Angels, atheists and humanoid robots – October reigns supreme. Milana Vujkov, marketing manager at Picturehouse Central, cherrypicks just a few highlights from the month ahead.
Everything you always suspected about backroom politicking under moustached dictators comes true in The Death Of Stalin. Emmy award-winning, Oscar-nominated genius Armando Iannucci takes on the Politburo and 1950s Russia from a funny-bone angle, and rocks them until all your bones rattle.
Stalin dies. This comes as a complete surprise to everyone. His Oz-like powers still keep his entourage in thrall – a motley crew of infantile, sinister back-stabbers, toxic toddlers with executive powers. Their pick’n’mix of Anglo-American accents combined with a thoroughly Russian disposition adds a strange sweetness to the pitch black proceedings. Also, good to see General Zhukov, the guy that actually beat Hitler, get some cinema love. Far overdue.
At Picturehouse Central we’ll be welcoming director Armando Iannuci for a Q&A hosted by Francine Stock. Fri 20 Oct, 6.30
Previews across Picturehouse Cinemas take place on Thu 12 Oct ahead of its release on Fri 20 Oct.
October is all about politics. And politics is all about passion. These run high in Sally Potter’s The Party – a film about both Ps which made me think of Churchill’s quip about Russia: “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” And there is nothing more unknown than the human heart.
Kicking off with the proverbial Chekhov’s gun, it’s not Russia, it’s modern Britain, and a group of friends assemble to celebrate the hostess’s newly minted ministerial appointment in the shadow cabinet. Simmering secrets burst forth in a crescendo of the hilarious and the macabre. It’s a chamber piece with a ticking bomb underneath. And it’s delicious.
The Party is in cinemas from Fri 13 Oct
The unforgettable experience of watching Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time: it took my insides out, twisted my DNA a notch, made the personal collective, and the collective personal. Changed the function film had in my life – it was not an escape any more – it became an epiphany. From cave man to star-child via divine/alien intervention, the pitfalls of the spiritual entering the organic, the possibilities… It’s all there in images that will remain seared in my retina till my dying day.
The Angel himself appears to talk about his work and his iconic turn in Wim Wenders’s lyrical masterpiece, a profoundly human, visually majestic meditation on love, loss and eternity. The winged man resides in the skies above Berlin, the silent witness to people’s innermost turmoils and thoughts, living his eternal existence in peace, until he meets a beautiful circus acrobat, and falls in love. Giving up his wings for his heart, Bruno Ganz gives it his all.
Bruno Ganz Retrospective at Picturehouse Central: A treasure trove of gems, from Nosferatu to Downfall – each glowing with Ganz’s inimitable mix of the gentlest touch, calm amidst the storm, and overpowering intensity.
The story of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is the best of detective stories. May 1927 was the last time Lang’s original version was shown in Berlin, after which key scenes were cut, and apparently stashed away, until they were found, 80 years later, in the dusty archives of the Buenos Aires’ Museo del Cine.
The perfect backdrop for a film that predicts the future we are living in terrifying detail: severe stratification of society, the fragile bubble of first-world utopias, dazed and confused masses of humanity rushing to extend their shrinking time – growing more mechanical by the minute, melded with their machines, enslaved and disconnected. A dark fairy-tale, indeed.
90th anniversary screenings of Metropolis take place at select Picturehouses on Thu 9 Nov.