Film news

Scandinavian smut and strawberry and chocolate give this week's film highlights an erotic twist

This week's film news was brought to you in conjunction with the excellent homestreaming site MUBI. Sign up for a month's free membership at MUBI here!


From the heyday of Scandanavian smut comes this double-bill from Sweden’s Klubb Super 8 and London’s Erotic Film Society, presented as part of Scalarama. First up is Sweden: Heaven and Hell, a shockumentary from Luigi Scattini designed to deliver prurient satisfaction along with the self-righteous outrage of a tut-tutting narrator at Sweden's liberal attitudes toward sex in the '60s and '70s. From porn director Mac Ahlberg, Justine and Juliette updates the Marquis de Sade's infamous tale, setting it in a '70s Stockholm of kitsch decor and adding a guest appearance by Deep Throat's Harry Reems to the fable of two sisters pursuing opposing paths of virtue and vice. Screening at the Horse Hospital on September 6.


The first UK retrospective of Borderline Films, the lauded NYC-based production collective run by filmmakers Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin and Josh Mond, will see three of their movies screened with the directors in attendance for Q&As, and four episodes of Durkin's Southcliffe, a television series about a market town spate of shootings. On the bill is Martha Marcy May Marlene, Durkin's tense debut about a cult escapee, and the first two Campos features: Afterschool, in which a prep school student accidentally captures two deaths on camera; and bleakly stylish Simon Killer, about a narcissistic American graduate who gets in over his head after shacking up with a prostitute in Paris. From 30 August to 2 September at London's Hackney Picturehouse.


Director Shane Carruth again delivers with Upstream Colour, the hotly anticipated follow-up to his low-budget debut Primer. The boldly ambitious, atmospheric and fragmentary sci-fi sees the life of a creative professional (Mumblecore queen Amy Seimetz) quickly fall apart after she’s drugged by a thief and left with a mysterious worm in her body, which also moves through plant life and pigs. Her trauma draws her close to Jeff (Carruth himself) who’s experienced something equivalent. Out in the UK on Friday 30 August.


Filminute, the international one-minute film festival, is returning for its eighth edition from September 1 to 30. It challenges filmmakers from around the world to come up with a brilliant idea they can execute on-screen in exactly 60 seconds. Accessible online, the 25 shortlisted selections are there to be watched and rated by you, with the best netting a People's Choice award. A jury also decides a prize - which last year went to the UK's Ant Blades for his comic animation Chop Chop, which showed every second counts when there's a guillotine beheading scheduled. Get involved at


With Russia's crackdown on LGBT rights, the pressures of being gay under repressive political rule could unfortunately not be more topical. Our MUBI pick of the week is one of our curated 1993 cult classics, Cuban director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea's funny, humane Strawberry and Chocolate - the first Cuban film to have had an overtly gay character. Set in '70s Havana, it sees a complicated friendship develop between a cultured and skeptical gay artist (Jorge Perugorría), who is considered dangerous by the Castro regime, and naive student David (Vladimir Cruz), who's been sent to spy on him. Available to watch on MUBI.

This week's film news was brought to you in conjunction with the excellent homestreaming site MUBI. Sign up for a month's free membership at MUBI here!