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.