Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hunt For The Wilderpeople - Sunday 8th January 5pm

We will start the Spring season with the worldwide Kiwi hit Hunt for the Wilderpeople, starring Sam Neill and the new, young find, Julian Dennison, who play Hec and Ricky. Ricky is a troublesome youth who ends up being fostered by Hec and his wife Bella in the middle of nowhere, until further trouble with social services drive Rick and Hec deep into the Kiwi bush...

"Uncle Hec and Ricky's journey together is hysterical, the laughs coming often, the two central characters’ relationship becoming the ginormous and heartwarming soul of the film. There's brilliant chemistry between Dennison and Neil, the pair quite obviously bouncing off each other; a joy to watch on screen, and as the story progresses you begin to feel like a member of their special pack, gleefully part of the adventure" – Jack Shepherd, Independent

Monday, December 19, 2016

2017 Festival & Spring Programme

We're taking a short break between programmes and would like to this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It's already looking like 2017 will be a great year for films. The festival programme is looking strong with many films picking up award nominations such as La La Land, LovingToni Erdmann and Manchester by the Sea.

We'll be back in our regular slot on Sunday 8th January with Empire magazine's best film of 2016 Hunt For The Wilderpeople. The full spring programme is now available and you can download a copy of the brochure or pick one up from the usual places.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Our Little Sister - Sunday 18th December 5pm

So we reach our last film of this season: we finish as we started with a gentle Japanese film - Our Little Sister.

By the same director – Hirokazu Koreeda – as the perfect  Still Walking from 2010, this promises the same beautiful, thoughtful episodes from the lives – rather than a story – of three girls who only find out at their father's funeral that they have another, younger step sister.

"There are minor conflicts and revelations, but these never seem like plot points. Rather they feel like the fabric of everyday life, observed with limpid simplicity and given powerful emotional effect with natural, easy, unforced performances" - Allison Gilmour Winnipeg Free Press.

"A delicate, unforced meditation on the bonds of family and the joys and wonders hidden in everyday life, this film is able to move audiences without apparent effort, and that must be experienced firsthand to be appreciated and understood"– Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"Anyone in the mood for two hours of sheer, unadulterated loveliness ... will be amply rewarded." – Mike D’Angelo, AV Club.

...which should leave you feeling rested and relaxed for the Christmas break! We will be back on 8th January with the Kiwi Hunt for the Wilderpeople. A very Happy Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Innocents - Sunday 11th December 5pm

The Anne Fontaine film The Innocents (Les innocents) is in French, Polish and Russian. It’s Warsaw in December 1945 and Mathilde, a young French doctor, has set up a clinic to treat French people left behind in Poland at the end of the second world war when a Benedictine nun comes to ask her help to deliver babies for several of her fellow nuns… It’s based on true events involving the victorious Russian army repeatedly raping and sometimes killing the nuns.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Embrace Of The Serpent - Sunday 4th December 5pm

This week's film promises to be very beautiful. A contender for this year's Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, Embrace of the Serpent takes us on two journeys, 30 years apart, into the heart of the Amazon, following the trails of two explorers who both meet the same shaman. The critics vie for the most enthusiastic descriptions: "breathtakingly gorgeous" – Kevin Maher, Times,  "visionary and wildly ambitious" – Geoffrey Macnab, Independent, "what a gripping an absorbing piece of work" – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian, etc etc. It is hard to find any bad words about this film (It scores 98% on Rotten Tomatoes); let’s hope we love it too!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Julieta - Sunday 27th November 5pm

A new film by Pedro Almodóvar must be a highlight for any season. I watched the trailer in Spanish (which I don't speak) and the pictures were ravishing. We, however, will see Julieta with the usual subtitles. The film won best director at Cannes this year. It's based on three Alice Munro short stories and tells of a mother's search for her estranged daughter Antía and all that goes before it with Julieta played by two actors at different stages of her life. It's been suggested as most reminiscent of Almodóvar's Volver.  So we continue a season filled with our F (for female) rated films.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Clan - Sunday 20th November 5pm

The latest from director Pablo Trapero promises to be an icy look at the minds of a family who are willing to kidnap and kill just to make money: The Clan is the Puccio family in Argentina who continued 'disappearing' people after democracy had returned in 1983. How much the family are in on the father's schemes you can decide, but the resulting film is a gripping thriller.

