New Releases This Week
Posted 26 September 2020
It’s strange to be back, writing about cinema. After such a long period of closure, with so much time spent watching films alone in our houses, it has been wonderful welcoming back audiences to share in film-watching as a collective experience. Over the weekend, we sold out screenings of Bong Joon-Ho’s (Parasite) true-crime classic Memories of Murder and it’s delightful to see old faces back in the building supporting international cinema, after facing such uncertainty about the future of physical cinema spaces.
If you didn’t get a chance to see it, we’ll be keeping Memories of Murder on for another week, as well as opening Bong Joon-Ho’s first film Barking Dogs Never Bite this Friday.
Also opening this Friday are two very different, but equally excellent films from last year’s explosive London Film Festival programme; White Riot and Monsoon.
White Riot is an energising documentary that charts the vital national protest movement Rock Against Racism (RAR). Blending fresh interviews with queasy archive footage to recreate the hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches. This rip-roaring documentary reminds us of the value of grassroots uprising, and what can be achieved when people put aside their differences to unite against division.
Monsoon on the other hand is a much more understated affair. A gentle British drama set in Vietnam, from writer-director Hong Khaou (Lilting). We follow Kit (Henry Golding) as he returns to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time since he was six years old. Struggling to make sense of himself in a city he’s no longer familiar with, he embarks on a personal journey across the country that opens up the possibility for friendship, love and happiness. Monsoon elegantly explores its themes of identity with incredible subtlety – its one that will linger with you long after the credits roll.
Both films are well worth a watch and although they appeal to different audiences, they both share their overarching ideas around nationhood, identity, immigration, and history. Something that is always interesting to see - how similar ideas make their way onto our screens, and how different filmmakers explore and engage with them from vastly different perspectives.
Monsoon and White Riot will both be screening at the Showroom Cinema from Friday 25 September 2020.
This article first featured in the Sheffield Telegraph on 24 September 2020.