5 to See: This Weekend

5 to See: This Weekend

This weekend ASFF selects five new films set to be launched in UK cinemas. Hailing from a diverse array of locations – everywhere from Scotland to Colombia to Middle America – these films explore themes ranging from solidarity to prejudice to the ties that bind us.

Beats (Altitude Film Distribution)

A black-and-white blast from the drug-fueled past, Brian Walsh’s take on Kieran Hurley’s play is a nod to friendship and fraternity amongst a bunch of Scottish ravers. Set in 1994, the year the Criminal Justice Bill came in to force to outlaw illegal raves, Lorn Macdonald and Cristian Ortega play two mates chasing those repetitive beats. Featuring Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser, it’s a hedonistic blend of Human Traffic, Trainspotting and – yes – 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Tucked (Bulldog Film Distribution)

Written and directed by Jamie Patterson, a Brighton-born filmmaker who has been carving out his career in the independent scene these past years, Tucked tells of an ageing drag queen Jackie (Derren Nesbitt) who befriends a much younger gender-fluid queen named Faith (Jordan Stephens). With Jackie taking Faith in literally, it’s a story of friendship and inclusivity.

Birds of Passage (Curzon Artificial Eye)

Ciro Guerra returns after 2015’s much-admired Embrace of the Serpent, this time teaming up with his producer Cristina Gallego to co-direct this haunting look at the Colombian drug trade. Far removed from TV dramas like Narcos, this is more like an anthropological study as members of the indigenous Wayuu tribe in north-eastern Colombia gradually become embroiled in big-scale marijuana trading. In places it’s violent, but it’s the interactions between family members and the exploration of unique cultural traditions that grips here.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (Lionsgate)

The third chapter of the John Wick series, Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the ultimate hitman (still presumably annoyed that a Russian gangster killed his pet dog two movies back). Picking up where its predecessor left off, the sharp-suited Wick now has a $14 million bounty on his head and just about every assassin in the world on his tail. Angelica Huston and Halle Berry join the support cast, alongside returnees Laurence Fishburne and Ian McShane. Stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski orchestrates the carnage.

Breakthrough (Twentieth Century Fox)

Based on the book The Impossible by Joyce Smith, this faith-based tale stars Marcel Ruiz as John, a young Guatemalan adoptee living in snowy Missouri. After an accident on a frozen lake, falling through the ice and almost drowning, John is rescued but falls into a coma. Chrissy Metz and Josh Lucas co-star as John’s parents, who look to their faith to get them through this painful ordeal. Actress-turned-filmmaker Roxann Dawson, known for starring in Star Trek: Voyager, directs.

All films released on 17 May.

James Mottram