By WILLIAM BURT - Film Correspondent

There is a very musical theme this week plus the release of a much anticipated and intriguing sequel of sorts, I say of sorts as it is the third in the series but each story is individual, much like my long running quiz in which I know is the highlight of many a week. 

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New Releases

A Haunting in Venice

This week’s big release is another I am looking forward to and might actually coax me into the cinema on a social visit.

This is the third Poirot outing for Kenneth Branagh and there have been some major alterations to an existing story to bring a fresh and somewhat lesser known tale to the big screen, designed to give the audience more of a surprise. 

Loosely based on Agatha Christie’s Hallowen Party this film sees Poirot travel to Italy and become embroiled in the supernatural. Christie would often cover magical theories, seances and the occult in her books but she would normally always resolve them with an explanation, it will be interesting to see how far down the supernatural the film makers travel.  

The great detective is retired and living reclusively in Italy, has been   encourgaed to attend a friend’s seance and the Belgian reluctantly attends. Unfortunately we all know the risk when you invite Hercule to a party, there is a chance someone may not make it and the seance leads to a death at the gathering forcing the greatest detective out of retirement to find why and more importantly who commited the crime. 

An all-star cast is once more assembled with Jamie Dornan, Michelle Yeoh and Tina Fey appearing as the author Ariadne Oliver.

Event Cinema

ABBA: The Movie Fan Event

Have the time of your life when ABBA: The Movie dances into cinemas for a special two-day fan event!

Captured by director Lasse Hallström during their mega-successful tour of Australia, the newly remastered film will take you on a flashback journey to the 1970s when disco reigned supreme and ABBA were royalty. 

Including backstage footage as well as full-length performances of some of ABBA’s greatest hits including “Dancing Queen”, “SOS”, “Name Of The Game” and “Waterloo”, the film provides a rare look at the hugely successful band during the height of their popularity.

The subplot is a mocumentary-style story of a country radio disc-jockey who attempts to land an interview with the band. As deadlines loom—it is a slapstick mix of happenstance and error by the young DJ who is tasked with getting the coveted interview while ABBA’s dedicated bodyguard does everything he can to stop it from happening.

This fan event also features exclusive extras, including an insight from the creators of the phenomenally successful London-based concert ABBA: Voyage, plus a glimpse at ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, lyric videos from hit songs, and extremely rare behind-the-scenes footage from preparation ahead of the 1977 tour.

Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex

Screening at select venues tomorrow night.

AngelHeaded Hipster is the first documentary to explore the creation and interpretation of the Music and Lyrics of Marc Bolan who died at the age of 29 in 1977. 

Using archival performances, interviews with Bolan, and filmed interpretations by artists such as Nick Cave, John Cameron Mitchell, Joan Jett, Macy Gray, U2, Lucinda Williams, Father John Misty, & others. 

This documentary creates an exuberant and thoughtful celebration of a true original; Glam Rock pioneer, gender-bending free spirit and explorer of punk and soul music with his last partner musician Gloria Jones, who is interviewed extensively from Sierra Leone. 

Illuminated with interviews by his great friends David Bowie, Ringo Starr, Elton John and many more, this film creates a new kind of music lookback intertwined with cinema verité footage captured directly from the studio with legendary Avant-Garde Record Producer Hal Willner who tragically died of COVID in 2020 after completing what would be his final album.

Das Rheingold

Next Wednesday - September 20, sees the start of the Royal Opera House Season and there is still time to get a season ticket for the Ballet or the Opera productions for the 2023/24 season. 

First up from Covent Garden is Das Rhiengold. When a precious hoard of gold is stolen from the river Rhine, it unleashes a chain of destructive events, pitting gods and mortals against one another for generations. 

Wagner’s Ring cycle boasts some of the greatest music ever written for the opera stage. Join us as we embark on a spectacular journey into the world of myth, dream and memory, with the figure of Erda – Mother Earth herself – at its centre. 