"The patriarch is Arquimedes Puccio, played brilliantly by Guillermo Francella, his piercing, pale-blue eyes gazing from another, darker world"  - Kate Muir, Times. "Related in gritty Scorsese fashion with striking Hollywood style, and revealing Trapero's top-notch storytelling prowess and expert technical flair, the movie builds to a truly stunning climax" – Alan Jones, Radio Times

Monday, November 07, 2016

The Land of the Enlightened - Rheged Screening, Sunday 13th November 5pm

Our Rheged film is from Belgium directed by Pieter-Jan de Pue in Persian and English and shot on 16mm film over seven years. It tells a partly documentary story of Afghanistan after the Americans leave. Gangs of children make use of everything that was left behind including mines and control the trade in lapis lazuli. The stunning cinematography is definitely suited to the giant screen.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Relaxed Screening: West Side Story - Wednesday 16th November 1:30pm

Our next relaxed screening is West Side Story. This special screening is suitable for anyone who needs a more easy-going environment, particularly those living with dementia.

Wednesday 16th November at 1.30pm, Keswick Alhambra. All Welcome
Tickets priced at £5 per person. Companions go free.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Childhood of a Leader - Sunday 6th November 5pm

The Childhood of a Leader this Sunday is about the relationship between a young boy and his parents, but it is set against a backdrop of Europe in the aftermath of world war one, leaving us to see his strange behaviour as possibly much more than just a spoilt child; could he be one of the rising 'stars' of the Fascist movement? With great acting from the new young star, some beautiful filming and rousing, Wagnerian music (written by Scott Walker), our own reviewers agreed with the critics that this is a film to be remembered:
"A gripping, offbeat period drama with a tremendous musical score from the great Scott Walker" – Allan Hunter, Express

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tale of Tales - Sunday 30th October 5pm

Tale of Tales (or Il racconto del racconti if you want to show off your Italian) is a film by Italian Matteo Garrone but in English so no subtitles this week. And it's a quirky sort of fairy tale (or three dark fairy tales together) loosely based on the tales of Giambattista Basile, the Neapolitan who inspired the Grimm brothers amongst others. The director is best known for Gomorrah but this is nothing like that… It's the story of three kings or three women depending on your viewpoint. We get a sea monster, an ogre and a giant flea. Prepare to be enchanted!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Victoria - Sunday 23rd October 5pm

We have a fascinating film for you this Sunday; Victoria - a movie filmed entirely in ONE take! So the cameras follow the action across 22 locations in Berlin throughout the whole 135 minutes with no cutting. If you saw Birdman – Best Film Oscar winner last year - , you will know what I mean; the result here leaves us with no space to breathe as Spanish tourist Victoria starts the night in party mode with three German lads, but strays into much more dangerous territory as the night progresses.

"Full of twists that feel authentic and believable characters, it grips from the first compelling frame to the last" – Liz Beardman, Empire Magazine

Monday, October 10, 2016

New UK Directors Day - Sunday 16th October from 2:45pm

After last week’s thought-provoking Oscar winner, we have our New UK Directors Day this Sunday with 2 comedies, both directed by women who have yet to make the big time.

Burn Burn Burn (2:45pm) is the first feature for Chanya Button with two female lead characters and one male one (though dead and now in a Tupperware container). It’s a mix of comedy and tragedy: although some of us may have had to dispose of the ashes of a loved one, it’s unlikely they’ll have given us specific instructions of several places they are to be scattered and why. So Dan's death from pancreatic cancer at a young age sends his best friends Seph and Alex on a road trip in an old Volvo. There may be tears shed!

After that Adult Life Skills (4:55pm) is based on another death. A near-30 year old, unable to get over the death of her brother, is living at home in her mother's garden shed and not too bothered about behaving like an adult. It's Rachel Tunnard's first feature film again with strong female roles including Jodie Whitaker (Broadchurch) in the main role.

This double film (FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!) is Keswick’s attempt to support up and coming directors.

