Monday, December 17, 2018

Merry Christmas

We hope you have enjoyed the first half of our 20th Year. We will be back on 6 January 2019 to continue with our look at world cinema. This season has more than its normal shares of relative blockbusters with Steve McQueen's 'Widows', Keira Knightley and Dominic West in 'Colette', plus a couple of different views on discrimination in the USA - 'The Hate U Give' - about a police shooting of a black boy - and 'If Beale Street Could Talk' - which follows the attempts of a young black woman trying to get her husband released after a false arrest for rape. We also have a couple of big hitters from Turkey and South Korea - Nuri Bilge Ceylan's 'The Wild Pear Tree' and Chang-dong Lee's 'Burning'. Take a look at the complete programme on this website - we think you will enjoy it! AND, of course, we have our TWENTIETH Keswick Film Festival from 28 February to 2 March.

Until then we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year; we hope our films will help you enjoy 2019!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Under The Tree - Sunday 16th December 5pm

Our Christmas treat for you is this comedy from Iceland - 'Under the Tree': As you sip your sherry under your Christmas tree, wondering whether to put a star or just a light on the top, spare a thought for those with larger problems in the Atli here in Iceland. Forced to move back home with his parents for reasons I’ll let him explain when you see the film, he finds himself in a battleground between his parents and their neighbours; is the tree in his parents' garden beautiful as they believe, or just blocking the sun as the neighbours argue? "Can’t they just move their chairs over a bit into the sun?"

Monday, December 03, 2018

American Animals - Sunday 9th December 5pm

Partly a true-life crime drama, partly a comedy, director Bart Layton has certainly come up with a new way to view the classic heist movie. Rotten Tomatoes describes American Animals as "The unbelievable but true story of four young men who brazenly attempt to execute one of the most audacious art heists in US history. Determined to live lives that are out of the ordinary, they formulate a daring plan for the perfect robbery, only to discover that the plan has taken on a life of its own".

The film starts off fairly light-heartedly but gets darker when the two would-be master criminals bring in two other friends to help. "By the time Warren’s squaring his shoulders to taser the rare-books librarian, 'American Animals' has veered from sorta-true-crime quasi-comedy into a Scorsese-inflected look at the realities of attempting a theft of this magnitude" - Sara Stewart, New York Post. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Shoplifters - Sunday 2nd December 5pm

Our film on Sunday, from Japan, is Shoplifters from director Hirokazu Koreeda. He has been recognized as a great director - the 'heir' to Yazujiru Ozu - since 'Nobody Knows' (2004), winning many awards around the world, but it has taken till now for him to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes with this, his latest film. I first fell in love with his work back in September 2010 when the film club showed 'Still Walking'. Since then, we have had most of his films and they have all gone down well in Keswick.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Wajib - Sunday 25th November 5pm

In this Sunday's film Director Annemarie Jacir uses a simple road trip around Nazareth to explore the different ‘truths’ of life as seen by Palestinians in Israel. Father and son (as are the actors), are hand delivering invites to a wedding;  Abu Shadi - who has lived here all his life - and Shadi -  who now lives in Italy - argue about their different views of how to survive, about what is important; about pragmatism and idealism.

"It's easy to wear a rose coloured pair of designer Italian glasses when you are observing from a distance, whereas Shadi's father faces the compromises needed to rub along successfully in his homeland" - Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Lucky - Sunday 18th November 5pm

Our film this Sunday is Lucky, which, as Rotten Tomatoes describes, "follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town. Having out lived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment".

Monday, November 05, 2018

Cocote - Sunday 11th November 5pm

Alberto is returning to the Republic to attend his murdered father's funeral. A fervent evangelical Christian, he is already worried by the local Christian customs which coalesce in the ecstatic hybrid rituals of the 'rezos de los nueve'. His fears are increased as he begins to realise that his family expect him to take revenge on the local criminal boss who was responsible for the murder. Cocote builds to a crescendo as Alberto tries to decide what to do…

Monday, October 29, 2018

Marlina the Murderer In Four Acts - Sunday 4th November 5pm

In case a rare film from Indonesia is not enough to tempt you this week, we also have one of the longest, most intriguing titles I can remember! If 'Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts' is anywhere near as good as its title, it should be a good night out; with the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes average out at 97%, it looks like the critics think it is too.

So what is it about?  If you can picture Sergio Leone directing a feminist western in Indonesia you are on the way to seeing what Mouly Surya has succeeded in doing here: after being told she is going to be robbed and raped in half an hour, Marlina prepares for the ‘Robbery’, then goes on her ‘Journey’ for revenge; you will have to come and see the movie to find out what the other two acts are...

