Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where Do We Go Now? - Sunday 23rd December 5pm

So we come to the last movie of the year- it only seems like yesterday when we began. We hope you have enjoyed them as much as we have. We did a quick vote for 'film of the year' at the club Christmas party last weekend and 8 of the 15 films so far got at least one person's vote, so it seems we are still a club with a very varied choice.

This week's film is the Middle-Eastern 'Where Do We Go Now?', a light-hearted second look at the 'power of women'. In this view, we see the Muslim and Christian women of the village uniting to try to stop the men coming to blows over religion; their tactics start with sabotaging the TV and go on to some pretty irreligious methods of persuasion... a different take on Christmas, certainly, but definitely one that pushes 'good will on earth'...come along and enjoy the last club film of 2012!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Untouchable - Sunday 16th December 5pm

This weeks film stars, Francois Cluzet (who was the lead in 'Tell No One', that fantastic French adaptation of the Harlan Coben novel of the same name) and Omar Sy. It has been described as a 'culture-clash buddy movie', which is now the most successful French language film at the global box office. Interestingly, Welcome to the Sticks, a highlight of the last Festival, was for a time the highest grossing French film and it also had an oblique take on disability in one of its early scenes. It must be a Gallic thing.

Extract from the review in Digital Sky:
In the hands of Hollywood, Untouchable could have been overly sentimental and clichéd (worryingly, a remake is already in the works), but writer/directors Nakache and Toledano strike gold with the casting of Cluzet and Sy. The latter invests Driss with a buoyant personality, expertly balancing pathos and a lightness of touch that's enough to ignite a spark in his new boss.
Cluzet, too, is excellent as the wheelchair-bound aristocrat, delivering an expressive performance with only his face. As he gradually becomes comfortable in the company of Driss, there's a sense that he's also getting more comfortable with himself, not allowing his wheelchair to hold him prisoner.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Mysteries Of Lisbon - Sunday 9th December 2pm

A 93 minute film last Sunday can be considered a mere appetizer against the epic that is Mysteries of Lisbon, which due to its 4hr 30 minute running time will start at 2.00pm this Sunday. There will be an interval!

The Director, Raoul Ruiz, is little known in the UK, although Time Regained, with John Malkovich, did feature in the 2001 Festival Programme. The critics seem to love 'Mysteries, not least Philip French in the Guardian -
"The duration is intimidating, but the time flies by in an engrossing movie that covers three generations over the late 18th and early 19th centuries and deals with themes – chance, identity, manipulation, multiple personality – that recur in Ruiz's oeuvre. Like Jorge Luís Borges and Gabriel García Márquez (two Latin American writers he admires) and Italo Calvino, he is fascinated by the very act of storytelling, and the movie brings to mind Dickens, Balzac, Hugo and Dumas, but with a modernist twist."
Probably not many car chases then.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beasts Of The Southern Wild - Sunday 2nd December 5pm

We have another 'small but beautiful' film for you this weekend. Rotten Tomatoes has this to say in its synopsis -

'Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantastical, emotionally powerful journey and a strong case of film-making that values imagination over money'

The story is based on a small child's determination to survive a flood that threatens to end the world she knows. Her imagination does the rest. The film's success (it has won awards from Sundance to the BFI to  Cannes)  is based on the freshness of the plot, the director and the actors, not least of whom is the 6 year old star Quvenzhane Wallis, who has herself won the Hollywood award for best newcomer. I have watched various trailers and, even from them, it is hard not to be won over.

Made on a relatively tiny budget (less than $2m), this was directed by an unknown director - Benh Zeitlin - using untrained actors and the result has surprised everyone; as Roger Ebert says 'Sometimes miraculous films come into being, made by people you've never heard of, starring unknown faces, blindsiding you with creative genius. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is one of the year's best films'.Will Keswick agree? I suspect so...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Samsara - Sunday 25th November at Rheged

And so to Sunday and our annual charabanc ride to Rheged.  Samsara is one of those films that defy classification, suffice to say that it is bound to be a visual feast, played out to perfection on the giant screen. Be prepared for some jaw dropping moments and some thought provoking images. This is what the Guardian thought:
Although Ron Fricke's followup to the stunning Baraka arrives almost 20 years later with his methods virtually unchanged, it still seems just as fresh and interesting. His collection of beautifully shot, enigmatic images from his globetrotting large-format cameras are this time assembled to tell a non-narrative tale of human belief systems, congregations and wonders both man-made and natural. Each snippet tells only part of a bigger story, barely giving you time to process who you are looking at and what they are doing, but this makes the whole thing a more active experience than most films. Questions are provoked then dismissed as we move on, but the themes build up in the mind. It may be just more of the same from Fricke, but with his unique process, another incredible-looking lap around the world is more than welcome.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Kid With A Bike - Sunday 18th November 5pm

