We had a very enjoyable party for our volunteers in the Braithwaite Hall on Friday night. These dedicated people are the mainstay of the Campaign, and it was good to be able to acknowledge the work they do ensuring that our screenings run smoothly. We are always on the lookout for more help, so if you are interested please see the volunteers page.
Last week’s films proved very popular. In the case of My Cousin Rachel, this was hardly surprising – both screenings sold out. A well-made version of a classic English novel, this was always likely to please. It was interesting to hear that Rachel Weisz had decided before filming whether her character was ‘guilty’ or not, and played the role with this decision in mind, without telling the director. With Destiny (Der müde Tod), programming a silent film is always a risk, but this paid off, with a good audience enjoying this wonderful tale of a woman’s attempts to cheat the Grim Reaper. Weary Death himself was portrayed as not really enjoying his job, although finally there was no way of escaping him! Read more….
There’s a rare chance on Tuesday to see legendary German director Fritz Lang’s first masterpiece Destiny (Der Müde Tod). Death, here portrayed as a sympathetic character, steals a young woman’s fiancé and challenges her to save one of three lives by the power of love. In scenes of stunning visual brilliance, we’re taken to Arabia, Venice and Imperial China. Look out for the ‘Candleroom’ sequence – according to one critic, ‘a moment of floating beauty and surreal grace’. This 1921 silent classic has been meticulously restored and features a newly-composed orchestral score. For anyone interested in the genre, Destiny is an exceptional and rewarding treat.
A handful of tickets are still available for My Cousin Rachel on Thursday afternoon, which is a screening with subtitles for people with a hearing loss. The repeat showing on Wednesday 2 August at 7.30pm has almost sold out at the time of writing. Read more………………
Our first attraction in the coming week is a final opportunity to see Their Finest at Tuesday’s Babes in Arms screening at 11:00. If you’re bringing a buggy to this “beautifully acted ode to working women and cinema” (Empire), please try to arrive early as mums and buggies need to take the lift, which can cause a delay.
Tuesday’s The Levelling offers a rewarding evening for all who seek outstanding British drama and opportunities to discover emerging talent. Director Hope Dickson Leach displays remarkable assurance in a debut feature that delivers searing emotion in a rural setting, where landscape and sound design make significant contributions to the mood. Ellie Kendrick is phenomenal as a trainee vet who returns to her father’s farm, following an unexpected tragedy. “Top-tier filmmaking… This powerhouse drama demands to be seen, discussed and celebrated. The performances are simply flawless.” (Chicago Now). Read More……..
Stunningly beautiful animation contrasts with moving romance…….
The Red Turtle on Tuesday, 19:30, gives cinema-goers another chance to appreciate the skills of the celebrated animé makers at Studio Ghibli combining for the first time with a European director, Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit. Our audience at yesterday’s screening found this remarkable dialogue-free film an absorbing, touching, and very beautiful exposé of the cycle of life. Both dramatic and charming, it celebrates the beauty of nature with masterful images creating a magic spell all its own…
Perhaps you missed the earlier performances last month of Their Finest, starring Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy. If so, there’s a repeat showing on 5 July at 19:30. It’s also billed as our Babes in Arms screening on 11 July at 11:00. The film conveys a sense of depth along with some humour but it’s ultimately an entertaining, romantic and touching tribute to the role of working women – particularly pertinent to the world of cinema. Read More………….
The week ahead offers three completely different films, starting with Mindhorn on Tuesday. Inspired by TV action hero shows of the 1980s, it “brims with unexpected pleasures” (Financial Times), delivering plenty of laughs. This showing is part of Croydon Comedy Festival, which continues throughout July.