Monday, October 22, 2018

Summer 1993 - Sunday 28th October 5pm

This Sunday we travel to the Catalan countryside in Summer 1993. 6 year-old Frida is taken to live with her aunt and uncle after her parents have died. She befriends their 3 year-old daughter, but
the summer is not as idyllic as it might seem…This is Carla Simón’s first feature film; she and the film have garnered many nominations and awards, including the Berlin Film Festival, where the film won her the Best First Feature Award. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Cold War - Sunday 21st October 5pm

If you loved Pawel Pawlikowski’s Oscar and BAFTA-winning last film ‘Ida’ as much as we did you won’t be at all surprised that we have included his new ‘Cold War’ in this season. This, too, is winning awards: at Cannes Film Festival, Pawel Pawlikowski  won the Best Director award and the film was nominated for the Palme d’Or.

The film shows the meeting between Wiktor, a travelling musician and Zula, who comes to an audition for his folk group. It then follows the two folk musicians around Cold War Europe, weaving their love and the politics of the time into "a crisply controlled saga of romantic torture, glamour, forbidden border crossings and more betrayals than you can shake a black silk stocking at"  - Stephanie Zacharek, Time.

"Wiktor and Zula have a complicated relationship over the years, which is held together by the music: ‘The music does the feeling for them  - and the music, like their relationship, changes. We have folk chorals that speak of lost loves, sweetly wounded jazz twinkling in French cafés, and the furious, overpowering charge of rock ’n’ roll" - Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice.

Which only leaves me wondering, is the ‘Cold War’ of the title about the political times of the countries they travel though; or is it more about the relationship between the two lovers..? You will have to come along and see for yourself; it won't be a wasted evening I'm sure - this could be my film of the season.


Monday, October 08, 2018

First Reformed - Sunday 14th October 5pm

Thanks to one of our members who suggested we showed First Reformed this Autumn.
"It's been a long journey for Paul Schrader, the screenwriter who gave us American classics such as 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull' and 'American Gigolo'.  Now comes 'First Reformed', which Schrader wrote and directed, and it shows a raging fire still burns deep within the 71year-old. 'First Reformed' is a passionate, unnerving and almost unbearably tense drama about faith, conviction and the rotting core of life on our planet. It's the Schrader many hoped was still alive and kicking but doubted we would ever see again. What a comeback" - Adam Graham, Detroit News. 
If you're planning on coming, join the Facebook Event and share it with your friends.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Custody - Sunday 7th October 5pm

The Alhambra is the place to be at 5pm on Sunday. We are going back to France again, but this time for a very different film - Xavier Legrand's Custody. If thrillers get to you as much as they do to me, then this is for you!

It feels as though saying anything about the plot will give too much away; let’s just say we are watching a custody battle between a soon-to-be-ex-married couple. This has been done many times before, from 'Kramer v Kramer' to 'A Separation' but, as Odie Henderson says in -

"Watching 'Custody' I was reminded of one of Roger's tenets: "It’s not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it." Writer/director Xavier Legrand's feature length debut is about a bitter custody battle, but he has chosen to execute his plot as a quiet, brutally relentless psychological thriller. Custody filters the majority of its terror through Julien Besson (Thomas Gloria), the 10-year-old boy at the centre of his parents' vicious legal struggle. This device never feels exploitative, because as any child of divorce will tell you, the dissolution of one’s parental unit is traumatic even when the split is amicable. And this is not an amicable split".

I can also tell you that the film starts in court, where Antoine Besson is arguing for joint custody of Julien whilst his soon-to-be-ex-wife is arguing against. Is Antoine the innocent husband whose wife has set his kids against him, or is he the violent person she claims..?

The acting of all the cast gets great reviews, especially Thomas Gloria - "he has a very expressive face that often fills the screen in silence while his body telegraphs the sad resignation of one who feels helpless" - Odie Henderson again - whilst Xavier Legrand's direction won him the Silver Lion at Venice: he "seems precociously adept at turning the screws of suspense" - Anthony Lane, New

I can't wait!

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Heiresses - Sunday 30th September 5pm

Winner of awards at Berlin and Seattle, The Heiresses is a beautiful look at the problems and opportunities when life changes unexpectedly as "A withdrawn, middle-aged gay woman slowly inches out of the shadows of her dissatisfaction as she's forced to navigate a life separated from her more outgoing partner of 30 years... Minor-key and subdued to a fault, the drama nonetheless builds emotional involvement by infinitesimal degrees through its acute observation of characters and social context and its ultra-naturalistic performances" - David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter.

