An internationally-acclaimed doc, a legendary classic reborn, and Shia LaBeouf with a silly hair-cut - September is hotting up big time.
Assuming that everyone’s still alive and breathing after last week’s positively face-melting mother! – we’ve got a whole new round of must-sees from the London film world to share. And trust us when we say that September is showing precisely zero signs of slowing down any time soon. Even if Shia’s tennis-themed 80s antics aren’t really your thing, we’ve got ultra campy blockbuster entertainment, acclaimed Spanish dark comedy, and an old-school 70mm presentation that’s guaranteed to pop the eyes straight out of your head. Now that’s entertainment that no amount of Netflix subscriptions can muster.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (across London from Wednesday 20th September)
Considering the surprise and really quite startling success of the first Kingsman movie a few years back in 2015, it’s no real shock that Kick-Ass and Stardust legend Matthew Vaughn signed up to helm another just as fast. The globe-trotting sequel sees Taron Egerton’s chav-turned-Bond-clone Eggsy heading stateside, to team up with Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and an even more expansive cast of Hollywood A-listers, for plenty of the usual running, gunning and Roger Moore-esque, smooth-as-butter one-liners. And if it’s even half as much fun as the original, expect to be quoting this one all the way home.
Borg vs. McEnroe (across London from Friday 22nd September)
The tennis event of the century is now an appropriately titled, Scandinavian-backed festival drama, apparently. The explosive rivalry between sporting legends Björn Borg and John McEnroe reached fever pitch at the 1980 Wimbledon Championship, when the two finally faced off in a grand slam final often touted as “the greatest match ever played”. So naturally Janus Metz’s biopic (his first narrative feature, off the back of his Cannes favourite doc Armadillo) charts the pair’s journey to that fateful afternoon, serving Swedish star-on-the-rise Sverrir Gudnason against America’s favourite weirdo Shia LaBeouf, and proving that this one isn’t just for sports fans after all.
Lawrence of Arabia [70mm] (BFI Southbank from Friday 22nd September)
Away from the general releases and towards a golden oldie now, and David Lean’s 7-time Oscar winner stands as pretty much the very definition of the term. One of the most universally appreciated bits of cinema in history, this 4-hour war epic might be the sort of thing your grandparents would throw on the TV every Easter Sunday, but Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen is a very different story. And with the BFI screening the classic on large-format 70mm celluloid film, it really has to be seen to be believed. Just make sure you bring a packed-lunch and make ample use of that interval.
Almost Heaven (Picturehouse Central from Friday 22nd September)
Time to mix things up with a documentary – and what a screamer we have coming this week. Editor-turned doc director Carol Salter digs deep into the Chinese death industry, with this day-in-the-life story of 17-year-old Yin Ling, who’s training to be a mortician in one of China’s largest funeral homes. It’s a fairly low-key affair that shines a light on something that’s almost guaranteed to have never ever crossed your mind. But Salter’s keen eye and devotion to her subject has left us with a super insightful little film that deserves a look in this week. And if you hold on past the daily screenings at Picturehouse Central, there’s a few select Q&A opportunities coming up in Crouch End and Hackney too.
The Bar (Regent Street Cinema, Saturday 23rd September at 8:30pm)
And finally, to round out this week on an even more bizarre note, the London Spanish Film Festival brings Álex de la Iglesia’s totally unique, ultra dark and genre-infused style back to London. The Bar first took a bow at FrightFest a few weeks back, and now its bloody little slice-of-life thriller returns to the city at the wonderful Regent Street Cinema this weekend. Sold as what is essentially Tarantino meets Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, Iglesia’s comedy-horror finds a troop of patrons trapped in their favourite bar, when one of their own is shot and killed just feet away from the entrance. And if you happen to have caught any of Iglesia’s other cult hits like Witching and Bitching or The Last Circus, you’ll know just how distinct his movies usually turn out. An absolute must for European cinema fans.
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