Monday, December 16, 2013

Wadjda - Sunday 22nd December 4:50pm

Our closing film for the season promises to be a real gem. Described as ‘the first Saudi teen rebel girl’s bike movie’ Wadjda has won universal acclaim from the critics. It is the first feature film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and is all the more remarkable for having been made by a female Director, Haifaa Al-Mansour.
It has all the right ingredients, a sassy young lead who kicks out against the constraints of her society (and who is not afraid of using her opponents’ underhand tactics when it suits her) in her attempts to get a bike. A scenario that is just so wrong in so many ways in contemporary Saudi Arabia.

Its a gentle comedy that has a wider message about the role of women in Saudi society.

Worthy in its own story right, this hundred-twelve minutes is also notable for the non-strident style with which Al Mansour -- cinematically schooled in Cairo and Sydney -- comments on the restrictions on and frustrations of even middle class women in a country in which cinemas are forbidden. Free from ranting or raving, this quiet celebration of joy of the spirit is one first step towards righting centuries of repressive wrong.Reel Talk Movie Reviews

Monday, December 09, 2013

The Great Beauty - Sunday 15th December 5pm

We picked this week's film as a potential 'best film of the season' when we set up the programme, so I hope you can all get along to see 'The Great Beauty' on Sunday. Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian compared it in style to Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita' and Antonioni's 'La Notte' and said it is 'a gorgeous movie, the film equivalent of a magnificent banquet composed of 78 sweet courses'.

Starting on Jep Gambardella's totally over the top 65th birthday celebrations, we follow Jep around Rome as he reviews his playboy life. Realising how decadent he has become, he sees how beautiful Rome is - as do we, through the eye of master cinematographer Luca Bigazzi.

The film has won 7 awards around Europe and director Paolo Sorrentino gained his fifth nomination for the Cannes Palme D'Or. An all round 'Great Beauty' by the sounds of it.

Monday, December 02, 2013

I Am Nasrine - Sunday 8th December 5:00 PM

From a well-established Iranian Director in Abbas Kiarostami last Sunday, we move this week, to the debut of the Iranian-exile, Tina Gharavi, with I Am Nasrine.

On limited release, the film has received some interesting reviews. The List stated:
 "The low-budget I am Nasrine is not without flaws....... yet Gharavi should be commended for her clandestine filming in the Iranian capital - she herself had to smuggle out the subsequent footage - and the film, thanks partly to Micsha Sadeghi's engaging performance (in the title role), captures Nasrine's sense of excitement at creating a new life in spite of so many obstacles. Alongside the forbidding tower blocks and cramped interiors, Gharavi finds an element of poetry in the wide-open spaces of the North East countryside through which Nasrine passes in her journey of self-discovery."

All neatly summed up by View London:
"With its recognisable soundtrack, impressive script and a strong performance from Micsha Sadeghi, I Am Nasrine makes for an interesting and engaging film that's worth a watch."

 The film runs for some 93 minutes.