From a sprawling Chinese gangster epic to a South Yorkshire set coming-of-age tale, this week sees a fantastic range of new releases hit the Showroom’s screens.
Our film of the month, and a title that we’ve all been really excited about bringing to Sheffield audiences ever since catching it at a preview weekend back in March, is Eighth Grade.
The film, which sees 13-year old Kayla coming to the end of her time at middle school and desperately trying to find her place in the world, is a hilarious and heart-warming look at the trials and tribulations of adolescence - directed by US comedian, actor and writer Bo Burnham.
Tackling similar growing pains, but much closer to home, is the brilliant Pond Life.
In a quiet mining village just outside Doncaster, an unlikely group of friends find common purpose in their quest to catch a legendary giant carp in the local decoy ponds.
With a gorgeous score by Richard Hawley, this is an unmissable local tale about friendship, community and coming of an age in a time of rumbling political change.
On a rather different scale, acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke’s latest, Ash is Purest White, is a dazzling Gangster epic and a sprawling tale of loyalty, love and survival.
In a bleak industrial city, a young dancer (Qiao) falls in love with a mobster named Bin. When Bin’s boss is killed, he takes on the leadership of a brotherhood of honourable criminals.
But the old codes of honour are out of fashion, and when Bin is attacked by a new generation of gangsters, Qiao is forced to make a seismic choice.
Finally, in the nail bitingly tense Styx, an emergency doctor attempts to fulfil a life-long dream by sailing solo from Gibraltar to Ascension Island in the Atlantic.
But her trip drastically changes course when she encounters a damaged boat overloaded with desperate refugees. A captivating allegory of personal responsibility in the face of the migrant crisis, Styx is one of the year’s most provocative and gripping dramas.
On Wednesday the 1 st of May at 6.10pm we’ll be hosting a special screening of Styx in partnership with Birds Eye View’s Reclaim the Frame campaign.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring expert speakers addressing the film’s themes. For more info, and to book tickets, please visit: https://www.showroomworkstation.org.uk/styx-panel-discussion