Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas from KFC

It's time for our short break for the holidays but we'll be back on January 10th with Jane Campion's Bright Things starting off the Spring Programme. You can find details of all the spring films here on the website, some highlights include Goodbye Solo, The White Ribbon, Un Prophète and of course the 11th Keswick Film Festival.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Joyeux Noel - Sunday 20th December 5pm

We picked Joyeux Noel out for our Christmas spot from the most likely ‘not-overdone-on-TV’ contenders, as being a film with some suitably uplifting content for the time of year (but some grimness too, as you’d expect on the front line in 1914) and a good story based on what actually happened almost exactly 95 years ago. It’s not a brand-new film (made in 2005) but a good one, which didn’t deserve to be overlooked back then. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Film in a Foreign Language but it was beaten to the award by Tsotsi. When it came out, Joyeux Noel was called by the Time Out critic of the day: ‘a respectful, sobering tribute to the flickering of humanitarian spirit amid the darkest days of conflict and, as such, surely a Christmas film for the ages.’ Come and see what you think, if you’re not too busy on Sunday…

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fish Tank - Sunday 13th December 5pm

Our penultimate film of the year is Fish Tank, directed by Andrea Arnold (Red Road) and starring newcomer Katie Jarvis as 15-year-old Mia, the film was the winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes. Since Cannes, of course the film has done very well in the BIFA Awards: 'Arnold scooped Best Director as well as Katie Jarvis picking up MostPromising Newcomer for her central performance.'

Friday, December 04, 2009

Wonderful Town - Sunday 6th December 5pm

Wonderful Town was Sight & Sound's Film of the Month in April, and your chance to see it comes up on Sunday. The magazine's review, by Tony Rayns, forms the bulk of our film notes - but you might prefer to avoid 'spoilers' by reading them later. You're safe, though, to read the description in the brochure. Suffice it to say that Rayns pays tribute to an 'excellent, poetic, and engrossing' debut from the Thai director Aditya Assarat.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Broken Embraces - Sunday 29th November 5pm

The audience last Sunday was much better than we expected in the circumstances, and I hope that means that most of you will have no trouble in getting to Broken Embraces on Sunday. It’s the latest Pedro Almodovar film of course (you remember Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Volver, Talk to Her, Bad Education) whose main two protagonists – director Almodovar and star Penelope Cruz feature on the cover of our autumn brochure.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

35 Shots Of Rum - Sunday 22nd November 5pm

Looking ahead to Sunday, it’s good to be able to preview another of Claire Denis’s works: people were pretty impressed by Beau Travail when we screened it in spring 2001, and 35 Shots of Rum (35 rhums) is generally thought to be her best since then. 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and here’s one more, typical, quote – this time from the Times lady: ‘The magic of Claire Denis’s exquisite 35 Shots of Rum is that although so much is left unsaid, it’s one of the most emotionally eloquent films you’ll see this year.’ Oh, and it’s French!

Ken Russell Weekend

Thanks to everyone who came and supported our Ken Russell weekend. Ken warmed to the task as the weekend progressed, and having sat through all 3 of his films, his reaction was that The Devils confirmed itself in his mind as the best film he’d made; he was quietly pleased with Song of Summer: looking at it again after a very long gap brought back fond memories of the cast; and, 20 years after he’d last seen Mahler, he seemed quite impressed with what a good film he’d made – it must have gone up a notch or two in his opinion of his best work. The conversation with Derek Malcolm flowed well too, Derek’s knowledgeable interjections and questions enticing out a good deal of amusing and interesting anecdotes.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Grocer's Son - Sunday 8th November 5pm

The Grocer’s Son (Le fils de l’épicier) should certainly appeal to all those who have enjoyed sampling or observing life in the French provinces, particularly Provence, and if you admire landscapes you will enjoy the looming presence of le Mont Sainte Victoire, Cézanne’s favourite subject, of course. But even if those pleasures have thus far escaped you, there’s a general consensus amongst the critics that it’s a well-made, well-acted and intriguing story depicting family tensions, the psychological development of the young protagonists, fascinating and amusing rustic characters – and what you can buy from a French grocery van!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Katyn - Sunday 1st November 5pm

