Clash (dir: Mohamed Diab, 2017, cert 15)
Claustrophobic and electrifying, Diab’s film plunges the audience into the middle of the chaos of 2013 Egypt after the ousting of The Muslim brotherhood from power. Rival factions are on the streets and fighting violent pitched battles with each other, at the eye of this storm are US reporter Adam (Hany Adel) and photographer Zein (Mohamed El Sebaey). Thrown into the back of a police van by twitchy officers, it is from this unique vantage point that all the action unfolds. Unrelenting pressure throughout with some of the most realistically staged riot scenes ever filmed.
Mon 22 May to Wed 24 May at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

Manhattan (dir: Woody Allen, 1979, cert 12A)
Woody Allen’s love letter to New York is by far his greatest film and possibly the smartest rom com ever made. Its delirious set pieces still thrill with a wicked candour and honesty as middle aged Isaac Mortimer Davis (Allen) blunders through relationships and life. His affection for the teenage Tracey (Mariel Hemingway) can of course be seen in a whole new shady light; but that notwithstanding this is classic cinema, shot on the world’s greatest film set in New York and featuring an incredible Gershwin score.
Mon 22 May to Thu 25 May at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Frantz (dir: François Ozon, 2017, cert 12A)
Ozon is one of the most prolific filmmakers working today; maintaining an astonishing level of quality throughout a distinguished career including classics like Potiche, Swimming Pool and 8 Women, and he’s only 49. Frantz just might be his best yet, the mostly black and white post World War One tale of intolerance has a contemporary resonance coursing through its gloomy veins. Beautifully filmed its labyrinthine plot and profound resolution are beguiling. Superior cinema.
Mon 22 May to Thu 25 May at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Lady Macbeth (dir: William Oldroyd, 2017, cert 15)
Oldroyd’s debut feature is a daring deconstruction of the genteel language and repressed sexuality of the stuffy period drama genre. The black heart of Lady Macbeth traduces expectation as sedate and at times almost narcoleptic pacing is punctured by searing outbursts of sex and violence. An astonishing and beautifully realised piece of cinema that is not easily forgotten.
Mon 22 May to Thu 25 May at Lighthouse The Chubb Buildings, Fryer St, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £8.15

Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry (dir: Tatsuma Minamikawa, 2017, cert 15)
The Electric continues to delight the city’s Anime aficionados with Minamikawa’s breathless fantasy adventure based on the manga art of Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail. Will Natsu recover the mystical Dragon Cry staff and save the world? Eye popping visuals and pile driving music will batter your senses, it does get a bit confusing at times but when it looks this good who cares?
Tue 23 May 8.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

The Levelling (dir: Hope Dickson Leach, 2016, cert 15)
This assured debut feature from Hope Dickson Leach is a beautifully shot tale of a farming family’s struggle to cope with the catastrophic Somerset floods of 2014. Ellie Kendrick’s performance as veterinary student Clover Catto, called home from her studies after the suicide of her brother, is incredibly powerful. The crumbling farm mirrors the disintegrating family as grief and nature take their toll. Heavyweight and compelling drama.
Tue 23 May 6.30pm at Everyman, 116 The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1RF £10

Letters From Baghdad (dir: Zeva Oelbaum, 2017, cert PG)
The fascinating yet largely forgotten Gertrude Bell is the subject of Zeva Oelbaum’s compelling documentary. Narrated by Tilda Swinton it recounts a life rich with adventure as Bell worked alongside the more renown T. E. Lawrence in The Middle East and helped to shape British policy in the region. Spy, map maker, archeologist amongst several other skills, Bell is a legendary figure deserving of more popular recognition.
Tue 23 May 2pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

The Belko Experiment (dir: Greg McLean, 2017, cert 18)
Only strong stomachs need apply as Shock and Gore present Greg McLean’s Battle Royale for office drones. Downsizing at Belko Industries is efficiently brutal and rapid as employees are dispatched in spiralling levels of gruesomely imaginative killing. If you’ve seen McLean’s squirm inducing Wolf Creek you will know what to expect.
Wed 24 May 9.15pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

