R$N’s Late Night Flix Picks

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 16th: 'Star Wars: Episode 1 3D' (21:15 BFI IMAX)
For many, this is one of the most aggravating films ever made, not least because of the completely unnecessary addition of Jar Jar fucking Binks to the Saga. But it is easy to forget some of the good things about this film. The Pod-race remains one of the great Sci Fi chase scenes and there's plenty of new ships and aliens to feast your eyes on whilst you try and ignore the awful casting of Ewan Mcgregor. Plus, at least this is the only one of the new films not too include Hayden Christenson. With films like this, if you're going to do something wrong, do it right. This new 3D version plays all over London but, if you can stand to go at all, you may as well go to the IMAX for this late night showing this Thursday.

Friday 17th: 'Mullholland Drive' (22:20 Hackney Picturehouse)
There is perhaps no one director who suits late night screenings more than Lynch, especially when he occasionally forays into a feeling of tension not dissimilar from a horror film, as he does with this film. Though Lynch is famously oblique in narrative terms, 'Mullholland Drive' is perhaps the biggest conundrum of all, as it feigns linearity for so long, the enigmas seemingly leading somewhere. Without wanting to spoil to much for those unfamiliar with this film, all remains not what it seems by the end. A haunting, unmissable puzzle.

Saturday 18th: 'Fargo + Red State Double Bill + Kevin Smith Q & A (8:10pm Prince Charles Cinema)
A true cinematic event. Kevin Smith was perhaps the most distinctive voice in 90s American film comedy, most famously with the classic 'Clerks'. An audience with the writer/director follows screenings of 'Red State', his most recent effort, which was regarded as something of a return to form. But, in addition to the talk, the true appeal of this event comes with the opportunity to see 'Fargo' on the silver screen. The film ranks amongst the Coens best work and was one of the most well regarded films of the nineties, winning Oscars for the Screenplay and the terrific central performance of Frances Mcdormand as the pregnant police sheriff.

Sunday 19th: 'Labyrinth' (7:30pm Prince Charles Cinema)
Before children's cinema was a squeaky clean world, where the scariest thing a child could experience was the warning of 'mild threat' that a PG certificate offers, there was the world of Muppet Creator Jim Henson. Whilst his films are still fairy tales, the characters and sound design allow for so much more turmoil, so much more darkness than any children's film in the last twenty years. 'Labyrinth' is probably the most well known of his none-Muppet adventures. Rather than simply presenting the film, this screening is also a masked ball, meaning the disorientating, psychedelic feel of the film should stretch even further into the theatre.

Monday 20th: 'Written On The Wind' (7:00pm, Dulwich Picutre Gallery)
Whilst colour had become relatively common in Hollywood by the mid fifties, 'Written on the Wind' shows that directors like Douglas Sirk were still helplessly enthralled with the new dimension this added to the cinema. Not only is the one of the most lavishly colour-drenched spectacles you will ever seen, but it features Sirk's famously distinctive use of framing, characters constantly framed by doorways, silhouetted by dark windows, talking through mirrors rather than directly to each. All of these elements, coupled with the lush melodrama of the story make this film an almost overwhelmingly indulgent experience. A true treat, perfectly suited to the surrounding of this South London Gallery.

Tuesday 21th: 'Citizen Kane' (17:45pm, NFT2)
So…..I mean, it's Citizen Kane. You've either already seen it or your sick of feeling like you should have done. Did you know Orson Welles made this masterpiece when he was just 26? Oh, you did. If you know 'Citizen Kane', you'll know the relief of getting it ticked off the list, whether you enjoyed it or not. In many ways, it's a satisfying experience just to realize how much influence it's had on both endless other films and countless other cultural references. You know that Simpsons where Mr Burns is trying to get his Teddy Bear back? It's pretty much Citizen Kane. Whatever happens, you will not be sorry to have seen this film.

Laurence Turner