It’s October! Daylight savings time kicks in at the end of the month, making the days shorter and the shadows much, much longer. Whether the change in seasons means you need an outlet to scream out your end-of-summer grief, or you’re now at the stage where you’re accepting the seasonal change by seeking heat, comfort and laughter, it’s perfect cinema weather. Here’s what’s coming out this month.
Blade Runner 2049 (6th October)
Cult favourite director Denis Villeneuve had a breakout hit with Arrival last year and his Blade Runner sequel announces his own arrival into the mainstream. Cinematographer Roger Deakins promises unforgettably awe-inspiring visuals while the film prompts a similar line of existential queries as its predecessor: What does it mean to be human? Do Androids Still Dream of Electric Sheep? And how much can we truly enjoy Blade Runner 2049 once an aged Deckard has been revealed in the trailer, proving definitively that he’s human and not a replicant?
Read Dave Hanratty’s review for State here.
The Death of Stalin (20th October)
Armando Iannucci, creator of The Thick of It and Veep, gives us a twist on his usual biting political comedy of ineptitude with his latest film, The Death of Stalin. An unorthodox period piece set in the Soviet Union, the film takes a satirical look at the scramble for power and control of the nation following the titular death of Josef Stalin. With the comedic talents of a cast including Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin, Jason Isaacs and, most unlikely of all, Steve Buscemi as Nikita Khrushchev, the film looks to be a deeply, dryly funny – if not escapist – look at the rigmarole of regime change.
Thor: Ragnarok (27th October)
The seventeenth (!) movie in the MCU looks incredible, even if just in the most literal sense of the word. Having assembled the most beautiful cast of people since Rodin’s sculpting heyday, director Taika Waititi looks to bring his light-hearted approach to the third Thor movie, in which the hero finds himself captive on an alien planet fighting for not only his own survival, but that of everyone in the universe as a new threat arises. Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston return from the previous Thor films, while new additions to the cast include Cate Blanchett as Hela, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, and Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster.
Jigsaw (27th October)
When I first saw the title of the eighth installment in the Saw franchise, I sort of hoped it was a prequel that would focus on Young Jigsaw, a nerdy kid who loves puzzles who eventually becomes a serial killer. In fact, the first Saw movie for seven years is set after the death of the Jigsaw killer, (Tobin Bell) and focuses on the emergence of a new, dangerous criminal with a copycat M.O. If fiendish puzzles and untimely, gory deaths are your idea of fun, you’ll either enjoy this movie… or be called in for questioning by the detectives in this film.
Call Me By Your Name (27th October)
If you prefer to watch horror movies not in a cinema but at home, years later, after Googling whether or not any animals die in it, Call Me By Your Name might be a viable alternative for you at the tail end of this month. The latest film from director Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash), the James Ivory-penned coming-of-age romance stars Timothée Chalamet as Elio, a teenager in 1980s Italy whose sexual awakening is sparked by the arrival of a young academic, played by Armie Hammer, at his family home. The film has already been highly successful on the festival circuit and looks to be a surefire contender come awards season.
How do you like your vampires? Scary, parasitic and lascivious bloodsuckers, lurking outside your bedroom windows and just beyond your eye-line? Or as fallible immortals who can’t use mirrors to check how their outfits look and don’t do the washing-up for five years? Whatever your taste, the Lighthouse has you covered.
‘Salem’s Lot is showing as part of the Lighthouse Cinema’s Stephen King retrospective, collectively titled Dear Constant Reader, which covers a broad range of King’s work, from Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption
to his more seasonally-appropriate horror fare like The Shining, Carrie and Misery. Tobe Hooper’s ‘Salem’s Lot adaptation is credited as one of the best vampire movies of the 1980s, and responsible for a renewal of the fear of the damn bloodsuckers.
‘Salem’s Lot (19th October)
Dear Constant Reader (13th October – 18th November)
Another retrospective in the same venue this month focuses on the work of Kiwi director Taika Waititi, to celebrate the release of Thor Ragnarok. Spanning Waititi’s career as far back as Boy, and his breakthrough film Eagle Versus Shark, audiences will also have the chance to see one of 2014’s best comedies. What We Do in the Shadows takes two then-tired film tropes – vampires and mockumentary-style film-making – and finds something new and hilarious in the combination of the two. Focusing on four cohabiting vampires in New Zealand, the film’s deadpan approach to the banal, mundane aspects of immortality makes it an essential addition to vampiric canon.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula & Gothic Glam Party over the bank holiday weekend. There’s no need to cross oceans of time to find Winona Ryder: she’s only in Smithfield! Celebrate Coppola’s ‘seductive, monstrous and hugely cinematic’ work. Bram Stoker’s Dracula & Gothic Glam Party (October 27th)
Horrorthon returns to the IFI from October 26th-30th with a strong and eclectic line-up of classic and new films from home and abroad. Highlights include Tragedy Girls, Tyler McIntyre’s darkly comic teen slasher; Jason Figgis’ buried-alive drama Torment; a 20th anniversary screening of Paul W.S. Anderson’s terrifying space epic Event Horizon; and tributes to the late George Romero and Tobe Hooper.
Horrorthon (26th-30th October)
The IFI is presenting a brand-new 70mm print of Lawrence of Arabia this month to mark its 55th anniversary.
Starring Peter O’Toole as T. E. Lawrence, the film depicts a British soldier’s singular experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I. Featuring what may be the greatest match cut in cinema history – and a rare one that is both a literal and figurative match cut – this is a rare chance to see David Lean’s timeless epic on the big screen. Lawrence of Arabia (October 20th)
If match cuts such as the above, and other groundbreaking styles of film editing are your bag, QFT Belfest is running a season of Sergei Eisenstein films this month. The Russian film-maker, most famous for Battleship Potemkin, is considered one of the most innovative of the 20th century, and was a leading proponent of how the interplay of form and content can effectively produce radical, revolutionary political storytelling. All films in this season are presented in 35mm format. Sergei Eistenstein – The Language of Cinema (October 12th-21st)