A film appreciation and curation project dedicated to championing outstanding cinema

Friday night films

Point Blank
John Boorman
Lee Marvin plays Walker, the hard-boiled antihero whose existence is determined by his obsession with revenge and repayment after a double-crossing leaves him left for dead at Alcatraz prison. Upon his escape, Walker’s only means of expression is violence as he tramples his way through the urban jungle of sun-soaked Los Angeles in an attempt to track those who wronged him and reclaim his money.
With Blood On My Hands: Pusher II
Nicolas Winding Refn
Blood On My Hands opens with Mads Mikkelsen, a frequent collaborator with Refn before they became acclaimed Hollywood names, just released from prison and set on getting his life back on track. Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Tonny – a low-life criminal searching for his humanity in a desolate world – is gripping. While Refn’s most recognized work is overtly stylized, Pusher II is bound with a raw, pulsating energy that feels uncomfortably authentic and brutally honest. A must-watch.
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
The Ross Brothers
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets has an undoubted unique quality to feel very familiar and yet also totally specific to its place and people. We join the barflies and bartenders of sleazy American drinking hole The Roaring 20’s for a boozy night of celebration. This is a drunken hangout movie that is always absorbing, often hilarious, and also a quite tragic portrait of the alcoholic lifestyle.
Alejandro Landes
Chaos reigns freely after a group of guerilla soldiers, made up entirely of teenagers, are left to their own devices against the backdrop of war-torn anarchy on a faraway mountaintop. Mica Levi provides the perfect score for this hypnotic tour-de-force that demands your attention.
Park Chan-wook
Park Chan-wook’s underrated psychological thriller Stoker, dripping in gothic atmosphere and with a leading turn from Mia Wasikowska – who also stars in Del Toro’s horror-romance Crimson Peak – is a lavishly stylish and gloriously sensory experience.
Have A Nice Day
Liu Jian
Small-time criminals who are violent yet philosophical, disillusioned youths, a tired construction and real estate industry are all vividly brought to life through Liu Jian’s stylish and minimalist animation. Both a searing social commentary on the greed and corruption that permeates capitalist China and a witty dark comedy with noirish sensibilities.
Dead Pigs
Cathy Yan
Cathy Yan managed to get her debut film through China’s “torturous” state-controlled censorship regulations. Somewhat surprisingly so, considering Yan’s very westernized interpretation of the societal issues that stem from China’s commercialism.
Justin Kurzel
A very familiar ancient tale told with vivid sensory intensity and a brooding mood that never lets up. Macbeth revels in the nihilism of its medieval-set tragedy and gothic overtones. Cinematography that conjures an apocalyptic visual landscape – blood-red skies, vistas of gloom and darkness, dread-filled hypnotic compositions – that all aide the film’s nightmarish tone of doom and despair.
American Gigolo
Paul Schrader
With Blondie blasting from the stereo of his convertible Mercedes, sex symbol Richard Gere leads as the narcissistic male escort in Paul Schrader’s cold neo-noir American Gigolo. American Gigolo is a film of peak 80’s aesthetic, from the Armani suits to the synth-wave score by Giorgio Moroder, and its stylized melodramatic narrative as Julian’s calculated existence begins to unravel when hardboiled Detective Sunday makes him the prime suspect in his murder investigation.
Bringing Out The Dead
Martin Scorsese
Scorsese turned to Nicholas Cage to play his lead protagonist Frank Pierce, an exhausted nightshift paramedic on the verge of breakdown. Set in an early ‘90s version of New York which appears to be on the verge of societal collapse, he is haunted at every turn by a young woman he was unable to save, and further tormented by a long draught of being able to save anybody at all, a feeling he describes as “the best drug in the world”.
Great Freedom
Sebastian Meise
Set in Germany’s post-war years, this slow-burning, bold LGBT film details the persecution of Hans Hoffman, a homosexual sent straight from the Nazi concentration camps to prison in 1945. Once imprisoned, Hoffman befriends fellow inmate Viktor and over the following decades, we witness an intimate bond grow between them.
Knife + Heart
Yann Gonzalez
A throwback to the sleazy slashers that were so prominent in eighties exploitation cinema, and reminiscent of William Friedkin’s Cruising, Knife + Heart is a sensory feast, shot on rich 35mm with a gorgeous colour palette and an electric, pulsating score by M83.
Paul Andrew Williams
Scorsese turned to Cage to play his lead protagonist Frank Pierce, an exhausted nightshift paramedic on the verge of breakdown.
Paul Verhoeven
Criticized for being exploitative and misogynistic, Showgirls fits right into the Verhoeven canon alongside some of his most celebrated Hollywood work like Starship Troopers and Robocop
Free Chol Soo Lee
Julie Ha & Eugene Yi
A Korean immigrant falsely accused of murder in 70s San Francisco is the subject of Julia Ha & Eugene Yi’s heart-breaking true crime documentary Free Chol Soo Lee.
Halloween II: Director’s Cut
Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie’s Halloween remakes have proven to be divisive for deviating so drastically from John Carpenter’s brooding slasher classic. Every inch of Zombie’s films ooze with grit and grain. They’re bloody, brutal affairs that don’t leave much to the imagination with a trailer park aesthetic that is an acquired taste.