Tim Oxley Smith looks at the screen filmings around Bristol, and selects a must-watch list for February.
Oscar season is almost upon us, and most film buffs are bursting with excitement. For some, however, the bright lights and sickly saturation of big-budget movies has no pull.
Bristol has a thriving alternative culture, and film screenings aren't exempt from this. Here's a run down to off-beat film screenings and events on through February:
Cameraperson @ The Cube
Sun 5 Feb + Tue 7 Feb
Following Adam Curtis' anti-propaganda documentary HyperNormalisation, Cameraperson looks as if it will focus on a more ethereal side of the genre. Instead of trying to encompass huge swabs of history like Curtis, director, camera operator and heroine Kirsten Johnson has released her memoirs as a far more personal and less assuming interpretation of the world. Camerperson’s varying locations and subjects will detail a vast tapestry of the strange, non-linear world we live in. Think 5 Broken Cameras meets Koyaonisqatsi.
20th Century Women @ The Watershed
Fri 17 Feb - Thu 23 Feb
It feels like it’s been a little while since we’ve indulged in a bit of indie cinema - where stuff looks cooler, events are more poignant, and the soundtrack is more apt than in everyday life. With Ellie Fanning and Greta Gerwig (two of Hollywood’s coolest) supporting what looks to be a career-defining performance from Annette Bening, expect more compound evidence that you were probably born in the wrong decade.
Prevenge @ The Cube
Tues 14 Feb + Wed 1 March - Thurs 2 March
Alice Lowe delivers her directorial debut with a very British and dark take on pregnancy. Lowe, (who co-wrote the superb Sightseers in 2012) will continue her work following the theme of murderous tendencies and acute observations of British life - but in the guise of world cinema.
Junun @ Watershed
Sun 5 February
Part of Watershed’s season of screenings celebrating Jonny Greenwood’s work in film and music, Junun is a rockumentary of sorts, directed by regular collaborator, Paul Thomas Anderson. The viewer is a fly-on-the-wall in this journey through Northwest India as Greenwood himself and Ben Tzur collaborate and jam together on the Rajasthan Express. There’s a chance to catch The Master and Inherent Vice at The Watershed, along with other films that feature Greenwood scores, but Junun is generally a film harder to come by so get’s our pick.
The Great Wall - Showcase cinema
Fri 17 Feb
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Yimou Zhang finds his new trans-pacific blockbuster in a strange PR quandary. However, this film looks so silly, I don’t think we’ll be able to read that far into it. The Great Wall will consist mainly of swords, arrows, big dragons and Matt Damon’s pony tail. Leave brains in the foyer.
Moonlight - Watershed
Fri 17 Feb
Out on the same day is Moonlight, a film that looks like it has the ability to channel and confront America simultaneously. Giving voice to the black gay community through the eyes of a young man growing up in a rough neighbourhood and grappling with his identity, Moonlight (which boasts 8 Oscar nominations) has given the award ceremony a chance to surprise everyone this year. Also see the rise and rise of Mahershala Ali take hold.