Monday, December 29, 2014

Two Days, One Night - Sunday 4th January 5pm

We start the season with the latest from the Dardenne Brothers – ‘Two Days, One Night’. Yet another hit for them at Cannes (though it lost out to ‘Winter Sleep’ for the Palme d’Or - showing Feb 1st), it follows on from ‘The Kid with a Bike’ which went down well in Keswick in 2012. It continues in their normal social-realist genre, this time taking on the world of small industry, trade unionism and solidarity.

Sandra (Marion Cotillard) returns to work after suffering a nervous breakdown. During her absence, her colleagues covered her shifts by working longer hours and the management have proposed €1,000 bonus if they agree to make Sandra redundant. Her fate rests in the hands of her 16 co-workers: she must visit each of them over the course of a weekend to persuade them to reject the bonus. As most of them need the proposed bonus for their own families, Sandra faces an uphill battle to keep her job before the crucial vote on Monday morning...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Spring Programme

We're taking a short break over the holidays but we'll be back on January 4th with the Dardenne brothers' Two Days, One Night. As usual we'd like to invite you to have a drink with us at The Alhambra from 4.15pm.

The full spring programme can be viewed here with lots of great films and the 16th Keswick Film Festival. Details of the films showing at the festival are being added to this page on the website as they are confirmed.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Unforgiven - Sunday 21st December 5pm

Our film this week is ‘Yurusarezaru mono (Unforgiven)’. Many of the Westerns of the Clint Eastwood era were based on Samurai films from Japan; this one is the Samurai film from Japan based on the Clint Eastwood western ‘Unforgiven’. For those of you who loved the original, this will be enough to bring you along to see what the Japanese have done with it (the plot is the same, the politics are Japanese, the widescreen vistas are superb). For those of you who didn’t like it (why not?!), maybe Charlotte O’Sullivan (This is London) can convince you – ‘Clint Eastwood's 1992 western is adored by just about every critic in the world. Except me. Weirdly, I found Sang-il Lee's reverent remake gripping’.

If even that doesn't get your interest up, maybe Tom Huddleston (Time Out) can: ‘the plot is just a framework on which director Lee Sang-il and his scriptwriters hang many fascinating ideas: about the country's treatment of its indigenous Ainu people, about the shift from feudalism to ‘freedom’, and of course – as with any great western – about the rules and ramifications of violence. Unexpectedly brilliant’. Interested yet? We do hope so!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Ida - Sunday 14th December 5pm

Our film this week is going to be one of the highlights of the season. Ida has received some incredible reviews and this is taken from Brian Martin’s piece on UTV:

Maybe a black and white Polish road movie set fifty years ago does not promise a fun night at the flicks. But you would be wrong. Ida is truly extraordinary experience.

This poignant and powerfully told drama set in 1960s Poland is about a young novice nun who, on the verge of taking her vows, makes a shocking discovery about her past. Director Pawel Pawlikowski returns to his native Poland for the first time to illuminate the shadowy history of his birthplace.

Newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska plays 18 year old Anna, a sheltered orphan raised in a convent, who is preparing for a cloistered life. Then her Mother Superior instructs her to seek out her sole living relative Aunt Wanda, "You should visit her before you take your vows".

Ida is set is 1962, but looks like it was made in 1962. Pawlikowski's boldness to shoot static shots in stark black and white is gloriously refreshing. Three of the most memorable (recent) movies were in splendid black and white, Frances Ha, A Field In England and Nebraska. Maybe in the age of computer graphics, the absence of colour is simply more real.

Agata Trzebuchowska is sensational in the title role. Her angelic face beautifully framed by the darkening events around her - powerfully written and eloquently shot, Ida is a masterly evocation of a time, a dilemma, and a defining historical moment. This is European cinema at its very best - beautiful, beguiling and profound. Do not miss it.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club - Sunday 7th December 5:30pm

Dallas Buyers Club (note the 5.30pm start time due to the late finish the 2.00pm screening of the Old Vic production of The Crucible) should be a treat for us this week; the winner of 76 awards -  3 Oscars, including 2 for best actor (Matthew McConaughey) and best supporting actor (Jared Leto) – this is a film to look forward to.

