Showroom Cinema with Andy Moore
One of the most exciting films to screen at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival in February came in the form of Alejandro Landes’ extraordinary third feature, Monos.
A breath-taking, hypnotic and hallucinatory survival thriller set on a remote mountain in Latin America, the film follows a feral group of child soldiers and rebels -- with names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom -- who keep watch over an American hostage.
The film examines the chaos and absurdity of war from the unique perspective of adolescence, recalling both Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now in a way that feels wholly original.
Featuring a diverse young cast of both seasoned professionals and newcomers, Landes thrusts them into an unforgiving, irrational and often surreal environment where anything can happen — even peace.
It’s an absolutely unique work, full of extraordinary performances, striking camera work, vivid imagery and settings and a fantastic, rumbling and rapturous score by Mica Levi (who produced the soundtrack for Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and Pablo Larraín’s Jackie).
Monos has been a firm favourite in the programming team at the Showroom Cinema since we saw it earlier in the year.
It’s finally hitting our screens this Friday and it’s our Film of the Month for October.
Or if you’re looking for something a little more family friendly to do with the kids over the half term, but you’re still after something with wit, intelligence and heart – look no further than the latest adventure from Aardman Animations.
Close encounters of the furred kind are the order of the day in Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon.
Fantastically charming and inventive, the sequel expands on the original’s world with a science-fiction setting that allows the filmmakers to playfully riff on everything from The X Files to E.T.
The story kicks off with strange lights appearing over the quiet town of Mossingham – heralding the arrival of a mystery visitor from across the galaxy.
The intergalactic visitor – an adorable alien called LU-LA - has crash-landed near Mossy Bottom Farm, and Shaun sets off on a mission to shepherd her home.
He takes his new extra-terrestrial friend on the road to Mossingham Forest to find her lost spaceship, unaware that a sinister alien-hunting agency is on their trail.
Like the first film, Farmageddon is dialogue free, relying on sight gags, grunts and the occasional burp from its colourful cast of characters to drive the film forward and, just like the first film, it’s a genuine, unalloyed delight that will have the entire family grinning from ear to ear.