You'll probably have heard quite a lot about Katyn, next Sunday's film, already. Taking its name from the forest in which a terrible massacre of Polish officers took place during the Second World War, it's celebrated director Andrezj Wajda's homage to his father and father's fellow officers who were murdered at the time, his desire to set the record of history straight, and his ambition to craft a beautifully-shot drama to entertain an intelligent audience.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fugitive Pieces - Sunday 25th October 5pm

Fugitive Pieces coming up on Sunday: our highly-literate membership seems to be well aware of the novel by Anne Michaels on which it's based - a prose-poem of a novel, they said. How to do poetry on the screen? Well, voice-overs is one answer, but come and see how successful you think
Canadian Jeremy Podeswa has been. Beautiful musical score, exceptional views of Greece, etc., etc...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cherry Blossoms - Sunday 18th October 5pm

Cherry Blossoms is an intriguing prospect: some of the weightier critics, realising that the director was paying tribute to Ozu’s Tokyo Story were slightly constrained in their praise when comparing the 2008 German story to the Japanese master’s work. But even they seemed impressed by Dorrie’s handling of the family relationships (yes, again!) and the development of the major character following the move from Germany to Japan. So 84% on ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ is a fair accolade. If you’d like to read more than you can find in the KFC brochure, notes are available on the film page – just don’t read Philip French’s piece if you want to avoid spoilers. But be assured that he liked it: ‘A quiet, very beautiful film about the duality of love and death.’

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Everlasting Moments - Sunday 11th October 5pm

Philip French, whom, you've probably realised by now, is one of our most trusted critics, gives Everlasting Moments a glowing review, which will stand as our film notes. In case you don't have time to read French's review, here a few snippets:
Everlasting Moments is a true masterpiece...There are wonderful moments in this beautiful, tender,truthful film...The acting all around is of the highest order and Maria Heiskanen's magnificent performance as Maria is a portrait of human goodness and decency, utterly lacking in sentimentality, sanctimony or self-conscious martyrdom.

Friday, October 02, 2009

sleep furiously - Sunday 4th October 5pm

Coming up for your delectation this Sunday, we have sleep furiously. The title is a quotation from Noam Chomsky, who in support of his linguistic theories offered "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously" as an example of a sentence that is nonsensical even though the grammar is perfectly correct. Why director Gideon Koppel chooses it is not so clear! To convince you that you really ought to come and see this film, you should the whole of the excellent review from Sight and Sound but you probably haven't got time to do that, so here is the the beginning and the end to whet your appetite:
'As an honest and moving portrait of a year in the life of a small rural community in mid Wales, Gideon Koppel's charming and naturalistic film beats its inspiration Dylan Thomas hands down, says John Banville.'
'Now more than ever we need films such as this: grave, measured, subtly comic and beautifully wrought, free of polemic and yet offering a new way of seeing that is as old as Arcady. sleep furiously is, simply, a masterpiece.'

Thursday, September 24, 2009

O'Horten - Sunday 27th September 5PM

The charming eccentricity of O'Horten might come as a relief to those who found Synecdoche, New York a little too opaque to be enjoyable. It scores well (89%) on the Rotten Tomatoes website, and as well as the two critics' tributes in the brochure, you have ViewLondon, typically upbeat, saying: 'Enjoyable Norwegian comedy-drama with gorgeous photography, a pleasingly quirky script and a great performance from Bard Owe.'

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Synedoche, New York

Our next screening is Synedoche, New York, a film which has had a mixed reception, confused and pretentious for some critics and a masterpiece for others. Come along on Sunday and make up your own mind...

