As the sun begins to shine here in London, I know it will be hard to remember to go indoors and see some cinema, writes Nicola Jones. Evermore so, as these months tend to be slow – studios quietly releasing films that they have lost faith in or simply do not work. But a few independents of mention that will be worth watching if the rain returns are coming to Brixton.
First up this month is Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s film NERUDA (from 7 April). The film centres on a hunt for the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda turned Communist exile. Larraín directed Natalie Portman to an Oscar nomination in last year’s JACKIE. A sobering pairing with this film will be Raoul Peck’s film I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO. The film is an imagining of James Baldwin’s unfinished novel Remember This House, which was left unfinished at his death in 1987.
Next up is Chan Wook-Park’s THE HANDMAIDEN (from 14 April) which premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival before doing an extensive festival circuit. Inspired by Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith – the film is set in 1930s Korea during the Japanese occupation and is not to be missed. Also out this month is the adaption of Lissa Evans’ novel THEIR FINEST (from 21 April) starring Gemma Arterton (above) , Bill Nighy, and Sam Claflin. Horror film BELKO EXPERIMENT and teen romance THE TRANSFIGURATION (each from 21 April), both explore genre films through different angles.
The month ends with the big tent pole release of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (from 28 April). The sequel reunites Chris Pratt and his crew as they take on more intergalactic cowboy-esqe ventures. The Marvel property’s first film was frothy with excellent visuals, a stellar soundtrack, and a good case of “we don’t take ourselves too seriously”. High hopes for this next instalment.
Lastly, Brixton-set A MOVING IMAGE (from 28 April) starring Tanya Fear arrives in its own neighbourhood. Writer and director Shola Amoo’s first feature follows an artist as she returns to her now gentrified Brixton and grapples with her role in its state. Nothing could be more local that? Make sure to support it!
Nicola Jones is a freelance writer whose website covers film reviews, trailers, and industry news. She can be found tweeting @MzJones
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