The Wave (dir: Roar Uthaug, 2016, cert 15)
You can’t beat a good disaster movie. What we didn’t expect was a Norwegian Tsunami epic. Bølgen, its original title, manages to out Hollywood Hollywood with a rollicking special effects laden tale that grips from start to finish. The small village of Geiranger is under imminent threat but no one will believe our hero Kristian until it’s too late. Thoughtfully acted and ticking all the right disaster movie boxes without overuse of obvious CGI, the Scandinavian edge to the film makes it feel that much tougher. Interestingly, this is actually based on the true story of a tsunami that wiped out the village of Tafjord in 1934 killing 34 people.
Mon 12 Sep – Wed 14 Sep, various times at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH. £8

Shadow World + Q&A (dir: Johan Grimonprez, 2016, cert 15)
Johan Grimonprez turns the x-ray glare he used to dissect the phenomenon of hijackings onto the international arms trade. Polemical and angry, which is how you we feel after viewing it. The whole miserable journey of weapon to battlefield and the ensuing misery of its deployment is analysed in detail. The collusion of states, manufacturers, intelligence services and the endemic corruption at their core will make your blood boil. The screening will be followed by a Q&A. Part of the Screening Rights season (see link below).
Fri 16 Sep 8pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH. £7

Cool and Crazy (dir: Knut Erik Jensen, 2002, cert 15)
The remote Norwegian fishing village of Berlevag was obscure in Norway, let alone the rest of the world, before the release of the sweetly bleak documentary Cool and Crazy. Amidst the austerity of a declining fishing industry and a bitingly cold winter the 30 strong Berlevag male choir prepare for and embark on a tour of Russia. Their beautiful renditions of traditional Norwegian folk songs mixed with the eccentric charm of the choristers makes for a charming and moving journey.
Sat 17 Sep 2.10pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH. £8

Ambulance + Q&A (dir: Mohamed Jabaly, 2016, cert 15)
This is real edge of the seat stuff, the tension for the viewer as an explosion resonates through Gaza and the ambulance crew heads directly for it is palpable, to be on that ambulance must have been terrifying. That was where filmmaker Mohamed Jabaly positioned himself at the height of the 2014 summer conflict with Israel. The conflict is portrayed in all its grim reality; but this isn’t just a film about war, the resilience and hope, even humour, of those trapped in a cycle of limitless brutality is beautifully reflected. A remarkable achievement. Part of the Screening Rights season (see link below).
Sat 17 Sep 5pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £7

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. 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.
Tue 13 Sep & Thu 15 Sep various times at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70

Hawk Jones (dir: Richard Lowry, 1986, cert 15)
The good people at Viva VHS have lined up a screening of Hawk Jones as part of the nationwide Scalarama festival. Poorly made, badly acted, a cinematic abortion really and we love every second of it. An all-child cast in a film that is definitely not for children. The eponymous pint sized hero is a cop in a battle to shut down Antonio Copolla’s crime syndicate. An utterly bizarre and politically incorrect riot. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Wed 14 Sep 8.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £6

Reservoir Dogs (dir: Quentin Tarantino, 1992, cert 18)
The film that announced the arrival of the pop culture genius filmmaker with the cool line in whiplash sharp dialogue and the gradual immersion of the phrase Tarantinoesque into cinematic lexicography. If you haven’t already seen this film then may Mr Blonde get funky with a blade and your ears. A bloody joy on the big screen and possessed of a violent swagger. OK so it’s a bit close to Kubrick’s The Killing and Ringo Lam’s City on Fire but all of Tarantino’s films are homages of a sort. Just buckle down, plug in and remember Mr Purple’s on another job.
Sun 18 Sep 11.45am at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70

Chicken + director Q&A (dir: Joe Stephenson, 2016, cert 15)
An emotionally grueling trawl through the life of Richard (Scott Chambers), who suffers with learning difficulties and is best friends with the titular fowl Fiona. Richard’s grim existence with his big brother Polly (Morgan Watkins) makes for compelling viewing and is superbly acted. Stephenson’s film is a startling if unsettling debut. Deteriorating to its painful conclusion Chicken is not for the fainthearted. There will be a Q&A with the director after the screening. Part of the Screening Rights season (see link below).
Sun 18 Sep 4pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £8.70

Birmingham on Film For our pick of top free events Thu 8 Sep – Mon 10 Oct see here

Birmingham on Film runs Fri 16 Sep – Sat 15 Oct see our preview here

Screening Rights Festival 2016 runs Thu 15 Sep – Sun 18 Sep see preview here

Mon 12 Sep - Sun 18 Sep
Giles Logan
Published on:
Thu 1 Sep 2016