Last weekend the turnout for Home was 138 and the scores were: 1 - 0; 2 - 5; 3 - 26; 4 - 37; 5 - 18; (86 votes) giving an overall rating of 69.8%, you can read John's review here.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Autumn Opening

Soon, the moment you've all been waiting for! Yes, it's Sunday afternoon: wine/juice/entertainment at 4.15 and the film at 5. We hope you've all had an enjoyable summer - well, June, at least - and that you're fit and rarin' to go on the film front.

Our opening film is Home, as you doubtless know by now, and here's the beginning of Edinburgh Filmhouse's description: 'Described by director Ursula Meier as "a road movie in reverse", Home is an assured and unsettling drama in the Michael Haneke mould. Marthe (Isabelle Huppert) and Michel (Olivier Gourmet) lead a happily isolated life with their kids on the edge of an abandoned motorway. Relishing their distance from the rest of society, the clan stage makeshift hockey matches, sunbathe in deckchairs near the road, and hold picnics in their extended backyard. However, when the motorway is reopened, it's only a matter of time before their secluded idyll is disrupted...' The film has won awards on the cinematography and acting fronts (almost inevitable, with Agnès Godard and Isabelle Huppert involved) and there are some nice tributes to first-time director Ursula Meier. The Daily Telegraph critic said: 'Sometimes eerie, at other times playful and witty, it explores themes of modernity and primitivism without ever being heavy-handed. And as a portrait of a family under siege, it's as unsettling as it is sensual.'

Don't forget you can renew your membership during the week at the Alhambra or the Necessary Angel and if you can do so, it would be greatly appreciated and help keep things moving smoothly on Sunday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Autumn Programme

The nights are drawing in which means that it must be nearly time to start the Autumn Programme of films. Starting again on Sunday 13th September with Home, there are many more great films to see before Christmas, including Everlasting Moments, Katyn, 35 Shots Of Rum,
Broken Embraces and a special weekend celebrating the work of Ken Russell.

You can see all of the Autumn films and download the brochure on the Autumn 2009 Programme page.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BFFS Featured Exhibitor

As part of the preparations for this year’s Film Society of the Year Awards, the
British Federation of Film Societies are taking a look at some past winners. This month they talk to David Miller about Keswick Film Club and discuss what makes our programme award winning.

You can read the article on the new BFFS website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Caldbeck Area Film Society

Our friends at CAFS have announced their next programme of films and you can find all the details on our new CAFS page. Included in the line up are I've Loved You So Long (which was our highest scoring film last season), Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader, Goodbye Lenin, Casablanca, The Age Of Stupid and The Damned United.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another SusKes Film

Don't forget on 7th June, at 2pm, SusKes are presenting a free showing The Power of Community - How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. One IMDb commentator summarised it thus:
"See this film, pass it on to your politician! This is a positive film and I found it utterly refreshing after the barrage of doom-laden messages about the state of the world today."

Followed by a chance to discuss and learn more...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SusKes Films

We’ve become involved in helping SusKes to spread their message of sustainability and awareness of environmental issues by helping to screen two upcoming films at the Alhambra – the first, this Sunday (31st) at 2pm, is The Age of Stupid which is described on the IMDb as:
"This ambitious documentary/drama/animation hybrid stars Pete Postlethwaite as an archivist in the devastated world of the future, asking the question: "Why didn't we stop climate change when we still had the chance?"
The really good news: it’s free of charge! And it’ll be followed by a talk and discussion for those who want to stay

Then on 7th June, also at 2pm, SusKes are showing (free entry again) The Power of Community - How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. One IMDb commentator summarised it thus:
"See this film, pass it on to your politician! This is a positive film and I found it utterly refreshing after the barrage of doom-laden messages about the state of the world today."
Again followed by a chance to discuss and learn more…

Thanks to Robert and Tom for agreeing to project these films, and to Alhambra owner Alan Towers for letting us use the cinema.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

KFC On Twitter

KFC has joined in the Twitter craze, you can follow us @keswickfilmclub. We probably won't be saying much until closer to the autumn programme but if you do follow us you'll be kept up to date in 140 characters or fewer.

