Art & Culture

R$N's casts an eye on the world of the capital's late night film screens and picks the week ahead's highlights….

Thursday: 'The Room' (Prince Charles, 8:45pm)

You have either seen 'The Room', have no idea what it is, or have been meaning to get round to seeing it since you first heard the cult surrounding it. People actually often don't believe it was meant to be serious. Director Tommy Wiseau has claimed the films appauling-ness was deliberate, but many of the actors have given interviews stating that this was merely a front, a response to it's reception, and that Wiseau was trying to create great drama. Frankly, this interpretation is a lot more fun. It truly is one of the most indescribably awful things ever put on screen and has to be seen to be both believed and understood.

Saturday: 'Chinatown' (Rio, Dalston, 11:30pm)

Having made a trio of riveting and deeply haunting psychological horror films, it was a slightly strange choice for Roman Polanski to make a sun-drenched, neo-noir murder mystery with man-of-the-moment Jack Nicholson in 1974. It almost seems like Polanski saw the success of his American contemporaries in the New Hollywood School and wanted in on it. But this reading would only make sense if 'Chinatown' wasn't executed with as much honesty and precision as it was. True, it demands a heavy and extremely acute amount of attention from the audience; if you still listening to every piece of meticulous detail, you will find yourself lost very quickly. But for those able to keep up, 'Chinatown' is perhaps seventies Hollywood's best puzzle of a script.

Sunday: 'The Graduate' (The Ritzy, Brixton, 18:00)

For a film that is now 45 years old, it is truly remarkable how little 'The Graduate' has aged. True, the endlessly lauded Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack is effortlessly timeless. But the films approach to comedy stands up perfectly, with Dustin Hoffman's performance arriving way ahead of all the American sitcom's it surely influenced. Hoffman's character, Benjamin Braddock's attitude to the life laid before him feels just as pertinent now as it must have done then; yes, the professional and financial advantages are obvious, but were is the vitality in the ivy league life? But the impressiveness and fearlessness to present this observation in such a sexually explicit way at the time of it's relief is still an admirable artistic statement. A rare case of a film that fully deserves it's reputation of a classic and it's loyal following.

By Laurence Turner