The title of this week’s big new release is a four-letter word that’s likely to have been most people’s response to watching the news at any point over the last couple of years.
Jordan Peele’s succinctly-titled new sci-fi horror Nope (why, what did you think I meant?) sees terror descend from the skies – but can it match the dizzy heights of Get Out and Us?
Plus Where Is Anne Frank breathes new life into its heroine’s story, and City Screen’s 90s teen movie season hosts a big screen flop that inspired a TV classic…
This eagerly awaited third film from Jordan Peele sees the horror director channelling 1950s sci-fi and 1970s Steven Spielberg in the tale of an unidentified menace lurking in the California sky.
Peele reunites with his Get Out lead Daniel Kaluuya for this spooky new tale, which sees Kaluuya and Keke Palmer play siblings who stumble upon a mysterious force which seems to affect both human and animal behaviour.
And since this sounds like one of those films you’re best off knowing as little as possible about going in, I’ll leave it there – suffice to say that the Independent’s five-star review hails it as ‘funny, weird as hell and thrillingly original’.
Where Is Anne Frank
Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman finds a new way to tell the story of Anne Frank with this animated tale, which juxtaposes Anne’s story with the exploits of Kitty, the imaginary girl to whom she addressed her writings, who has magically come to life in the Amsterdam of the near future.
Believing Anne to still be alive, the spirited Kitty goes on a search to find her friend, making discoveries about the strange modern world she finds herself in – and about Anne’s place in it.
The idea for the modern setting came to Folman – himself a child of Holocaust survivors – after he was approached by the Anne Frank Foundation to make a film which told Anne’s tale afresh for young audiences, with the director making it his mission to prevent her life from becoming ‘a biblical mythology story’.
Fadia’s Tree plus live Q&A
This documentary by artist and filmmaker Sarah Beddington centres on Fadia Loubani, a Palestinian refugee who sets Beddington on a mission to find an ancient mulberry tree which holds great emotional significance for Fadia’s family.
Stranded in a Lebanese refugee camp, Fadia asks Beddington to go on a journey to her home village of Sa’Sa’ to locate the mulberry tree which grew next to her grandfather’s house – with the two women’s shared quest prompting reflections on freedom of movement, exile and the hope of return.
Sarah Beddington will be present at City Screen for a Q&A session after the screening.
Summer holiday round-up
“A joke about flatulence is a lot funnier when it’s essential to the plot.”
I know what you’re thinking – Stanley Kubrick talking about the making of 2001, right? Yes, scholars are still searching for that legendary “I’d leave it for a few minutes if I were you, Dave” deleted scene…But this solid-gold screenwriting tip is actually taken from the Washington Post’s write-up of one of the best-reviewed kids’ films of the year, animal heist caper The Bad Guys, which is your budget viewing choice at both City Screen and Cineworld.
You can catch it at Cineworld throughout the week (tickets £2.50) and City Screen from Mon 15th – Thurs 18th (£3.00) – Cineworld also have budget price screenings of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Weds 17th and Thurs 18th (£2.50).
City Screen’s Kids’ Club screening on Sat 13th is prehistoric footballing comedy Early Man (£3.00), while there’s more Aardman Animation hijinks on offer at Vue with daily screenings of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (£2.49) and the Shaun the Sheep Movie (standard price, £6.99 – £9.99).
Over at Everyman meanwhile, there are a couple of Disney favourites in the seasonally inappropriate form of Frozen (Mon 15th, Weds 17th) and the original animated version of The Lion King (Tues 16th, Thurs 18th) – tickets for both are £10 for adults and £5 for kids.
Stakes at the ready as City Screen’s 90s teen movie season arrives at a film that is no-one’s idea of a classic, but deserves grade II heritage status on account of providing the foundation for the greatest TV show of all time.
I speak, of course, of 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and before you say anything, let me ask you this: does The Sopranos have a musical episode with a song and dance routine about a mustard stain? Exactly, case closed) – a film which tanked on release but paved the way for Sarah Michelle Gellar’s glorious reign a few years later.
Obviously we’d all have a better time if they just screened the season two finale instead, but the curious can catch Kristy Swanson’s origi-Buffy and Donald Sutherland’s proto-Giles at City Screen on Mon 15th.
You can also see another early take on an iconic character a day earlier at City Screen when The American Friend screens on Sun 14th as part of their Wim Wenders season.
This 1977 film noir stars Dennis Hopper as Patricia Highsmith’s scheming con artist Tom Ripley, the role most associated for modern audiences with Matt Damon – here he’s up to his old tricks in Hamburg, manipulating a dying cancer patient into becoming an assassin. Such a nice bloke…
City Screen’s Tuesday evening season of summer romances continues on Tues 16th with A Bigger Splash, a sun-dappled psychological drama (from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino) which stars Tilda Swinton as an ageing rock star whose Sicilian retreat with her boyfriend is interrupted by the arrival of her flamboyant ex and his precocious daughter.
Thurs 18th sees the next instalment of City Screen’s Aesthetica Film Club with six animated shorts for adults based around the theme of human connections – a kid-friendly animation selection follows next week.
Anime fans can catch the latest instalment of the cult Dragon Ball fantasy saga on Weds 17th and Thurs 18th, as Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero screens at Cineworld, Everyman and Vue – while City Screen have another showing of mother-daughter anime drama Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko on Sat 13th.
There’s more fantasy adventure at Everyman on Weds 17th as the Lord of the Rings saga reaches its end with The Return of the King – while over at Vue on Sat 13th, Michelle Yeoh helps Pierce Brosnan’s Bond take on everything everywhere all at once in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies .
And finally – never seen the film (which really does sound quite mad), but always had a soft spot for the song. RIP, Olivia Newton-John.