Join and share our Facebook event if you are coming along.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Lean On Pete - Sunday 23rd September 5pm

Our film this week follows on from Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years which went down well in Keswick in 2015. Lean on Pete was released just too late for us to get it last season; it gets a viewing here with thanks to one of our members who suggested it. Haigh continues his compassionate style of directing, but this time in America with a story about Charley, a 15-year-old boy and a horse.

"A performance of remarkable depth, candour and vulnerability by rising star Charlie Plummer lies at the heart of this terrifically moving fourth feature film from British writer-director Andrew Haigh." - Mark Kermode
"Haigh's new film has the substance and emotional heft to be considered a masterpiece." Kevin Maher, The Times

Monday, September 10, 2018

In The Fade - Sunday 16th September 5pm

Prepare yourself to be sad, angry and thrilled all at once with In The Fade this Sunday at 5pm. Katja is a loving wife and mother. Life is looking better and better for her family as both parents recover from drug addiction and become good citizens, when both her husband and son are killed in a bomb blast. Katja is devastated, failing to hold herself together as the crime is investigated. The police think it is drug related, but could it be something a lot worse? And how will Katja cope if those to blame are not caught and punished?..

Also don't forget it's the AGM before the film at 4pm

Sunday, September 09, 2018

AGM - Sunday 16th September 4pm

We are holding our AGM at 4.00pm on Sunday 16th September in the Alhambra Cinema before the screening of In The Fade and would love to see a good turnout of members again.

This is your chance to comment on how you see the club and make any suggestions for the future. As well as getting reports on last year we will be deciding on a changed constitution to help us operate better in future. All the papers for the AGM are on the website.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Projector...Lights...Action - we are back... for our Twentieth year!

After such a great summer, how can we keep enjoying ourselves over the darkening autumn evenings? Well, good news; the Film Club starts again THIS SUNDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER. We will be there from 4.15pm if you want to come along and have a free celebratory drink; TWENTY YEARS of film is surely worth celebrating! This is also a chance to renew your membership if you want - £10 will save you £1.50 for every club film you see all year so definitely worth considering.

We start the new year with a comedy/drama that should get us all in the mood again; It’s French and comes from the directors of ‘Untouchable’, the film which went down so well in 2012.

C'est La Vie

"A bitter, laconic wedding planner; his chip-on-her shoulder protege; an ego maniacal groom; a post-nervous breakdown waiter who can't stop hitting on the bride: These are but a few of the pieces that form the rollicking French farce, 'C'est la vie'. Manic and earnest, the meticulously constructed plot whips by at a breakneck pace" 
Brent McKnight, Seattle Times

Monday, August 27, 2018

Our 20th Year Programme

The committee debated long and hard whether we needed to do a special programme for our twentieth year; should we rerun films from each year, or maybe pick some of the favourites? We decided in the end that what makes our programme one of the best in the country is that we have new films that have not been seen here before, that bring that little extra to Keswick; so why change a good thing?!

So our Twentieth Year starts with another season of films from around the world, including Paraguay, Indonesia and even the Dominican Republic. We have a couple of comedies to start and finish the season - the French C’est La Vie, the latest from the director of Untouchable, starts us off on September 9th, while the Icelandic Under the Tree finishes the season.

Between the two, we go to Germany for the dramatic In the Fade, Poland for the love story (of sorts) Cold War and Spain for a beautiful tale of children Summer 1993.

We visit very unusual lands with Cocote from the Dominican Republic, Marlina from Indonesia and The Heiresses from Paraguay. Slightly more normal (for us at least), Wajib comes from Palestine Shoplifters from Japan and Custody from France, which leaves the rest of the season to the US and UK.

Two of these films were chosen by our members - Lean on Pete and First Reformed - and we thought the last film from Harry Dean Stanton - Lucky - deserved a showing. A film that went down well at the ICO previews - American Animals - finishes the programme.

We hope you enjoy them all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

See you all in September

So, sadly, our club year has come to an end once more. We hope you all enjoyed at least some of the films you saw, and we look forward to seeing you again next season. It will be the club’s TWENTIETH YEAR so we would like to mark it with some celebrations, at both the club and the festival. This will not only be fun for us all, but maybe a time to put the name of the club around and spread the word; we still need to try to build our audiences to keep us viable. If you have any suggestions of what we could do, please let us know – special films, parties, guests, events..? What would you like to see? What would make the year special for you?