Do get along to both if you can; some light comedy should be very welcome after the last few weeks!.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Son Of Saul - Sunday 9th October 5:00 PM

Five weeks in, we reach what is likely to be the most powerful movie of the season: Son of Saul. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2016, director Lazlo Nemes takes us into the mind of an Auschwitz prisoner who thinks he has found the body of his son. Make no mistake, this is not going to be an easy watch, but, on the other hand, do you really want to miss what many critics are calling a masterpiece? Films like this are exactly what film clubs exist for!
"I had a primal reaction to this stunning piece of art... It is unlike anything you have seen before... It’s unforgettable" - Brian Tallerco, Roger
"Gripping from its first frame to its last, and ending with a shot of unforgettable and heartbreaking simplicity... – Son of Saul is a work of superlative filmmaking craft and moral intensity" - Andrew O’Hehir,
"It's essential for us as a culture to continually see and understand that this was not an aberration, that people did this to other people and could do it again. Having films like Son of Saul made and seen is our best hope of that not happening" - Kenneth Turan, LA Times
Don’t miss it!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dheepan - Sunday 2nd October 5pm

As we come to terms with the Brexit vote, let's not forget the many millions who are desperate to live in Europe. Dheepan is one of those in this week's film; escaping from the battles of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, he co-opts Yalini and Illayaal to play his wife and child, to give them all a better chance of getting asylum in France.

Director Jacques Audiard has already had much success with films about people in desperate situations ('A Prophet' and 'Rust and Bone') but this one has finally won him the Palme D'Or at Cannes Film Festival and promises to leave us with plenty to talk about.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A War - Sunday 25th September 5pm

We continue the season with another Oscar nominated film, this time from Denmark home of the tense thriller – A War. Directed by Tobias Lindholm who directed the excellent 'A Hijacking' (you can sense a pattern in his film titles), this time his story follows Captain Pedersen on the frontline in Afghanistan and back home in Denmark, where he and his family are forced to live with the consequences of a decision he made in the heat of battle. Peter Keough from the Boston Globe thinks "[It] may ... be among the best war movies of all time", whilst David Edelstein (New York Magazine) says "A war confirms the darkest, least mentionable secret of traumatized veterans-that what haunts them is not just what they saw and what was done unto them, but what they did".

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mustang - Sunday 18th September 5pm

Our second week of the season brings us another Oscar nominated film, this time from Turkey – Mustang. This is a film that will fill you with many emotions from anger to joy, from bewilderment to exhilaration.

First time director Deniz Gamze Erguven takes us to a small town in Turkey where five orphaned girls are punished for (what seems to us as) harmless fun with some local lads: they are locked into their house and taught to be 'wives'. Needless to say, the girls are none too pleased about this and their reactions are the key to all the emotions; whether you leave inspired by the sisterhood or angered by the sheer stupidity of the girls' keepers, we are sure the film will make you think. Strangely, Mustang is also a comedic thriller too! As Farran Smith Nehme says in the New York Post "A gripping mix of comedy, tragedy, political anger and, despite everything, hope".

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Relaxed Screening: South Pacific- Wednesday 21st September 1:30pm

Our next relaxed screening is South PacificThis special screening is suitable for anyone who needs a more easy-going environment, particularly those living with dementia.

Wednesday 21st September at 1.30pm, Keswick Alhambra. All Welcome
Tickets priced at £5 per person. Companions go free.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Sweet Bean & Welcome Drinks - Sunday 11th September 4:15pm

The film club autumn season starts again on Sunday 11 September: it is always amazing how quickly the summer goes by; this year it seems even quicker to me as I feel I am still waiting for it to begin! So we hope to make you forget the disappointing weather with a beautiful, gentle Japanese opener; Sweet Bean brings us a growing friendship between Sentaro (a seller of sweet bean 'sandwiches'), Tokue (his new 76 year old chef) and Wakana, a teenage customer. Director Naomi Kawase lets these relationships sprout, whilst keeping a darker secret underneath the surface: "The movie, beautifully shot and acted, earns its ultimate sense of hope by confronting real heartbreak head-on, and with compassion" – Glenn Kenny, New York Times. I hope that you will agree with Aine O'Connor in the Irish Sunday Independent that this is "A subtle treat... an unusual and interesting gentle pleasure".

The film starts at 5.00pm, but we start the season with our usual free drink at 4.15pm to get you in the mood; see you there!

- Vaughan

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Autumn Programme Now Available

Japanese films bookend the season programme, which is a first; we hope you appreciate the quiet beauty Sweet Bean and Our Little Sister bring. The rest of the season is filled with a mix of drama, comedy, award winners, brand new directors and some of our favourites. As well as Japan we'll be also showing films from Columbia, Argentina, Turkey and Germany. It feels like a strong season to us; we hope you feel the same.

