The Week In Screenings Part XXVI

Thursday, September 22 2011
The Week In Screenings Part XXVI

An interesting week for screenings and other events, as our roving reporter Alex Kidd took in Africa, China and Korea, as well as some films closer to home, in his weekly report of films and previews…

First cinema film this week was the enlightening When China Met Africa, an intriguing documentary that looks at the economic relationship between China and Africa. Seen through the eyes of three very different characters, all involved at different levels in the economic changes that are taking place in Zambia, we follow them as they deal with the ever day problems that arise from different countries engaging in business together. Mr Liu is a Chinese entrepreneur who owns a series of farms across Zambia, Mr Li is project manager who’s in charge of making repairs to the countries longest road and the countries trade minister himself heads off to China to try and raise millions of dollars in investments for his country. It’s certainly an eye-opening film and one that highlights the ever expanding growth of China and its rise in the world of business and investments.

I followed that up the next day with the new UK drama Junkhearts, a dark tale of four Londoners who are all slowly draw together by fate and circumstance. Eddie Marsan stars as Frank, an ex-soldier haunted by something from his past; he’s locked himself away from the world and is drowning in alcohol and cigarettes. He meets homeless Lynette who he lets stay in his flat, at first things begin to turn around for the pair of them, but then the appearance of Lynette’s gun-dealing boyfriend Danny causes events to start spiralling out of control. It’s an involving film based around a very powerful performance from Marsan, who manages to invest Frank with a sense of dignity even though he’s put through the wringer both emotionally and physically during the story.

Friday night was the official press launch for the forthcoming Korean Film Festival, the festival itself starts in November but we were lucky enough to be getting a sneak preview of the opening film Arrow The Ultimate Weapon, which had only opened just a few weeks ago in Korea and proved to be a huge box office success. Director Kim Han-min was in attendance to introduce his film and provide and to take part in a Q&A after the film. Arrow is a brilliant adventure action film that takes the first 30 minutes to set up its characters then plunges them headlong into an epic cross-country chase which lasts the rest of the film. It’s a tense experience and one littered with inventive action sequences, many of which are based around the bow and arrow, which was a main stay of warriors in Asia at the time. Arrow The Ultimate Weapon is being released by Showbox and it’s a fantastic addition to its every growing range of Asian action titles. 

Then over the weekend I was able to catch up with two great titles from this year’s FrightFest. Detention was actually my second viewing and I was so pleased to be able to see this again, it’s quite possibly my favourite film of the year, there really hasn’t been anything this fresh and invigorating in a long time. The synopsis and the trailer make it look like the slasher killer is the driving part of the story, but that’s really only part of it, there’s so much more to discover in this truly unique take on the high school film. I also got to watch The Devil’s Business for the first time, the feature debut from UK director Sean Hogan, it’s a taut and stripped down horror thriller about two hit men who run into trouble on what should be a routine job. It’s an economical thriller which looks fantastic and features two great turns from the leads. Both films should be in cinemas either late this year or early next year and are both well worth taking a look at.

Tags: ,