The film is based on the true story of Ron Woodruff who refused to accept his fate when given 30 days to live in 1986 when he was diagnosed with AIDS. Ron was anything but the normal gay victim here; a very happy-go-lucky guy who didn't believe he could have the ‘homo disease’. He set out to find his own cure and in doing so saved the lives of many. How he did this is the story of the film.

McConaughey has turned his career round with the film, going from a jobbing actor with a poor reputation to one of the highest respected actors in the USA.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Miss Violence - Sunday 30th November 5pm

Our film this Sunday is one that will make for challenging viewing, exploring themes that some may find disturbing. Miss Violence (18) is one of the new wave of films from Greece and begins with the suicide of a young girl during her 11th birthday party.

Rich Cline’s review ( said:

Even fans of chillingly oblique new Greek cinema (see Dogtooth and Alps) will find this pitch-black drama utterly terrifying simply because it doesn't look like a horror movie. But it is. With subtle observation and fiercely clever acting and filmmaking, everything about this movie worms its way under the skin, leaving us shaken by both what we see and how it makes us feel about the world around us.

Superficially, this looks like a happy, normal family grappling with a personal tragedy. But there's much more going on here, and as the tension builds the film becomes increasingly alarming in its implications. This is a fiercely inventive exploration of dark human urges most people resist and almost no one is willing to discuss. And as it closes in around us, we're too busy being horrified to notice that it's the combination of strikingly clever writing, directing and acting that makes it work so well.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Of Horses And Men - Sunday 23rd November 5pm

This week we have what might win the "most unusual film of the year" award; as a starter, "Of Horses and Men" comes from Iceland which makes it pretty rare; as Kate Muir says in the Times "Of Horses and Men is the best Icelandic noir equine comedy I have ever seen. OK, it's also the only one, but I urge you to seek out this unexpected movie".

Set in a wild, beautiful, remote valley where their horses are an all important part of their lives, the few inhabitants get up to some very strange goings-on, watched as closely by the horses as by their neighbours...The film is a series of vignettes observing these events – love, violence, absurdity – resulting in what Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian says "is a hugely enjoyable film from the wild side of the wild side...and it really resembles nothing else around".

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pluto - Sunday 16th November 5pm

We travel to South Korea for this week's film Pluto.

The film is a biting satire on the country's education system, the pressures it puts upon its students and the lengths they will go to get the grades and university places they (and their 'tiger parents') crave.

The film was shown last year at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and made a lasting impression on the reviewer:

"Usually when I watch a film with an intense atmosphere (horror, thriller suspense genres), every tense effect that the film had over me dissipates when I step out into the natural light outside of the theatre. However, despite walking out of the .. press screening of 'Pluto' at the Edinburgh International Film Festival into extremely bright sunshine, the online exploits I had witnessed and the underlying themes of the film stayed with me long into the night. It took all day for me to fully absorb and come to terms with the meanings of the film and to rationalise everything in my head.

The film helps audiences to understand the pressures of the South Korean education system and is dripping with gritty realism. This is most likely due to writer and director Sin Su-won who has experienced these immense pressures first hand. Shin Su-won graduated from Seoul National University (the same elite university that the characters in Pluto are all vying for a position at) and started a career as a teacher."

Think 'If...' for the 21st Century.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Beyond The Edge 3D at Rheged - Sunday 9th November 5pm

We come to the weekend of our club outing to Rheged to watch Hillary and Tenzing fight their way up Everest in ‘Beyond the Edge’. We have always tried to make the trip to Rheged worthwhile and it was the prospect of seeing some amazing mountain views on their giant screen AND to see them in 3D that did it for us this time.

Director Leanne Pooley is from New Zealand, where they have a special place in their hearts for Hillary. She set out to make a docudrama of the events of 1953 that makes it feel as though we are there with them, not seeing it with 21st century eyes. She has picked actors who look very much like the original climbers so that the 1950s footage blends as nearly as possible with the re-enactments. So expect some interviews with the climbers, some shots of the climb back then and some fantastic 3D mountain shots filmed last year with the actors.

