Monday, March 23, 2015

Whiplash - Sunday 29th March 5pm

Our last film of the year, on Sunday 29th March at 5.00 in the Alhambra Cinema, could not be a better choice to go out in style; Whiplash looked destined to be a cult music film when we chose it for the programme, but has now become a world-wide phenomenon, with 73 awards including 3 Oscars. The big awards go especially to J.K Simmons, who finally gets recognised as a great actor.

The story of a young drummer (Miles Teller) who wants to be ‘THE best in the world’ who is taken in hand by a teacher (J.K Simmons) whose methods are more like a drill sergeant; mediocrity is not an option. If you have time, browse the critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes; not only scoring 95%, they are mainly total eulogies! Even Mark Kermode, who rarely seems to rave about any film, cannot resist it – ‘For all its overripe contrivance, you'll leave the cinema with a spring in your step and a thump in your chest, eager to bang the drum for what deserves to be one of the year's real word-of-mouth hits’. Well, he was right about the hit; let’s hope Keswick loves it too; your last chance to see a club movie till September; don’t miss it!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Human Capital - Sunday 22nd March 5:00 PM

The club makes a welcome return to screening an Italian film this weekend. The last film from that country that we screened was The Great Beauty, however Human Capital is a drama more akin to Loose Cannons and The Consequences of Love (which, if you can believe it, was screened almost 10 years ago).

Adapted from a novel by Steven Amidon, the action is moved from the cool of Connecticut to the perhaps more chic surroundings of Milan. The LA Times summed up the film as: "The haves and the wanna-haves mingle, anxious and wary, in Paolo Virzi's sharply observed Human Capital. Social commentary, introspective drama and gripping whodunit, Italy's submission to the Academy Awards concerns two families from disparate worlds, people whose paths cross only because their teen children are dating. Human Capital finds its thriller pulse in the secret emotional lives of the kids — played by superb newcomers Matilde Gioli and Guglielmo Pinelli. Amid setbacks, reversals and a police investigation, the adults circle a number of truths without quite facing them."

Monday, March 09, 2015

A Girl At My Door - Sunday 15th March 5pm

We travel to the other side of the world again this weekend – to South Korea - for A Girl at My Door.  To quote Jennie Kermode in Eye for Film: ‘A troubled child. A small town full of secrets. A young cop clashing with the system. It's a familiar set-up, but A Girl At My Door still manages to deliver something different. In a film full of close-ups, Doona Bae (best known to Western viewers for ‘Cloud Atlas’ and ‘Sympathy For Mr Vengeance’) delivers a sensitive, nuanced performance which challenges audience preconceptions and takes the film into dangerous territory’.

The dangerous territory is child abuse and the possibility of the relationship between the cop and the child sliding too far – both rarely dealt with in Korean society even now. But the film is much more about relationships and the tensions they bring about – both lead actors get good reviews for their portrayals of the two women as they step around the moral maze in the small town.

Although this is the first feature film from director July Jung, the producer is Lee Chang Dong (who directed the beautiful ‘Poetry’, seen here in 2012), so we can expect an emotional ride.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Electricity - Sunday 8th March 5pm

After the excitement of the film festival, we try to continue it with a showing of Electricity. A British drama starring Agyness Deyn (better known as a model till now, but getting great reviews for this film), who plays Lily; Lily is a tough girl who happens to be an epileptic, leading a carefree existence in a seaside town by knowing her problems and controlling her medication. The film takes her to London where she finds it hard to deal with the characters she meets...and her now uncontrolled epilepsy. As David James says in his review for the London Film Festival ‘I could go on, but if you are not convinced by now I don’t know what else to say. ‘Electricity’ is a seriously great film, made by people with a burning desire to prove their talent. It’s a tremendous achievement on all fronts and a credit to the British Film Industry’.