There’s some great entertainment on offer at the David Lean this week. A repeat showing of the excellent Lean on Pete is on Wednesday 27 June 2018 at 19:30.
This uncompromising piece of cinema is the story of a teenage boy (brilliantly played by the young Charlie Plummer) who escapes from a dysfunctional home life to travel across the stunning back country of Oregon and Wyoming. His companion on this often harsh odyssey is Lean on Pete, a retired racehorse. Director Andrew Haigh (45 Years) has created a powerful and moving film bringing totally believable characters to the screen.
All seats from the cancelled screening on Thursday 7 June at 19:30 have been moved to this date, but if you’re unable to come on Wednesday, please let us know via the website contact by inserting ‘Lean on Pete refund’ in the title field.
The Croydon Comedy Festival showing of Funny Cow on Tuesday has sold out, but there’s another chance to catch it on Wednesday 11 July 2018 at 19:30 – so book now if you’d like to see this very forceful film. Read More………….
We are pleased to take part in Croydon’s Festival of Peace (16-23 June), by screening two films that we hope will chime with their vision of promoting individual and community wellbeing. Tuesday’s film is Makala, a thoughtful documentary that conveys the economic realities of life for a poor family man in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kabwita Kasongo plans to produce a ‘crop’ of charcoal (makala) and sell it in the nearest town. Just what is involved in a seemingly straightforward plan is documented in Emmanuel Gras’s film, which won the Critics’ Week grand prize at Cannes last year. Kabwita’s stoicism is sorely tested. The final scenes in a revivalist church service are especially moving. The Sunday Times called it “beautiful and poetic, something it achieves without condescension”.
Thursday brings two showings of Road to Peace, Leon Stuparich’s record of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Britain in 2008. Leon was given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access during the tour, plus an interview with the Nobel Peace Prize winner. This visit came at a time when the Dalai Lama was beginning to question his political role, and in 2011 he retired from leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration to concentrate on sharing his spiritual and humanitarian message. Leon has captured the contradictions that beset him during the tour, as well as the affection and admiration that he enjoyed, and we are very pleased that he will be attending both performances to answer questions after the film.
‘Intriguing, audacious and totally fascinating’ – an introduction to the black-hearted Thoroughbreds showing on Tuesday at 19:30. It’s the story of two wealthy Connecticut teenagers who re-kindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart – and plan a murder. The directional debut from Cory Finley is quiet and skilful and there are fine performances from Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy as the young miscreants. This is a dark, sleek, unnerving film which presents as a puzzle – but you’ll find that everything fits together perfectly at the end…
If you’re aged 25 and under you may like to take advantage of our £5.00 Rush Tickets offer. They’re bookable on-line in advance, and also for one hour before the start of the film at the Arts Bar box office – cash only here please. And don’t forget to take a look at our Instagram account at davidleancinema.
Earlier on Tuesday at 11:00 we present a Babes in Arms showing of Isle of Dogs, a Japanese stop-motion animated science fiction adventure following 12-year-old Atari as he searches for his lost dog, Spots. Atari undertakes an epic journey full of vivid landscapes, life and colour which can only be described as ‘movie magic’. Good news for Babes in Arms patrons – the Arts Bar will be open before the screening. Read More.
Three contrasting films this week, but all three feature captivating young stars. A Quiet Place (Tuesday at 19:30) has been described as a sci-fi horror film. It is more sophisticated than that, thanks to a script that uses its monsters-who-can’t-see idea to take the thriller in a new direction, and the subtle acting of the cast, especially Millicent Simmonds. Born in 2003, Simmonds lost her hearing a year later due to a medication overdose. Her mother learned American Sign Language and taught the rest of the family so that they could communicate with Millie. She joined an open audition for the film Wonderstruck, which features deaf characters, and won the role of Rose. This brought her to the attention of director John Krasinski, who also stars in A Quiet Place with real-life wife Emily Blunt. According to the film’s co-screenwriter Scott Beck, “John really pushed for them to hire Millicent. She came to set and taught everyone sign language. It was really amazing and brought an extra depth to the film.”
It’s Volunteers’ Week from 1-7 June and a time to say ‘thank you’ for the fantastic contribution our volunteers make. We have around 100 of them and without their willing help we wouldn’t be able to commit to showing films in the David Lean Cinema.
As one of these valuable people says: “I volunteer because I have an interest in having a vibrant, independent cinema in my home town that provides an alternative to the mainstream multiplex. I enjoy being part of a community project and contributing to something that is volunteer run and collaborative. I have met some really lovely people from my local town who I would never have met otherwise and I find I love being part of something that is bigger than work, family life and my existing friendship group. And I get to watch some amazing films!”
