What a busy summer of sport we have coming up. First most of the UK (sorry Scotland) can obsess over the European Championships, and then we move to Rio for the Olympics. They’ll be plenty of heroic sporting glory on display and maybe even a bit of heroic failure. If you’re not sure exactly what that consists of, we have the perfect film to demonstrate this week, alongside virtuoso German thrillers, Japanese classics and a slice of pure American indie joy.
Forget about winners; if there’s one thing Britain loves, it’s a plucky underdog. They don’t come much pluckier – or more of an underdog for that matter – than Eddie Edwards. With Taron Egerton as Edwards, Eddie the Eagle charts his road to the 1988 Winter Olympics, a road that sees him hampered by excess weight, poor sight and an absence of funds. Despite the sporting clichés, this amiable comedy-drama goes to show that there is truth in the old adage – it’s the taking part that matters.
Victoria hinges almost entirely on one conceit, but it’s so brilliantly executed no one cares. Sebastian Schipper’s German crime thriller is filmed in one single take. That’s a take that goes from underground night clubs to the streets of Berlin, apartment tops, luxury hotels and a police chase. There’s no trickery, no stitching together of shots, it is all one take. And it’s incredible. It doesn’t matter that the story itself, while perfectly enjoyable, is nothing out of the ordinary. Berlin clubber Victoria’s accidental descent into a life of crime is elevated far above its station by sheer filmmaking brio. It has to be seen to be believed.
A re-release for Akira Kurosawa’s late, great classic Ran hardly needs an introduction, but it’s going to get one anyway. Back in cinemas, his 1985 transplant of King Lear from ancient Britain to Sengoku-era Japan is epic in just about every way. As three warring brothers fight over their father’s divided kingdom, they’ll be betrayals, heartbreak and a lot of killing. Catch it on the big screen while you can.
Tangerine came from nowhere and exploded into something big last year. Out now on DVD, Sean Baker’s Christmas Eve comedy sees two transgender prostitutes embarking on a wild quest across the streets of rundown LA. Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor are whirlwinds of energy, blasting through this very funny, often outrageous film. That the whole thing is shot on an iPhone, and still looks great, is just another feather in its cap. So what are you waiting for? Buy it now.
That should be enough to keep you going for now. See you next week when Spielberg gets another sci-fi homage.