If this isn’t enough to entice you along, don't forget we have the optional Peter Sidwell meal afterwards for just £10 to finish off our trip.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Keeper of Lost Causes - Sunday 2nd November 5pm

Over the last few years there has been a new item on the far end of the cinematic colour chart – Scandi Noir and The Keeper of Lost Causes ensures that the noir remains undiluted.

Drawing on the formidable Danish repertory company that has delivered hugely successful films on both small and big screens, The Keeper boasts Direction from Mikkel Norgaard (Borgen) plus numerous faces that will be familiar from 'The Killing'. 'A Royal Affair', 'The Hunt', 'The Idiots' and 'Accused'.

The Keeper of Lost Causes is based on the novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen, which is a new take on the now familiar theme of the cold case. A new Team, Department Q, is set up to look into unsolved crimes and their first case involves the disappearance of a young and charismatic politician.

The novel is a page turner in the best style of Mankell or Nesbo and the movie manages to capture the tension that builds as the narrative unfolds.

The Australian liked it "There's a Hitchcockian element to the film's suspense. It's a formula for an unnerving thriller that, for the most part, has succeeded thanks to supple direction and eerie, muted photography by Eric Kress." As did the Express:

"The Keeper of Lost Causes is familiar stuff and could almost be the pilot for a new television series but it remains an intriguing, cleverly plotted nightmare thriller that builds to a nailbiter of a climax."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

KFC At Rheged, Sunday 9th November - Beyond The Edge

We head to Rheged on 9th November, for Beyond the Edge, which promises to be a stunning visual treat - the Conquest of Everest in 3D! As usual there will be the opportunity to dine after the film, with a limited choice menu at £10 per head for two courses.:

The menu is-

Italian style chicken and fennel ragu served with garlic and rosemary potatoes and an root vegetable slaw
Melenzanna, aubergine, basil and mozzarella bake served with the above

Home made tiramisu served with biscotti
Lakeland Sticky toffee pudding served with vanilla ice-cream and a salts caramel sauce

There are two ways to book:

1. Email us with your choice of the meat or vegetarian option and then pay on the night.

2. you can ring Rheged on 01768 868 000 and pre-book your tickets at the same time. Let them know if you are a club member (£3.50) or a non-member (£4.50) or a season ticket holder (£0.00) and if you want the meal or not (see below). You will need a credit or debit card for this. On the night, your tickets will be ready for you in a separate queue - bring your club card with you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Under The Skin - Sunday 26th October 5pm

This week we come to the first of our two 'films that nearly got away'; Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin was released earlier in the year but missed our Spring season. We didn't feel we should miss it altogether. A film that has had the critics struggling to even define its genre, this is not going to be a straightforward watch. Basically, Scarlett Johansson wanders the streets of Glasgow, picking up men, but why she is doing this, and what happens to the men is much stranger...

Expect a beautiful film ("Amid its scorching, fractured images, one certainty is brought into crisp focus. This is, very simply and straightforwardly, a masterpiece" –Robbie Collin, Telegraph). Expect the unexpected ("An intoxicating marvel, strange and sublime" – Dave Calhoun, Time Out) and even some horror ("The result is visually stunning and deeply disturbing: very freaky, very scary and very erotic" – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian). I also expect some debate afterwards! ''Under the Skin gets under the skin. It is an experience that has as much to do with hypnosis as with cinema" – Ryan Gilbey, New Statesman or "Johansson is phenomenal in every sense of the word. She joins Glazer in creating a brave experiment in cinema that richly rewards the demands it makes. The result is an amazement, a film of beauty and shocking gravity" – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ilo Ilo - Sunday 19th October 5pm

In KFC’s world tour of cinema, Sunday's film will be the first ever stopover in Singapore. And indeed a stopover is possibly the only context in which many of us will have encountered the place. Ilo Ilo promises to be an intriguing glimpse into the city-state and has gathered universal praise from critics from around the world.

"Perhaps surprisingly given its status as an economic powerhouse, Singapore has never really registered on the world cinema scene. Only a handful of movies produced by the city-state have ever made it on to the major festival circuit, let alone to arthouse screens. But if Anthony Chen's Ilo Ilo is anything to go by, we could be seeing the start of a cinematic movement to rival the ones recently seen emerging in Taiwan and South Korea.