This week's film is 'A Kid With a Bike' - directed by the ever popular Dardenne brothers who, as Derek Malcolm says, 'have been called the nearest to Ken Loach in Europe, and it is a tribute they well deserve'. So expect a good social-realist drama - it won the Jury Prize at Cannes 2011.
Set in the back streets of Belgium, we follow 12 year old Cyril around on his bike looking for his father. Cyril cannot believe his father has abandoned him. His search brings him into contact with good and bad people, but he seems set on completing the ruin of his life his father has begun. The film, like the Dardenne films before ('The Son','The Child', 'Rosetta') brings out this influence of adults on children, in this case especially fathers. Can the good influence of Samantha, who befriends him, overcome the bad...?

Thursday, November 08, 2012


In the spirit of Keswick Film Club, we try to support up and coming British talent. This season we managed to get the directors to come along to meet us, though, unfortunately, Ben Rivers had to drop out at the last minute as he will be in France working on his next film.

At 5.00pm, we start with  'Two Years at Sea', a documentary following the life of a recluse in the Scottish Highlands. The film is directed  by Ben Rivers and has had  great reviews from both critics and audiences alike.

At 6.45pm, we go over the road to the Freemason's Hall for a free Buffet, where you will get the chance to talk to the writer/director/producers of our second film, Ant Neely and Sloane U'Ren. We will have their film at 7.45pm  - which may win an award for the longest title (!) - 'Dimensions: A line, a loop, a tangle of threads'. Ant and Neely will introduce the film, which is...a period sci-fi, with a time travel element.. What more can we ask?! This is a film which has won awards in London and Boston, even though they still have no distributor.

So a very varied evening, which hopefully will give something for all. Feel free to come along to either or both films; it will only cost you the price of one film (or nothing if you have a season ticket, of course!)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia - Sunday 4th November 5pm

This week's film, 'Once Upon a Time in Anatolia', takes us on a mystery tour of the back country of Anatolia, following a group of men in cars looking for...what? The director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan is recognized as one of the great living directors. His technique is to let the film do the talking, not the plot. So at the start, we don't know what these men are doing, only by following the conversations and the camera do we gradually find out. You may remember 'Three Monkeys', the last of his films we showed, itself an intriguing mystery following a car accident at the beginning.

This weekend's film is generally recognized as his best yet and shared the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes with another film we are showing soon - 'The Kid with a Bike'. Philip French in the Observer couldn't be much clearer; 'Nuri Bilge Ceylan is one of the most significant moviemakers to have emerged this century... His finest work to date, 'Once Upon a Time in Anatolia' is a carefully controlled masterpiece'.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Source - Sunday 28th October 5pm

What would you think if you had to walk up a dangerous mountain path each day to carry water back to your village?

For the second in our short season of 'the power of water' films, we are off to an un-named African country this weekend, where the stage is set for the local women to take on this centuries old tradition. Why should they have to carry the water from a mountain spring when their men could build a pipeline that would remove the danger? 'The Source'  is a comedy drama which tries to bring out all sides of this argument, not just showing the men as lazy chauvinists, or portraying Muslim women as oppressed victims. The women decide to go on a 'love strike', which gets into the national press. Wrap this all up with some great acting and fantastic scenery and the resulting film is a kind of 'Made in Dagenham' for the Arab Spring.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Even The Rain - Sunday 21st October 5pm

As the storm lashes itself against my windows Even the Rain suddenly seems an appropriate choice for Sunday's offering. But don't let that put you off, Even the Rain promises to be more climatic than climactic and it should take our minds off what's going on outside.
It will strike chords with the KFC audience given the involvement of Paul Laverty, Ken Loach's scriptwriter. The View London review said "Laverty's thought provoking script is excellent, cleverly drawing three-way parallels between Columbus' exploitation of the Native Americans, Bolivia's shameful (and real-life) privatisation of its own water supply (even forbidding locals to collect their own rainwater) and the film crew's own exploitation of Bolivia's workers in the name of cheaper location costs and budgetary constraints.and concluded "Impressively directed and superbly written, Even the Rain is an emotionally powerful drama with a thought-provoking script and terrific performances from its two leads"


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Turin Horse: Audience Score 66%

Well a fantastic experience tonight! Bela Tarr will certainly be missed by Keswick Film Club if the reaction to 'The Turin Horse' is anything to go by. One visitor to Keswick told me 'this was the first art film I have seen. It wasn't what I am used to, but it was beautiful'. Another written comment was ' Bela Tarr challenges our assumption about what a film should be - very refreshing, Thank you for showing it!' Were you there? What did you think? Go on to Facebook now and tell us.

