Unusually we are screening five films this week. First up is The Greatest Showman, a last chance to see this dazzling, foot-stomping musical starring Hugh Jackman. This is our Babes in Arms show on Tuesday morning, and the combination of music and colour should please mothers and babies alike!
The film in the evening is Loveless, director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s follow-up to Leviathan, which I’m sure many of you remember from our screening back in January 2015. The plot concerns an estranged couple and the son that they ignore until he goes missing. This bleak parable of modern Russian society was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, but lost out to A Fantastic Woman, which we will be showing in April.
Last week’s weather proved a problem for some of you, especially those living away from the centre of the borough, and it was noticeable that there were empty seats in our sold out performances of Darkest Hour on Thursday. A big ‘thank you’ to our volunteers who came in to staff the venue, and allowed us to operate as normal. As Roger, our Operations Manager, put it, in response to an email enquiry as to whether we would be screening the film: ‘The Luftwaffe couldn’t stop Churchill and neither will a bit of snow’! This is probably a good time to remind you of our refund policy, which is outlined here, and some of you have recently been able to take advantage of this. Read more……..
The multi-BAFTA winner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has virtually sold out its near-future showings at the David Lean, but we’re pleased to announce an extra screening for Tuesday 27 March at 14:30. Book now if you’d like to see it.
Comments from patrons who saw it on Tuesday were full of praise: ‘fantastic – a great mix of humour and pathos’. And this very successful film has distinctly British roots – it’s a joint production between Film 4 (the movie arm of Channel 4) and Fox Searchlight.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is screening on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 February at 19:30, but at the time of writing both performances are sold out. We’re presenting it again on 21 March at 19:30.
So let’s talk about our other film this week, Downsizing on Thursday 22 February at 11:00 and 19:30. Miniaturisation in films is nothing new. A radiation accident leads to the main character suffering a gradual loss of stature in 1957 horror film The Incredible Shrinking Man. In sci-fi epic Fantastic Voyage (1966), a medical team are placed inside a submarine, shrunk and injected into the bloodstream of an injured man in order to save his life. And of course nutty professor Rick Moranis shrinks his kids and leaves them to battle across the back yard in the much-loved 1989 Disney comedy Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Alexander Payne’s film is more of a social satire. Read More………….
Battle of the Sexes is our Babes in Arms screening showing on Tuesday 13 February at 11:00. Come along with your little ones to enjoy this very entertaining film which tells the true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champion – and hustler – Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell).
The Prince of Nothingwood, a wonderful documentary from Afghanistan, is showing on 13 February at 19:30. The director – and often star – Salim Shaheen is described as ‘the biggest fish in the tiny pond of Afghan film’ as he himself says: “Nothingwood”. But Shaheen proves to be ‘a movie mogul with a difference’ as he gives us a fascinating and sometimes hilarious look at the shoestring side of the film industry, along with an unexpected view of life in Afghanistan. Seats are available for this original – and affectionately made – piece of cinema, and under-25s might want to take advantage of our ‘rush’ ticket offer – more details here.
Our screening of Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars has now sold out, so let’s talk about Lost in Paris, which we are showing in the afternoon and evening on Thursday. This is notable for two things: the talented couple who write, direct and star, and for one of the final appearances of the iconic actress Emmanuelle Riva.
Dominique Abel is Belgian and Fiona Gordon hails from Canada, and they met in Paris, starting out in theatre before moving into film. Lost in Paris is their fourth feature, but their others, such as Rumba (2008), have had limited releases in the UK. You can find out more about the duo in this quirky interview from the Movie Habit website.
Emmanuelle Riva worked with some of the great European directors, including Alain Resnais (Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)), Jean-Pierre Melville (Léon Morin, Priest (1961)), Georges Franju (Thérèse Desqueyroux (1962)), Krzysztof Kieślowski (Three Colours: Blue (1993)) and Michael Haneke (Amour (2012)). For this last film, Riva, at 85, became the oldest actress to gain an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Dividing her time between cinema and theatre, Riva was a private person, living in an apartment in the Latin Quarter of Paris without a TV set, a computer or a cellphone! Read More……….
Last week’s films featured the esoteric Manifesto which elicited mainly favourable comments from the audience: ‘odd, but intriguing’. Patrons loved Jane, the captivating story of naturalist Jane Goodall. The inclusion of groundbreaking 16mm footage of chimpanzees in Tanzania made it seem all the more magical.
There was a repeat showing of Menashe on 27 January to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day and, once again, this glimpse into the secret life of a Hasidic Jewish Community in Brooklyn was appreciated by our audience.
Looking forward to next week, Tuesday’s 19:30 screening sees the superb Isabelle Huppert and co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant in Michael Haneke’s Happy End. This latest film from director Haneke (Hidden, Amour) gives him full rein to explore his preoccupations with dysfunctional relationships. A magnificent mansion in Calais is the setting for the troubles of a self-absorbed haute-bourgeois family, whilst in the city outside, refugees wait for their chance to get through the Channel Tunnel. ‘An eerie and gripping parable for our times…’ A few seats are still available, so book now… Read More……
Last week’s films included a further screening of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. If you still haven’t seen this true-life love story there is another showing on Wednesday 31 January at 19:30. Menashe, the semi-fictional story of a widower trying to combat strict Hasidic Jewish law to be allowed to raise his son without a wife gets another screening on Saturday 27 January at 14:30 in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day.
Ingrid Goes West (#socialmedia #moralitytale!) went down very well with those who saw it. One couple emailed to say “What a refreshing modern satire about aspirational lifestyle obsession and loneliness. We both think it’s a future cult film”. It’s pleasing to note that quite a few of the audience had taken advantage of the ‘rush’ ticket scheme. A reminder that this makes tickets available for £5 (cash only) to customers aged 25 or under an hour before the advertised start time of the film, subject to availability. Proof of age may be required. Read More……….
Our films last week could scarcely be more different from each other – the darkly unnerving The Killing of a Sacred Deer on Tuesday – described as being ‘like Marmite’ and the romantic, touching Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool which was thought to be ‘excellent’ with a ‘very fine performance’ from Annette Bening as Hollywood film-star Gloria Grahame. Tickets are available for an extra screening of this stranger-than-fiction love story on Wednesday 31 January at 19:30.
There’s more contrasting viewing this week: on Tuesday we present Menashe – a fascinating portrait of life in a Hasidic Jewish community. Set in Brooklyn, it features a widowed father Menashe (comedian Mensashe Lustig in his first serious role) who attempts to challenge his sect’s rule barring children from living in single-parent homes. An authentic, respectful, yet amusing view of an often unnoticed society combines with an engaging character study from Lustig. We’re showing the film again on Saturday 27 January at 14:30 in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. Read More………
A belated Happy New Year to all our supporters. The period between Christmas and New Year gives us the chance to show some more unusual films. We had been looking for a good time to screen Tanna, a film from Vanuatu which went down well with those who saw it. The beautiful scenery and the sense of inevitability over the fate of the lovers made it a great watch. The next day we had The Wages of Fear, a classic French drama that has been revived by the BFI as part of their Thriller programme. Again, audience reaction was very positive – certainly the lady sitting in front of me was totally caught up with the fate of the four protagonists, gasping in horror during the nail-biting set-pieces that form the second half of the film! Read More…….