Cut & Wrapped: The Comedian, Meadows's Stone Roses doc and a Kubrick classic
NEW DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: The Stone Roses: Made of Stone
The first documentary from This Is England director Shane Meadows grew out of a phone call from Ian Brown, frontman of his all-time favourite band The Stone Roses, asking him to shoot their 2012 reunion tour. Keen to make up for missing their legendary Spike Island gig as a 17-year-old having dropped acid and given his ticket away in the street, Meadows easily taps into the atmosphere of expectation and catharsis that diehard fans experienced with the Roses resurrection after their 16-year hiatus. Archive material from the band's notorious beginnings is mixed with rehearsal and concert footage of their comeback gigs in Warrington and Manchester's Heaton Park. Out in the UK on Wednesday 5 June.
OLD FILM OF THE WEEK: Blow-Up
Stills from Blow-Up dominated a live-cinema show in Vienna a few years back by Kraftwerk's Karl Bartos - a visual trace of just how influential Michelangelo Antonioni's puzzling and unsettling mod masterpiece has been on some of our greatest pop-culture innovators. Set in '60s swinging London, it portrays the casually hedonistic but joyless lifestyle of a fashion photographer - a character inspired by David Bailey. After snapping a couple in the park and developing the negatives, he realises he may have unwittingly captured a murder - plunging us into the synthetic world's dilemma of how we can ever be sure of what we're seeing. Screening at London's ICA from 31 May to 2 June.
NEW FILM OF THE WEEK: The Comedian
Don't be fooled by the title - Tom Shkolnik's debut is an ultra-downbeat portrait of everyday angst in London, made real by its improvised naturalism. The stand-up pub comic in question is Ed (Edward Hogg), a rakish, prickly 30-something who by day sells cancer insurance in a call centre. An indecisive drifter, he reaches a fed-up crux amid office drudge and less-than-enthused responses to his "strange" stage routines. His personal relationships also hit a wall, after he hooks up with a young black artist on the night-bus (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), putting further strain on his close bond with straight flatmate Elisa (Elisa Lasowski) and the more-than-platonic feelings she has for him. Out in the UK on Friday 31 May.
TRAILER OF THE WEEK: A Clockwork Orange
Set in a dystopian future Britain, Stanley Kubrick's spectacular 1971 classic stars Malcolm McDowell as Alex, a delinquent whose hobbies include Beethoven and "a little of the old ultra-violence". Captured after an extreme crime spree with his gang of thugs or “droogs”, he's strapped to a chair with his eyelids propped upon and forced to watch graphic images as psychological aversion experimentation. Coldly stylised and viciously humorous, the social satire on morality and control sparked intense controversy, and was pulled from British distribution for almost three decades. Screening at London's Islington Vue on Monday 3 June as part of its Back in Vue season of cult classics.
DOUBLE-BILL OF THE WEEK: Hors Satan & Beyond the Hills
Naturalistic style meets religious fervour, strange phenomena and violence in this not-for-the-faint-of-heart double hit from two of Europe's most uncompromisingly confrontational arthouse directors. French provocateur Bruno Dumont's Hors Satan turns on the bond between a drifter who seems to have mystical powers and the troubled youth he brutally shields from unwanted sexual attention. Beyond the Hills, from Romania's Cristian Mungiu - whose stark depiction of Soviet-era abortion in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days won him a Palme d'Or -depicts the exorcism of a young woman at an Orthodox convent. The "Good and Evil Double Bill" screens at London's Rio Cinema on Sunday 2 June.