The winner of the coveted Cameěra d'Or — awarded to first-time feature directors — at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Ilo Ilo is a semi-autobiographical story set at the height of the Asian financial crisis of 1997." (Little White Lies)

And from Flick Philosopher:
"The lovely, intimate Ilo Ilo — Singapore’s official submission to the 2014 Oscars in the Foreign Language category — is part intriguing peek into middle-class life in that city-state, something most viewers will be unfamiliar with either firsthand or onscreen, and part illustration of the frustrations and indignities of foreign domestic workers that appear to be universal wherever women leave their own homes to go work in someone else's."

Monday, October 06, 2014

New Directors Day: 2 Films & Guests - Sunday 12th October 5pm

We come to one of our favourite weeks of the season; our attempt to support new British directors and give you the chance to meet people behind the films. This Sunday we start at 2.00pm with the documentary Next Goal Wins, which follows the attempts of ‘the world’s worst football team’ to improve before the last world cup. Not standard Keswick fare, true, but before you decide it is not for you either, take a look at these reviews:-

A triumph-of-the-underdog documentary so amusing and inspirational you'll have to Google events to ensure it's not a mockumentary’  (Jamie Graham, Total Film)

 ‘I could not possibly care less about football, and I fell hopelessly in love with this movie, and with the can-do amateur team it introduces us to’ (MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher)

 ‘Even if you have no interest in football, you will be swept along by the emotional pull of this story, willing the team on to experience the joy of scoring their first goal never mind winning a match’ (Allan Hunter, Daily Express).

Overall, it scored a very rare 100% for all critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which made us think it had to be worth seeing! Unfortunately for us, on the back of this film, the directors have now got another movie to make so cannot attend our showing, but they are recording an ‘interview’ for us from their location in Iceland (!), which we will show after the film.

We’ll then have a free glass of wine to take us to 5.00pm, when we will show Here and Now. This returns to more traditional Keswick fare -  town girl meets country boy and they both discover there is more to the world than they thought. The director, Lisle Turner and one of the stars will be here to discuss the film afterwards.

We have had some very different films in this spot in the past and we hope these two add to our understanding of what drives new people to make a film. PLUS you get all this for the price of one film! See you there!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Three Hours - Sunday 5th October 5pm

We have a problem introducing the film this week; ‘Three Hours’ is a German film chosen with the help of one of our members who speaks German; we cant find any reviews in English! Sam argued that we should have more from Germany, which we were happy to agree with. The film has no distributor in this country so we getting a possibly unique showing!

The story is based on the 3 hours following the revelation by Martin at Munich airport that he loves Isabel. She is about to fly off to Africa; what should she do now? Director Boris Kunz produces an ‘off the wall’ comedy based round this, but don't expect just a ‘rom-com’; you will have to be there to see what else is on offer.

(We also struggled to find an English trailer, there is a small subtitled trailer on the distributors website)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

AGM Reminder: This Sunday 4pm

A reminder for members - the club AGM will be in the Alhambra at 4.00pm on Sunday just before the film. Please come along if you can!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Lunchbox - Sunday 28th September 5pm

This week we have The Lunchbox, "a real charmer of a film: a wry and gently comic Mumbai-set drama with a level of quiet observation that rekindles memories of Bill Forsyth in his prime", as Geoffrey McNab says in the Independent. The Dabbawallas in Mumbai deliver lunchboxes from home to work for thousands of families every day. Ila decides to try to rekindle her marriage by sending her husband a special lunchbox, but it is delivered to the wrong man, Saajan, a lonely office worker.

The film follows the notes they send each other with the lunchboxes, as the two strangers each share their problems and hopes. First-time director Ritesh Batra has received praise from film festivals around the world (including Cannes and London). With both the leading actors also getting great reviews (‘Irrfan Khan... proves here that he may be one of the greatest living actors in the world right now’ – David Jenkins, Little White Lies), we are in for a gentle but rewarding experience.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Omar - Sunday 21st September 5pm

Our second film of the season takes us, very timely, to Palestine. We join ‘Omar’ as he climbs the wall into Israel to see his lover, and to do his bit to free his country; whether he is a freedom fighter or a terrorist depends on which side of the wall he stands on.

