Monday, November 25, 2013

Like Someone In Love - Sunday 1st December 5pm

We keep with highly acclaimed films for this Sunday; 'Like Someone in Love' was also nominated for the Cannes Palme D'Or. The director, Abas Kiarostami spent much of his life in his home country of Iran where he learnt to be subtle to beat the censors ('Taste of Cherry' being his most famous film). Since then he has made films in France (we had 'Certified Copy' at the club in 2011) and now Japan. He likes to get inside his characters to bring out their feelings; in this case we have the story of a young, poor female student who has been forced to become a call girl to pay her way. She goes to meet a new client, but is surprised to find he is both old and more interested in love than sex. Her relationship with him, and her boyfriend is the central theme of the story. Kiarostami is recognized as a world master of cinema, but his subtle methods do cause some debate. For instance, Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian says 'The way this film ends is perfect', whilst Andrew Shenker in Little White Lies thinks it '...really is baffling...', even though, overall, he goes on to say it is 'A major statement from one of the world's greatest living filmmakers'. So, as always in Keswick, we can expect some disagreement after the film!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beyond the Hills - Sunday 24th November 5pm

After introducing ourselves to two, new British Directors on Sunday, we look forward to renewing acquaintance with a long-established Romanian Director, Christian Mungiu, this week.

Beyond the Hills is set to be as powerful as "4 months, 3 weeks and 2days" which we screened at Keswick after its release in 2007. According to "The film has all the hallmarks of the Romanian New Wave: scrupulous realism, long camera movements, a lack of soundtrack music, and drama that slowly builds to an unbearable pitch. It's a deceptively impersonal style, because "Beyond the Hills" seethes with astonishment and rage at a broken society marooned between the 21st century and the 16th."

The film was also a candidate at Cannes, where Peter Bradshaw wrote "Beyond the Hills is an agonising, mysterious movie — it is the first event at this year's festival which has come close to providing any controversy: there were whistles and jeers at the final blackout. But I found it enthralling, mysterious and intimately upsetting – a terrible demonstration of how poverty creates a space which irrational fear must fill."

The Film has a running time of 150 minutes and should therefore finish about 7.40pm.

Monday, November 11, 2013

UK Directors Day - Sunday 17th November

We have a mid-season special for you this Sunday; two films by two new UK Directors plus BOTH of the directors will be with us to answer questions and share a drink with us between films...and all for the price of ONE FILM!

At 2.00pm, we start with 'Damaged Goods', a 'British social realist' film, in the mould of 'Kes'. In this case director Mike Tweddle brings us the story of of a boy and girl finding a dog which has been involved in the dog fighting 'sport' world. The film is 12A, so dont expect gruesome dog fighting; it is more of a drama about what happens to the three of them once they are together - 'we have made a family drama that portrays a dark subject with both compassion and empathy', say Mike Tweddle, who will be available around 3.30 to answer questions, before we break for a glass of wine.

Director Stephen Brown should also be arriving around that time. He will introduce his film - 'The Sea' at 5.00pm. 'The Sea' is based on John Banville's acclaimed book of the same name, and was adapted for the screen by the author himself. It follows a man (Ciaran Hinds) back to the sea where he spent his youth as he tries to get over the loss of his wife. Also starring Charlotte Rampling, SInead Cussack and Rufus Sewell, this will be complementary to 'Damaged Goods', which has a cast of new up-and-coming actors, giving us two very different films to enjoy. To round off what should be a good afternoon, Stephen Brown will be around to answer questions about 6.30.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Gatekeepers - Sunday 10th November 5pm

If last week's film 'Baraka' was a 'guided meditation' on the world, this week's film 'The Gatekeepers' is a very down to earth guide to Middle East terrorism - or at least Israel's view of it. Director Dror Moreh has managed to pull off an amazing coup in getting the 6 surviving heads of Shin Bet (Israel's MI5...with a lot more teeth) to stand before a camera. They talk about their policies in fighting Palestinian terrorism, often resulting in terrorism of their own; these men had carte blanche to do virtually anything to keep Israel safe, with little or no responsibility to even their own government. We see them admit that this often meant ordering the death of terrorists rather than attempting any peaceful negotiation first.

Mixing all this together with interviews and news broadcasts from the time, Moreh manages to produce a history of terrorism in Israel over the last 45 years. How he got permission from Israel (and the USA) for this is incredible. The resulting film was runner up for the 'Best Documentary' at the last Oscars, so he certainly pulled something out of the bag.

In case you think this might all be a bit dry, Peter Travers in Rolling Stone says it 'cuts deeper than any thriller. It's a powerhouse'. Will we believe that these men are telling us the truth? Ah, there's the rub! Come along and make your own mind up...