Another reminder to anyone who has yet to reply to our emails that we will have to remove you from the club records if we don’t receive an ‘opt-in’ from you to let us keep your records and send you info; if you haven’t replied yet, PLEASE do it now.

You might like to know a few stats for the year.  Our biggest audience was 170 for ‘A Man Called Ove’, whilst the highest scoring film was ‘Land of Mine’ – 90.96%. Our lowest audience was 61 at Rheged for ‘The Graduate’ (obviously old classics don’t turn you on!) though, not surprisingly I guess, those that did turn up loved it – 90.76%. Overall the average audience was just over 101 – slightly up from 99 last keep bringing your friends along please!

Over the summer we will be swapping over our emails to a more professional, glamorous look which we hope you will like; you will, of course, have to opt-in to get them!

Meantime, we wish you all a very happy, warm summer. Enjoy the long evenings and, when you miss our Sunday nights together, don’t forget the Alhambra keeps going all the year round; it is easy to see what is on – just look at the Alhambra website.

See you there AND in September for our 20th Year!!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Boy - Sunday 25th March 5pm

Sadly, we come to our last film of the year, this Sunday at 5.00. We are showing the Kiwi Boy... "a charmer, a funny and affecting coming-of-age story rendered with heart, and with nuttiness"  - so says Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer. My son (who still lives in New Zealand), recommended it to me when it was first released in 2010; we couldn’t get it then, but I can vouch for it too as I did get the DVD a couple of years later. The film has finally been released here after the success of Hunt for the Wilderpeople by the same Director – Taika Waititi. As ‘the Wilderpeople’ went down so well in Keswick, we thought we’d finish the season on a bright, whimsical note (just to disprove to all those of you who think all our films are depressing!!). The story follows the Maori ‘Boy’ in his poor, backwater life near the Bay of Plenty in 1984 New Zealand. We get to see the joy and the sorrow of unemployed Maori life, whilst following Boy’s dreams about his ‘famous’ father (Played for comic effect by Waititi himself) – is he really a deep-sea diver? Come along for some traditional Maori lifestyle...and lots of laughs!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Strangled - Sunday 18th March 5pm

Strangled is a drama, based on real-life events, in which a series of sexual murders take place in a small Hungarian town. Set initially just after the Hungarian uprising in 1956 a suspect is quickly convicted and imprisoned. However ten years later it becomes clear to the original detective and the prosecutor that this a serial killing (despite being told "there are no serial killers in Hungary"). Reopening the case involves admitting that Soviet era justice was fallible and that is not politically acceptable…

Winner of nine Hungarian film awards last year.

Monday, March 05, 2018

My Pure Land - Sunday 11th March 5pm

We have been looking forward to the film this Sunday at 5.00 - the fascinating-looking Pakistani feminist western My Pure Land... "One of Britain's irregular submissions in the foreign-language film Oscar category, My Pure Land is a tense siege thriller shot in Pakistan with dialogue in Urdu. British-Pakistani writer-director Sarmad Masud's feature debut dramatizes the true story of a Nazo Dharejo, a teenage girl who took up arms to defend her rural family homestead against an army of gunmen." – Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter.

With a backdrop of the huge problems faced by women in this patriarchal society, the resulting film becomes "heart-poundingly tense and strikingly feminist" – Ed Potton, Times – which would be pretty good for a UK film, never mind one made in Pakistan. We hope this appeals to you as much as it does to us!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Loveless - Sunday 4th March 5pm

Loveless is the story of an unloved Russian boy Alexey, neither of whose unlikeable separating parents want to take him with them and who disappears one day. Most of the film is the sometimes desultory search the couple make for their son, the disinterest of the police and the volunteer group who take up the search. It is shot in muted colours with a background of unremittingly bad national news. We shouldn’t assume that views in one film are relevant to all of Russian society, but there is an undercurrent of unconcern – just another missing child. Don’t let that put you off – it is a mesmerising film that won the Jury prize at Cannes and best film at the London Film Festival last year and was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

Monday, February 19, 2018

19th Keswick Film Festival

It is time for the 19th Keswick Film Festival at last! Starting on Thursday at 6.30 with a free drink and ‘Edie’ at 7.00, going right through to Sunday at 8.00 with ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’, there are over 30 films, guests and the Osprey Awards to keep us engrossed.