We start at 4:15pm on Sunday 11th September with our usual start of season drink followed by Sweet Bean at 5pm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

AGM - Sunday 18th September 4pm

We are holding our AGM at 4.00pm on Sunday 18th September in the Alhambra Cinema before the a screening of the the critically acclaimed Mustang.

We are always looking for anyone who is interested in helping to run the club; this can be as little as helping on the door at film shows, or you might want to think about being Club Secretary or running 'Front of House' for the Festival: both of these posts are vacant with Ian Payne taking over as Festival Director. Please get in touch if you are interested.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Autumn Programme Starts Sunday 11th September

We've selected 16 great films to show each Sunday through to Christmas. The new programme will be available soon with full details of all the films, apart from one mystery film which we're having to keep secret for now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Relaxed Screening: Oliver - Wednesday 17th August 1:30pm

Our next relaxed screening is Carol Reed's Oliver! This special screening is suitable for anyone who needs a more easy-going environment, particularly those living with dementia.

Wednesday 17th August at 1.30pm, Keswick Alhambra. All Welcome
Tickets priced at £5 per person. Companions go free.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Relaxed Screening: High Society - Thursday 1.30pm

In this strange time of political upsets, arguments and challenges, I wonder if a good easy-to-watch film on the big screen would calm you down..? Well, if so, you might want to come along to the latest in our series of 'Relaxed Screenings' this Thursday, 14th July at 1.30pm at the Alhambra.

We are showing the classic comedy 'High Society'; the music of Cole Porter drives the whole thing along - Grace Kelly is the High Society lady about to marry a solid, but boring man, after her 'True Love' marriage with Bing Crosby has ended. Frank Sinatra is a sleazy reporter who comes along to gloat but (you guessed it) decides she looks 'Sensational'...

It's only £5 and if you know anyone who might need help to get them there, their companion can come along for FREE!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dementia Friendly Screening: Singin' In The Rain - Wednesday 1:30pm

For those of you who came to the festival, you may remember we showed a 'dementia friendly' screening of Calamity Jane. This was the result of a grant we received to promote films which help reconnect people with dementia to their memories, and to make the environment in the cinema as friendly as possible for them; essentially this means showing classic films, allowing more time for the audience to settle, leaving room for wheelchairs and leaving the lights on (but dimly!). 

We now have three more dates for these set, which are being shown in co-operation with the Keswick WI and various  local dementia organisations  (and, of course, Tom at the Alhambra!). We are charging only £5 to get in and any carers get in free of charge. This doesn't stop you coming too!

The first film is being shown this Wednesday (18th May) at 1.30 at the Alhambra - Singin' in the Rain needs no introduction from me! So if you want to enjoy a relaxed afternoon in front of a large screen, why not join us at the Alhambra? The weather forecast is threatening rain then too, so bring out your umbrella...but maybe avoid swinging on too many lamp posts!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Summer Break

The weather may suggest otherwise but we're now on our summer break. Of course there will still be plenty of great films to see at the Alhambra and the film club will be back in September. Hopefully you'll consider joining, we haven't confirmed the prices yet but this year it was only £7 and saves you £1 for every film you see, including the festival.

Talking of the festival, the good news for us all was that Ian Payne took over the job of running it from Ann Martin after her 10 fantastic years as Director. We should thank both Ann for her amazing work AND Ian for be willing to take over -  Thanks both! We do now need a new Club Secretary though. This is not too heavy a task, so I hope you will think about volunteering.

Don't forget we're on Twitter as @keswickfilm and will continue to tweet details of things coming up at the Alhambra throughout the year.

See you in September.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Youth - Sunday 27th March 5pm

The Keswick Film Club season concludes with Paolo Sorrentino's first (or possibly second) film in English, Youth.

Starring Michael Caine  (Ballinger) and Harvey Keitel (Boyle) as a composer and film director respectively, both men ponder a last hurrah as they reach the end of their careers.The reviewer from Seven Days loved it - — "How the hell did Paolo Sorrentino's latest not dominate awards season?  Spotlight and The Big Short are timely films. Youth is timeless.

