NEW FILM: FRANCES HA
There are shades of ‘70s-era Woody Allen to this black-and-white, low-budget latest from The Squid and the Whale director Noah Baumbach. Mumblecore regular Greta Gerwig puts in one of her best performances to date as Frances, a down-on-her-luck New York dancer whose best friend has decided to move out and who stumbles from awkward moment to awkward moment, injecting renewed charm and energy to the now-staple “quirky” indie character. Brimming with genuine comedy and bittersweet pathos, Frances Ha shows there’s life in the rambling, chatty US indie yet.
Screening at London’s BFI Southbank on Wednesday 24 July, and out on UK general release on Friday 26 July.
DOCUMENTARY: THE CELLULOID CLOSET
From censorship of the love that dare not speak its name to damning stereotypes, Hollywood’s representation of queer characters was explored by Vito Russo in his seminal ‘80s book The Celluloid Closet. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman bring the book to life in this engaging 1995 doc, in which industry figures and celebs discuss their experiences. Movie footage features large – from the steamy vampirism of Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger to William Friedkin’s leather-bar thriller Cruising and Hitchcock’s Rope, in which two aesthetes commit murder as an intellectual experiment.
Screening at London’s BFI Southbank on Saturday 20 July.
CULT FILM: FORBIDDEN ZONE
This cult 1982 musical midnight movie from director Richard Elfman is based on stage performances by New Wave band the Mystic Kinghts of the Oingo Boingo. Members of the band appear along with dwarf star Herve Villechaize, John Waters film actress Susan Tyrell, Warhol superstar Viva and performance artist duo The Kipper Kids. Slated as offensive by many, the onslaught of high-drama mentalism takes place in an alternate dimension of drug-peddling pimps, topless princesses, despotic midgets and Satan himself.
Late-night screening at the Rio cinema in Dalston, London on Saturday 20 July.
FESTIVAL: NEW HORIZONS, WROCLAW
The New Horizons Film Festival in the Polish city of Wroclaw has gained a rep as one of the most forward-thinking European cinema fests, with its crop of fresh new features committed to bold innovation as well as art installations and live music gigs. This year’s 13th edition will also show a retrospective of French neo-baroque directors from Leos Carax to Jean-Jacques Beineix who drew on advertising and fashion in the 80s; a Swiss music docs selection; and a retro cyberpunk midnight-movie strand of flicks with sexy cyborgs and streets awash with acid rain.
The festival runs from July 18 to 28 in Wroclaw, Poland.