Festival film favourites with Linnea Petterson.
As the Cannes Film Festival rolls out the red carpets for its 72nd edition, with hotly anticipated films from Jim Jarmusch, Céline Sciamma and Ken Loach, we have another week of festival favourites and exciting new releases hitting the screens at the Showroom.
Gear up for a riotous journey into rave history with Beats. A universal story of friendship, rebellion and the irresistible energy of youth, Beats is a bittersweet coming-of-age story from Scottish director Brian Welsh. Kicking off in 1994 Scotland, when the Tory government launched a crackdown on rave culture, our heroes - techno-head Jonno and his best mate Spanner - set up one last hurrah when they hear about an underground protest rave. Shot in luminous black-and-white and buzzing with the vivid delights of club culture, Beats rumbles with a Trainspotting-esque spirit.
For the launch of the film, we’ve teamed up with Live Cinema UK and Memory Dance – a project aimed to raise dementia awareness amongst a younger audience who may not be conscious of the issues at stake surrounding dementia care, music, memory, and moving image heritage - for a special screening. At 8pm on Friday 17th May, we’ll have an introduction from Sheffield journalist Daniel Dylan Wray (Guardian, VICE, Pitchfork) and a screening of Mark Leckey’s seminal short film about underground dance culture, Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore.
After the film, join us in the bar for a session of 1989-1994 bass, acid house and hardcore plucked from the Sheffield-based Fantasy FM / SCR pirate radio airwaves. On the big screen and will be a rolling loop of rare Sheffield and South Yorkshire archive video from the period, featuring all the dancers, clubs, and fashions from the scene.
The weekend continues with more special events, where on Saturday 18th we are delighted to be welcoming US director Jim Cummings to Sheffield for a screening of his first feature film, Thunder Road. Winner of the coveted Grand Jury Award at South by Southwest in 2018, Thunder Road is a genuinely innovative debut that introduces Jim as a major talent to the US indie scene.
Expanded from his award-winning 2016 short of the same name, it expertly balances affecting drama with brutal comedy. Cummings is Jim Arnaud, a policeman undergoing a personal meltdown following his divorce and the death of his mother. The character verges just to the edge of ridiculous, as he navigates grief, single fatherhood to his young daughter. Tense, angry and profoundly self-pitying, Cummings nevertheless wins your support for Arnaud through superbly written dialogue and a shockingly vulnerable and authentic performance.
Raw, uncomfortable and original, Thunder Road is a remarkable tragicomedy that digs deep into the spiritual and economic crises of America’s heartland and will have you both laughing and crying right from its unforgettable, single shot opening scene. Jim Cummings will be joining us after the film for a Q&A session.