The Italian writer-director's is easily on a par with his 2013 masterpiece The Great Beauty. That picture earned the Foreign Language Film Oscar, so it's particularly baffling that this sumptuous follow-up was overlooked and underestimated."

Uncut was also impressed both with the acting and the sumptuous cinematography -  "Beneath its luxurious surface, bubble themes of regret. The tone is wistful, as Ballinger and Boyle consider lost loves, lost time and encroaching old age. Boyle is working on a script – his “moral testament” – while Ballinger reflects on his wife’s sad decline into Altzheimer's. “Being young makes everything close," he says. "Being old makes everything far away."

"Caine is terrific – inscrutable and distant, but evidently there are depths behind his oversized horn-rimmed glasses. The sense of dry, wintry pathos is superb. It’s great to see him doing such good work, and you wish he'd do more of it. A late arriving cameo from Jane Fonda, as a fading Hollywood star, suddenly breaks the mood of languid introspection, but is in keeping with Sorrentino’s penchant for grotesque characters – and is, critically, very funny."

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Some Like It Hot - Tuesday 22nd March 5pm

For our last classic this season, we go back to comedy with Billy Wilder's gender-buster Some Like It Hot. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are on the run from the mob disguised as women - Josephine and Daphne. They board a train as part of an all-women band, whose singer and ukulele player (naturally) is Marilyn Monroe. The inevitable love triangle is further complicated by yet more disguises, and a real millionaire who decides to chat up Daphne…

Voted by the American Film Institute in 2000 as the best comedy film ever, this has to be a film to watch over and over. As Roger Ebert said "Wilder's 1959 comedy is one of the enduring treasures of the movies, a film of inspiration and meticulous craft".

Monday, March 14, 2016

Rams - Sunday 20th March 5pm

The Theatre By the Lake has obviously noticed that we are showing Rams this weekend as they start their showing of The Shepherd’s Life at the same time! Rams comes from Iceland and follows in the same hoof marks as Of Horses and Men we had in 2014. This time we meet two farming brothers, Kiddi and Gummi, who keep sheep on adjacent farms, but haven't spoken for 40 years...until now, when circumstances bring about a reconciliation (of sorts).

The film won the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes and gets 97% from the Rotten Tomatoes critics. Expect some more wry Icelandic humour mixed with lots of country drama in... "A lovely film that will stay with you" – Linda Barnard, Toronto Star. "The movie is about collision: between stubborn farmers and the government veterinary board, between ancient ways and modern times, between two old, hardheaded brothers" – Ty Burr, Boston Globe.

Monday, March 07, 2016

The Crow's Egg - Sunday 13th March 5pm

After Court at the Festival we return to India, this time in the slums of Chennai, for The Crow's Egg.

Hollywood Reporter said: "In a shantytown wedged between the highway and the river, a pair of mischievous young brothers are known only by their strange nicknames: Big Crow's Egg and Little Crow's Egg, refer to their pastime of eating actual crows' eggs straight from the nest. With their father in jail and their mother holding down the fort, the boys are pretty much left to their own devices, trying to make a few Rupees salvaging coal from the nearby train tracks while otherwise imagining a better life for themselves – the kind they see on TV or through the fence of a rich kid's backyard.

But their lives suddenly do look better when mobsters sell the brothers' local playground to shady real estate developers, who open up a brand new franchise for a chain known as 'Pizza Spot'. Hoping to save up enough cash to sample their very first pie, the two Eggs engage in various shenanigans about town, including one where they offer their services to neighbouring men who are way too drunk to find their way home."

"The film itself is charged with feel-good moments, some of which are artificially maintained through slow-motion effects and nonstop music, others that are earned through a handful of clever screenwriting twists, not to mention endearing turns from the two lead cuties -  there's a dark honesty to what's being depicted that recalls Italian social comedies of the 1940's and 50's, making for a pizza that's tastier than it seems, and ultimately bittersweet."

Monday, February 29, 2016

Room - Sunday 6th March 5pm

As we slept after our weekend of films at the festival, Brie Larson was picking up an Oscar for her performance in Room which is this week's club film. Don't be put off by the subject matter here; whilst it is about a young woman kept in a 'room' with her young child, (and there are harrowing scenes, it is true), it is mainly about motherhood and Brie Larson carries off the part of Ma superbly. The young Jacob Tremblay is also excellent as the five year old Jack.

