As we settle into our look at cinema goings on in the United Kingdom, it's becoming ever more fascinating to highlight the tireless work of independent screens all over the country, which continue to programme exciting films against the grain of conventional wisdom and ensure there's a place to go if blockbusting scale isn't your bag. So while Inception and Toy Story 3 top our list this week for their pure populist value, our other three entries are decidedly smaller in scale...
5. Rewatch Labyrinth
The Prince Charles Cinema in London's Leicester Square is one of my favourite in the capital for so many reasons, but foremost amongst them is the strength of its programming choices. With films like Labyrinth, The Warriors and Starship Troopers on the agenda this week, it earns a place on our list for pure geek cred. Labyrinth is the film I'm most keen to see on the big screen, and I'm already making plans to spend my Saturday afternoon with Jareth, Hoggle and the gang. Find out more here.
4. Brush up on Kurosawa
Ever wanted to dip your toes into the world of Japanese master director Akira Kurosawa but don't know where to start? If you live in Scotland, you might want to head for the Glasgow Film Theatre, which is presenting a retrospective of the man's work 100 years after his birth. The programme kicks off this Sunday with They Who Step on the Tiger's Tail, and continues with such Kurosawa classics as Ran, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, Sanjuro and, of course, Seven Samurai. Click over here for more information.
3. Meet Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone, the director of such classics as Platoon and JFK – not to mention the Wall Street saga, of which I saw the brilliant sequel in Cannes – is coming to London this week to talk up his documentary about the politics of South America, South of the Border. I'm hoping to chat to Stone myself while he's in town, but you don't need to be a film journalist to get an audience with the man as he'll be the subject on an on-stage interview by Time Out's film editor Dave Calhoun on Tuesday 20th. Stone will be discussing his life and career in that extended chat, which you can find more about here, and if you can't make it to that he'll also be doing a Q&A following a screening of South of the Border, at the Curzon cinema in Mayfair, a day earlier on Monday 19th.
2. Intercept Inception
I'll get in trouble – as I recently did on Twitter – for saying anything critical about Chris Nolan's mind-bending latest, of which I wasn't the greatest fan. So instead I'll say this: regardless of what I feel about the movie's limited intelligence and oftentimes-contradictory universe, there's only one new release this weekend that's worth paying proper attention to and it's Inception. It's guaranteed to provoke a discussion no matter the leanings of those in your party, and many critics, including our own Todd Gilchrist, have heaped massive praise onto this ambitious blockbuster. It can't do The Dark Knight business, but I'd be surprised if it didn't do a handsome trade in cinemas this weekend.
1. Brace for Toy Story 3
Those of us on this side of the pond have waited a month and a day to catch Pixar's masterful latest. It's a common Disney strategy to position their biggest family films during proven calendar periods in different territories. They know that the risk of international piracy is reduced when films are aimed at families and especially when they're designed to be seen in 3D. Of course, the wait has been even longer in the past – sometimes up to six months of gap has separated US and UK releases – so we should be grateful for the limited wait here. I was fortunate enough to see the film early, and reviewed in on Cinematical in time for its US release. Check it out if you'd like to see just how much I ranted and raved about the pic. It hits UK cinemas this coming Monday, which is odd considering feature films usually come out on a Thursday or Friday, but since it means you just have the weekend left to wait I think we'll let that slide.
Are you based in the UK? What are you planning to see this weekend? And if there's something coming up in the UK you think we should feature, make sure to let us know!