Viddy well, dear reader. Viddy well.
I’ve tried again to give you all a wide and varied selection of films this month, from super heroics, action comedies, musical biographies, international dramas, a previously banned classic, and a prequel to one of the greatest TV series ever made.
But I’ll focus on a couple of the ‘smaller’ films that may be overlooked but are in fact very interesting and I think a lot of you may like if you give them a chance.
‘Wildfire’ is a tense drama based around the Irish border, about two sisters that reunite after one disappears for a year. This reunion reignites painful memories of their youth, but also sees them develop back into the close pair of siblings facing the harsh realities that the world throws at them.
As they investigate their troubled past, they start to stir up the true feelings throughout the town, hidden behind a false veneer of cordialness.
Nika McGuigan and Nora-Jane Noone play the sisters brilliantly, but there is a real tragedy behind the film, as Nika McGuigan unfortunately passed before the film could go on general release.
Beautifully shot, and also written, by Cathy Brady. It may be her first feature, but it’s not the first time she’s worked with these actors, having directed Nora-Jane in the short films ‘Small Change’ and ‘Wasted’ and Nika in the series ‘Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope’.
Also from Ireland is the writer/director Mark Cousins, who discovered recently that he has problems with his vision. As he prepares himself for corrective surgery, he contemplates how important looking is to society and how vital it is to himself and his role as a director.
Through ‘The Story of Looking’ he shares with us the pleasures and pain he experiences, through a kaleidoscope of simple, yet contradictory complex, imagery; from nature itself, various cultures throughout the world and back to his hometown of Edinburgh during the lockdown.
You may know of Mark’s other works we’ve shown such as ‘The Eyes of Orson Wells’ and ‘Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise’. He has been a prolific film maker as well as author, his knowledge of film is extraordinary. So, I hope you come and give his very personal film the attention it deserves.
Now, if you wondered ‘Why does Kevin’s introduction sound familiar?’ it’s because we’re having a one-off screening of a 4K restored of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ at the end of the month.
This controversial Kubrick classic is 50 years old, but its messages are worryingly still topical today. Along with a style, and soundtrack, all its own. I urge everyone to book their tickets fast, as it’s a film that deserves to be seen on the big screen in this new remastered glory.
Delivering the glory of Marvel Studios we’ve got action-galore with ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’, the Studio’s 25th title; and Gerald Butler goes bad as a lethal assassin in tense-drama ‘Copshop’.
Get set to meet an old friend, or enemy, as taking us back to the origins of the one-and-only Tony Soprano, the 2021 American crime drama ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ delivers a prequal to the hugely popular TV mafia series ‘The Sopranos’.
Escape the mob world and be transported to the Tibetan plateau of the 1980s in ‘Balloon’, a lyrical and beguiling film from one of the world’s finest directors, Pema Tseden; and we celebrate a voice like no other as ‘Respect’ presents the rise of fame for superstar Aretha Franklin.
- Kevin Smith, An Lanntair Cinema Programmer