This week's best new films, trailers and screenings as selected by our film/deputy editor Hannah Lack
TRAILER OF THE WEEK: John Carpenter’s They Live
Low budget but high concept, John Carpenter’s Reagan-era satire on 80s consumerism features one of the most bizarre fight scenes in film history with wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper trying to force his adversary to put a pair of sunglasses on. Turns out they’re ‘reality glasses’, that reveal the upper echelons of society are actually an alien race controlling us through subliminal messages to “consume” and “obey”. Slavoj Zizek deconstructs the film in his idiosyncratically brilliant way in his latest documentary The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, but you can see his source material on Monday night’s screening at the The Alibi Film Club.
Monday 18 February
SHORT FILMS OF THE WEEK: Tony Oursler Film Screenings at Tate Modern
After projecting Bowie’s face onto a rag doll for the recent Where Are We Now video, more of Oursler’s eerie work will be screening at Tate Modern this Saturday. While the American artist’s phantasmagoric immersive installation The Influence Machine hovers over the gallery’s riverfront, soundtracked by a glass harmonica, inside a programme of Oursler’s single-channel videos will screen, fusing “strange dream landscapes, psychodramatic narratives, grotesque expressionist theatre and pop-culture tropes.”
The Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern on Saturday 16 February
EVENT OF THE WEEK: Interior. Leather Bar
William Friedkin’s 1980 film Cruising, in which Al Pacino plays an undercover cop infiltrating New York’s S&M leather scene to investigate a case, gets an update this week. Inspired by the 40 minutes of more explicit material that were cut from Friedkin’s original to avoid a restricted rating, James Franco and Travis Matthews have decided to restage the missing footage, unveiling the results, Interior. Leather Bar, at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday and Sunday.
Sat 16, Cinemax 7; Sun 17 Cubix 9, Berlin
NEW FILM OF THE WEEK: Side by Side
We forgive Keanu Reeves all the dross he’s starred in recently, because it turns out he’s been hanging out with the likes of Scorsese, Lynch, Von Trier, Nolan and Soderberg to produce this cinephile’s dream of a masterclass on the past, present and future of filmmaking. Reeves is an amiable guide, taking us deep behind the scenes on movie-sets, film labs and editing bays. It has been said that this comprehensive film is worth a year of film school – we’re not sure what that says about film school, but it’s an inspiring 98 minutes. A panel discussion follows the screening at the Curzon on Wed 20.
Out on Feb 15