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.
This week’s offerings share the importance of personal passions on both sides of the Atlantic.
We start in France on Tuesday at 7.30pm with the renowned Agnès Varda (director of Vagabond which we screened last month) in Faces Places.
Joined by JR, a muralist and photographer, the pair head out on a photo
booth enhanced truck exploring the villages and small towns and meeting humble residents – all the while creating large scale portraits plastered across unconventional locations.
Varda shows her typically playful and tender manner so it is no surprise that, at the age of 90, she is the oldest person to have been nominated for an Academy Award.
Tickets can be booked here
and…Thursday’s film, Puzzle, which screens at 2.30pm (subtitled for those with a hearing loss) and 7.30pm shows that it’s never too late to find what you’re good at with Kelly McDonald starring as Agnes. Read more………..
Two very contrasting films showing at the David Lean Cinema this week but both have in common an examination of the human spirit in difficulty.
On Tuesday we have the beautifully crafted, feature documentary One Note at a Time at 7.30pm, as part of Black History Month.
From director and producer Renee Edwards (who will be joining us along with composer Ray Russell for a Q and A after the film), it follows the devastating effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans in 2005. The film covers not only its human cost and effect on residents, but the iconic music scene and the musicians forced to leave their lives after the flooding. We discover how they felt compelled to return to the chaos and bleak confusion to play again to keep the music alive.
Booking is here and we will also have musician Neal Richardson with his keyboard in the Arts Bar from 7pm. Read more………
A busy week at the David Lean this week with four films for you. First up, on Tuesday we have another screening of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, a prequel to the first movie based on the ABBA songs. This is October’s Babes in Arms screening and starts at 11.00, so if you (and your baby) are fans of the Swedish supergroup’s music, do come along.
The Rider, our film on Tuesday evening, is a truly wonderful semi-documentary which follows rodeo rider Brady Jandreau, as he recovers from a head wound inflicted during a rodeo, and begins to realise the change this will have on his life. This is the second film by Chloé Zhao, and like her previous movie was shot on a reservation in South Dakota. You can find out more about her and her relationship with Brady and his family in this Guardian interview. “The Rider is a modern-day western in which the machismo is secondary. It’s an elegiac affair but one that portrays its troubled main character with extraordinary tenderness and insight” (Independent). Book tickets here – the film starts at 19.30. Read more………..