From Thu 5 May, the MCU expands with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This time, Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is contending with the consequences of opening up portals to the multiverse, and having to take on a powerful new adversary. BBC Culture recently published a primer on the historical roots of the Multiverse – a great cheat sheet once you’ve got your tickets booked.
Also this week, we welcome the wonderful Alborada Film Festival (Thu 5 May), with two vital documentaries that explore the struggles for social and environmental justice in the UK. No Extradition is a documentary by Pablo Navarette, who spent over a year documenting the US case against Julian Assange, featuring a Q&A with the director. The second film of the evening is On the Ground, which follows a group of protestors fighting to protect trees in the face of yet another luxury housing project proposed to be built in London. This film will also feature a director’s Q&A.
This Fri 6 May we welcome back the UK Asian Film Festival, who as always deliver an astounding array of feature films and documentaries that empower and uncover filmmaking talents across Asia. For the 24th edition, the theme is ‘Dare to Dream’ and includes documentary, animation and even TV specials from the South Asian community in Britain and across the world. We’re packing in 14 different screenings until Thu 12 May.
Now, for a supreme sleeper hit that has broken records in the US, from Fri 13 May join us for Everything Everywhere All At Once. What’s making it such a cult-hit? Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians) leads this sci-fi comedy as Evelyn Quan-Wang, a woman being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. She discovers that she must connect with multiple parallel universe versions of herself (a multiverse, perhaps) in order to prevent future destruction to her life. Although perhaps absurd on the surface, the film reckons with the place of older women in society and generational bonds as one woman wears the hats of many versions of herself, trying to prevent disaster befalling her and her loved ones. Get a taste of the profound chaos with the Everything Everywhere All At Once trailer.
Fresh from critical acclaim at Sundance comes Emergency. When a group of teenagers set out on a night to remember, they are confronted with an emergency that has them questioning the politics of calling the police in modern day America. Adapted from a short by screenwriter KD Dávila and director Carey Williams, the film makes for a gripping road movie-come-political thriller. Read more in The Guardian’s four star review of Emergency.
Queer East Film Festival arrives on Fri 27 May, showcasing rarely-seen queer cinema from East and Southeast Asia, and amplifying the voices of Asian communities in the UK. This year, the festival explores the forces that have shaped the current queer landscape in Asia. We’ll be hosting a number of screenings on Fri 27 and Sun 29 May, with moving image works dealing with issues ranging from the Anthropocene, queer identity in late 90s Hong Kong, the effects of European colonialism, and childhood friendships in Bangkok torn apart by family tragedy.
Finally, the news Cruise fans have been waiting decades to hear: hot off the opening night screening of Cannes Film Festival comes Top Gun: Maverick landing on Wed 25 May, which sees Tom Cruise revive his role as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell. He’s continuing his sky-high pursuits with a new team featuring Miles Teller, Manny Jacinto and Jay Ellis as well as original favourites Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer. As always, Tom Cruise is doing his own stunts (even in the sky) and with Lady Gaga on the soundtrack this is certain to be one of the cinematic events of the year. Check out the breathtaking trailer for Top Gun: Maverick.
Words by Rōgan Graham.
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