Talking of those ‘amazing films’ we have two contrasting features for you to enjoy this week. Tuesday at 19:30 sees the presentation of Dawson City: Frozen Time (certificate 12A). This is the story of Dawson City, the Canadian gold rush town, where, in 1978, a treasure trove of some 500 long-forgotten silent films was found buried in permafrost. The films of extremely rare archival footage show newsreels, interviews and photographs from years gone by – an astonishing feat of film editing. The story they tell is quite unique – by turns fascinating, bizarre – and true. The enigmatic score by composer Alex Somers adds to a very special atmosphere. If you’re a fan of silent movies, then this is for you.
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We have two films for you this week. Ghost Stories on Tuesday at 19:30 is the screen adaptation of the hit stage play by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman. It is in the tradition of portmanteau horror films that stretches back to Ealing’s Dead of Night (1945), and is best typified by the films such as Dr Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), Asylum and Tales from the Crypt (both 1972) produced by Amicus Productions. As in these films, the three tales that make up the film are linked by a connecting story involving Professor Phillip Goodman (played by Andy Nyman), a sceptic who makes a career of unmasking fraudulent psychics. Don’t be fooled by the presence in the cast of comedy performers Martin Freeman and Paul Whitehouse. Any laughs will probably freeze in your throat – this is a seriously scary film! Read More………
The Nile Hilton Incident is our feature on Tuesday at 19:30. Set against the backdrop of the Egyptian revolution, what initially appears to be the murder of a prostitute turns into a complex case for detective Noredin Moskfa, played by Fares Fares. The problem for Moskfa is that very important people would rather the crime was left unsolved… This fast-paced thriller is an excellent ‘cop’ movie with an unusual setting and a certain sense of ‘Scandi noir’… Fare’s compelling performance as the disillusioned detective is a pleasure to watch and the film fully justifies its Grand Jury Prize win at the Sundance Festival.
There’s another showing of Lady Bird on Wednesday at 19:30. Greta Gerwig’s highly praised directorial debut stars Saoirse Ronan as Christine McPherson or “Lady Bird” – an outspoken 17-year-old and her loving but turbulent relationship with her mother. Seats are available for this screening and supporters aged 25 and under may like to take advantage of our £5.00 Rush ticket offer – just come to the box office desk up to an hour before the start of the programme (cash only).
One of the perks of working as a programmer for the David Lean Cinema, and being retired, is that I can get to exhibitor screenings. This allows me to see films in advance, and recommend that we screen them. Two of the June films suggested by me are Makala and Beast, so you decide on how good my critical judgment is!
We start off this week with our regular Babes in Arms screening. This month’s film is Greta Gerwig’s critically acclaimed feature Lady Bird. This is a 15 certificate film, and we need to stress that these performances are designed for mothers with babies up to one year old. Please do not bring toddlers to these films. Our ability to screen 15 films is based on the fact that the infants will not understand what is on the screen. Thank you.
Tuesday evening’s film is You Were Never Really Here, starring Joachin Phoenix as an ex-military man working in the murky world of private security, who is asked to rescue a kidnapped young girl and punish her abductors with extreme prejudice. British director Lynne Ramsay takes a genre subject and, with composer Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead), puts her own unique spin on it. Mark Kermode called it “a head-spinningly accomplished work that reconfirms Ramsay as one of the most thrillingly distinctive and daring film-makers of her generation”.
Last week’s screening of A Fantastic Woman, was preceded by a screening of our current BRIT School Showcase short A Bright Girl She Was, and a short interview and Q&A with its director Nancy-Belle Hannah-Griffiths (on the left of the picture), ably conducted by the Campaign’s Youth and School’s Coordinator Alex Tyler. Nancy-Belle is in her last year at the BRIT School. She apologised for the dark theme of the film, but promised that the short she is working on as her final year project concerning the downside of social media, will have an upbeat ending! Hopefully we can screen it at the David Lean in the future. May’s BRIT School short is Living with Autism, a thoughtful film about how a mother deals with her young son’s condition.
Everyone was most impressed by A Fantastic Woman, a subtle portrayal of the transgender experience. Finding Your Feet proved very popular – there’s another screening on Wednesday, at the time of writing only one ticket remains.
A Fantastic Woman, winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award is our presentation on Tuesday evening. This outstanding piece of cinema from director Sebastian Lelio is the story of Marina, a transgender woman whose life falls apart when her older lover, Orlando, dies. The film is all about Marina’s fight not only to grieve for Orlando but for her rights following his death. Daniela Vega is superb in the lead role – moving, impassive and long-suffering as she’s constantly stripped of her dignity in the midst of her grief. Some seats remain to see this low-key, but powerful, moving film.
And a reminder that Nancy-Belle Hannah-Griffiths, the director of the current BRIT School Showcase short A Bright Girl She Was will be present at the main feature on Tuesday and looks forward to taking part in a short Q&A following her film.