The kinos may be currently saturated with Jedis and evil Sith lords, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other films to see…
The main release of the week is Cats, which we shamelessly missed. Full disclosure: the press screening was – rather surprisingly – in the German dubbed version. That wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem, even if any form of dubbing is never fun, no matter the language. However, even the songs in this cinematic adaptation were dubbed. Hearing “Memories” belted out in German and watching Dame Judy Dench unsettlingly covered in fur and Deutsch sprechen just doesn’t feel right. As for the film itself – who knows? It might be brilliant. But judging by the creepy trailers and the fact that, as good as the musical is, Cats doesn’t have a sodding story to speak of, this has all the hallmarks of an utter cat-astrophe.
Awful feline puns aside, there’s the rather underwhelming hijacking drama 7500 released this week, which features a strong central performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt but doesn’t quite stick the landing. You’d do well to check out Rémi Benzançon’s Le Mystère Henri Pick (The Henri Pick Mystery) instead. Less a whodunit and more a whowroteit, it playfully merges suspense and comedy, and is a fantastic end-of-year gem. We talked to French director Rémi Benzançon about his film, his tonal balancing act, as well as the ever-changing role of the art critic.
After the Tolkien marathon last weekend, Babylon are inviting us in the final days of this decade to boldly go where no man has gone before… They’ve organised the ultimate end of year Star Trek Kino celebration, with all the original films (from 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture to 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis), digitally remastered, in OmU, screening over two days (Dec 28 and 29 – starting on Saturday at 10:30). As if that weren’t enough to stun a Trekkie, there are two free breakfasts and prize giveaways included with the marathon ticket.
Don’t miss out on next week’s Mongay (Dec 30): the much-awaited Judy Garland biopic, Judy, starring Renée Zellweger, is heading straight for Oscar glory and Mongay are doing an advanced screening (Kino International, 22:00). Bring your singing voice and all the tissues.
That’s it for this year, folks. But, looking ahead to the very beginning of 2020, make sure to check out our full preview of Unknown Pleasures. The two-week festival starts on January 1 (through Jan 16), and what better way to start the year than with a fantastic showcase of recent US indies?
Happy holidays and see you in 2020!