Director Hany Abu-Assad has created a gripping thriller from this plot but he is equally interested in the effects on the characters’ normal lives as he is on the morals and politics of the situation. The resulting movie is ‘A tense, involving combination of love story and thriller’, as Allan Hunter says in the Express...Will he be caught? What would his friends and family think? What does his lover think? The film was nominated for ‘Best Foreign Film’ at the Oscars this year and should give us a thought-provoking night out.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Past - Sunday 14th September

As the summer comes to an end, our Autumn Season is with us again, and with it the club’s 16th Year. We start the season on Sunday 14th September at 4.15 with your chance for a FREE DRINK and a chat, while you sign up for this year’s membership (STILL just £7 to get you £1 off all films you attend during the whole year!) and maybe a season ticket for all 16 films in this season for just £38).Then we get down to the film at 5.00...

The Past’ is the latest film from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi... Farhadi’s two previous films (‘About Elly’ and ‘A Separation’) both went down well at Keswick Festivals and ‘A Separation’ brought him an Oscar. ‘The Past’ continues this trend, with a nomination for the Cannes Palme D’Or plus Best Actress for Berenice Bejo as Maria. The plot follows Ahmad’s return to Paris from Iran to finalise his divorce from Maria and the complex relationships that arise there – ‘an intensely gripping emotional drama with a superb script and a trio of terrific central performances from Berenice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mossaffa’ – Matthew Turner, View London. A French film with a great director and award-winning acting; why would you miss it?!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

One Week To Go

There's only a week to go to the first film of the season! I hope you are looking forward to it as much as we are.

We start, as usual with a FREE DRINK at 4.15 on Sunday 14th September. This gives you time to sign up for membership for the year if you want to; we have managed to hold the price to £7 again, for which you get £1 off all films you see for the whole year (through to Easter 2015), which includes ALL the festival films too - great value for money! If you received a brochure in the post, it will save a lot of time if you could fill in the application form you received with (or print it from here) it and bring it with you, please.

You also have the chance to buy an Autumn season pass for £38 - which gives you entry to see all the films till Christmas - that is about £2.50 each!!

You can see the full programme here and the first film will be at 5.00 on Sunday 14th September - Asghar Farhadi's 'The Past'.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Alhambra Centenary Film

Lights, Camera.... Alhambra! was commissioned to mark the centenary of Keswick’s Alhambra Cinema and made by Cockermouth film-maker, Joel Baker. Research for the film discovered a host of local people with memories of the cinema, dating back to the days of silent films and the first talkie – Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer.

Joel met and filmed those who had worked there, courted on the back row there and those who had misbehaved there, usually during the Saturday morning matinees.

The film also featured an interview with Nick Simpson, son of Jack who owned the cinema during the 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s. Nick, who effectively grew up in and around the Alhambra, gave an insight into the way in which his father ran the cinema and created programmes around local bus timetables and a sure knowledge of what played well in the town. One of his perks was to choose the film to be screened on his birthday – it was always a cowboy movie!

The Film is available to view on vimeo:

To obtain the password contact or try the name of the cinema where Keswick Film Club holds its Sunday Screenings.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Frank at Keswick Festival - Sunday 29th June 5:30pm

In case you hadn't seen the adverts around the town, the Keswick Festival is happening from 22 to 29 June. The idea is to show off as many of Keswick's clubs and events as possible and we have agreed to put on a film to tie in with the week.

Our slot will be Sunday 29th June at 5.30 and the film we are showing is 'Frank'. 'Frank' is a comedy based on the real life character Chris Sievey who made 'his' name by becoming Frank Sidebottom in what we can only call a musical cabaret; the point of his act was that he wore an enormous papier-mache head!

To make this film version stranger, Frank is played by the great Michael Fassbender ('Hunger', 'Shame', '12 years a Slave'), but we never see his face. The film has had a great reception from critics and audiences alike; I hope you will like it too!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fanny - Sunday 30th March 5pm

Sadly, we reach our last film for this season. We finish with Part Two of Daniel Auteuil's trilogy - 'Fanny'. In Part One, 'Marius', we met the lovers in Marseille, with Marius not sure whether his love for Fanny was stronger than his desire to go to sea. In Part Two, he has gone to sea and left Fanny alone to face the consequences of their romance. Will he come back and marry her, or should she give way to the wooing by Panisse, the much older friend of her father's, who is in love with her too? The mix of love, drama and comedy started in 'Marius' continues here; you will have to come along to find out what Fanny decides to do...

