Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits (dir: William E. Badgley, 2017, cert 18) + Chicks Dig Jerks DJs
One of the most influential and innovative bands to emerge from the whole seventies punk explosion, The Slits careered fearlessly through a machismo dominated scene with a musical bluster that was unique whilst managing to avoid what quickly became tiresome cliche. 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. Badgley’s film may be slight and formulaic but this is The Slits, that is gravitas enough. Pre and post screening, Chicks Dig Jerks DJs will be spinning records to set the mood.
Mon 26 Mar 7pm at The Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £9.50 veezi.com
The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (dir: Takashi Miike, 2013, cert 15)
Any screening of a Takashi Miike production on the big screen is cult film bliss for fans of his relentlessly twisted oeuvre. The most prolific filmmaker operating today has released over a hundred movies, all of which shock, unsettle and bemuse in equal measure. Miike’s 2013 adaption of the Manga source, Mogura no Uto, will leave viewers breathless from the very first scene, as bumbling policeman Reiji is strapped naked to the roof of a speeding car. The Mole Song barrels along in a cacophony of hyper kinetic visuals, violence and wicked humour, with its scheduling meaning this will probably be the weirdest Tuesday afternoon you’ve ever experienced.
Tue 27 Mar 2pm at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Alice (dir: Jan Švankmajer, 1988, cert PG) with Conjurer’s Kitchen
Czech animator Jan Švankmajer’s Alice is a heady mix of surreal stop motion effects and breathless imagination, the recently retired director’s cinematic canon is peerless and the chance to catch this alongside an array of Conjurer’s Kitchen’s bizarrely themed culinary snacks is making sawdust fall out of our bellies. Check out or full preview here.
Thu 29 Mar 8pm at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £20.70 www.theelectric.co.uk
The Square (dir: Ruben Östlund, 2018, cert 15)
Oscar nominated and winner of the coveted Palme D’or at Cannes in 2017, Östlund’s surreal assault on the pretentious decadence of an art world divorced from reality is at times excruciating but always pertinent. It feels at times as if we are watching an extended episode from Chris Morris’ Jam, as Christian (Claes Bang), bourgeois curator of the X-Royal art museum in Stockholm, is mugged and sets in motion a series of labyrinthine events that confuse and challenge the audience. The film’s cloistered potency is reinforced tenfold by that dead pan comic misery the Scandinavians seem to do so well, see Ingmar Bergman and Roy Andersson.
Fri 30 Mar to Thu 5 Apr at the mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9 macbirmingham.co.uk
Mon 26 Mar to Thu 29 mar at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £10.50 www.theelectric.co.uk
Alice in Wonderland (dir: Clyde Geronimi, 1951, cert U) with Conjurer’s Kitchen
The second version of Alice screening this week alongside Conjurer’s Kitchen, the other being the nightmarish Jan Švankmajer fantasy, is Walt Disney’s take on the Lewis Carroll authored tumble down the rabbit hole into madness. Less challenging than the Czech filmmakers vision but equally surreal, the film was a flop on release but has since garnered a reverence for its innovation and style. We expect Conjurer’s Kitchen tarts but will they have caterpillars in them? Read our full preview here.
Sun 1 Apr 12pm at The Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £20.70 www.theelectric.co.uk
Arnie all day movie marathon
A bum numbing five films from the back catalogue of Hollywood’s most prodigious action hero Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger, luckily for you the seats at The Mockingbird are super comfy. No need to worry about skipping Sunday dinner either as Arnie burgers are available between screenings. Beginning with the movie that launched the Austrian muscleman into the mainstream Conan the Barbarian, through True Lies, Predator, Commando and Terminator 2, you may require steroids for your eyes but it will be worth it. As Arnie himself famously announced in The Running Man (not screening, shame) ‘It’s showtime’.
Sun 1 Apr 10am at The Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £20 veezi.com
Sister Act (dir: Emile Ardolino, 1992, cert PG) w/ gospel choir and band
One of Whoopi Goldberg’s greatest performances is as the effervescent lounge singer Deloris Wilson in Sister Act. Deloris witnesses a mob hit and goes into hiding within a stuffy convent, much to the consternation of Mother Superior Maggie Smith. A great deal of singing and dancing ensues as Deloris chisels away at the nun’s innate stuffiness. We’re suckers for swinging nuns. The screening is accompanied by a live 35-piece gospel choir and band. Prior to the film Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists, Gospel Singers Incognito, will be setting the mood with a special performance.
Sun 1 Apr 2.30pm & 7.30pm at Symphony Hall, Broad St, Birmingham B1 2EA £27.50 www.thsh.co.uk
Published on: Thu 1 Mar 2018