It’s a busy week to end January, with an eclectic batch of releases. And like every week, we’re here to guide you through the schedule…
The absolute highlight is the release of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, a charming and fiercely intelligent adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s forward-thinking novel. It’s a knock-out, and should be at the top of your viewing list. Two filmmaking veterans also make their return this week: Ken Loach delivers a harrowingly topical and emotionally punishing film about the realities of zero-hour contracts with Sorry We Missed You, while Terrence Malick returns to previous form with a WWII-set story of a conscientious objector in A Hidden Life. Both are well worth your time, but make sure you haven’t got a bad case of the winter blues – chirpy, these films are not.
Elsewhere, there’s Darkroom: Drops of Death from Berlin’s resident pioneer of gay rights cinema, Rosa Von Praunheim. Von Praunheim tackles the story of Dirk P, the darkroom serial killer that terrorized gay Berlin for a very short time in early 2012, with decent-to-mixed results. There’s also Mystify: Michael Hutchence, a well-made and insightful documentary about the late singer of INXS, and Countdown, a disposable cyberhorror flick that has its moments but never equals the films it cribs from.
Lastly, whatever you do, avoid Dolittle. It’s a deeply unfunny and charmless adventure film that sees Robert Downey Jr. and a stellar voice cast slumming it for an easy paycheck. We saw it so you don’t have to.
General releases aside, you’d do well to start booking tickets for Final Girls Berlin Film Festival’s fifth edition, which starts next week (Feb 6 through Feb 9). Held annually, with special events throughout the year, Final Girls is dedicated to horror films made by women and non-binary directors, scriptwriters and producers. Keep your eyes peeled for our full preview with all our top tips. Also of note is the 33rd edition of Transmediale, which opened two days ago and lasts for one month. This year’s instalment, “End to End”, focuses on communication in the digital society, and the Film & Video day – a programme of shorts and talks focusing on online video culture – starts today at HKW.
Happy screenings all!
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