Happy New Year to you all from the David Lean Cinema. We start 2019 with a busy week of films, which are detailed below, as well as news of your generosity at our recent charity screenings, February’s programme, and a call for more volunteers.
We start the week with our regular Babes in Arms slot on Tuesday at 11am. This month we have the delightful comedy, Juliet, Naked, based on the book by Nick Hornby. While anyone can come to these screenings, they are designed for mothers with young babies. Details of how these screenings are organised are on our website here.
Tuesday evening has the ‘zom-com musical’ Anna and the Apocalypse. Set around Christmas in a small Scottish town, it follows sixth-former Anna as she comes to terms with the loss of her mother, her decision not to go to university – and the fact that one morning the town is swarming with zombies!
There is a sad story behind the conception of the film. The original story was the brain-child of Ryan McHenry. When he saw a trailer for High School Musical he thought it would only be worth seeing it the cast got eaten by zombies. He got to work on this idea, but having produced a short called Zombie Musical (which you can find on YouTube), and had his idea picked up by a feature film production company, he was diagnosed with cancer and died three years before the film was released. You can find out more about the film’s development here. The film has gone down well with audiences and critics, with Sight & Sound calling it “the low-budget Scottish zombie horror Christmas musical we didn’t know we needed.”
Tickets are still available for this, and if you are between 15 and 25 you can get a ticket for £5. See here.
A Merry Christmas to all our patrons from all of us at the David Lean Cinema. We hope you have enjoyed our choice of films over the past year, and that we will be able to delight you with the best of independent cinema in 2019. We end the year with two charity screenings and begin the new year with a stunning heist thriller.
For full information on our two post Christams films – Mirai and Babettes’s Feast together with our first screening of 2019 on 03 january – Widows, directed by Steve McQueen please see here.
This week – a film from award-winning Italian director Matteo Garrone – Dogman is the story of a small man confronting the town bully and screens onj Tuesday. On Thursday we show the story of a neglected moment in English history from Mike Leigh – Peterloo.
Another busy week of films – a hard-hitting drama, a romantic comedy, this month’s Babes in Arms presentation and the first of the Stand-Up Film Club, in association with The BFI Comedy Genius season, Screen25 and the Croydon Comedy Festival. Also an invitation to see a programme of horror shorts from the BRIT School.
We start on Tuesday morning with this month’s Babes in Arms screening, Crazy Rich Asians. Read more………
This week, our Tuesday film delves into the world of battle rap, where contestants face off and use their wit and rhyming skills to win over the audience – and win the match. Director Ed Lilly, with co-writer Daniel Hayes, pitch their protagonist, played by Connor Swindells, into this scene. Adam is a young man who has spent most of his life in foster care and has anger management problems. It looks like his move into battle rapping, with the help of Makayla (Fola Evans-Akingbola), is keeping his temper in check, but his social workers are not convinced. Read this perceptive Guardian review.
Tickets are available for this screening, and 25 and unders might want to take advantage of our Rush Tickets scheme. Come to the box office with a fiver (cash only) within an hour of the start time (7.30pm) and get a seat.
Our Tuesday film is the debut feature from director Kogonada, best known as a film critic and video essayist – see his website for examples of his work. The story of two strangers who form a friendship while stranded in the eponymous Indiana town, Columbus (12A) is unusual in having the unique architecture of the place become the third ‘player’ as the protagonists discuss their family problems and begin to bond. Kogonada skillfully uses buildings such as Miller House (above) to contain the drama. Get a feel for this mecca of modern architecture by visiting the Columbus website.
Our Thursday film is First Man (12A) which reunites Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling, following the success of last year’s La La land, to tell the story of Neil Armstrong and NASA’s attempts to get a man on the moon. The film depicts the hardships along the way, both in terms of the losses incurred by the space agency, including fatalities, and the effect of the programme on Armstrong’s wife (played by Claire Foy) and his family. Critic Mark Kermode found the film “both powerfully moving and quietly profound”. The film plays on Thursday at both 2.30 and 7.30pm, with Hard of Hearing subtitles for the afternoon screening.
Two films this week at the David Lean Cinema: a tragic love story preceded by the contemplation of a man at the end of his life.
On Tuesday, one of the last roles of veteran actor Harry Dean Stanton, Lucky follows an atheist nonagenarian who spends his days drinking, smoking and watching television in his small Texas town.
Described by Variety as ‘the performance of a lifetime’, Lucky, having out lived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, now finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment.
A Star Is Born (15) is our film for Thursday afternoon and evening. This star-studded remake has been very anticipated and doesn’t disappoint, as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper play opposite each other and is very well reviewed.
Three very different films showing at the David Lean this week but relationships are a common theme.
November’s Babes in Arms screening is another chance to see Paweł Pawlikowski’s masterpiece, Cold War, on Tuesday at 11am.
Winning best director award at Cannes in May, it also had a five star Guardian review by Mark Kermode. Not hard to see why this complex love story set with the backdrop of post war Poland is getting such high praise.
Tuesday evening’s film is Tehran Taboo, showing at 7.30pm.
Using rotoscope animation, expat Iranian filmmaker Ali Soozandeh creates a portrait of contemporary life in Iran’s capital, broaching topics that may otherwise be impossible to tell.
The Wife, with Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, has 2 screenings on Thursday and is virtually sold out at the time of writing.
For a second week we have three films on show, with a screening on Saturday to commemorate the end of World War One.
Tuesday evening’s film, Crazy Rich Asians, is a romantic comedy based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan. Its worldwide box office take of $234 million to date makes it the highest-grossing romantic comedy of the last 10 years. It is also the first Hollywood film to feature a majority Asian American cast in a modern setting since The Joy Luck Club in 1993.
Thursday – Sarah Waters’s books lend themselves to successful screen adaptations, as those of you who saw Chan-wook Park’s The Handmaiden will attest, and Thursday’s film The Little Stranger is no exception. Lenny Abrahamson follows up on the award-winning Room with this study of the declining aristocracy in the aftermath of the Second World War, with a superb performance from Ruth Wilson.
Saturday – To commemorate the end of the First World War in November 1918, we are screening the acclaimed French film The Guardians on Saturday afternoon. A story of the women running the ‘home front’ in war-torn France, it stars Natalie Baye, her real-life daughter Laura Smet and newcomer Iris Bry, and shows the efforts made to cultivate the land in the absence of the menfolk with the strains this places on the les guardiennes. The moving score is by veteran composer Michel Legrand.
Another busy week at the David Lean Cinema, with a Halloween screening to add to our usual programme. Tickets are available for all three films.
Tuesday evening’s film is The Miseducation of Cameron Post from writer-director Desiree Akhavan, whose television series, The Bisexual, is currently airing on Channel 4. A strong cast, headed by Chloë Grace Moretz, portray this story of a young woman who, having been caught in a sexual encounter with another girl, is sent by her straight-laced guardian to a Christian-based gay conversion therapy centre for teenagers named God’s Promise.
Although such ‘re-education’ is generally discredited in most enlightened societies, it is still practiced in some parts of the world. The film is set in 1993, but this therapy was still available a few years ago in the USA, as described in this Guardian article.
Along with the feature above, this is your final opportunity to see the BRIT School short “The Art of Parkinson’s”. This perceptive film is about an ex-docker who uses creative therapy to overcome his illness. We are delighted that director Cray Smith will be at the screening to participate in a brief Q&A immediately following the short (and before the main feature). We can recommend his website (with a warning about the flashing imagery in the show reel) and his hugely enjoyable, potty-mouthed gangster spoof Sugar Rush.