The Turin Horse - Sunday 14th October 5pm

We have ... and experience for you this week! The Turin Horse, directed by Bela Tarr.  To set the mood, here's a quote from (an admittedly little known) critic - Jeffery M Anderson (Combustible Celluloid) -
'The good news is that a new Bela Tarr movie is here. The bad news is that Tarr, who is easily one of the greatest film makers alive today -- and perhaps of all time -- has announced that The Turin Horse will be his last' .
Bela Tarr is a grandmaster of film direction, specialising in long takes to pull you into the film (his first film had only two takes...and it was 'Macbeth'!). For this film, he takes us to the end of the world..or is he re-running the beginning of the world, but backwards...?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Monk - Sunday 30th September 5pm

The Monk's director, Dominik Moll, has been nominated for the Palme D'Or at Cannes for his last two films so it has been a long wait since his last one (2005). The Monk tells the story of a baby left outside a monastery who grows up to become a popular preacher. All is going well for him, until temptation drags him from the path of righteousness.

The original book this is taken from, an English Gothic novel in 1776, was a best seller, but caused quite a scandal due to its 'lascivious' content. Moll has not been tempted to create a new version of 'The Devils', instead he strips it right back to produce a 'sultry romantic horror... every bit as overblown, dense and utterly immersive as the novel' - Paul Bradshaw, Little White Lies.

This film was nominated by one of our members and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing it!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Monsieur Lazhar - Sunday 23rd September 5pm

Thus far, we've found nothing bad written about Monsieur Lazhar, our film for this Sunday. Rotten Tomatoes had an aggregate rating around 96% and below is a couple of extracts from the reviews.
It’s a gorgeous film too: the wintry palette of greys, browns and pale pastels, and the cold, indirect sunlight illuminate the story perfectly. Algerian-French comedian, Mohamed Fellag, carries the film with dignity, his expressive features betraying a well of emotion. We never question how unrealistic it is that an asylum seeker could show up out of nowhere to make a difference in kids’ lives – Monsieur Lazhar never pretends to be anything but a grown-up fable, and it’s a captivating one.
Film Ink.
"Monsieur Lazhar" is a moving film about teachers, but it’s not a rah-rah kind of film where classroom superheroes serve as educator, father, best friend, stand-up comedian and inspiration for their students. Instead, like the French drama "The Class" or the wonderful French documentary "To Be and To Have," the film understands the complex bond between teachers and students, and how the classroom is a sacred space they share for a short time before moving on.
Rob Thomas 77 Square

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Autumn Programme: A Royal Affair - Sunday 16th 5pm

Hopefully you've now all had a good look at the new programme and agree there is another great selection of films to take us up to Christmas.

It all starts again on Sunday with A Royal Affair "Gripping, smart, well-acted - everything you want in a period drama." As always we'd like to invite you to a pre-season drink and catch up from 4:15pm at the Alhambra.

Monday, September 03, 2012

New Season & Membership

Members should have had their brochures and membership application forms through the post; We hope the programme looks as exciting to you as it does to us! You only need to see 7 films between now and Easter (including any at the festival) to make a profit from joining, but, even if you don't see that many, why not support the club and join anyway? You get a very pretty membership card to be proud of AND help us to know who our supporters are. Members can also buy a season pass for only £33, which gets you into ALL films until Christmas..that's just over £2 per film, which has to be the best value around.

Download PDF Brochure
Download Membership Form

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Have A Good Summer

So we have reached the end of our Spring 2012 season; we hope you have enjoyed the season, and the year. As always we'd welcome any feedback for the year.  Did you think it was as good as (better/worse than?)  the previous year? Did you come to as many films as before (and, if not, was there a particular reason)? Is there a type of film you would like to see more (or less!) of?

Thank you all for supporting the Keswick Film Club, and  we hope you have a great summer; we will be back with a new Season in September.

Don't forget that the cinema does continue over the summer, even if we don't! We are so lucky to have such a good cinema in Keswick but Tom still needs your support to keep it going. Michael Winterbottom's Trishna starts from Good Friday 6th April.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Season Finale: AGM & Coriolanus

A quick reminder that the club AGM takes place before the film at 4.00pm in the Alhambra Circle for those who want to come. The final film, at 5.00pm as usual, is 'Coriolanus'.  This is the first film directed by Ralph Fiennes and is a very clever re-interpretation of Shakespeare's play, bringing it right into the present day and going nowhere near a stage. Set in a Balkan state, we see war scenes and street fighting that remind us of the conflicts there, and arguments over democracy reminiscent of the Arab Spring in Syria today.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mother and Child - Sunday 25th March 5pm

This Sunday's film is Mother and Child from the writer/director of Nine Lives, Rodrigo Garca. "Emotionally engaging, sharply written and powerfully acted" and "sure to make all but the hardest-hearted shed tears".

