Monday, November 30, 2015

Phoenix - Sunday 6th December 5pm

This Sunday, we are off to post-second world war Germany for Phoenix, in what promises to be a very memorable film. The plot is complex and 'a masterstroke', the acting 'mesmerizing' and it all adds up to a noir-like thriller.

Nelly has come out of the concentration camp needing a complete facial rebuild because of her injuries. The result leaves her looking similar, but different; different enough to fool her husband Johnny – "When Nelly crosses paths with Johannes (don't call him Johnny any more), he notices the resemblance, but has completely convinced himself that his wife must be dead. "She's dead. I know she's dead." It’s a trick of denial...However, his wife has an unclaimed fortune, and Johannes convinces Nelly to pretend to be who she actually is to claim it" – all quotes from Brian Tallerico,

The plot twists and turns, leading Nelly, and us, round and round as she tries to claim her fortune and her character back. I won’t give away the ending, but Tallerico finishes by saying "I will never forget the end of Phoenix. Ever. Here’s hoping this incredible film gets to an audience so it can sear itself into your memory as well".

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Lobster - Sunday 29th November

This Sunday's film, The Lobster, includes Ben Whishaw and Léa Seydoux in the supporting cast, however comparisons with SPECTRE start and end there. The Lobster almost defies description.
"It is set in a world where single people are gathered up and hauled off to a remote hotel and have 45 days to find a partner or risk losing their humanity. Literally — they’ll get turned into an animal via processes mysterious, and flamingos and camels occasionally wander through the backdrops of scenes." - Buzzfeed
The Independent reviewer said:
"The Lobster is a European arthouse film par excellence – precisely the kind of project you can't imagine ever being made in Hollywood. It has a Greek director (albeit one now based in the UK) and Irish, American and Dutch producers. Its actors are from all over the place. Its budget has been clawed together from innumerable different sources. This is an example of what used to be dismissed as a 'Europudding' but it is also as rich and strange a film as you will see in a very long time – an absurdist tragi-comedy, performed in a very deadpan fashion."
Surprisingly, it was a publication called Nerd Report that got to the essence of the film – "The central issue is the inevitable paradox where you can't meet someone when you're lonely, which is when you most want to meet someone."

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tuesday Classics: Rebel Without A Clause - 24th November 5:30 PM

Our third and last classic for this season is this Tuesday night at 5.30 – Rebel Without a Cause - starring James Dean’s whose career was cut so sadly short by a car crash just before this film was released.

We probably don't need to tell you the plot – James Dean plays Jim Stark whose teenage antics cause chaos in the town he has just moved to – or even remind you it also stars Natalie Wood. Directed by the great Nicholas Ray, 'Rebel' became the anthem for the new Teenager world and still gets great reviews even today: "Dean's finest film, hardly surprisingly in that Ray was one of the great '50s directors" – Geoff Andrew, Time Out – or "A mighty, ageless jolt of teen petulance. Dean is supreme" – David Parkinson, Empire.

Dean has become almost deified, which is remarkable when we look back and realise he only made 3 movies. Was he really that good? Well now is your chance to find out!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Theeb - Sunday 22nd November 5pm

As the rain lashes against Cumbrian windows, it serves as a stark contrast to the location for our film on Sunday. Although listed as a film from the United Arab Emirates, Theeb is directed by a Jordanian, NajiAbu Nowar, and set in the deserts of that country during the first world war.

It has received universally good reviews, this from Film Journal International:
"The deserts of Jordan have rarely looked as beautiful or as dangerous as they do in Theeb, the assured feature debut by NajiAbu Nowar. A survival adventure with surprising depth, a coming-of-age story that hits painful emotions, and not incidentally a smart critique of Middle East politics, the movie has been winning praise and awards on the festival circuit, and was named Jordan's Oscar entry for Best Foreign-Language Film. But don't let its art-house aura deter you. Theeb is splendid entertainment, as exciting as it is thoughtful." 
The art house tag was also picked up by The Playlist:
 “Theeb is an arthouse gem that celebrates world cinema through a Middle Eastern perspective, and as an unfamiliar approach to familiar themes, should be lauded and sought out by those in the mood for some serious, and seriously good, cinema.”
However for damp locals feeling the after effects of storm Abigail, the comments from may be the most appealing: "these are not the sensuously undulating, lunar dunes of David Lean’s masterpiece; rather, the desert in Theeb feels intimate, rough, real. You can run your hands through the sand and feel the flies on your face."

Monday, November 09, 2015

The Salt Of The Earth - Sunday 15th November at Rheged with optional meal

"He travelled to the 4 corners of the world as a social photographer and a witness to the human condition" – so does Wim Wenders describe Sebastiao Salgado in The Salt of the Earth, our film this week; We, in turn, travel to Rheged to take advantage of the huge screen there to see it.

The film is a documentary of Sebastiao Salgado’s life, giving Wenders the palette to show not just the amazing photographs Salgado took but allowing Wenders to produce a beautiful film as he follows Salgado around the world; a kind of ‘Baraka’ with words. The result was nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary and gets good reviews from nearly all the critics. Seeing this at Rheged should give us a magical night (and don’t forget you can stay for a meal afterwards if you want – just email to order your food!)

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Rheged Film & Meal - Sunday 15th Novembr

The club is having its film show at Rheged this year on Sunday 15th November, with a chance to see the award winning documentary from director Wim Wenders - The Salt of the Earth - with our OPTIONAL 'mid season' meal in their restaurant afterwards.

The reviews of the film all make it look fantastic, so we hope it will be as popular as last year, especially as Rheged are holding the price for the meal at £10 for one last year! If you are interested in having the meal, please email for details.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Mia Madre - Sunday 8th November 5pm

KFC returns to Italy on Sunday with Mia Madre, directed by and starring Nanni Moretti.

It is a film about making a film, interspersed with the complex family issues faced by the Director, Margherita, played superbly by Margherita  Buy. Foremost amongst those issues is the terminal illness of her mother, mirroring the experience of Nanni Moretti himself, while making his earlier film, We have a Pope.

Moretti’s personal experiences as both son and director bring a genuine depth to Mia Madre. Little White Lies opines that Moretti  has a "self-imposed remit as a filmmaker who locates humour and levity in life's dimmest corners" and this is best brought out in scenes between Margherita and Barry Huggins, played by John Tuturro, a spectacularly self-deprecating turn as fading American-Italian screen star,  brought in to give some gravitas to her film.

An eight minute standing ovation at Cannes gives an idea of the quality of this film. Mark Kermode agrees:
"The beautifully observed and delicately balanced result is a sublimely modulated blend of laughter and tears, a film that cuts to the very heart of profound personal loss without ever losing sight of the fact that life, in all its chaotic comedy, carries on regardless."