The festival is also twittering as @keswickfilmfest.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Back In September

A long season came to an end with a bang when Waltz With Bashir scored our second-best rating of all the spring films. You can see the scores at the top of the page and see how Waltz compared with the other films this spring season.

We'll be back in September with our Autumn Programme, if there are any films you think we should be showing then please do get in touch.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Waltz with Bashir

Waltz with Bashir will be with us on Sunday, having failed to arrive for 15th March. So it gives us a chance to extend the season by one week and end 2008-9 with a very highly regarded film.

Please note that we are no longer showing The Iron Wall with Waltz but we do plan to show it at a later date.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

2009 AGM

The Club's 2009 AGM took place on Sunday March 22nd, you can find details of what was covered in the Chairman's Report.

Friday, April 10, 2009

KFC On The Road

You have another chance to see Jeremy Gilley's The Day After Peace if you missed it at the Festival. It's being screened at Mungrisdale Village Hall by the Mungrisdale Church Open Doors initiative on Tuesday 14th April, 7pm for 7.30pm, and it's free. Discussion and refreshments to follow. More info on

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Che Parts One & Two

Keswick Film Club is screening both parts of Che (The Argentine and Guerrilla) on Sunday 29th March

With Benicio del Toro on terrific form in the title role, this is the way in which Steven Soderbergh wanted his work to be appreciated. Andrew O’Hehir, respected critic of saw the whole piece at Cannes, and reported:
‘I'd be surprised if Che doesn't win the Palme d'Or , but be that as it may, nobody who saw it here will ever forget it.’
This is one of the very few opportunities you will have to see the complete work in one sitting (we will give a half-hour ‘tea-break!), particularly at an entrance price of £4, so do come to Keswick (for the day, for the weekend?) and enjoy seeing a masterly overview of one of the Twentieth Century’s most charismatic figures.

Friday, March 20, 2009


We're glad to report that a date has been found for the screening of Gomorrah - which didn't happen in December because of non-arrival of the print. Both the Alhambra and all the prints of the film have been very busy, but we can now announce that Gomorrah will be screened at 5pm on Saturday 28th March.

This now makes for a special weekend for film enthusiasts: you also have the extremely rare chance to see both parts of Che on the following day, starting at 2.30pm and going through to 7.30pm ('tea' interval included!). Where else in North Western England...?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dates For Your Diary

The Club AGM will be held at 4pm on March 22nd - before the screening of The Silence of Lorna. It would be good to see plenty of members at the meeting: please come and express your views on KFC's 2008-9 year.

We're glad to report that a date has been found for the screening of Gomorrah - which didn't happen in December because of non-arrival of the print. Both the Alhambra and all the prints of the film have been very busy, but we can now announce that Gomorrah will be screened at 5pm on Saturday 28th March.

This now makes for a special weekend for film enthusiasts: you also have the extremely rare chance to see both parts of Che on the following day, starting at 2.30pm and going through to 7.30pm ('tea' interval included!). Where else in North Western England...?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Keswick Film Festival

Many of you will have attended (and hopefully enjoyed) the 10th Keswick Film Festival at the weekend. If you head over to the festival website you will find details of the short film competition winners, some photos from the weekend on the Festival Blog and soon we'll be announcing the winner of the inaugural audience award.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy New Year

The Spring season starts on Sunday with OSS-117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. The OTT title will give you a flavour of the spoof nature of the movie, and if you want to read more, the notes are available on the film's page here on the website.

There's also a chance to get together for a glass of wine (or OJ) at 4.15pm before the film. No mind-stretching this time - just the chance to renew acquaintance and introduce yourself to that interesting-looking character who often sits two or three seats away from you... Or just relax and ponder Peter Bradshaw's on-screen musings.

A reminder too, that if you like the look of the spring 2009 programme, you can save yourself a few pounds by buying a spring pass (still only £28) and see all 14 films without any more to pay. The maths shouldn't be difficult!