To say that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in cinemas with a huge weight of expectation is something of an understatement.
Even in normal circumstances, following up a film which was both a box office smash and a genuine cultural moment would have been tough – but the tragic death of lead actor Chadwick Boseman in August 2020 means the long-awaited sequel must also sensitively handle the loss of its much-loved star.
This week’s return to Wakanda is bound to be an emotional one – but with director Ryan Coogler back behind the camera, Boseman’s legacy is surely in good hands.
There’s also a chance to meet a gang of homegrown heroes as City Screen plays host to the Bradford Movie Makers – Britain’s oldest amateur filmmaking society, and now the stars of feelgood new documentary A Bunch of Amateurs.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
In mourning for the loss of their king T’Challa, the nation of Wakanda must rally to face a new adversary in this highly-anticipated follow-up to the hit 2018 original.
As T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and her family struggle to come to terms with his death, they face a fresh challenge in the form of Namor (Tenoch Huerta), leader of the undersea nation of Talocan, whose existence has been threatened by T’Challa’s decision to reveal Wakanda to the wider world.
Intriguing additions to the cast this time around include Michaela Coel as a rebellious member of Wakandan militia the Dora Milaje, and newcomer Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, a genius inventor set to follow in Tony Stark’s footsteps.
A Bunch of Amateurs
This documentary about Bradford Movie Makers, Britain’s oldest amateur filmmaking club, has been winning hearts and minds across the country since it bagged the Audience Award at Sheffield DocFest this summer.
Following the exploits of the group’s ageing membership as they pull out all the stops to keep their beloved club from going under, the film celebrates the society as both a creative outlet and a loving community that provides enduring friendship and support for its members.
The trailer alone is enough to put a smile on your face, and the enthusiastic response from audiences and critics alike – Mark Kermode is a big fan – suggests that this will be a fun and uplifting night out.
Best of all, some of the club’s members will be present for a Q&A after the screening – so you can ask them just what it was that inspired their Halloween film, The Haunted Turnip…
Back on the big screen in a new 4K 40th anniversary reissue, 1982 British comedy-drama The Draughtsman’s Contract is showing daily at City Screen this week.
One of the first films by Peter Greenaway (best known for The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover), this country house mystery is seen as one of the controversial director’s more conventional works, so ought to make a good starting point if he’s one of those you’ve always meant to get round to.
Set in the late 17th century, the story sees Virginia Herbert (Janet Suzman) commission artist Mr. Neville (Anthony Higgins) to produce a series of drawings of her country house as a gift for her neglectful husband – a contract he agrees to in exchange for sexual favours.
City Screen’s season of films by Belgian social realist directing duo the Dardenne brothers continues on Sun 13th with 2016’s The Unknown Girl, which sees a guilt-ridden doctor (Adèle Haenel, Portrait of a Lady on Fire) set out to solve the mystery of a young woman who is found dead just outside her surgery.
Showing at City Screen on Tues 15th, acclaimed new Chinese drama Return to Dust – hailed by The Observer as ‘a gorgeous, quietly affecting film’ – follows a couple forced into an arranged marriage who develop an unexpected bond.
Fans of stop-motion animation maestros Laika Studios are well-served by this week’s family-friendly offerings, with Cineworld showing 2014 caper The Boxtrolls on Sat 12th and Sun 13th (tickets £2.50), while City Screen have their most recent release Missing Link on Sat 12th (tickets £3.00); over at Vue, there’s a more toddler-friendly choice in the form of Hey Duggee at the Movies 4 (Sat 12th/Sun 13th, £2.49).
The young and the young at heart, meanwhile, can enjoy Laika’s 2016 fantasy adventure Kubo and the Two Strings in City Screen’s Culture Shock strand on Mon 14th.
Over at Everyman, it’s time to suit up and head back to 1950s Brooklyn, as their Throwback season screens Martin Scorsese’s gangster classic Goodfellas on Sun 13th.
On Thurs 17th, Everyman have a preview screening of darkly comic horror The Menu, starring Ralph Fiennes as a celebrity chef whose culinary creations might make Heston Blumenthal blanch – in keeping with the theme, the film will be ‘paired’ with a bar of Green & Black’s and a new organic Earl Grey gin cocktail.
And staying on a foodie tip (sort of), we finish with news of the latest rock doc from a man once memorably described by his brother as ‘a man with a fork in a world of soup’ – showing at Cineworld, Everyman and Vue on Thurs 17th, Liam Gallagher – Knebworth 22 captures the Oasis legend’s return to the site of the band’s legendary 1996 gigs.
Half the world away from his glory days, perhaps, but some might say it’s still worth a watch.