R$N FLIX PIX 18/05/12 – 22/05/12

Art & Culture

Friday 18th: 'Awesome! I Fuckin' Shot That!' (Prince Charles, 6:45pm)
A commemorative screening because, as I'm sure you've heard, MCA passed away earlier this month. It's desperately sad when any loved performer leaves us, especially one so young. But it was particularly sad that a member of the Beastie Boys should leave us as, in a career spanning over twenty years, their youthful exuberance and creative enthusiasm seems every bit as plentiful as it was at the start of their career. So, Prince Charles are hosting a fitting tribute. Yes, this is technically a 'concert' film, but one that tears down the audience boundaries that are posed by most similar efforts. 50 camcorders were handed out to members of the audience at Madison Square garden, who were instructed to keep filming at all times. The results have a predictably scrappy charm and the film is energetically charming. Also, on a happy note, all 50 cameras were returned after the concert, rather than kept by the participants, showing a respect and adoration for both the project and the band themselves.

Saturday 19th: 'Freaks' (Screen On The Green, 11:30pm)
For most of our childhoods, pre-80s films were just old and black and white and boring and didn't have monsters and were played in the middle of the afternoon on channel 4, presumably to keep old people company. Then, the older one gets, you start seeing the ones considered classics, see the odd black and white film you like and before you know it, you can't remember what being so closed minded felt like. However, there is nowhere within this evolution of cinematic understanding where 'Freaks' fits in. Its pre-exploitation, before the star system really kicked in and it's still just one of the strangest and most uncomfortable films to watch ever. It's also before special effects so you know that what you're seeing is exactly what the camera is seeing. It is truly a unique film, almost feeling like it got made swiftly and shadily and then rushed into existence before anyone in charge took notice. Details of what the film is about have been left out for people who have no idea, as walking into the cinema with no idea of what to expect will suit this film perfectly.

Sunday 20th: 'Airplane!' (Ritzy Picturehouse, Brixton, 3:30pm)
'Airplane' still has the best formula for comedy of any film: as many jokes as you can fit in to as short a time possible. Other films just can't seem to manage this; sentimentality appears, or plot or character development are included as you can tell the writers feel like its necessary. But, in 'Airplane', the characters 2 dimension-ality is what makes them all so fun. Exhaustingly enjoyable, GO.
Monday 21st: 'The Virgin Suicides/Lost In Translation' Double Bill (Prince Charles, 6:50pm)
'The Virgin Suicides' is the quintessential example of how the relationship between literature and cinema can sometimes miss fire. There is nothing wrong with the film; great cast, all the best dialogue from the book is carried over, it's visuallly very beautiful. But it simply cannot capture the style of narration from Eugunides' novel. Also, in the book, the girls were only glimpsed through binoculars from across the road, whereas here we see inside their house, their rooms, everywhere. That distance was what made the book so tantalising, so infectious. So, 'The Virgin Suicides' is in no way a bad film, but I urge everyone to read the book instead. That said, these are probably Coppola's best two films and she truly came into her own with 'Lost In Translation', a beautiful portrait of Tokyo and an undisputed highlight in the career of Bill Murray, with the most heartbreaking deadpan performance of the last decade, if not of all time.

Tuesday 22nd: 'The Thin Red Line' (Prince Charles, 8:30pm)
Terrence Mallick films are all haunting and oblique in a very distinct way, but with The Thin Red Line, he approached very recognisable subject matter with a cast packed with more recognisable names and faces than any other film (except maybe 'Love, Actually'). Adding these two aspects to the Mallick formula make this film a thoroughly disorientating watch and, whilst his previous work couldn't be accused of being narrative heavy, there is an even looser story structure here, especially as we are following so many characters at once. A film that needs a couple of viewings to fully understand it's mysterious nature. I have only seen it once so I will be attending in an attempt to increase my enjoyment.

By Laurence Turner