Fire At Sea (dir: Gianfranco Rosi, 2016, cert 12A)
In presenting the migrant crisis in human terms and not as a political brick bat to be used to engender fear and distrust, Rossi’s documentary is two hours of compelling and moving social testimony. Centred on the Sicilian Island of Lampedusa the lives of ordinary Islanders are shown in mundane detail, as they struggle to help ordinary people driven by extraordinary circumstances to risk their lives fleeing conflict. Presented by Amnesty International Wolverhampton as part of refugee week.
Mon 19 Jun 6pm at Lighthouse, Chubb Building, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £6.75 savoysystems.co.uk
Daughters of the Dust (dir: Julie Dash, 1991, cert 12A)
Julie Dash’s dreamlike and poetic tale of early twentieth century African-American history demands to be seen on the big screen. Hugely influential it was the first feature by an African-American woman to receive theatrical distribution in The United States and its cultural resonance can be seen in work as disparate as Kenneth Branagh’s screen adaptation of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and more recently Beyonce’s epic ‘Lemonade’ video. Beautiful, evocative, moving and possessed of a delicious serenity.
Tue 20 Jun 5.30pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
The Warrior (dir: Asif Kapadia, 2001, cert 12)
Sweeping adventure film starring a dashing Irrfan Khan as the titular Lafcadia seeking redemption from a life of violence. Stunning and beguiling cinematography throughout as The Warrior undertakes a spellbinding journey through a spectacular mountain landscape, it was filmed in the Himalaya’s, for answers that lie in his mind. Normal narrative form is traduced for a more meaningful discourse, epic film making in every sense.
Wed 21 Jun 2pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Ghost World (dir: Terry Zwigoff, 2001, cert 15)
Enid (Thora Birch) is a Fin de siècle Holden Caulfield trapped in a world of phonies in Terry Zwigoff’s razor sharp adaptation of Daniel Clowes comic book. With partner in crime Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) the outsider duo inveigle themselves into the life of loser Seymour, superbly played by Steve Buscemi with a mawkish pasty faced kinetic misery. “I don’t want to meet someone who shares my interests. I hate my interests.” Cool soundtrack, snappy dialogue and a million miles away from the usual Hollywood romance pukeathons.
Wed 21 Jun 7.30pm at Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £4 veezi.com
Solaris (dir: Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972, cert 12A)
Tarkovsky died aged 54 and left behind a relatively small body of work. But what a body of work it is. A supreme filmmaker and possibly the greatest director there has ever been. As Ingmar Bergman noted “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest.” Solaris on the big screen is not so much a film as a spiritual experience. It unlocks a depth of mystery and wonder in the viewer that they may not have even been aware existed. As if the human psyche were being pulled through a metaphysical carwash. Euphoric.
Wed 21 Jun 8pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle + Q&A (dir: Paul Sng, 2017, cert PG)
Never has the issue of indifference to tenant’s interests been more pertinent and in Paul Sng’s thoughtful documentary the stigmatisation and cultural devaluing of social housing is explored in unsettling detail. Beginning with Thatcher’s populist ‘right to buy’ policy there has been a steady decline in available social properties and a catastrophic meltdown in the treatment of those who need to live in them. Following the screening there will be a Q&A discussion with director Paul Sng and social housing experts.
Thu 22 Jun 8pm at Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £9.50 veezi.com
The Sting (dir: George Roy Hill, 1973, cert PG)
Film stars don’t come any more legendary than Paul Newman and those beautiful piercing blue eyes. Here he is reunited with Butch Cassidy director George Hill and co-star Robert Redford in a rollicking crime caper that barrels along with our heroes always two steps ahead of the audience let alone the mark. Crackling dialogue throughout and a joyous ragtime soundtrack delight as Newman and Redford realise their complex con. Nominated for ten Oscar’s and winning seven, The Sting is a glorious hark back to Hollywood at its best.
Sun 25 Jun 2.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Published on: Sat 10 Jun 2017