Basically a 'thriller' rather than a 'horror', expect to be surprised and pleased; the film garners 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and many reviews along the lines of James Kendrick (Network Film Desk) – "that rarest of films: one that finds a genuine sense of uplift out of the most despairing of situations without ever feeling forced or mawkish"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

17th Keswick Film Festival

And so we come to weekend of the 17th Keswick Film Festival at last!  This year we have 29 films – with themes from Jazz, Documentaries, Memory and Best of Fests. Nearly all of the films get the new F-Rated marking too with female directors, writers and/or significant female roles – how good that this has started in Ann Martin’s last year as Festival Director.

I am sure each of us would pick out different highlights from the films (take a look at the brochure here for full details) but three novel features are the launch of a book about the history of the Alhambra Cinema by our own Ian Payne, a talk from special effects guru Simon Hughes and some animation workshops from Sheryl Jenkins at Rheged.

For those who have been before, you will know we pride ourselves on being the 'friendly festival' – you won’t get lost in dozens of venues around a big city and you will always find someone willing to stop and help you or just to talk about how great that last film was! Keswick is still recovering from the recent flood (though our venues weren't hit, fortunately), so why not come along and show your support while you enjoy yourself?!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tuesday Classic: Brief Encounter - Tuesday 23rd 5pm

With the festival coming up this weekend, what better way to get in the mood than watching a classic at the Alhambra? And when the classic is the great Brief Encounter, it is a treat indeed. David Lean directed "One of cinema's classic love stories" (Kate Muir, Times) in 1945 and it still recognized as one of the best British films ever made.

Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard play the two innocents from loveless marriages who meet by accident in a station cafe and find themselves falling gradually in love; but what future can there be?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sunset Song with Terence Davies - Sunday 21st February 5pm

Sunset Song this weekend brings us some great acting from Agyness Deyn and Peter Mullan, some beautiful photography and a classic story (from the novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon), all brought together by the director, Terence Davies – who will be here in person to answer your questions.

Davies made his name with Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), going on to make 8 films so far. In Sunset Song he follows the life of Chris Guthrie, brought up by a very strict patriarch (Peter Mullan) on a Scottish farm, through her love for Ewan into the First World War. We'll leave any more introductions to Terence Davies himself, but, to quote Mark Kermode in the Observer "Davies's long-delayed passion project finally reaches our screens. It has been worth the wait" - don't miss your chance to see both the film and the director himself!

Monday, February 08, 2016

Acclaimed director Terence Davies comes to Keswick

Great News for Keswick Film Club! We have just found out that Terence Davies - director of Sunset Song and 11 other films including Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) through The House of Mirth’(2000) to The Deep Blue Sea (2011) – is coming to Keswick on 21st February to answer questions after our showing of Sunset Song. This should get us all in the mood for the Festival!

My Skinny Sister - Sunday 14th February 5pm

My Skinny Sister this Sunday comes from Sweden and follows the relationship between a 12 year old girl, just coming into her teens, and her older sister who is becoming famous as a figure skater. Suffering from prepubescent worries, Stella idolises her sister, only  gradually realising that Katja is herself suffering from eating disorders. The film shows the relationship from Stella's viewpoint, allowing director Sanna Lenken  to "Draw on personal experience of anorexia, (and) examine the conflicting web of intimacy and alienation that entraps both sisters and moves with humour and compassion toward resolutions born of honesty, insight and affection" – Mark Kermode, Observer.

This is also the first film we have shown since we 'affiliated' to a campaign to get more females into film; it wins the new F-Rated mark on all 3 grounds here; female director and writer and 'significant' female roles. There are very few film produced that hit any of these qualifications! (Note: next week's Sunset Song gets the F-Rating as well)

Monday, February 01, 2016

Tangerines - Sunday 7th February 5pm

We are into Oscar nominated territory for Tangerines on Sunday, and visiting a country we rarely go to: Estonia. In a world full of conflicts and wars, it is surely timely for us to look at Ivo's attempts to rescue his tangerine crop whilst patching up two wounded soldiers from different sides of the Georgia/Abkhazia war and trying to stop them fighting each other, all at the same time. As Peter Bradshaw, in the Guardian, thinks the result is "a tremendous, old-fashioned anti-war film, by turns touching, moving and suspenseful... It is tremendous storytelling: engaging, intelligent, and with some lovely touches", we should be in for a great film too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hector - Sunday 31st January 5:00 PM

This Sunday we turn to the naturalistic, British drama scene with Hector, after the heavy Hard To Be A God and the laughter of A Night at the Opera last week. The great Peter Mullan is cast perfectly as Hector, a long-term itinerant who is happy with his lot wandering from town to town on the roads of Britain. As Mark Kermode says in the Observer "the spirit of Ken Loach hangs over this surprisingly warm and rewardingly aware tale of homelessness at Christmas".

