Tuesday, April 02, 2019

The End of a Great year..?

And so our 20th Year comes to end. We hope you enjoyed many of the films on show and will be back with us... for our 21st year (!) in September.

What was your favourite film? The highest voted film of the year goes right back to September last season - 'In the Fade' scored 89%, although 'Colette' did score 86% this season. 'Colette' was the second largest audience too - 163 - with the very first film of the year - 'C'est la Vie' - just beating it with 165.

We are planning to run the vote for members to choose some of the program again in July or August so look out for these emails. Meanwhile, don't forget the Alhambra goes on running films for you every week of the year. If you aren't signed up for their weekly emails yet (Why not!?), keep your eye on the Alhambra website, where you can sign up for their emails.

Whatever you are doing, have a great summer! We'll be back in September - probably the 8th. See you then!

Monday, March 25, 2019

If Beale Street Could Talk - Sunday 29th March 5pm


Sadly we have reached the final film of our Twentieth Year; but what a film we have for you! If Beale Street Could Talk is certainly one of the best finales in recent years. Winner of an Oscar and loved by most critics ("This movie works as a timeless romance, a family drama, a legal thriller and a poignant social commentary. A great American novel has been turned into a great American film" - Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times).

Many of you will have seen Barry Jenkins' magical Oscar-winning 'Moonlight', where he followed the life of a young black boy as he grows to be a man and realises he is gay.  Here again, "Jenkins seems to approach filmmaking with a sort of inspired synesthesia: There’s a musicality to Beale that isn't just confined to the soundtrack of jazz and strings and Nina Simone, a rhythm to his camera angles and storytelling and the particular beats each scene hits" - Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment.

The film is taken from James Baldwin's 1974 novel of the same name: "Fingered by a racist cop, young Fonny is imprisoned for a rape he didn’t commit; his pregnant fiancée, Tish, struggles to free him with help from her tight-knit family. Stephan James’s battered Fonny effectively signals real love and deep hurt, but it’s KiKi Layne who shines in a difficult ingenue role, rendering the shy and deferential Tish – another era’s ideal of femininity – delicate yet strong" - Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Return Of The Hero - Sunday 24 March 5pm


After a few weeks of thought-provoking films we thought it was time for a break with a French comedy!

"While co-writer/ director Laurent Tirard and screenwriter Grégoire Vigneron have created something wholly original with Return of the Hero, their inspiration is clear: What if Howard Hawks adapted Jane Austen’s work as a screwball comedy? And they’ve succeeded.

Elisabeth Beauregard  has always been a fierce protector of her family, but she's about to meet her greatest challenge yet: Captain Charles-Gregorie Neuville. Soon after he's engaged to her younger, more naive sister Pauline, he's summoned to the frontlines of battle. Pauline writes letter after letter to her fiancé only to get nothing in return. Elisabeth, looking out for her sister who’s fallen deathly ill due to the lovelorn stress, decides to start writing to Pauline as the Captain. The war ends, but judgmental Elisabeth fervently believes Neuville will be a no-show. She continues her scheme so Pauline’s attentions and heart can be directed elsewhere – to sweet, shy Nicolas. Three years later, the Captain returns and whips Elisabeth, her family and the entire town into a frenzy’ - Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Burning - Sunday 17th March 5pm


Boy meet girl, meets boy; nothing new there then. Or is there: what is going on underneath?

The South Korean film industry has become more and more important over the last few years, from the dramatic, almost horrific ‘Oldboy’ and ‘The Host’  to the beautiful and thought-provoking ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Poetry’. ‘Burning’ is the latest from the director of ‘Poetry’, so this time we are at the beautiful, thought-provoking end of the spectrum.

Jongsu yearns to be a writer, but is looking after his father's farm. When he runs into Haemi - an old school friend he has not seen for years - he falls hook, line and sinker for her wistful love of life. He agrees to take her to the airport and look after her cat while she is off adventuring in Africa, but when she returns, she has with her Ben, a rich man who's job is "playing". As the trio spend time together, Jongsu is more and more unsettled by Ben, but are his fears justified or is he just jealous?
"Lee plays the actors off one another to create a compelling exploration of human nature. South Korea’s official Oscar submission, ‘Burning’ culminates in a finale so astonishing that it will sear itself into viewers' memories for years to come" - Sonia Rao, Washington Post. 
How can you resist that?


Monday, March 04, 2019

The Hate U Give - Sunday 10th March 5pm

After the amazing 20th Keswick Film Festival, we are back to 'standard' club fare; but what fare we have for you!

In an America more divided daily by the rhetoric of President Trump, we in Britain may have forgotten the huge discrimination still faced by people of colour there. The Hate U Give focuses on one such problem - police shootings.

Starr (brilliantly played by Amandla Stenberg) is relatively lucky, her loving parents paying for her to go to Williamson, a wealthy and predominantly white school. She leads a double life;

"Williamson Starr doesn't give anyone a reason to call her ghetto," she says. "And I hate myself for doing it." She keeps her white boyfriend Chris and friends at a distance from her home life, which she manages pretty well until the night when she witnesses her childhood best friend, Khalil, get shot by a white police officer at a traffic stop  
Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press.

Khalil’s death becomes a national story and Starr's decision - should she speak up? Should she testify? - will define her life and those around her: Kahlil was working for a local drug lord, King, who wants her to keep quiet in case the police take him down too. Her classmates seem disconnected, even her boyfriend is slow to learn (he is used here to show that this issue affects as all).

A must-see for us here in the UK; hopefully the festival has inspired you for more great films; see you there!