By Ashley Clark
It’s an unusual week with only one major new release coming to the Ritzy Cinema: Cabin In The Woods, a horror from writer-director Drew Goddard and writer-producer Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame). It’s a tough one to write about for two major reasons, 1) There’s a huge plot twist that, if revealed, could potentially destroy a full appreciation of the film (see The Usual Suspects, Fight Club etc) and 2) I haven’t actually seen it yet. However, what I do know is that it’s arrived with a slew of fantastic reviews, and is said to be a paradigm shifter in the horror genre. Don’t miss it. I certainly won’t. Then we can all talk about it next week, k?
There’s still a raft of recently released fare screening at the Ritzy, the pick of which is Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Turkish procedural Once Upon A Time In Anatolia. It’s a slow, intense work about a bedraggled group of officials (policemen, prosecutor, doctor, suspects) traipsing across the Anatolian steppe in search of a corpse. The film represents a cinematic temporal/sensory experience like no other in recent memory; when it finishes, you share the exhaustion of the downtrodden group of characters. It’s like being trapped in the cinema all night long, in a good way. Fans of The Wire and Gomorrah – two other works of art that explored the corrosive nature of institutions in a downbeat, measured fashion – will find much to admire here.
Also still showing are Aki Kaurismaki’s lovely Le Havre, Norwegian corporate raiding thriller Headhunters, Sean Penn as a Robert Smith-a-like rock star Nazi hunter in This Must Be The Place, a kid with a bike in The Kid With A Bike, Werner Herzog posing some tough questions in compelling Death Row doc Into The Abyss, and many more.
As usual, there’s a cracking selection of repertory fare to choose from. If you’re free on Saturday afternoon, don’t miss a rare screening of Perry Henzell’s classic 70s Jamaican drama The Harder They Come, which boasts an amazing soundtrack and a great performance from singer Jimmy Cliff as Ivan, a “country bwoy” increasingly out of his depth on the mean streets of Kingston. Other highlights include showings of A Streetcar Named Desire, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and David Lean’s Oliver Twist.
Though we love it so, the Ritzy is not the only place to catch a film in Brixton, so before I leave you, a tip of the hat to Loughborough Junction’s intimate Whirled Cinema, which this week screens moving Norwegian drug addiction drama Oslo, 31st August, and the chillingly funny low-budget Brit flick Black Pond (featuring Chris Langham and Simon Amstell).