So... get your tickets, start deciding what you really HAVE TO see and what you will just have to miss because of it; make sure you know which venue your choices are at and then just get ready to relax and watch movies all weekend..! Take a look for all the details; see you there!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Thelma - Sunday 18th February 5:00 PM

Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the term continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Félicité - Sunday 11th February 5pm

We are off to Africa this Sunday at 5.00 for the Senegalese Félicité... "a proud, free-willed woman working as a singer in a bar in Kinshasa. Her life is thrown into turmoil when her 14-year-old son has a motorcycle accident. To save him, she sets out on a breakneck race through the streets of Kinshasa - a world of music and dreams - where she'll cross paths with Tabu..." – Rotten Tomatoes.

This is the first film ever selected as a Senegalese entry for the Best Foreign language film after winning six awards at the Africa Movie Academy (the most ever) and the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. It stars Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu in the title role, a real life singer in Senegal "who arrives fully formed here as a figure of enormous dignity and warmth, a pillar of resilience who is nonetheless all-too-humanly susceptible to exhaustion, grief and despair" so says Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times, who also points out the importance of music in the film: "so it's fitting that music should become the movie's emotional filigree, ranging from the band's jubilant jam sessions to the heart-stopping occasional interludes featuring the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra, performing their renditions of Arvo Pärt in an enormous warehouse space. The mix of improvisation and classicism goes beyond mere eclecticism. It reflects the movie's own generous embrace of life in its endless capacity for joy, sorrow and awe". Sounds too good to miss!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Call Me By Your Name - Sunday 4th February

Call Me By Your Name is a coming of age film set in a northern Italian summer in 1984 and explores teenage sexuality amid a beautiful timeless landscape. In one sense nothing much happens as a teenager gradually becomes enthralled by an older American student. Just a beautiful film. And as good as an Italian holiday for the cold days of February.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Happy End - Sunday 28th January 5pm

We have the latest film from a Keswick favourite – Michael Haneke - this Sunday at 5.00 with the French Happy End. "The Laurent [family] hides in the bubble of its own privilege and live in a mansion in Calais. Georges, played by the reliably brilliant Jean-Louis Trintignant, is about to turn 85; since the passing of his wife, he's in love only with death. (In many ways, this ironically titled drama could be the sequel to 'Amour'.) The widower is trapped with what's left of his family: his daughter Anne (Isabelle Huppert), who runs the clan's construction business; her immature son, Pierre, who she'd like to see take over operations; Anne's brother, Thomas, a doctor; his wife, Anaïs and their newborn son; and Ève (a dynamite Fantine Harduin), Thomas's 13-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, who comes to live at chez Laurent after the suicide of her mother’ – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

Also staring Toby Jones, we have some great acing to look forward to but... does it live up to Amour, The White Ribbon, or Hidden? Although it was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2017, some critics seem to prefer the more heartfelt style of 'Amour' over his older, more bleak films; they were inevitably left with split opinions over 'Happy End', then. Come along and see what you think of it!

Monday, January 15, 2018

In Between - Sunday 21st January 5pm

In In Between three Palestinian women are sharing a flat in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv. They come from very different backgrounds and have different lives. But they are brought together against the attitudes of men (‘Where do you think you are living? In Europe?’ asks one of them – the men do not come out well in this). This is Maysaloun Hamoud's first feature film. Controversially it was made with Israeli money and provoked very different attitudes amongst its Palestinian audience including a fatwa from the mayor of the town where one of the women in the story is said to come from.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Mimosas - Sunday 14th January 5pm

We are in for a visual and poetic treat this Sunday at 5.00 with the Moroccan Mimosas.  The film follows a modern day caravan taking a dying Sheik to his home, the medieval town of Sijilmasa. Led by three diverse young men, they decide to take a shorter path through the Atlas Mountains, but is there really a route that will take them to their destination? They are beset with trials, both physical and spiritual along the way, where "the movie's largely scenic pleasures — both visual and aural, with a great deal of windswept soundscaping — wouldn't necessarily be out of place in Ford or Hawks, whether it’s in a scene of river fording, a stunning shot of a lake by moonlight, or the simple sight of a mule nibbling at the sparse grass" – Ben Kenigsberg, Variety. Compared by some to Herzog's 'Aguirre: The Wrath of God', the film takes on a dreamy parable feel, so we can expect our thoughts to be provoked and our eyes to be feasted; as to why it is called Mimosas, we shall have to wait and see...

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Marjorie Prime - Sunday 7th January 5pm

Welcome back and happy new year. We try to find something fairly accessible to start a season and this is no exception. Marjorie's husband Walter had died 15 years ago so she gets a younger holographic version of him instead to talk to, as you do (or possibly will in 2050). So far, so good. Then it starts to get complicated with more holograms talking to each other. And a poodle. Or two. Or more if you count holograms. There are some dark secrets to be revealed. But if you can work out at the end who was who or wasn't…