5 reasons to go to the cinema in September 2023

Paddy Considine in ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’, which is getting re-released this month  (Warp/Big Arty Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Paddy Considine in ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’, which is getting re-released this month (Warp/Big Arty Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock)

After an average summer, the sun is finally here with a vengenace – and where better to shelter from the immense heat than in a nice, cool cinema.

Fortunately, cinemas around the country have a raft of titles on offer for you to drop in and see. One of the more obvious shouts is Celine Song’s hugely acclaimed debut Past Lives (out now), featuring mesmerising performances from Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro. Find The Independent’s four-star review here.

For those who like merging their love of film with music, there’s a 20th anniversay re-release of School of Rock (8 September), a rare screening of Lasse Hallström’s ABBA: The Movie – Fan Event (17 September, Barbican), documentary Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex and a remastered re-release of Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense (both 22 September).

There’s also, seemingly out of nowhere, a third My Big Fat Greek Wedding film (8 September) and another film starring Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot (A Haunting in Venice, 15 September). If you “want to play a game”, there’s even a 10th Saw film (29 September) for you to wince or whoop through.

September also provides a great chance to see some old favourites on the biggest screen around: the BFI IMAX are hosting screenings of films including Mamoru Oshii’s anime classic Ghost in the Shell (10 September), every Mad Max film through the night (16 September) and Brazil (25 September).

From new releases to seasons filled with rare gems, below is a round-up of the five cinema events to have on your radar this month.

Love Life (15 September)

Kento Nagayama and Fumino Kimura in 'Love Life' (BFI Distribution)
Kento Nagayama and Fumino Kimura in 'Love Life' (BFI Distribution)

Following Harmonium (2016) and A Girl Missing (2019), Japanese director Koji Fukada brings us Love Life, a drama equally as gentle yet heartbreaking. It tells the story of a woman (Fumino Kimura), who, when tragedy strikes, welcomes the long-lost father (Atom Sunada) of her son back into her life, despite being happily married. The film presents an unusual circumstance, and asks the viewer to answer challenging questions about their own lives without offering any concrete answers. It’s another knockout for Fukada.

Dead Man’s Shoes (15 September)

It wouldn't be inaccurate to say that Dead Man's Shoes put Shane Meadows on the map in 2004. But the British filmmaker, who went on to find huge success with This is England just two years later, received acclaim for the hard-hitting drama starring Paddy Considine and, in his screen debut, Toby Kebbell. A deserving re-release will gift audiences the chance to see the film on the big screen, in 35mm, this month.

Ballywalter (22 September)

Prasanna Puwanarajah may be known for his acting roles in Doctor Foster, The Crown and British Call My Agent! remake Ten Percent, but he’s clearly a man of many talents – his directorial debut Ballywalter is a touching tale anchored by charismatic performances from Seána Kerslake and Patrick Kielty. Irish charm abounds in the bittersweet drama, written by Stacey Gregg, which follows a directionless unlicenced cab driver whose life is one day altered by one of her passengers.

R.M.N. (22 September)

‘R.M.N.’ (Picturehouse Entertainment)
‘R.M.N.’ (Picturehouse Entertainment)

The unsettling quietness of Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu’s work is something to behold, and the fact that R.M.N. comes close to reaching the heights of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) and the impeccable 2016 drama Graduation is no mean feat. Debuting at Cannes Film Festival in May 2022, the film follows a man who, after returning home to a mountain village in Transylvania, detects unrest due to the hiring of two foreign workers in a local bakery. A lengthy climactic scene, filled with dialogue and shot in one take, ranks as one of the year’s most gripping.

New Taiwanese Cinema (from 7 September)

A new season at The Garden Cinema places the spotlight on directors King Hu, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang, Tsai Ming-liang. Films being programmed range from the 1980s through to the 2000s, and each explores the cultural tensions from Taiwan in the late 20th century. Plenty of these films, including Yang’s epic A Brighter Summer Day (1991) and Hsiao-hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai (1998), are highly acclaimed and, should you find the chance to watch them, the big screen in the place to do so. A perfect launchpad for those wanting to broaden their film horizons.