La Strada (dir: Federico Fellini, 1954, cert PG)
What a treat. A beautifully restored masterpiece from one of cinema’s most visionary artists. La Strada won the very first Best Foreign Language Film Academy award in 1957 and hasn’t lost an ounce of its magisterial potency. The delightfully cute, and Fellini’s other half, Giulietta Masina is Gelsomina, sold to brutal sideshow strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn). What follows is a delicious litany of off beat characters and magical set pieces as Gelsomina heads towards inevitable tragedy. One of the greatest films ever made.
Fri 26 May to Thu 1 Jun at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

Lost In London (dir: Woody Harrelson, 2017, cert 12A)
Woody Harrelson’s directorial debut was an astonishing technological achievement, shot and broadcast live to 500 cinema’s as it was being filmed in one long continuous 100 minute take on the streets of London. With that in mind the recorded version is still jaw droppingly tight and one can only admire the incredible bravura of Harrelson who even used a tabloid grabbing indiscretion of his own as the plot premise.
Fri 26 May 8.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Colossal (dir: Nacho Vigalondo, 2017, cert 15)
One of the more bizarre big budget efforts was originally pitched as a low budget Spanish indie until Anne Hathaway jumped on board. Hathaway is the lost soul Gloria sharing a peculiar affinity with a rampaging Godzilla like monster wreaking havoc in South Korea. Yes you did read that correctly. It shouldn’t but somehow it works and it’s quirky comedy giant lizard mash up actually tackles some big issues such as alcoholism and domestic abuse.
Fri 26 May to Thu 1 Jun at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

The Red Turtle (dir: Michael Dudok de Wit, 2017, cert PG)
The Studio Ghibli produced The Red Turtle is a breathtakingly beautiful film, with every hand drawn shot fostering a sense of awe in the viewer. The Robinson Crusoe with magic style story is a subtly wordless exploration of one man’s journey from isolation and frustration to an acceptance of the need for mutuality.
Fri 26 May to Thu 1 Jun at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Mindhorn (dir: Sean Foley, 2017, cert 15)
If you missed this at Flatpack now’s your chance to catch up with the Isle of Man’s most famous detective Mindhorn. The familiar Julian Barratt (Mighty Boosh, Nathan Barley) is the titular hero, he also co-wrote with Simon Farnaby, in the cringe inducing adventures of possibly cinema’s most deluded crime fighter. Being bereft of any self-awareness and oblivious to the crushing embarrassment of one’s actions is a familiar trope of British comedy, think Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan cameo’s), but here it is played to perfection. ‘See the truth’.
Fri 26 May to Thu 1 Jun at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

Amelie (dir: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001, cert 15)
Cute as a button Audrey Tautou is the titular hero discovering that making the citizens of Paris happy is more complicated than she initially thought. Whizzing about the city in a kinetic flash of energy before discovering happiness of her own. Jeunet’s epileptic style beautifully captures the mystery and adventure of the home of love and romance. The Mockingbird have various themed meal packages available.
Fri 26 May 8pm at Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £6.96

Quadrophenia (dir: Franc Roddam, 1979, cert 18)
Jimmy’s (Phil Daniels) travails through a blitz of amphetamines, male teenage angst and classic Mod tunes is a timeless adolescence fable. The setting and the Who’s piledriving music elevate Quadrophenia to a level that recalls the best kitchen sink drama of the sixties. So neck some purple hearts, pull on a parka, crank up the Lambretta and head for Brighton or even the Custard Factory. There will be themed drinks and food available and following the screening join the Mod inspired after party.
Sat 27 May 8.15pm at Mockingbird, The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA £8.03

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (dir: Tony Richardson, 1962, cert 12)
The angry young men of the early sixties British New Wave inhabited grim landscapes of social darkness, borstals and dysfunctional relationships. Lindsay Anderson,  Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson were at the vanguard of a revolutionary cinematic vision reflecting the bleak post war void of the city. Tom Courtenay excels as Colin Smith, imprisoned for burglary, his athletic prowess affording him privileges from Michael Redgrave’s governor. During his long distance runs he inhabits an emotional inner landscape of reflection and pain that edge him towards self realisation and rebellion. Powerful and visionary filmmaking.
Sun 28 May 3.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50


Mon 22 May - Sun 28 May
Giles Logan
Published on:
Mon 1 May 2017