The Death of Louis XIV (dir: Albert Serra, 2016, cert 12)
An astonishing spectacle that will resonate powerfully with anyone who has experienced the dying moments of another human being. The regal setting merely reinforcing the flaccid motions through which we travel in hopeless expectation of relieving the transition from life to death. Jean-Pierre Léaud’s performance as the titular Louis XIV is quite simply faultless and breathtaking, it’s hard not to hear the echo of a dying age in the quiet dignity of his passing. Léaud was the fresh faced Antoine Doinel in Truffaut’s 400 Blows and a frequent collaborator with Jean-Luc Godard and the French New Wave. Everything comes to an end and that very certainty has never been more beautifully realised than in Serra’s film.
Mon 7 Aug to Thu 10 Aug at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Belonging: The Truth Behind the Headlines + Q&A (dir: Morag Livingstone, 2017, cert 12A)
A timely documentary in an age where fake news is a term wielded with convenient expediency blurring, like never before, where fantasy ends and truth begins in a media landscape awash with crippling vested interests. Livingstone shines a light in these dark places and encourages the viewer to ‘think again’ as they are exposed to a detailed study of three industrial disputes through the lifetime of three different governments and the very personal impact of the attendant media ‘story’. The insidious rise of Rupert Murdoch’s bloated empire is meticulously dissected along with the privatisation of the postal service and the Grangemouth oil refinery dispute. The screening will be followed by a panel Q&A.
Mon 7 Aug 8pm at The Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £5 veezi.com
After the Storm (dir: Hirokazu Koreeda, 2016, cert PG)
A decidedly 21st century version of the established Japanese tradition of classic bittersweet familial dramas that were made by filmmaking legends such as Ozu, Mizoguchi and Naruse. In Koreeda’s vision the family is a broken unit and its disenfranchised patriarch, inveterate gambler and private investigator Shinoda (Hiroshi Abe), spends his time stalking his ex-wife and child possessed of a pathetic yearning and tormented by their loss. Beautifully nuanced without resorting to maudlin tropes, Koreeda’s film is a delicately observed study of family dynamics.
Wed 9 Aug & Thu 10 Aug at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Goodfellas (dir: Martin Scorsese, 1990, cert 18) with Brooklyn Lager
Scorsese’s visceral gangster epic still packs a powerful whack and some of its legendary violence is particularly wince inducing on the big screen. Henry Hill’s rise and fall in the Lucchese crime family whizzes by at a frenetic pace, as hyperactive as the ‘snow’ Hill is shoving up his nose near the end. Certainly one of the greatest mafia movies ever made and filled with powerful set pieces it is an unforgettable ride. Screened as part of the summer long Cans Film festival audience members will get to sample Brooklyn Scorcher lager.
Thu 10 Aug & Sun 13 Aug at the Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Shin Godzilla (dir: Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi, 2016, cert 15)
Everyone’s favourite havoc wreaking giant lizard is back. reverting back to his origins and stripped of any do-gooder tendencies this is effectively a reboot of the 1954 original. Those pesky Americans have been dumping nuclear waste in the sea and Godzilla is the result, will they never learn? With more than a passing environmental nod to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and the Japanese authorities handling of it; Shin Godzilla is a serious film with a powerful message, that it features such an iconic monster star should not detract from that. A worth entry to the Toho Godzilla canon.
Thu 10 Aug 6.15pm at the Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Thu 10 Aug to Sun 13 Aug at The Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £6 veezi.com
Singin’ in the Rain (dir: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly 1952, cert U)
The mac’s Sundown Cinema season of outdoor screenings kicks off with old twinkle toes himself Gene Kelly in the timeless classic Singin’ in the Rain. The iconic song and dance routine with Kelly happily splashing through a storm is one of cinema’s enduring sequences, did you know it took three days to film? The movie itself is a fascinating, if slight, study of the transition in cinema from silents to talkies. We’re hoping this first screening in the Sundown season is not a portentous reflection of the rather damp weather being experienced this summer. It didn’t bother Gene nor should it bother you, but pack a coat and brolly just in case.
Fri 11 Aug 8.30pm at mac outdoor arena, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £10 macbirmingham.co.uk
Roger Moore Bond double bill and party for Macmillan Cancer Support
In celebration of the great man’s life and to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, The Mockingbird are hosting two of Roger Moore’s outings as 007. Man With the Golden Gun (dir: Guy Hamilton, 1974, cert PG) could never go wrong; Christopher Lee as the villain, Britt Ekland as the babe, a John Barry score and Guy Hamilton in the director’s chair, throw in Moore’s eloquent good humour and one has the consummate Bond film. Our favourite Bond film though is Moore’s first, the voodoo laced and really quite frightening Live and Let Die (dir: Guy Hamilton, 1973, cert PG). Following the screenings there’s a Bond themed party till the early hours and expect spy orientated food and cocktails.
Fri 11 Aug 6pm at The Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £10 veezi.com
Published on: Sun 6 Aug 2017