Neruda (dir: Pablo Larraín, 2017, cert 15)
Larraín’s biopic of the great Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda, who was once described as “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language” by Gabriel García Márquez, is a beautifully filmed thriller filled with nods to film noir, Hitchcock and even Bunuel. It fizzes along with a wild energy that captivates throughout. Boring biopic? No chance.
Mon 15 May to Tue 16 May at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

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 15 May to Thu 18 May at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9
Fri 19 May to Thu 25 May at Lighthouse The Chubb Buildings, Fryer St, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT £8.15

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’.
Mon 15 May to Thu 18 May at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

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.
Fri 19 May 9.15pm 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.
Fri 19 May to Thu 25 May at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

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.
Fri 19 May to Thu 25 May at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

Big (dir: Penny Marshall, 1988, cert 12A)
Tom Hanks has never been cuter than as Josh Baskin, a child who has his wish to be Big granted by a fortune teller machine and wakes up as a 30 year old man. One of the better body swap comedies that were briefly in vogue, it may be slight but the Hanks charm carries the film a long way and who can forget the walking piano scene? As is the case in such movies many valuable life lessons are learned before Josh returns to boyhood. A lot of innocent fun if you don’t think about it too hard.
Sat 20 May 2pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir: David Lynch, 1992, cert 15)
With the eagerly awaited season three due for its debut television broadcast in the States this weekend, The Electric are whetting appetites with a screening of David Lynch’s feature length prequel. Follow the last seven days of Laura Palmer and immerse yourselves in the universe of one of the most evocative and imaginative TV series ever made. Remarkably it was booed by critics at the 1992 Cannes Film festival, what do they know? Sublime filmmaking.
Sat 20 May 9.30pm at Electric, Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY £9.50

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.
Sat 20 May to Wed 24 May at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

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.
Sun 21 May 2pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH £9

Kiki’s Delivery Service (dir: Hayao Miyazaki, 1989, cert U)
One of Miyazaki’s best, the touching tale of young witch Kiki and her adventures with talking cat Jiji is sweetly told in Miyazaki’s imaginatively stylised universe as expectations of female identity are explored and resolved. Kiki’s journey to find herself follows some beautifully bizarre tangents but we wouldn’t expect anything less from the grand master of modern animation. A stunning film.
Sun 21 May 7pm Blue Orange Theatre, 118 Great Hampton Street Birmingham B18 6AD £5

Mon 15 May - Sun 21 May
Giles Logan
Published on:
Mon 1 May 2017