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Albatross - Sunday 18th March 5pm

Our film this Sunday is Albatross, "a hugely enjoyable coming-of-age drama" according to viewLondon

Sunday, March 11, 2012

AGM - Sunday 1 April, 4.00pm at the Alhambra

This years AGM will take place on Sunday 1st April, at 4.00pm at the Alhambra, just before the final film of the season, Coriolanus. Please come along, especially if you have any ideas to share about how the club is run or what we should be doing next year.

The committee changed a lot this year, with a new chair, vice chair and membership secretary and several new members and we hope we have kept the club running at the level you expect. All of us are willing to continue next year, except Tom Rennie who feels that his role as Treasurer could lead to a conflict of interest with his new role running the Alhambra. Tom is happy to remain on the committee. We are sure you will join us in thanking him for the incredible job he has done for the club over the years...and for keeping the Alhambra running for us now!

It does mean we need a new Treasurer, however. This role is vital for the club in itself and obviously would also give you a say in how the club is run as well. If you think you could take this on, please get in touch.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Shame - Sunday 11th March 5pm

This weekend we have one of the highlights of the season for you - Steve McQueen's Shame.

McQueen's first film - Hunger - was a hard hitting look at the IRA hunger strikers, showing the anger and sadness on both sides of the divided Ireland. I, for one, have been looking forward to his follow up ever since and, judging from the critical acclaim, the world has been too...

"Steve McQueen's follow-up to Hunger is an icily compulsive portrait of damaged siblings and sex addiction, fuelled by brilliant performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan" - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian...

"McQueen's film is breathtaking in its execution. Fassbender delivers his finest performance yet. Why he hasn't received the expected Oscar remains a mystery."- Ed Gibbs, Sun Herald

That said, a word of warning. This is an '18' rated movie whose subject matter is sex addiction. Dont expect pornography, but do expect explicit detail. This is one of the best films of 2011, but... "Shame is interested in the stark immediacy of one man’s world and drawing us into that world without easy explanations" - Dave Calhoun, Time Out.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Shorts Night - Sunday 4th March 5pm

We have what might be a first for the club; an evening of short films. After the success of the Osprey Awards at the Festival, we thought we should show more shorts at the club nights; they are not just films made by people who can't afford to make a full length film! If you want to see what can be done with almost no time to develop a theme, come along and see the winner of the Virgin Media Shorts Competition, for instance - how to make a thriller in just over 2 minutes! (Cleverly call '2:20' so no prizes for the actual length...)

We have a variety of films, some local, some international, some award winners, some we just liked; come and see for yourself what these directors of a different sort can do. The full list can be seen in the programme notes (pdf).

Monday, February 20, 2012

13th Keswick Film Festival - 23rd-26th February

I'm sure you need no reminding that the 13th Keswick Film Festival starts on Thursday evening with the party for pass holders and a screening of In Love With Alma Cogan followed by a Q&A session with its director Tony Britten. There are lots of other films over the weekend and more premieres and pre-releases than ever before (I think!).

We're delighted to welcome back the Lancaster Millennium Choir on Saturday evening. Tony Palmer will talking about his epic adaptation of Wagner (showing all day Sunday) and Bird On A Wire (Sat 10pm), plus teenage actor Alex Etal will be on hand for questions at the family screening of Ways To Live Forever.

Of course we're really excited to be joined by John Hurt throughout the festival. If you need a reminder of why you should be excited just take a look at this wonderful video:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Pope's Toilet - Sunday 11th February 5pm

We stay in Latin America for Sunday's offering, The Pope's Toilet, set in Uruguay. According to the Evening Standard,
This small but perfectly formed Uruguayan comedy from César Charlone and Enrique Fernández has the fetching Cesar Troncoso as Beto, a financially strapped petty smuggler from the small town of Melo near the Brazilian border, who hopes the Pope’s 1988 visit will provide his wife and daughter with financial succour as well as the appropriate blessing.
Though this is a comedy, it is also shrewd and humane about its peasant characters, painting the leading character’s wife and solemn little daughter (the marvellous Virginia Ruiz) who wants to be a radio announcer rather than a seamstress, with real sympathy. It’s charming in a proper way, entirely avoiding sentiment and, with Olivier Assayas’s Summer Hours, can be counted one of the best films in town.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Surviving Life (Theory and Practice) - Sunday 5th February 5pm

The film we have this Sunday WILL be different to anything else you see, and defies normal description!

