Red Road (dir: Andrea Arnold, 2006, cert 18)
The mac is hosting an excellent season of acclaimed debut films from UK directors this week, beginning with Andrea Arnold’s claustrophobic Red Road. The drearily brilliant study of obsession, realised through CCTV, is hypnotically intense as Jackie (Kate Dickie) peers voyeuristically into the drab existence of ex-con Clyde (Tony Curran). A seeping sense of dread permeates the grainy hand held images, in the vein of Dogme 95, exacerbated by the grim high rise Glaswegian landscape. Unsettling and unique.
Tue 22 Aug 6pm at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
A Way of Life (dir: Amma Asante, 2004, cert 15)
Social realism writ tragically large, A Way of Life is kitchen-sink drama with muscle as single parent Leigh-Anne, played with a scabrous poignancy by Stephanie James, negotiates the malodorous world of a Cardiff council estate. Bleak, frustrated and bereft of hope Leigh-Anne possesses a sharp survival instinct that inevitably leads down some dark avenues. Asante’s assured directorial debut manages to establish sympathy for a character that would turn a Daily Mail reader apoplectic with rage, without resorting to sentimentality, as Leigh-Ann’s world free wheels towards a tragic coda.
Wed 23 Aug 8.10pm at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Your Name (dir: Makoto Shinkai, 2016, cert 12A)
A beautifully rendered piece of cinema, the sweet and thoroughly naughty body swap comedy has become a sensation in Japan with hoards of fans even making pilgrimages to the locations animated on screen. It’s playful exploration of gender identity and love sits comfortably with the traditional storytelling that has resonated so well with audiences. Delightful and highly recommended.
Wed 23 Aug 8.30pm at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Kill Your Darlings (dir: John Krokidas, 2013, cert 15) + live jazz
The Mockingbird invite cool kids to an evening of fifties themed hipster shenanigans recalling the likes of Kerouac and Burroughs. Expect themed food; drinks and live jazz, complementing a screening of John Krokidas’ beat generation biopic, Kill Your Darlings. If Harry Potter as Allen Ginsberg doesn’t stretch your credibility reflex to breaking point, Krokidas’ film is an intelligent breeze through a seminal period of modern literature.
Thu 24 Aug 8pm at The Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £5 veezi.com
The Big Lebowski (dir: Coen Brothers, 1998, cert 18)
Has it really been 18 years since El Duderino first blearily stumbled through our screens clutching a White Russian and seeking redress for his spoiled carpet? “Well, sir, it’s this rug I had. It really tied the room together.” Luckily for us we can revisit this classic film under the stars and for a measly £15 get a delicious burger provided by The Original Patty Men (vegetarian options too). White Russian’s will be available. So settle in under a blanket and as The Nihilists might say there will be “no funny shtuff.”
Fri 25 Aug 6pm at Regency Wharf, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2DY £15 inc food www.designmynight.com
Withnail and I (dir: Bruce Robinson, 1987, cert 15)
Probably one of the most quotable films ever and a staple of the UK student film canon since it’s release. However, it’s not just uproarious high jinks as our heroes go on holiday by mistake. It’s actually a subtly nuanced tragedy as the youthful I has to decide whether it’s time to take a leap into adulthood and the future. The London Zoo ending still brings a tear to our eye. Anyway, here’s our favourite quote, ‘I feel like a pig shat in my head’. Enjoy in the open air at Regency Wharf and chow down on a burger from The Original Patty Men. Fingers crossed we can find a Camberwell Carrot.
Sat 26 Aug 6pm at Regency Wharf, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2DY £15 inc food www.designmynight.com
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (dir: Sergio Leone, 1966, cert 15) Cans Film Festival
Not only the granddaddy of the Spaghetti Western genre but one of the greatest films ever made. Sure there are better Western’s, such as The Searchers or Once Upon a Time in the West, but none is as iconic and ground breaking as Sergio Leone’s epic cowboy soap opera. Ground breaking cinematography; the extreme close ups are still thrilling, wilfully violent destruction of romantic western myths, that Morricone score and a triumvirate of back stabbing anti-hero outlaws headed by the sublimely cool and statuesque Clint Eastwood as Blondie. Or as Tuco might describe him, “he’s tall, blonde, he smokes a cigar, and he’s a pig!” Screened as part of the Cans Film Festival, audience members will get to sample some of Lonerider brewery’s Gunslinger IPA.
Sun 27 Aug 2.30pm at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Published on: Tue 1 Aug 2017