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.