Jake Gavin concentrates on showing Hector's life is normal, if only to him, and that he is a real person not the invisible beggar we so easily ignore. As he wanders between service stations waiting for lifts, we begin to understand what brought him on to the roads in the first place.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tuesday Classic: A Night At The Opera - Tuesday 26th 5pm

The classics proved popular last season so we are going to carry on. The theme this season is 'as chosen by members': all three were requested by you!

We kick off with this Marx Brothers classic from 1935. With all their usual mixture of anarchy and slick timing, this time they are organising the New York Opera as they try to get two friends hired at the expense of real talent.

Next month we'll be showing Brief Encounter and in March, Some Like It Hot.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hard To Be A God - Sunday 24th January 4:30pm

Our film on Sunday, Hard to be a God – at 4.30pm, almost defies description. You can tell how difficult it is when the reviewers clutch at comparators to try and give a flavour of what you are going to see.  Breughel, Bosch, Kafka and Monty Python and the Holy Grail all featured, although the latter comparison had nothing to do with humour.

All agreed that this is a true cinematic experience – a world perpetually locked in the Middle Ages:  "a world beset with tyranny and factional wars between groups called 'Blacks' and 'Greys'. In the midst of this, what looks like an imperious baronial chieftain called Don Rumata, played by Leonid Yarmolnik, walks with relative impunity: this sovereignty is based on his claim to be descended from a god." – Peter Bradshaw

Roger Ebert seems to agree:

"not only an unforgettable individual masterpiece but probably one of the capital-G Great Films. You’ll need a strong stomach and another kind of endurance to sit through it, as it’s nearly three hours long and is more than a little oblique in its approach to narrative ...... but once it is over you know you’ve really had an experience. An experience very different from watching an average or even a very good conventional film."

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Marshland - Sunday 17th January 5:00 PM

Our film this week is Marshland,  a Spanish film set in "the fabled wetlands region of Andalusia, home to a series of barren, yet forbiddingly beautiful landscapes quite unlike any other" (Herald Sun).

The story unfolds in 1980 as the country still faces the consequences of change after the death of Franco a few years earlier and the restoration of democracy. We follow two, newly-partnered plainclothes cops as they investigate the disappearance of two teenage sisters.

Australia's Herald Sun ranked the film as one of the best films of 2015, commenting upon the partnership between the two cops as ‘utterly mesmerising’ and the cinematography as ‘sublime’.

If the Aussies aren't your preferred arbiter of a good movie, then how about this from Empire?

"A gripping police procedural thriller from writer-director Alberto Rodríguez with understated character (and political) depth as Spain’s fascist past looms over all the characters. Rodríguez punctuates the film with stunning overhead landscape shots, delivers a burst of action in a nighttime car chase on marsh causeways and pays off with haunting ambiguity."

Monday, January 04, 2016

La Famille Bélier - Sunday 10th January 5pm

Our Spring (don’t you like the sound of that – Spring!) season kicks off in traditional style with La Famille Bélier a comedy from France that has won applause and approbation in equal measure. Applause for the film and its performances and approbation from the deaf community for using hearing actors to play the role of deaf characters – indeed some campaigners have boycotted the film altogether.

La Famille Bélier tells the story of a deaf-and-mute farming family with a 17-year-old daughter who can not only hear and speak but sing, beautifully. Paula Bélier's decision to leave home to become a professional singer is a sweet calamity for her parents. Their daughter is their mouth and ears. They want her to succeed but cannot comprehend her talent. (The Independent)

It is undoubtedly a feelgood movie that has been sold in 85 countries on the strength of the trailer alone. It has been ecstatically received (by most people) in France, inevitably drawing comparisons with Amélie, Intouchables and The Artist.

"Here is a film that makes you laugh, makes you think and occasionally makes you cry," said the newspaper, Le Parisien.