Thursday’s Purley Festival event is a rare excursion beyond the DLC, to the St John the Baptist hall in Purley, where we first presented a film in 2013. The Long Day Closes (1992) is directed by Terence Davies, recently responsible for A Quiet Passion. 11-year-old Bud is the youngest child of a working-class Catholic family in Liverpool, and his memories illuminate an “exquisite, impressionistic, largely autobiographical reverie.” (New Yorker). Our 16mm presentation also includes outstanding animation from New Zealand, via The Frog, the Dog, and the Devil (1986). Doors open at 7.30pm and refreshments will be available. This map shows the location, where parking is no problem. Tickets are just £5.
For a visit to the David Lean next Tuesday, perhaps we can recommend the excellent French film Heal the Living. It centres on the question of what to do when a loved one suffers a major injury after an accident – a dilemma faced by the parents of 17-year-old Simon. This finely-directed film centres on the delicate and sensitive issue of organ donation and the effect on both the recipient’s family and the medical teams involved. According to the celebrated French director of the film, Katell Quillévéré, “a heart stops beating in one body to promote the life of another…”
Few seats are left for the afternoon showing of Their Finest on Thursday 22 June, and the 19:30 one has almost sold out. There’s an extra screening scheduled for Wednesday 5 July at 19:30, so book now if you’d like to catch up with this “funny, winning, and beautifully acted ode to working women and the cinema” (Empire Magazine). It’ll also be featured as a Babes in Arms showing on Tuesday 11 July at the usual time of 11:00. Read More…….
Last week was mixed in terms of attendances, but very positive in terms of audience satisfaction. The modest audience for Harmonium indicated that excellent reviews and awards don’t guarantee large numbers, but patrons were still discussing this highly-original film when security staff needed to lock the doors! One described it as his film of the year so far, along with Moonlight.
The Sense of an Ending also proved enjoyable, with patrons describing it as “excellent’. With outstanding performances from Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter and Charlotte Rampling, it was a showcase for fine acting.
The week ahead begins with Tuesday’s Babes in Arms screening of Beauty and the Beast, which remarkably has outsold our earlier showings, although tickets should be available on the day. But please book without delay if you hope to see Lady Macbeth on Tuesday evening or Letters from Baghdad on Thursday, as both of these highly-acclaimed films are close to selling out. Read More……
Free Fire last week had a very mixed reception from our audience – it didn’t appeal to some, but others were full of praise! Two patrons wrote to say that they “absolutely loved” the film and “found it exciting that the David Lean is keeping up to date with modern audiences and selecting films which are both fresh and innovative”. So – we can’t please everyone all the time, but we do our best to showcase what we think will appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
The “masterly and complex” Graduation attracted small audiences but feedback indicated that supporters found it impressive and absorbing, with one praising the unexpectedly “up-beat ending”. Romanian cinema has become increasingly admired, so it’s worth watching out for future work from their talented directors. Read More……….
We’ve had another week of diverse films, in addition to the challenges posed by the Arts Bar being cut in half to make way for a new door into the Braithwaite Hall! Tuesday’s absorbing The Lost City of Z was followed by the long-awaited return of theatre to the David Lean’s screen, via the Globe on Screen Twelfth Night. The evening screening virtually sold out, and feedback indicated that delighted supporters thoroughly enjoyed themselves, with much laughter heard throughout.
Saturday’s audience for Beauty and the Beast – one of the highest-grossing films of 2017 – was surprisingly small, but patrons very much enjoyed an enchanting story that one felt was even better than the 1991 animated classic. So, Tuesday’s 14:30 screening can be highly recommended as a half term treat. Read More…….
Please note that at least until the end of this month, our Arts Café Bar service will be repositioned due to work to create a new door from this area into the Braithwaite Hall. This is possible despite the Hall’s Grade II listed interior, because the door will be positioned where one existed many years ago. An additional exit, for fire safety reasons, will make it possible to accommodate more people, making a wider range of events viable in this venue.
During this work, we still expect to be able to provide refreshments on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, via a table placed nearby. We also plan to open before Thursday’s 11:00 screening of Twelfth Night. It’s possible that we may have to temporarily move our Box Office at some point, so don’t be alarmed if you come to buy tickets and don’t immediately see it! Read More………