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.