Antonio Pappano conducts Barrie Kosky’s bold new imagining of Wagner’s Das Rheingold – which marks the start of a new Ring cycle for The Royal Opera – with an outstanding cast including Christopher Maltman (Wotan) and Christopher Purves (Alberich).

Cinema Memories

Cinema memories this week and a quick look at music in film. 

Obviously The Jungle Book has some of the all time Disney favourites and with the ABBA movie, it got me thinking about the Mamma Mia movies and their amazing success and huge popularity. 

Musical films often get a devoted fan base keen on repeat watching, Grease, Bohemian Rhapsody, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins and West Side Story to name a few. 

Music is a massive influence in film and vice versa with some of the biggest number ones came from films, The Bodyguard, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Four Weddings and a Funeral all had the longest running UK number ones. 

On the subject of music I recorded an interview for CHAOS radio before the summer which has my top ten movie tracks during my time working at the cinema. It is well worth a listen if I say so myself. 

Go to CHAOS radio online and the MySounds list should reveal my recording. 

This Week’s Quiz

As we have the ABBA movie fan event in cinemas next week this quiz topic is ABBA songs in movies. 

Question 1

Dancing Queen features in the 2000 movie Miss Congeniality but who played lead character Gracie Hart?

Question 2

Aussie classic Muriel’s Wedding follows the ABBA obsessed title character but who plays Muriel?

Question 3

Sci-fi drama The Martian has a great soundtrack including Eurovision winning Waterloo, but who played the marooned spaceman Mark Watney?

Question 4

The fourth Thor outing Love and Thunder had a predominantly Guns and Roses vibe but it also contained Our Last Summer but who played the title character and also Jane Foster?

Question 5

Bennie and Bjorn helped establish Chess the musical alongside Tim Rice, the most famous song One Night in Bangkok features in which comedy film?

A) Borat

B) The Hangover 2

C) White Chicks

Question 6

Comedy spy film Get Smart features Take a Chance on Me, but who played lead characters Maxwell Smart and Agent 99?

Question 7

It has to be on the list and we start with sequel Mamma Mia Here We Go Again. Featuring in the flashbacks who played young Donna, plus in current setting who played Sophie and who had a huge entrance as Sophie’s grandmother Ruby?

Question 8

Another Aussie film Priscilla Queen of the Desert but can you name the trio of Hollywood stars that played the drag trio Mitzi, Felicia and Bernadette?

Question 9

Multi award winning Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri plays the tune Chiquitita but who won Academy and BAFTA Awards for their roles as Mildred and Dixon plus who had an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actor as Willoughby?

Question 10

No surprises with the tenth film, Mamma Mia. But who played the six main characters Donna, Sam, Rosie, Bill, Tanya and Harry in the 2008 hit musical?


1 Sandra Bullock headed up the cast in this comedy.

2 Toni Collette in an early breakthrough role, a very versatile actress who can easily deliver a multitude of different nationalities with ease.

3 Matt Damon was the potato growing marooned Martian.

4 Chris Hemsworth was Thor and Natalie Portman played Jane aka a female Thor in this offering.

5 B) The Hangover part 2 as the boys travel to Thailand for this sequel.

6 Steve Carell played Maxwell and Anne Hathaway was Agent 99.

7 So the three generations of Sheridans, (used to be an alcoholic liquer but I don’t know if it is still on the shelves). Donna was Lily James, Amanda Seyfried reprised her role as Sophie and there was a dramatic entrance for Cher.

8 Hugo Weaving (The Matrix), Guy Pearce (L.A Confidential) and Terence Stamp (aforementioned Get Smart) were the drag trio.

9 Frances McDormand was Mildred, Sam Rockwell played Dixon and Woody Harrelson was nominated for his turn as Willoughby.

10 Meryl Streep was Donna, Pierce Brosnan as Sam, Julie Walters plays Rosie, Stella Skarsgaard features as Bill, Colin Firth played Harry and Christine Baranski appears as Tanya.