Cut & Wrapped

Carmen Gray on this week's best new films from documentaries to the latest trailers

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DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: Chelsea on the Rocks

Abel Ferrara takes on a subject with an even more crackbrained reputation than his own in his first doc since the '70s - Manhattan's Chelsea Hotel, home to numerous troubled icons through the years. Nancy Spungen's stabbing in the room she shared with Sid Vicious is among recreated incidents, while interviews with recent residents (one is Dennis Hopper) mix with archival footage of past dwellers such as William S. Burroughs in the erratically rambling tribute. It screens at the Barbican on 12 February, along with footage of the hotel shot by artist Jonas Mekas. 

TRAILER OF THE WEEK: The Act of Killing

When Werner Herzog says a film's the most surreal and frightening he's seen in at least a decade, it's worth paying attention. The documentary in question sees director Joshua Oppenheimer persuade unrepentant, former members of the Indonesian death squads of the '60s, who were adulated for killing communists, to theatrically re-enact their violent crimes in elaborate, hyper-coloured scale - with astonishing results. Screening at the Berlin International Film Festival on 9, 10, 12, 14 February.

OLD FILM OF THE WEEK: Weekend

Okay, it’s only been out a couple of years, but Andrew Haigh’s brilliantly naturalistic, truthful debut about the days following a one-night stand in Nottingham between two gay guys (played superbly by Tom Cullen and Chris New) is fast on the road to becoming a low-fi Brit classic. If you missed the initial small release of the small-budget, downbeat urban romance, catch it on the big screen at London's BFI Southbank on February 10, 14 and 16.

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NEW FILM OF THE WEEK: No

Shot with a smeary, retro look to suit the world of '80s telly it's set in and buoyed up by its director's signature black wit, Pablo Larrain's latest stars  Gael Garcia Bernal as René, an ad-man called on to use his creative talents for politically subversive purposes during Chile's dark dictatorship years. When international pressure leads Pinochet to call for a referendum on his presidency, René’s charged with the "no" TV campaign. The last of Larrain's trilogy on the era, it's out in the UK on 8 February. 

 

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EVENT OF THE WEEK:  Vive Le Punk Anniversary Triple-Bill

The Horse Hospital marks its 20th anniversary with a triple-bill of renegade-spirited films: Vive Le Punk which documents The Chamber of Pop Culture's 1993 exhibition and features Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren talking in depth about their design, KarelReisz's 1959 depiction of working-class South London youth We Are the Lambeth Boys, and John Samson's legendary 1977 celebration of rubber, latex and leather fetishismDressing for Pleasure. At 7.30pm on 8 February at the Horse Hospital, London. 

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