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Patrol - Sunday 23rd March 5pm

This week's film - 'The Patrol' - is a war film, but with a different slant to the 'normal'; based around a Platoon of British soldiers in the front line Afghanistan in 2006, we are taken into their minds as they deal with lack of equipment, bad decisions by their officers and, possibly the worst, lack of faith in their politicians; why are they there at all? Why should they risk their lives for someone else's battle?  Written and directed by Tom Petch,  who is himself a former soldier, the film won the Jury prize for  'film of the festival' at last year's Raindance Festival in London, no mean feat for a new director.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Michael Kohlhaas - Sunday 16th March 5pm

We welcome back Mads Mikkelsen this weekend, playing the title role in 'Michael Kohlhaas'. We last saw him in 'A Royal Affair' and 'The Hunt', now he takes on the very different role of a  Robin Hood-like legend.  Michael Kohlhaas, a well-to-do horse dealer in 16th century France, is cheated of two horses by a local baron and his attempts to right this wrong grow steadily out of control. How far can a fight for justice be justified? Is right always right? Set against the modern wars in the Middle East and the political arguments in Ukraine, this moral dilemma seems to go on for ever...Let's see how Mikkelsen takes on the problems!

Monday, March 03, 2014

Prince Avalanche - Sunday Sunday 9th March 5pm

After a fantastic weekend at the Keswick Film Festival, our film this week, 'Prince Avalanche',  'follows two unlucky, unhappy guys as they paint lines on a forgotten stretch of rural Texas highway, bickering and battling every step of the way. It has an effortless, scattershot hipster sweetness that feels deeply Scandinavian, and would always have been a goofily lovable character comedy. But a haunting mid-film sequence in the burned-out shell of a remote house elevates the film into something more impressive and compelling, a mournful but quietly angry comment on life in the wake of financial and emotional disaster. With gorgeously crisp photography and pitch-perfect performances from the two leads, this is one of the most intriguing and thoughtful American films of the year' (Tom Huddleston, Time Out).

Hopefully this mix of comedy and thoughtfulness will result in the 'oddity of the season' we picked the film to be!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Screeings Of "Lights, Camera...Alhambra"

Keswick Film Club, in partnership with the Alhambra Cinema, has produced a short film to mark the Centenary of the Alhambra Cinema. The film lasts about 30 minutes and features recollections from local people from silent films, the first talkie until the present day.

The film will be screened during the festival (all screenings will take place at the Alhambra) at the following times:
  • Friday 28th February at 6.00pm with the filmmaker Joel Baker 
  • Saturday 1st March at 5.00pm
  • Wednesday 5th March at 2.00pm before The Clouded Yellow
  • Thursday 6th March at 2.00pm before Swallows and Amazons
We would like to thank the funders of the film and the background research:
  • Keswick Neighbourhood Forum
  • Keswick Town Council
  • The Lake District Communities Fund

Monday, February 24, 2014

15th Keswick Film Festival

The 15th Keswick Film Festival starts on Thursday night with a party and Felix - the latest film from Dame Janet Suzman (who is also our guest) and go through to Sunday evening with over 30 films to choose from. Then the centenary celebrations continue through until Thursday with free screenings of films from each decade at The Alhambra, including The Godfather Parts 1&2, Lawrence of Arabia and Vertigo.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Patience Stone - Sunday 23rd February 7pm

Coming hard on the heels of Wadjda (and indeed Circumstance and About Elly from last year’s festival), The Patience Stone, our film for this Sunday, (don’t forget at 7.00pm) again reflects on the position and role of women in Muslim societies.

The Patience Stone is a drama from French-Afghan director Atiq Rahimi and based on his own prizewinning novel and adapted by French screenwriting legend Jean-Claude Carriere.

