Monday, October 15, 2018

Cold War - Sunday 21st October 5pm


If you loved Pawel Pawlikowski’s Oscar and BAFTA-winning last film ‘Ida’ as much as we did you won’t be at all surprised that we have included his new ‘Cold War’ in this season. This, too, is winning awards: at Cannes Film Festival, Pawel Pawlikowski  won the Best Director award and the film was nominated for the Palme d’Or.

The film shows the meeting between Wiktor, a travelling musician and Zula, who comes to an audition for his folk group. It then follows the two folk musicians around Cold War Europe, weaving their love and the politics of the time into "a crisply controlled saga of romantic torture, glamour, forbidden border crossings and more betrayals than you can shake a black silk stocking at"  - Stephanie Zacharek, Time.

"Wiktor and Zula have a complicated relationship over the years, which is held together by the music: ‘The music does the feeling for them  - and the music, like their relationship, changes. We have folk chorals that speak of lost loves, sweetly wounded jazz twinkling in French caf├ęs, and the furious, overpowering charge of rock ’n’ roll" - Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice.

Which only leaves me wondering, is the ‘Cold War’ of the title about the political times of the countries they travel though; or is it more about the relationship between the two lovers..? You will have to come along and see for yourself; it won't be a wasted evening I'm sure - this could be my film of the season.

Vaughan

Monday, October 08, 2018

First Reformed - Sunday 14th October 5pm


Thanks to one of our members who suggested we showed First Reformed this Autumn.
"It's been a long journey for Paul Schrader, the screenwriter who gave us American classics such as 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull' and 'American Gigolo'.  Now comes 'First Reformed', which Schrader wrote and directed, and it shows a raging fire still burns deep within the 71year-old. 'First Reformed' is a passionate, unnerving and almost unbearably tense drama about faith, conviction and the rotting core of life on our planet. It's the Schrader many hoped was still alive and kicking but doubted we would ever see again. What a comeback" - Adam Graham, Detroit News. 
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Monday, October 01, 2018

Custody - Sunday 7th October 5pm


The Alhambra is the place to be at 5pm on Sunday. We are going back to France again, but this time for a very different film - Xavier Legrand's Custody. If thrillers get to you as much as they do to me, then this is for you!

It feels as though saying anything about the plot will give too much away; let’s just say we are watching a custody battle between a soon-to-be-ex-married couple. This has been done many times before, from 'Kramer v Kramer' to 'A Separation' but, as Odie Henderson says in RogerEbert.com -

"Watching 'Custody' I was reminded of one of Roger's tenets: "It’s not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it." Writer/director Xavier Legrand's feature length debut is about a bitter custody battle, but he has chosen to execute his plot as a quiet, brutally relentless psychological thriller. Custody filters the majority of its terror through Julien Besson (Thomas Gloria), the 10-year-old boy at the centre of his parents' vicious legal struggle. This device never feels exploitative, because as any child of divorce will tell you, the dissolution of one’s parental unit is traumatic even when the split is amicable. And this is not an amicable split".

I can also tell you that the film starts in court, where Antoine Besson is arguing for joint custody of Julien whilst his soon-to-be-ex-wife is arguing against. Is Antoine the innocent husband whose wife has set his kids against him, or is he the violent person she claims..?

The acting of all the cast gets great reviews, especially Thomas Gloria - "he has a very expressive face that often fills the screen in silence while his body telegraphs the sad resignation of one who feels helpless" - Odie Henderson again - whilst Xavier Legrand's direction won him the Silver Lion at Venice: he "seems precociously adept at turning the screws of suspense" - Anthony Lane, New

I can't wait!

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Heiresses - Sunday 30th September 5pm


Winner of awards at Berlin and Seattle, The Heiresses is a beautiful look at the problems and opportunities when life changes unexpectedly as "A withdrawn, middle-aged gay woman slowly inches out of the shadows of her dissatisfaction as she's forced to navigate a life separated from her more outgoing partner of 30 years... Minor-key and subdued to a fault, the drama nonetheless builds emotional involvement by infinitesimal degrees through its acute observation of characters and social context and its ultra-naturalistic performances" - David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Lean On Pete - Sunday 23rd September 5pm


Our film this week follows on from Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years which went down well in Keswick in 2015. Lean on Pete was released just too late for us to get it last season; it gets a viewing here with thanks to one of our members who suggested it. Haigh continues his compassionate style of directing, but this time in America with a story about Charley, a 15-year-old boy and a horse.

"A performance of remarkable depth, candour and vulnerability by rising star Charlie Plummer lies at the heart of this terrifically moving fourth feature film from British writer-director Andrew Haigh." - Mark Kermode
"Haigh's new film has the substance and emotional heft to be considered a masterpiece." Kevin Maher, The Times