Film Club: 15-21 August
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If we’re being completely honest with you, writing this week’s roundup was a bit of a struggle because we’ve just seen Mama Mia, Here We Go Again and it has proved to be the most powerful film we’ve ever seen, and now we’re mad that we didn’t tell you to watch it earlier. Please forgive us this oversight, we‘ll strive to do better. If you think you’re better than Mama Mia, you're wrong, but we’re not here to argue so just go see one of these ‘good’ films instead and then take a good hard look at yourself.
In the cannon of Elvis films - of which there are 31, who knew - this is by and large considered to be the only one that doesn't make you want to chew your face off rather than sit through till the end credits. High praise, we know. This cult classic is actually good though, not just by Elvis' low standards. It co-stars Anne Margaret as his sexy swimming teacher love interest for whom the racing rascal decides to stick around Sin City for, despite being embroiled in all manor of seedy debts and rivalries. Very Vegas, very Elvis, very good.
Here's Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo making us feel very hot and even more bothered in Jane Campion's psycho-sexual thriller. It follows Ryan's character as she becomes both emotionally and physically entwined with a cop (Ruffalo) who's investigating a series of murders, one of which she may be a key witness in. There is gratuitous violence, a distinctly female gaze, and erotic intrigue in spades - and Ruffalo's pornstache makes us feel things we're kind of ashamed of.
London Feminist Film Festival thinks it's time to reclaim the concept of 'classic' film as being all about old white Western men sulking around looking dapper and being lightheartedly misogynistic under their fedoras and long shadows. And start appreciating the everlasting truth and value to be found in films like this one.
Sama, directed by Néjia Ben Mabrouk, is a partly autobiographical story of a young woman growing up in a male-dominated society, and forging the everlasting bonds of female friendship along the way. And there's nothing we love more than female friendship.
Get your melancholy art student cred affirmed at Krzysztof Kieślowski's Three Colours film trilogy - a trio of flicks about love and loss that were released in the early 90s to plenty of critical acclaim and have aged quite nicely indeed.
Each film, titled Blue, White, Red (the colours of the French flag), explore French revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, and their relevance in the contemporary world. With beautiful cinematography and excellent performances from Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy and Irène Jacob, the Three Colours trilogy explores universal themes through profound personal experiences and all the requisite French moodiness.
Under The Tree
Suburbia is the undisputed perfect setting for black comedies, and this Icelandic tale of two neighbours is one of the most pleasingly seething we’ve seen. Blurring the lines between comedy and actual tragedy, it weaves between being completely absurd and depressingly real. A young man is caught cheating by his wife and she throws him out, forcing him to move back home with his parents in their cookie-cutter suburban house, where it’s basically World War 3 between them and their young, hip neighbours.
Showing at ICA, Picturehouse Central and Curzon Bloomsbury.
A portrait of an ageing lesbian couple against the backdrop of Paraguay’s turbulent socioeconomic situation, this is a beautifully composed, controlled, and heartfelt film. When her partner must serve a prison sentence due to unpaid debts, Chela is thrown for a curve - her partner has been her primary caregiver for years, and this loss, coupled with a loss in social station leaves her disoriented and quietly reeling. Hard-pressed to let go of her image and clinging to pride, she reluctantly accepts a job as chauffeur for an elderly neighbour, which comes with a complex bag of emotions to unpack.
Showing at ICA, Picturehouse Central, Curzon Bloomsbury, Curzon Soho, Gate Cinema and more.
Well fuck us gently with a chainsaw, 'cos the mother of all nihilistic high-school classics is getting a shiny re-release in honour of its 30th birthday. Duh. Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) and JD (Christian Slater) are our anti-heroes whose teen-angst bullshit has a body count after they systematically off Veronica's frenemies and frame it as suicide. How very.