It is described by The List as follows: “In an unnamed town in what could be Afghanistan, a young woman tends to her injured husband. A religious war is being fought around them, and while battling alongside his Muslim brothers the husband has taken a stray bullet in the neck. Now he is breathing and not much else; he lies staring into space, not moving and completely unresponsive. His silence prompts the woman to speak – 'You’re compelling me to talk', she says – and as the surrounding violence escalates she begins to tell him all the thoughts, resentments and deep secrets that he has never listened to during their marriage.

This is a striking and provocative film, and essential to its success is Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, giving a deeply layered performance as the woman. She is both liberated and falling apart, at once a victim and fiercely in control, and Farahani ensures her actions are never predictable but always believable. Her expression in the film’s final enigmatic frame is one of the best parting shots in cinema this year.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Child's Pose - Sunday 16th February 5pm

As I was researching information for the brochure this year, I realised that many of the films we had chosen had great reviews for the leading female actress. Our film this week, 'Child's Pose', from Romania, stars Luminita Gheorghiu, who adds to these reviews - 'A taut modern morality tale from Romania with a knock-out lead performance from Luminita Gheorghiu.' - David Jenkins, Little White Lies.

How far would a mother go to protect her child? How far should she go? And, underneath it all, is she really protecting herself even more? 'A spellbinding drama of social commentary and psychological realism, this caustic look into the corrupt heart of the Eastern European bourgeoisie twists into a brilliantly ambiguous study of obsessive motherly love.' - Rotten Tomatoes.

The film was Romania's nomination for the Best Foreign Film at this year's Oscars, and has already won the Golden Bear at Berlin... good film, good acting...a good night out? Let's hope so! 

Monday, February 03, 2014

Gloria - Sunday 9th February 5pm

Our film on Sunday sees a return to Chile for Gloria, a film directed by Sebastian Lelio and produced by Pablo Larrain, whose own films have been regularly screened at KFC.

The BFi website summarises the feel of the film as follows:

“The first time the viewer sees Paulina García’s Gloria at the bar of a crowded nightclub for middle-aged singles, the sound of Frecuencia Mod’s upbeat ‘Duele, duele tu amor’ (‘Your Love Hurts’) rings out. With a glass of pisco sour in her hand and her arm positioned confidently on the bar, she casts her eye around the room and then swings purposefully across the dance floor to introduce herself to a potential new partner as Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ resonates across the room. The sonic commentary offered by the two opening numbers sets the scene for Sebastián Lelio’s perceptive and entertaining study of a feisty, free-spirited 58-year-old divorcee, putting aside the pain of past relationships in her search for passion, companionship and a partner who shares her zeal for dance.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wadjda & Short Term 12 - Sunday 2nd February

We have two films for the price of one for you this weekend. We start with a rerun of 'Wadjda' at 2.30, after the failed run in December. In case you have forgotten, this is the first ever film made in Saudi Arabia and by a female director too. The 10 year old Wadjda does everything she can to get the bike she wants, while the society around her tries to stop her. A gentle comedy, but one with a message about the role of women in Saudi Arabia.

We'll follow this film with free drinks to keep you happy till our second film, 'Short Term 12', starts at 5.00. A popular film at many festivals, this is again about children struggling in society. This time it comes from the USA and follows the life in a foster home for troubled teenagers. Run by 20 something year olds, with problems of their own, the film gets critical acclaim for showing us the highs and lows of their lives - 'Beautifully written and perfectly played, all of human life is here; the good, the bad, the messy and the uplifting' - Ian Freer, Empire. Another of this season's female leads also gets high praise - Brie Larson plays her socks off as Grace. With 'Nebraska' filling the gap when we last tried to show 'Wadjda', this double bill looks like a great afternoon of cinema to make up for it; I hope you can make it along for both films.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Camp 14:Total Control Zone - Sunday 26th January 5pm

Google ‘Camp 14’ and one of the first hits is the BFi website and the sub heading Film of the Week. With that recommendation Camp 14: Total Control Zone will make for compelling viewing.

The text below is taken from the review by Anton Bitel:

"I sit in the room without thoughts and without really doing anything. This quietude helps me kill time. I don’t really want to think about anything."

