cert 15)
We are very excited about this event. 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. The Q&A promises to be fascinating with Begg, Ghadiali and Moazzam’s former guard at Guantanamo Bay Albert Melise. Fri 12 Aug 6pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8

Born To Be Blue (dir: Robert Budreau, 2016)
Chet Baker was one of the greatest jazz musicians ever to pout his lips and blow into a trumpet. Quickly becoming a cultural icon in the James Dean mode before even more quickly degenerating into drug addled oblivion that cost him his embouchure and his livelihood. Ethan Hawke fits Baker’s skin really well as Budreau’s film explores the washed up jazz musician’s attempt to make a comeback. Fascinating and with a requisite uber cool Chet Baker driven score. Fri 12 Aug and Sat 13 Aug various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £8

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. Fri 12 Aug to Thu 18 Aug at The Electric Cinema, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £10.50

Raging Bull (dir: Martin Scorcese, 1980, cert 18)
Robert De Niro hammers the method in this classic biopic of boxer Jake La Motta; steeped in a dark machismo where violence is never far away, in the ring, in the street, at home, La Motta’s fists do the talking. Shot in beautiful monochrome and staged with a stunning attention to detail. The fight sequences are choreographed with a vicious balletic beauty, that is both beguiling and hypnotic. One of the greatest films ever made and arguably Scorsese’s crowning achievement. Sun 14 Aug 12pm at The Electric Cinema, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £10.50

The Exorcist (dir: William Peter Blatty, 1973, cert 18)
The best horror film ever made? Probably! Blatty’s original shocker has lost none of its compelling power in the four decades since its release. Distressing and eminently quotable, Linda Blair’s demon possessed infant Regan is a potty mouthed death dealing horror icon. We’re hoping the Mockingbird will be screening the director’s cut that includes the spider walk scene cut from the original. A genuinely creepy and disturbing vision. As Regan might say, “your mother sucks cocks in Hell’. Did I mention this is a free screening? You lucky people. Wed 10 Aug 8pm at Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4AA FREE

The Terminator (dir: James Cameron, 1984, cert 15)
The original and the best of the franchise, the smaller budget lending itself to a more imaginative and grainier story arc than the bloated visual wet dream of the sequels. The Terminator works so much more effectively as a relentlessly evil killing machine without any meh moral reprogramming to make it ‘good’. Like a slasher robotic Michael Myers the T-800 unit pursues the womb that will host an as yet unconceived hero of the future with violent aplomb. Schwarzenegger’s non-acting acting style makes for a cool killer robot. Criticised as “repellent to the last degree” by critic Gilbert Adair, we think that’s actually a ringing endorsement of a perfect sci-fi film. Fri 12 Aug 8pm at Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4AA £4

Clockwork Orange (dir: Stanley Kubrick, 1971, cert 18) This is the cinema event of the week for us. Rarely screened as the Kubrick estate make potential licencors jump through so many hoops. Luckily for you guys Brum Cinema Addicts and The Mockingbird have successfully negotiated every single Kubrickian hurdle. Kubrick’s mischievous mix of classical music, ultra violence and jackhammer imagery will leave you breathless and still has the the power to shock. You have been warned. Bring along your droogs and expect to participate in the Ludovico technique if you wish to leave again. We’ll see you at the Korova Milk Bar for a moloko plus my brothers. Yarbles and great bolshy yarblockos to you. Sat 13 Aug 8pm at Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4AA £5

Embrace of The Serpent (Dir: Ciro Guerra, 2015, cert 12A). Rarely does a film universally wow audiences and critics alike, but the Oscar nominated ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ is just such a film. Shot in beautiful monochrome, Guerra’s ‘ecstatic truth’, as Herzog would put it, transports the viewer to the edge of civilisation and follows its creeping malaise as it consumes and corrupts innocence. Based on a true story, ‘Embrace’ is a poetic lesson in the destructive power of colonialism. Tue 9 Aug to Thu 11 Aug various times at Lighthouse Media Centre, Chubb Buildings, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £7.90

The General (1926) As Orson Welles once opined ‘not just the greatest comedy of all time but the greatest film of all time.’ Buster Keaton’s timeless classic is a special piece of cinema. Chock full of incredible stunts, genius comedy and touching romance. It may be pushing on a 100 years old but it still packs a punch and your jaw will drop, guaranteed! No messing about for Buster, if the scene requires a steam train to fall off a burning bridge then a real steam train will fall off a real burning bridge. Buster Keaton on the big screen with live music is one of the greatest thrills of cinema. There will also be vintage shorts and tunes courtesy of Sugarfoot Stomp DJs.
Sat Aug 13 6.30pm at West Bromwich Town Hall, High Street, West Bromwich B70 8DT £6 the-general-live-accompaniment/

Sundown Outdoor cinema season begins at the mac with Hairspray Fri 12 Aug and Rocky Sat 13 Aug see our feature here

Mon 8 Aug - Sun 14 Aug
Giles Logan
Published on:
Tue 2 Aug 2016