 'Surviving Life (Theory and Practice)' is a surreal tale from Czech director Jan Svankmajer  based on the premise that it is 'your dreams that are real, while your waking life is an exotic, strange tissue of unreal diversions' - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian. Our hero, a happily married man, has vivid dreams of a beautiful woman dressed in red. He goes to a psychoanalyst for remain IN the dreams, not to escape them... The film itself is a mix of live acting and animated cutouts, including models of the actors themselves...we have pictures on the wall of Freud and Jung coming to life to discuss the results of their work... so think Terry Gilliam meets Woody Allen. As David Jenkins, Time Out, say, the result 'harnesses the skewed workings of the subconscious, confirming Svankmajer as a master filmmaker and knocking films like ‘Inception’ and ‘The Matrix’ into a cocked hat. Just dreamy!' I will say no more; come along and see for yourself!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Poetry - Sunday 29th January 5pm

This Sunday's film is Poetry, a south Korean film with a startlingly good central performance by Yun Jiong-hie, who came out of retirement to play Mija, an elderly nurse who discovers she has early Alzheimer's disease.
According to Time Out,
"True to the spirit of the title, writer-director Lee organises the sprawling mess of Mija’s personal life with the control and grace of a master, each digression and seemingly arbitrary encounter all building upon his elderly protagonist’s spiralling sense of distress. So relaxed is the pacing, you suspect certain segments would not have worked were it not for Yun’s exhilarating, meticulous central performance......As with Chekhov’s theory of the gun, anyone who starts a film going to poetry classes is eventually going to come up with a poem. The one Mija finally delivers will rip your heart to shreds."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

KFC On The Road: Dr Zhivago, Mungrisdale, Fri 27th

If any of you are in the mood for a old classic film, why not go along to Dr Zhivago, our 'KFC on the Road' presentation at Mungrisdale Village Hall on Friday 27th January at 7.30. I have been there twice now and I guarantee a warm reception; give it a try and you might well become a regular there too!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Red Machine - Sunday 22nd January 5pm

After two weeks in France we are off to America for this week's film - The Red Machine.

Set in the 1930s, when the US and Japan were still allies (at least on paper). This is the story of an attempt to steal Japan's 'Enigma Machine'...but without Japan knowing it. A very tight-lipped, stoney-faced Navy spy and a wisecracking safe-breaker are teamed up to accomplish the task, both bringing their own baggage along. In a clever touch, the directors change the scene colouring and background music to fit the two main characters.

What results is a tightly shot heist movie - the final robbery scene where silence is essential had me on the edge of my seat - shot like a 40s B crime movie... BUT... is it a spoof? Only you can decide, but I think you will enjoy it either way.


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Swimming Pool - Sunday 15th January 5pm

We stay across La Manche for this Sunday's film, with a classic from 1969 - The Swimming Pool. Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and a young Jane Birkin, (just 3 years after she was in Blow Up, to give you something of a timeline).  From a review of the DVD:
This dark drama .......may have been the film in production near St. Tropez when on October 1, 1968, Delon's shady bodyguard was found murdered. Delon's movements were investigated and he was held for questioning, though he was never charged with the crime. Nevertheless, the scandal was the talk of Europe for many months and never entirely went away, cementing Delon's dangerous image and forever blurring his offscreen life to film roles. 

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Well Diggers Daughter - Sunday 8th January 5pm

We start the club season THIS SUNDAY (8 January) with our usual free drinks - 4.15 at the Alhambra - a chance to shake off the January blues, forget the wind and say hello to each other again. It is also a chance for you to buy this season's pass. £26 will get you in to all twelve films - a bargain in anyone's book! These will be on sale at a table in the stalls (warmer than by the front door!) AND, if you haven't already joined the club, you can  still pay for this year's membership; at £7, you STILL have chance to save money - not only do you get £1 off ALL club films, you save £1 on ALL festival films too! How can you resist!

Sunday's film at 5.00pm  is 'The Well Digger's Daughter' - Daniel Auteuil stars, as well as directing his first movie here. A 1940s tale of love, class and honour, set in pre-WW2 Provence, we follow the beautiful Daughter of the title as she falls in love with the well-off shopkeeper's son...just in time to get pregnant as he flies off to war. The Well Digger then has to decide how to deal with his favourite daughter without losing honour in his local community. The story comes from a book by Marcel Pagnol, who also wrote 'Jean de Florette' and 'Manon des Sources', two films which brought Daniel Auteuil to fame in the 1980s...