DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
An elegant, warmly human portrait of the man many consider to be the world’s greatest sushi chef: 85-year-old Jiro Ono, who’s been honing his craft since the age of ten. From octopus-kneading to rice-dealer secrets, we see the exacting perfectionism that’s led to his restaurant (a humble-looking ten-seater in a Tokyo subway station) winning three prestigious Michelin stars. Released on 11 January.
TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Neighbouring Sounds
What releases are we holding out for this year? High on the list is boldly innovative Brazilian film Neighbouring Sounds, the directing debut of Kleber Mendonca Filho. Set in Recife, one of the most violent cities in Brazil, it turns on the heightening atmosphere of fear in a gated community after private security guards are brought in, and uses sound brilliantly to create its architecture of creeping paranoia. Picked up by Artificial Eye, it’s set for mid-year release in the UK.
OLD FILM OF THE WEEK: The Fearless Vampire Killers
Following on the heels of Repulsion’s success, The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) is a stylish spoof of Hammer-style vampire films, and was director Roman Polanski’s first chance to go lavish set-wise with a large budget. He hooked up with former wife Sharon Tate (murdered the next year by the Mansons) during the production. She plays tavern-keeper daughter Sarah Sagal, who’s kidnapped by a vampire lord. It screens at London’s BFI Southbank on 13 and 16 January.
NEW FILM OF THE WEEK: What Richard Did
Director Lenny Abrahamson’s stark, brilliantly naturalistic suspense drama stars talented newcomer Jack Reynor as a privileged, likeable Dublin youth. His future seems golden – until jealousy over his new girlfriend’s ex prompts a shocking, unpremeditated act. A sobering study of what we all might be capable of. Out on 11 January.
EVENT OF THE WEEK: Breton "Surrounded" Live
The London Short Film Festival continues this weekend, with a live cinema event from five-piece South London DIY arts collective of musicians and filmmakers Breton a highlight. They’ll be bringing their paranoia-infused electronic soundscapes (for a taster, check their 2012 debut album Other People’s Problems) to accompany an hour of eclectic film at BFI Southbank on 11 January.