The speaker is Shin Donghyuk, one of very few people to have escaped a North Korean death camp, making the tale that he has lived to tell of crucial importance to the South Korean government and to human-rights organisations – and of considerable curiosity value for the world’s press.

German documentarian Marc Wiese (Das Mädchen und das Foto, Kanun – The Law of Honour) turns his subject’s quietude into a filmmaking principle. Much as Shin narrates his experiences in calm, measured tones, marking his continuing anguish not with on-camera breakdowns or emotive gestures but rather with long silences and awkward expressions of discomfort, so too Camp 14: Total Control Zone adopts a hushed approach, letting Shin’s words speak for themselves and allowing their full impact to hit in the breathing spaces of his drawn-out pauses.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Alhambra Centenary Celebrations start Wednesday 22nd January 2pm

The actual date of the Alhambra's Centenary is Wednesday 22nd January. To mark this date, you are all invited to a screening of an interview with Nick Simpson, the son of a former manager of the Alhambra, who grew up there in the 1940's and 50's. It is a fascinating record of how the cinema was run and its role in the town. Nick recalls the film 'The Clouded Yellow' being shot in Lakeland and that the crew used the Alhambra to view the rushes. Young Nick was very taken with its glamorous star, Jean Simmons! We will be showing 'The Clouded Yellow' after the interview with Nick, which will start at 2.00pm. We will also take the opportunity to announce the films to be shown from each of the decades of the Alhambra's operation over the Festival week, along with the Programme and Guests for the Film Festival. How can you resist?!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Broken Circle Breakdown - Sunday 19th January 5pm

The first thing to say about this week's film, 'Broken Circle Breakdown' is that it is short-listed for the Best Foreign Film at this year's Oscars. The reason I put this first is that once I describe it you will probably be as surprised as I was.

The story follows the love affair between the lead singer and banjo player of a bluegrass band (in Belgium!) and a tattoo artist. The story could have become too 'schmultzy' and harrowing, but the film plays back and forward in time, so we learn all is not well right at the start. Expect melodrama, sweet music, politics, religion, tears and joy. 'From all this, the director Felix Van Groeningen has created something not just plausible and affecting but sharp and alert in its distress' - Anthony Lane, The New Yorker. Expect also some great acting - the two leads both come in for some great reviews, especially Verrie Baetens - Tim Robey says in The Telegraph 'She ought to be a huge star, and this is exactly where to see her born'.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Papadopoulos and Sons - Sunday 12th January 5:00 PM

Our next film Sunday chronicles the fortunes of Harry Popadopoulos, a north London comestibles magnate "obliged to downsize when he finds that even an empire founded on taramasalata cannot survive a double-dip recession" (The Guardian’s reviewer, along with others, had a field day with food based puns!)

Papadopoulos and Sons is a comedy-drama exploring the stresses of family and business, not to mention the odd ethnic tension with the kebab shop down the road.

Again according to the Guardian "its an ambitious attempt to rewrite Lear for laughter rather than tears. It's a throwback, but relaxed, sweet and funny with it: a first feature that makes an impression by not pushing too hard to make an impression."

Friday, January 03, 2014

Happy New Year From Keswick Film Club

Happy New Year, film lovers - I hope you have had a great Christmas and New Year and you are now ready for our new season!

We start again this Sunday, 5th January at 4.15pm for our usual start of season drinks; this gives you a chance to swap Christmas stories, get a free drink and maybe buy yourself a Spring Season Pass; these will be on sale in foyer for £30 to club members, which makes it only £2.50 per film if you come to them all!

Our first film follows at 5.00pm. Continuing what is almost as long a tradition as the free drinks, we have a French period drama for you. 'Marius' is the first of a trilogy based on Marcel Pagnol novels (the second, 'Fanny', follows as the last film in our Spring Season on 30th March). The trilogy is directed by Daniel Auteuil, who also stars as Cesar, the father of Marius and the title role of the third film. The films are Auteuil's follow up after 'The Well-Digger's Daughter', which was our most popular film in in Spring 2012 season.
In the first film, Marius is helping to run his father's bar in Marseille where he dreams of running away to sea, until he meets Fanny. Will their love be enough to keep Marius' feet on dry ground? The love story is played against a background of humour, giving us a great season starter.