By Ashley Clark
Bent sheriffs, the return of a superhero, and bizarre love triangles. It’s a bumper week of new releases at South London’s best cinema.
The best new film out this week is Killer Joe, which marks the return of veteran director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection), and is one of the finest thrillers of the year. No stranger to explorations of moral ambiguity and outright misanthropy, Friedkin is on particularly bleak form here, though the darkness in this Texan neo-noir is laced with bubonically black comedy. The normally ineffectual Matthew McConaughey is transformed as psychotic sheriff and part-time contract killer Joe Cooper, while the ending is one that’ll have you in convulsions of shock, if not laughter. It’s pretty safe to say you won’t be troubling nextdoor’s KFC afterwards; let’s just leave it at that.
From next Tuesday, your Spidey sense will be tingling, as the latest instalment of the franchise spins its blockbustery web. The Amazing Spider-Man, stars the engaging Andrew Garfield (replacing Tobey Maguire) as Peter Parker. It’s an enjoyable – if ever-so-slightly unnecessary – work of old-fashioned superhero sweep melded with robust action and impressive CGI.
Mumblecore queen Lynn Shelton (Humpday) goes a little bit less mumbly with her new film Your Sister’s Sister, about a messy love triangle that develops following a family bereavement. The currently ubiquitous Emily Blunt stars, and impresses. Also new this week is tough Norwegian drama King of Devil’s Island, about a 17-year old boy who inspires a revolution in a grim juvenile detention centre. On a lighter, but infinitely more smug note, Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends With Kids is out too. It’s about some friends who have some kids or something. Word to the ladies: it’s got Jon Hamm from out of Mad Men in it. I’ve heard he’s quite popular.
In terms of repertory, this Sunday sees a Ritzy 101: Decades Double bill of American Psycho and Wall Street; a themed look back at 80s materialism and corporate greed across two cult classics. Expect to see George Osbourne lurking in the back row looking for tips (either from Gordon “Greed is good!” Gekko or, more plausibly, Phil Collins fan Patrick Bateman). On Monday, don’t miss a rare screening of Wim Wenders’ breathtaking doc Pina 3D. Meanwhile, Tuesday sees the conclusion of the Picturehouse’s Made in Britain strand with a screening of Quatermass and the Pit, a classic 60s horror about an alien object with malevolent powers.
Films continuing their runs include Snow White and the Huntsman (starring Charlize Theron), Ken Loach’s whiskey-based, tough-yet-whimsical comedy The Angels’ Share, Wes Anderson’s fey, suffocatingly self-possessed indie drama Moonrise Kingdom, and decent romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement.
All films showing at the Ritzy Cinema, Brixton Oval. Book tickets here.
Ashley Clark runs the film blog Permanent Plastic Helmet. You can follow it on Twitter @PPlasticHelmet and/or him @_ash_clark.