Whether you fancy a trip to the cinema or want a new doco to get stuck into, SLMan’s monthly edit of the best new books, films and series is here to see you through September…
Secret Cinema Presents Marvel Studios’ Guardians Of The Galaxy
Secret Cinema’s latest production gives Marvel fans the opportunity to step right into the world of Guardians of the Galaxy. The audience will start their journey on the neon landscape of Contraxia, where they can attempt to beat Star-Lord in a cosmic dance-off, dodge metaphors with Drax or choose their own adventure tracks with the other Guardians. The audience will use transparent screens and touch pads to collect units in competitions, challenges and other interactive games to help save the galaxy. During the enhanced screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, hundreds of customisable pixel lighting strips will help action from the film extend from the screen into the audience. Fans will also witness aerial tumbling and lasers in the longest-ever choreographed Secret Cinema fight scene at the end of the experience.
To show support for his friends serving in Vietnam, Chickie Donohue (Zac Efron) decides to do something totally outrageous: travel to the frontline by himself to bring the soldiers a little piece of home – their favourite can of American beer. What starts as a well-meaning journey quickly turns into the adventure of a lifetime as Chickie confronts the reality of this controversial war, and his reunions with his childhood buddies thrust him into the complexities and responsibilities of adulthood. Based on a true story – and also starring Russell Crowe – The Greatest Beer Run Ever is a heartfelt coming-of-age tale about friendship, loyalty and sacrifice.
Mike is an unauthorised, no-holds-barred look at the life of Mike Tyson – and it is one wild ride. From creator/screenwriter Steven Rogers and the team behind I, Tonya, it explores the dynamic and controversial story – and the tumultuous ups and downs – of Tyson’s boxing career and personal life, – from beloved superstar to pariah and back again. Focusing the lens on Tyson, the series examines class and race in America, fame and the power of media, misogyny, the wealth divide, the promise of the American Dream and ultimately our own role in shaping his story.
Based on the bestselling novel by Thomas Perry, The Old Man centres on Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges), who absconded from the CIA decades ago and has been living off the grid ever since. When an assassin arrives and tries to take him out, the old operative realises he must ensure his future by reconciling his past. With Chase flushed out of hiding, the FBI’s assistant director for counterintelligence Harold Harper (John Lithgow) is called on to hunt him down – because of his complicated past with the rogue fugitive.
Moonage Daydream casts new light on the life and genius of David Bowie. Told through kaleidoscopic, never-before-seen footage, performances and music, this experiential, feature-length cinematic odyssey from Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) explores Bowie’s creative, musical and spiritual journey. The film is guided by Bowie’s own narration and is the first officially sanctioned film on the artist: in 2018, Morgen was granted unprecedented access to Bowie’s archive, which encompasses a lifetime of materials, including an extensive catalogue of unseen footage and his personal collection of his own art and poetry. The sound team – featuring Bowie’s long-time collaborator, friend and music producer Tony Visconti – has mixed 48 Bowie tracks from their original stems, resulting in a truly impressive, all-encompassing documentary.
Edgar Wright is one of British cinema’s most celebrated and innovative filmmakers – he’s the man behind Shaun of the Dead,Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs The World and Last Night in Soho. Now, for the first time, he’s turning the camera onto his own production process, covering everything from his signature stylised edits and soundtrack selection to how he approaches his first day on set. As part of BBC Maestro’s collection of online masterclasses, hard-won filmmaking secrets gathered from across Wright’s extensive career are given a starring role with lessons dedicated to ‘The Craft of Writing’, ‘Storyboards & Animatics’, ‘Casting & Directing Actors’, ‘Shooting Action Sequences’and the all-important ‘Getting Your Film Seen’.
Andor offers a new perspective on the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series tells the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. In an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue, Andor must set out on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero. The series stars Diego Luna, reprising his role in Rogue One.
Prime Video’s new mega series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled ‘Second Age’ of Middle-earth's history. The drama is set way before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, taking viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and one of the greatest villains that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song is a definitive exploration of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. The feature-length documentary weaves together three creative strands: the songwriter and his times; his most famous song’s dramatic journey from record-label reject to chart-topping hit; and moving testimonies from major recording artists for whom the song has become a personal touchstone. Approved for production by Cohen just before his 80th birthday in 2014, the film accesses a wealth of never-before-seen archival materials from the Cohen Trust including the musician’s personal notebooks, journals and photographs, performance footage, and extremely rare audio recordings and interviews featuring Jeff Buckley, John Cale, Bob Dylan and Rufus Wainwright.
This Cannes winner is the latest film from notorious body horror auteur David Cronenberg (Crash, The Fly, A History of Violence). As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux), celebrity performance artist Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. Timlin (Kristen Stewart), an investigator from the National Organ Registry, obsessively tracks their movements, which is when a mysterious group is revealed. Their mission? To use Saul’s notoriety to shed light on the next phase of human evolution.
Michael Mann – the Oscar-nominated filmmaker and writer-director of Heat and Miami Vice – has teamed up with Meg Gardiner to deliver his first crime novel, an explosive return to the world and characters of his classic film Heat. Described by Mann as both a prequel and sequel to the critically acclaimed film, Heat 2 covers the formative years of murder detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and elite criminals Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer) and Nate (Jon Voight), and features the same ambition and attention to detail as the film. This new story leads up to the events of the film and then moves beyond it, featuring new characters on both sides of the law and new highline heists, Heat 2 illuminates the dangerous workings of international crime organisations and the agents who pursue them.
Produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin, this revealing documentary honours the legendary Sidney Poitier and his legacy as an iconic actor, filmmaker and activist at the centre of Hollywood and the civil rights movement. Featuring candid interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, Spike Lee and many more, this is a must-watch look at the stylish actor’s life’s work.
David (Ralph Fiennes) and Jo (Jessica Chastain) are an unhappily married couple on holiday in Morocco, smothered by their wealth and on the brink of separation. While driving to a villa in the mountains for a party, the pair accidentally hit and kill a local man on the roadside – and their choices in the moments that follow reverberate through the lives of both their fellow party guests and the local Muslim community.
Scenes From My Life By Michael K Williams With Jon Sternfeld
This new book is a moving, unflinching memoir of hard-won success, struggles with addiction, and a lifelong mission to give back. When Michael K. Williams died in September 2021, he left behind a career as one of the most electrifying actors of his generation, beloved for his roles in The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country. At the time of his death, Williams had nearly finished a memoir that tells the story of his past while looking to the future, a book that merges his life and his life’s work. Mike, as his friends knew him, was so much more than an actor. In Scenes from My Life, he traces his life in full, from his childhood in East Flatbush and his early years as a dancer to his battles with addiction and the bar fight that left his face with his distinguishing scar. Imbued with poignance and raw honesty, Scenes from My Life is the story of a performer who gave his all to everything he did.