New this week, the self-proclaimed “dullest movie ever made”, and that’s definitely not a joke.
We may have only been running this column for just three short weeks, but I think we can still safely say that this entry alone really takes the biscuit. In fact, there’s so many incredible new screenings to talk about this week, we’re actually at a bit of an ends with which ones to cover.
For example – we can’t exactly overload you with horror movies, but we still really want to shout about Brian De Palma’s original Carrie returning to the BFI on Tuesday, and Lloyd Kaufman and his Troma cult hit in-the-making Return to Nuke ‘Em High heading over to the Prince Charles Cinema this Saturday. Not to mention Mel Brooks’ legendary comedy classic Young Frankenstein, which is back big and loud all over the city on Wednesday. Hell, even the Ellen Page-starring Flatliners remake, also out this week, looks good enough to give a shout out to. So there we go, here’s the best of the rest.
1408 (BFI Southbank on Wednesday 27th September at 8:50pm)
With both the unveiling of the latest big-budget adaptation of Stephen King horror classic It this month, and the master writer himself turning 70 just a week ago, there’s already been an awful lot of King-related throwbacks. Arguably the most underrated of all the King adaptations though. is Mikael Håfström’s 2007 stab at the fairly unknown short-story 1408, which gets a nod at the BFI this week, even playing from a glorious 35mm celluloid print. With the brunt of the horror here taking place almost entirely in the haunted hotel room of the movie’s title, and with John Cusack’s paranormal skeptic being the focus, there’s a surprising number of effective scares and one of the most uneasy atmospheres of any King-themed movie to date, The Shining included.
Goodbye Christopher Robin (across London from Friday 29th September)
And if all of these horror-driven antics from the past month have proven just a bit too much to handle, allow Friday to deliver the mother of all feel-good solutions. First on the roster of new releases for this week is a welcome dose of heartfelt drama in the form of Simon Curtis’s Goodbye Christopher Robin. A seriously treacle-heavy period epic, it tells the behind-the-scenes story of how famed writer A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson ditching his trademark ginger locks) came to create the world of Winnie the Pooh, inspired by his son and all his adjacent toys. And with support from the likes of Margot Robbie and Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, there’s an awful lot of talent behind this one, making for a jolly good time at the ol’ picture house, for sure.
Home Again (across London from Friday 29th September)
Next on the more light-hearted release-train is a Reese Witherspoon-starrer with a lot of love to give. The whole-hog filmmaking debut of Hallie Myers-Shyer, daughter of Hollywood’s golden-gal Nancy Myers (It’s Complicated, The Holiday), Home Again casts Witherspoon as a single mother trying to make ends-meet in LA, allowing two young brothers and their friend to shack up in her guest house, with all sorts of hilarious “hijinks” supposedly not much further behind. Myers fans will no doubt get a bigger kick out of this than most, but it’s definitely a safe-bet if you’re jonesing for something more light and breezy.
Killing Ground (across London from Friday 29th September)
Back to very much the opposite end of the genre divide this week though, Damien Power’s Sundance and FrightFest favourite ozploitation horror, finally sees a wider release across the city from Friday. Owning everything from split timelines to a sensationally dark moral core, Killing Ground is about as grubby and cleverly nasty as modern horror gets. The story of a young couple facing off against a pair of psychotic outback hunters, it nails a pitch-black tone from very early on and refuses to ever let up, all the way through to a total brain-melter of a final shot. Not one for all by any stretch, but from a technical standpoint, an incredible piece of work.
Wes Anderson: The Collected Works (Prince Charles Cinema, Saturday 30th September, 9pm)
This one might be cheating a little but, hey, if we can squeeze 8 films into a single post we’re definitely going to give it a try. If you already have Saturday night plans, cancel them. Just trust us. For one night and one night only, fan-favourite cinema the PCC in Leicester Square is lining up every single Wes Anderson movie ever made, from 1996’s Bottle Rocket all the way through to the Oscar-winning Grand Budapest Hotel, one after the other, all night. And considering there’s not a single bad film in there, we’d call that a pretty good deal. Just make sure you stock up on caffeine.
…and one for luck:
Baa Baa Land (Prince Charles Cinema on Wednesday 27th September, 11:45am)
Baa Baa Land’s own producers are already calling it “the dullest movie ever made”, and based on the given descriptions alone, we can kind of see why. It’s literally just 480 solid minutes of slow-motion footage of sheep. That’s 8 hours of non-stop sheep grazing, sheep sleeping and maybe even a bit of sheep running too. But we don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves. Funded by Calm.com (a meditation app for smartphones), it’s being pegged as the ultimate insomnia cure, and an escape from the stress of everyday life. Either way, all 8 hours of it will be shown at the PCC from this Wednesday morning, so drop in if you fancy a little mid-afternoon snooze. Or, y’know, if you just really like sheep.
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