Showroom Cinema:  Promise of a star in love

A star is born
A star is born

Another fantastic assortment of films are hitting the screens this week, starting with the filmeverybody is talking about, A Star is Born, where the Oscar-nominated Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper star in a passionate tale of two musicians in love.

Gaga is Ally, an immensely talented but struggling artist, who has given up on her dreams of making it big as a singer.

That is, until she meets the seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper). Jack helps to bring her into the spotlight, however, once there, the relationship between the two starts to suffer. With Gaga and Cooper both delivering live vocal performances in the film, A Star is Born promises to be a real treat for fans of recent musical hits The Greatest Showman and Sheffield’s very own Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

One of the fantastic things about film is its ability to let us explore worlds and experiences beyond what is physically possible. We can travel across time and space in the blink of an eye: venture inside the human mind (Being John Malkovich style) or hide out in a Kubrickian spaceship, travelling across the galaxy. And yet, there are some places in the world where it is impossible to shoot the stories you want to tell. Take Tehran Taboo for example, the first feature film from Iranian-born German animator, Ali Soozandeh.

The film explores the intersections between sex, drugs, corruption and strict religious law in Iran, telling stories otherwise impossible to show onscreen. Animation gives an opportunity to get right to the heart of the illicit underworld of Tehran that Soozandeh wants us to see just bubbling away under the surface. The colour palette is bold and brash: full of harsh contrasts and thick outlines, a directness that comes from stories that get right to the heart of what they want to say.

Another film out this week that addresses social concerns with dynamic and unflinching style is

Blindspotting: a daring portrait of modern race relations that manages to be wildly entertaining without skirting around the deep-rooted issues at its core. Blindspotting follows Colin in the last days of his probation as he tries to stay on the straight and narrow, he and his best friend Miles work as movers and marvel in horror as their neighbourhood becomes a trendy hotspot where kale juice costs $10. When Colin witnesses a brutal police-shooting, their friendship is tested as it becomes clear that the two men – one black, and one white - face vastly different realities.