The shorter evenings are just about starting to notice, aren’t they? To ward off a case of the premature S.A.Ds, we’ve been sharing our alphabetized autumn highlights – previously, A-C, D, E-I and J-L. Today’s picks start with the M’s and finish, like a refreshing bit of hows-yr-father or a Jonathan Creek denouement, with a big O. Enjoy!
‘The Master’, film
Is it about Scientology? Does anyone care? ‘The Master’, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film – his first since ‘There Will Be Blood’ – is the dramatic movie to beat this autumn, with a stunning cast, intriguing storyline (Joaquin Phoenix’s drifter comes under the spell of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s guru) and the guiding hand of the best filmmaker working in America.
Michael McIntyre , comedy
When the interminably bouncy Michael McIntyre played nine nights across the O2 and Wembley arenas in 2009 we thought his popularity could grow no more. How wrong we were. Starting on September 26, some 250,000 punters in London will lap up the baby-faced comic’s mix of domestic observations and apparent astonishment. Most booked their tickets over a year ago, so if you’ve misplaced yours, we suggest checking your ‘man drawer’.
Michael Haneke, film-maker
Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke can fairly claim to be one of cinema’s greatest living directors – and his reputation is set to soar higher still this autumn among the artier echelons of London’s filmgoers. In May, the 70-year-old director scooped the Palme d’Or at Cannes for ‘Amour’ (pictured below), his devastating new drama about an elderly couple in Paris dealing with old age and illness (played by French acting legends Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant). Just three years ago, Haneke won the same prize for ‘The White Ribbon’(bottom) –making him the only filmmaker to win the coveted award for two consecutive films in such quick succession. In the end, ‘The White Ribbon’ proved too austere a film for the Oscars (many felt it was robbed in 2010 when the Argentinian thriller ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’ won Best Foreign Language Film) but ‘Amour’ is shaping up as an early frontrunner at next year’s awards.
In Cannes, a few days before being awarded his Palme d’Or, Haneke explained to Time Out how he based his film on a simple question: ‘How do you cope with the suffering of loved ones?’ ‘Amour’ is a tender but unflinching portrait of the horrors and indignities of impending death, and it deals with its subject with immense intelligence and empathy. Haneke faces up to the realities of sickness, but his mission is not simply to present a realistic portrait of the end, even though that’s part of the process. More than that, he wants to explore the emotions and instincts felt on both sides by this couple – pride, despair, loss, empathy and its limits. ‘It would have been easy to exploit the sentimentality of this situation and manipulate the audience,’ Haneke argued. ‘But that would have been ruinous for this film. It’s important to respect the dignity of the characters you’re showing.’
Time Out is thrilled to be presenting ‘Amour’ as the Time Out Special Screening at this year’s London Film Festival in October before it arrives in cinemas on November 16.
The National Theatre’s new play
After the blockbuster success of all-singing, all-dancing corporate satire ‘Enron’, director Rupert Goold and playwright Lucy Prebble reunite for ‘The Effect’ – a brand new endeavour from Goold’s Headlong company, and something of a coup for the National. Pathologically likeable telly star Billie Piper will head up the cast of this ‘clinical romance’ exploring sanity, neurology and the limits of medicine.
Open House London, festival of nosiness
Ever nosily asked ‘what’s behind that door’? Well, wonder no more, because the city’s finest architectural showcase is back. The 19 previous Open House weekends have given Londoners the opportunity to roam around the Lloyd’s building and the Bank of England, and this year’s version provides the chance to explore more than 750 edifices including the Gherkin, the Heron Tower and Tower 42. It’s all free, but tickets go fast and need to be booked in advance.
See yesterday’s guide to autumn’s J’s, K’s and L’s.
Join us throughout the week for our alphabetical autumnal round-up… or take a peek at our major events calendar.