For the first week of the year we look forward to the new Yves Saint Laurent documentary, the London Short Film Fest, and back at some stunning old trailers
DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: L’Amour Fou
Pierre Thoretton’s documentary is a personal portrait of Yves Saint Laurent, made after his 2008 death and narrated by the French fashion maestro’s lover and fellow art collector of 50 years, Pierre Bergé. Avoiding the sycophancy that’s often the domain of fashion icon docs, it charts the genesis of the psychologically unstable designer and former addict, who was said to be joyful only twice a year - on the days a new collection was shown. Screening at the ICA on January 9 and 10.
TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Another road movie with an existentialist message from the era of Easy Rider, Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop floundered at the box office on its 1971 release, but has since become a cult classic. With stark footage and minimal dialogue it’s set among the world of street-racing drifters. Decades before Gosling’s nameless Drive antihero, its characters are simply dubbed The Driver, The Mechanic, GTO and The Girl. The film is available on Criterion from 8 January.
OLD FILM OF THE WEEK: Repulsion
Catherine Deneuve stars as a Belgian manicurist with sexual hang-ups who bites her nails in this psychological horror from Roman Polanski, which was shot in London. Left alone in the Kensington apartment she shares with her sister, intense dream sequences and hallucinations mark her descent in this black-and-white classic – the first of the controversial Polish director’s apartment trilogy. Repulsion is re-released on 2 January as part of the BFI’s Polanski season.
NEW FILM OF THE WEEK: Hors Satan
Twinning a naturalistic style with supernatural events, French provocateur Bruno Dumont’s latest Hors Satan turns on the bond between a nameless drifter who seems to have mystical powers and the troubled young woman he brutally shields from unwanted sexual attention. A disturbing enigma, it leaves us never quite sure of the nature of the bizarre phenomena we’re witnessing. Out on 4 January.
FILM EVENT OF THE WEEK: London Short Film Festival
Presenting the best in UK short filmmaking talent, the London Short Film Festival kicks off this week, with strands including Fucked Up Love, Lo-Budget Mayhem, and experimental Leftfield and Luscious. The screening Elegies for Ideologies, hosted by Open City Docs Fest, gathers together shorts looking at the legacy or demise of the left’s ideals, from interviews with ex-GDR teachers to tragicomic clips of a socialist magician. The LSFF is on from January 4 to 13 at various London venues.