Repertory Film Round-up

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 113 months ago
Repertory Film Round-up
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Lots to cover this week, so let's crack on with things.

Friday: A solid double-bill here as part of the BFI Southbank's Time Machine season, which explores cinema as a "time-based and time-obsessed medium". Alain Resnais' Last Year in Marienbad unfolds like a perfect modernist dream. The repetition of conversations and half-remembered chance meetings at a society ball course the imprecise tracks of the moment before waking, like the mind clutching at a dream as it escapes forever. The film is screened alongside La Jetée, a short, powerful film made almost entirely from still photographs that tells the story of a time-travelling project that aims to save Earth from a dystopian future. The films begin at 6.10pm, £8.60, £6.25 concessions.

Saturday: Somebody out there in cinema-land is getting their cult classic groove on. A fortnight ago we were excited about the re-release of Badlands. This week it's film school favourite Eraserhead, David Lynch's story of a winsome young man, his unexpectedly pregnant girlfriend, and their offspring. Yet to explain it thus is to describe The Shining as a tale about a bored writer: Lynch's film, made over a five year period, is inexplicable, dark, macabre yet undoubtedly funny and somehow more humane than most of his subsequent output. A new print, overseen by the director himself, shows today and through the week at the ICA at 8.45 and 10.45. £8 tickets, or £7 for concessions.

Sunday: A pair of Errol Morris documentaries light up the Phoenix in Finchley today. At 1.30, Standard Operating Procedures looks into the now infamous cases of torture and abuse Abu Ghraib following the American invasion of Iraq, and questions how soldiers ended up being the only ones to pay the price for tactics authorised from the highest level of US government. At 4pm, The Fog of War is an incredibly revealing interview with former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. A key architect of the Vietnam war, McNamara opens up to Morris, his direct-to-camera reminiscences and sense of culpability in what happened making for a spellbinding film. It's difficult to imagine Donald Rumsfeld will be so honest a decade from now.

Also on Sunday: Catch Jennifer Baichwal's Manufactured Landscapes at the Rio in Dalston. A profile of the artist and photographer Edward Burtynsky, it covers his many years documenting, in unflinchingly huge prints, the environmental degradation and despoilment caused by heavy industry. 2.30pm, £7.50.

Monday A screening at the Roxy for Southwark's BOUNDLESS disability festival of Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (pictured), based on the true story of a man who suffers a stroke that leaves him able to communicate only by blinking his left eye. Undaunted, he goes on to painstakingly compose the memoir upon which this film is based. Rarely sentimental, it was justifiably loved by the critics upon its release in February. 8pm, free entry.

Seasons, etc: Riverside Studios' Nicolas Roeg season gives fans a chance to catch classics like Performance and The Man Who Fell To Earth alongside less exciting fare like The Witches and last year's Puffball. Yet for this writer there's really only one film here: Don't Look Now remains a masterpiece of taut filmmaking, every shot a work of art, every element a piece of a jigsaw whose meaning is only discerned as the credits roll. While some nowadays scoff at the climax, in the Seventies this was as shocking as cinema got, and seeing it on the big screen will jolt the most jaded armchair DVD watcher out of their insouciance.

Last Updated 10 September 2008