Fashion, Horror and Anarchy: Eight Cult Films to Watch Now

Pin It
Gummo, 1997
Gummo, 1997(Film still)

Coinciding with our partnership with Rebel Reel Cine Club, founder Chris McGill presents a curation of stylish, anarchic cult films to lose yourself in

Founded by Chris McGill, Rebel Reel Cine Club is a pop-up cinema with a difference. Screening cult classics and hidden gems – from 20th-century films to bold new releases – McGill’s club brings cinephiles from across the UK to brilliant, offbeat locations to celebrate the joy of film with screenings, events, and more. Previous Rebel Reel Cine Club happenings have seen everything from horror classic Nosferatu shown in a medieval tower, 1960s crime drama The Small World of Sammy Lee projected above the Blue Posts in Soho –  which features in the film and once served as a rehearsal space for the Rolling Stones – and even a screening on Dungeness Beach near artist Derek Jarman’s famous home, Prospect Cottage. Alongside these events, Rebel Reel Cine Club also hosts talks and spotlights the best in “music, short films, images, food and drink.”

This Thursday, AnOther and Rebel Reel Cine Club are co-hosting a screening of Jean-Luc Godard’s scathing 1967 satire, Weekend, at the Archway Tavern in London. The evening will see a performance from  DJ Helene De Joie and attendees will be gifted a Rebel Reel x 6876 tote bag and a copy of the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of AnOther – sign up below for your chance to win a pair of tickets.

In celebration of the partnership, here McGill presents a curation of stylish, anarchic, original and cult films to either stream from home or watch IRL at forthcoming Rebel Reel events:

Weekend, 1967

“This scathing satire from Jean-Luc Godard is one of cinema’s great anarchic works. Determined to collect an inheritance from a dying relative, a bourgeois couple travels across the French countryside while civilisation crashes and burns around them. Rich with historical and literary references and featuring a famous sequence in which the camera tracks along a seemingly endless traffic jam, Weekend is a surreally funny and disturbing call for revolution, and – according to the credits – the end of cinema itself.”

If you liked this, watch … La Haine, another French film about simmering revolution and riot.

Screening Thursday, 5 May 2022 from 6.30pm at the Archway Tavern.

Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (Who Are You Polly Maggoo?), 1967

“Photographer William Klein’s stylish satire on the fashion and TV world is beautifully shot with a cast of bonkers but recognisable characters. Crowded scenes of 1967 Paris capture the energy of Klein’s own street scene photographs. The film was inspired by Paco Rabanne’s 12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials, and the opening scene with glittering dresses is monochromatically dazzling.

“I screened this with a non-verbal introduction, film, and performance from artist Julie Verhoeven, and Joshua Beaty created a film and performance at the Rio Cinema in Dalston following some short films from William Cult, PZ Today, Ru Kwok, and Lucile Guilmard.”

If you liked this, watch … Grey Gardens, a fashion-inspiring 1975 classic (for Marc Jacobs etc) from the Maysles Brothers, which documents Big and Little Edie in their run-down mansion in the Hamptons.

The Small World of Sammy Lee, 1963

“In Ken Hughes’s 1963 British crime drama, Anthony Newley stars as hangdog comedian Sammy Lee, who has one day to pay off a gambling debt of £500 to Mr Big. The film opens following a milk float up Berwick Street to the soundtrack of Kenny Graham’s jazz score, travelling through the streets of 1960s Soho. This film cemented Newley as one of Britain’s best undiscovered talents.

“I screened The Small World of Sammy Lee above the Blue Posts on Berwick Street on a bespoke denim screen, and the not-completely-flat surface created a hall of mirrors effect on the actors’ faces.”

If you liked this, watch … The Strange World of Gurney Slade, a surreal and fourth wall-breaking kitchen sink comedy series also starring Newley.

Bait, 2019

“Mark Jenkins’s ‘horror film without any horror’ is a tense reflection on the gentrification of a Cornish fishing village. Starring Edward Rowe as a struggling fisherman, the film deals with the tensions that arise between locals and tourists as the quayside becomes increasingly expensive for the working-class fishermen. Jenkins shot Bait on a vintage Bolex camera and developed everything by hand, adding to the scratchy tense feel to the film. I showed it on Dungeness Beach to a mix of holidaymakers and residents.”

If you liked this, watch … Brooding British classic, The Wicker Man, which was released in 1975. On June 18, Rebel Reel Cine Club is returning to Dungeness Beach to screen this atmospheric film by Kelly’s Snack Shack. 

Annette, 2021

“French artist and filmmaker Leos Carax’s debut English-language feature is a staggeringly ambitious, absurdist pop-rock melodrama set (and almost entirely sung) to an all-new soundtrack by Sparks. In it, Adam Driver stars as troubled stand-up Henry McHenry alongside Marion Cotillard, who plays refined soprano Ann. Together, they form a glamorous if unlikely couple, with seemingly little in common but their love for one another. Their relatively comfortable Los Angeles lives are turned upside down following the arrival of Annette, a singular daughter with an extraordinary gift, played by a puppet.”

If you liked this, watch … Nothing – there is nothing else like this.

Watch on MUBI with Rebel Reel’s 30 days trial.

Blow Up, 1966

In 1966, Michelangelo Antonioni transplanted his existentialist ennui to the streets of swinging London for his first English language film, starring David Hemmings as a London fashion photographer who believes he has accidentally captured a murder on film. Antonioni’s meticulous aesthetic control and colour palette breathe life into every frame, set to an insanely brilliant soundtrack from Herbie Hancock and a beautifully evasive performance by Vanessa Redgrave. There’s also a cameo by the Yardbirds making it a classic 60s title.

If you liked this, watch …  L’Avventura, Antonioni’s tense mystery set by the sea, is monochromatically stunning.

Screening at the Economist Plaza on Wednesday, 11 May 2022. DJ and Dinner before the screening, images from Terence Pepper Collection.

Gummo, 1997

Harmony Korine’s 1997 debut feature is set in a tornado-hit town with a cast of misfits, creeps and weirdos. Gummo is a painstakingly repellent heroin chic cine-scrapbook which challenges you to look away, or keep taking it in, but there are moments of absolute brilliance and visual joy in the feature. If you haven’t yet seen it, you will never listen to Roy Orbison singing Crying in the same way ever again – and it’s almost worth re-watching just for Jacob Reynold’s bath tea-time.

If you liked this, watch … Dennis Hopper’s 1980 counterculture classic, Out of The Blue, starring Chloë Sevigny’s co-star Linda Manz. We’ll be screening this very soon.

Screening at Rio Cinema on 27 May, 2022.

Jubilee, 1977

One of Derek Jarman’s most accessible and continually prescient films, Jubilee is a punk classic. Several punk icons appear in the film, including Toyah, Jordan, Nell Campbell, Hermine Demoriane, Jayne County, and Adam Ant – who Jarman first met on the Kings Road dripping with blood, having had his back carved into by a girlfriend (a scene he later recreated in the film). Jordan, who worked at Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s infamous boutique SEX, stars as Amyl Nitrate, and performs one of cinema’s most iconic dance scenes to Rule Britannia. In the wake of her recent death, we’ll be paying tribute to Jordan as part of our Alternative Jubilee season from 2-6 June.

If you liked this, watch …  Repo Man. Alex Cox’s film is more punk than The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle

Screening at Rio Cinema in Dalston, Thursday, 2 June 2022. Featuring a performance and music from the original cast.