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'.