Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits (dir: William E. Badgley, 2017, cert 18) + Q&A
A screening of William E. Badgley’s film examining one of the most influential and innovative bands to emerge from the whole seventies punk explosion. What began as a glorious racket from ‘punkesses’ Ari Up, Palmolive, Kate Korus and Suzy Gutsy, was honed into a formidable sound with the addition of Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt (replacing Korus and Gutsy) and the clued up production of reggae legend Dennis Bovell. Following the screening there will be a Q&A session with both Tessa Pollit and Palmolive of The Slits and the film’s director, William E. Badgley.
Tue 17 Apr 7pm at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £12 macbirmingham.co.uk
Häxan (dir: Benjamin Christensen, 1922, cert 15) w/ live narration from Reece Shearsmith
Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan is a dizzying blend of live action, animation and effects, that still possesses the power to shock contemporary audiences. The sight of witches kissing the devil’s backside and cooking babies will live long in the memory. Complementing this legendary cavalcade of disturbing imagery is a live musical score from multi instrumentalist Stephen Horne, with Christensen’s original narration being read by League of Gentlemen alumni and horror film devotee Reece Shearsmith. Part of Flatpack Festival, check out our top ten picks here.
Tue 17 Apr 7.30pm at The Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham B3 3DQ £18 www.thsh.co.uk
Funeral Parade of Roses (dir: Toshio Matsumoto, 1969, cert 18)
A more prescient review of Matsumoto’s unique kinetic blitz on the senses is impossible once the film itself declares, ‘all definitions of cinema have been erased, all doors are now open’. A heady trawl through the myth of Oedipus and Tokyo’s gay ghetto as Eddie, played with androgynous charm by Japanese singer Peter, takes centre stage in a spiralling counter culture milieu. Relentlessly unsettling and a clear influence on Kubrick’s hyper violent Clockwork Orange. Part of Flatpack Festival, check out our top ten picks here.
Wed 18 Apr 8.30pm at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9.50 macbirmingham.co.uk
Marlina The Murderer In Four Acts (dir: Mouly Surya, 2017, cert 15)
Marlina (Marsha Timothy) exacts brutal retribution on her attackers in Mouly Surya’s violent Indonesian rape revenge story or ‘satay western’. Recounted in four dark chapters with a subdued Tarantinoesque flourish, Marlina The Murderer is a machete wielding and blood soaked adventure through the imposing plains across the island of Sumba. Part of Flatpack Festival, check out our top ten picks here.
Wed 18 Apr 8pm at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Variety (dir: Ewald Andre Dupont, 1925, cert PG) + live score and acrobatics
The great Emil Jannings, regular collaborator with directorial greats such as Murnau and Sternberg, stars in the 1925 silent film Variety as Boss Huller, the owner of a run down carnival in Berlin yearning for the glory days of his past, it doesn’t end well. Get this. Not only will the film be accompanied by a live score from multi-instrumentalist Stephen Horne and percussionist Martin Pyne, there will be live trapeze and acrobatics throughout from The Rogue Play Theatre Company. Part of Flatpack Festival, check out our top ten picks here.
Fri 20 Apr 8pm at Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham, Digbeth B5 5RS £14 flatpackfestival.org.uk
The Lodger (dir: Alfred Hitchcock, 1927, cert PG) + live score
Recognised by number one Hitchcock expert Alfred Hitchcock as the first true Hitchcock film, silent movie The Lodger (1927) borrows heavily from the German Expressionism of Murnau and Lang to create a grim and foreboding atmosphere, as London cowers from a prolific serial killer known as The Avenger. Watch out for Hitch’s first cameo which occurs about two minutes in. The screening is accompanied by a live score from Meg Morley and her jazz trio. Part of Flatpack Festival, check out our top ten picks here.
Sat 21 Apr 1pm at Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Rd, Birmingham B4 7XR £14 flatpackfestival.org.uk
Victim (dir: Basil Dearden, 1961, cert PG)
Dirk Bogarde is darkly and quietly poised as barrister Melville Farr tackling the odious, and all too common in its day, practice of blackmailing homosexual men. Gay sex wasn’t decriminalised until the implementation of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967 and up until that time blackmail was a prevalent problem. Dearden’s tight thriller is a ground breaking, challenging, powerful and very brave piece of cinema, with Bogarde’s and Farr’s own repression of their natural instincts lending Victim a poignant gravitas.
Sun 22 Apr 2pm & Tue 24 Spr 2pm at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Arrow Video Club
The arrival of the Arrow Video Club to Birmingham is a moment to cherish. For those who don’t know Arrow Films is a cult and horror goldmine for challenging and interesting cinema from around the world, with a reputation for releasing lovingly restored classics to cutting edge contemporary movies in sumptuous and informative packaging. Yes we have them all. Two films for launch night beginning with Kinji Fukasaku’s relentless dystopian thriller Battle Royale (2000), the students of class 3B are armed and dropped on an island, only one can leave, imagine Lord of the Flies with knives and guns, it’s all overseen by a deliriously gurning Takeshi Kitano. The second screening is of Takashi Miike’s slow burning Audition (1999). A recent widower, and film producer, stages mock casting auditions to find a new wife. Sounds innocuous enough. A genuinely terrifying experience containing one of cinema’s greatest ‘jump’ moments, not easily forgotten.
Sun 29 Apr 5pm at The Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £9.50 veezi.com
The celluloid cultural behemoth that is Flatpack Film Festival continues this week, check out our top ten picks here.
Published on: Sun 18 Mar 2018