Film Club: 11-17 July
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From skinheads to the heroes of Wakanda to a patricidal woman with acute anxiety and memory loss, it's a real pick 'n' mix of films this week. We're not really sure what else is going on in the world right now because we've stopped listening to the news out of self-preservation, but movies are good and fun (except for the ones about rape, see below) so we think we'll stick with that and we won't judge you for doing the same. Good day.
Lo and behold, a black hero (and predominantly black supporting cast, director, production team, writers, etc) in the superhero genre, brought to you by Marvel. We're not usually one for big franchise superhero movies but we feel like this one deserves a shout out. And Michael B. Jordan and Lupito Nyongo are a damn treat to watch, as per. Black Panther first showed up in Captain America: Civil War, but this time he is fighting with a home-turf advantage when his city of Wakanda is threatened.
See it under the twinkling summer sky and not-so-fresh air of Peckham as part of Rooftop Film Club.
Robin Campillo's own experience working for ACT UP Paris at the height of the 1990s AIDS crisis serves as the backdrop for this surefire modern queer classic. To give you a bit of context, the big pharma guys and the French government at the time were refusing to supply life-saving treatments to people suffering from HIV and AIDS, so it fell on activist organisation ACT UP to educate the public on the virus and its prevention, and rally for the supplies they needed.
Shane Meadows presents a gruelling and heartfelt portrait of a young boy who, after this father is killed in the Falklands war, finds friendship and solace in a group of local skinheads. The group's dynamics are put under strain, however, by the return of ex-member and ex-convict Combo. The film is an examination of how this prominent subculture was torn apart and coopted by the far right nationalism of the 1980s, and how impressionable young men were easily misled in recession Britain.
We luv the Final Girls so much we would marry them - their latest season of films are an underrated bunch, all concentrating on their female protagonists' experiences with mental illness and anxiety, an affliction that affects more people than it doesn't yet is rarely portrayed well (if at all) on screen.
Aside from that, Dementia is also just an absolute gem - think long Hitchckokian shadows meet unhinged experimental realness. It's a spooky, anxiety-ridden, female-driven hell ride, and we love it.
Firstly, how is it possible that this is the first major Mary Shelley biopic? What has everyone been doing all this time? Elle Fanning indisputably has the acting chops to portray the influential author to credit, and the story is nothing short of compelling (young, forward thinking, sexually-open woman eschews bonnets and butter churning to write perhaps the most iconic horror novel ever - yeah that's juicy) but honestly we were kind of hoping for more here. It's still worth watching for the aforementioned reasons, but - unlike Shelley herself - the classic prudish historical romance-drama narrative is nothing revolutionary.
Showing at most cinemas around town.
Postcards From The 48%
Ah Brexit, that old chestnut. If you're looking to spend more of your time and mental energy thinking about it, you should watch this documentary. At the very least perhaps it'll inspire within you a spirit of resistance and solidarity, as the footage follows groups of us special snowflakes remoaners as they deal with the impending doom and gloom of Brexit, protest, wax poetic, cry, rage, come together, etc, etc. With a distinctly DIY aesthetic, this one's a passion project, and one that's sure to stand up as an artefact of history that speaks for the unvictorious, for once.
Showing at Picturehouse Central and Genesis Cinema.
Beauty And The Dogs
Director Kaoutha Ben Hania's first full-length feature draws inspiration from a particularly horrific case in 2012, when a young Tunisian woman was gang-raped by policeman after a night out. The film takes that crux and, without embellishment, adds layers of anguish.
In the aftermath, college student Mariam tries to get help without (obviously) involving the police. Her personal horror in this becomes the horror narrative - one that's about as harrowing as it gets.
Showing at ICA.