June – DLC Programmer Philip Howard writes: The late spring and early summer is a great time for British and world cinema releases. Many were produced in 2016 and held back until the American giants of the ‘awards season’ had departed – indeed, six of the eight new releases in our June programme featured in October’s London Film Festival.
This allows us to bring you no fewer than six British titles. As promised earlier in April, we’re pleased to announce the two big new releases – the Julian Barnes adaptation The Sense of an Ending and wartime comedy-drama Their Finest. We were among the LFF audiences who roared with laughter at the deliciously absurd Mindhorn, starring Julian Barrett (The Mighty Boosh) as a TV detective called on to solve a real case, and held their breath at Florence Pugh’s astonishing performance as the bold, desperate antiheroine Lady Macbeth. Those of you who enjoy our occasional archive screenings will be in clover at the end of the month – we have two! In association with the Croydon Heritage Festival, David Lean’s Brief Encounter will be discussed by a panel including the celebrated cinema historian and Lean biographer Kevin Brownlow. We travel to St John the Baptist Church for the Purley Festival, showing an early film by Terence Davies (A Quiet Passion): his memoir of 1950s Liverpool, The Long Day Closes.
Before our trip to Purley, we’ll visit Romania, Japan, Iraq and France. Graduation is the acclaimed tale of a morally upright doctor who betrays his principles to safeguard his daughter’s future, while Harmonium sees a family riven by discord when the father gives an old acquaintance a second chance. Narrated by Tilda Swinton, Letters From Baghdad explores the adventurous career of Gertrude Bell, who helped to shape the future of the Middle East after the First World War. Finally, and among my favourite films of the LFF, Heal the Living is a highly original, beautifully acted and wonderfully humane ensemble drama about the many lives changed over the course of a heart transplant case.
Our planned screenings for June are below. Tickets on sale from Thursday 4th May:
Thu 1st, 2.30 & 7.30 – GRADUATION (15): A Romanian doctor takes action when an attack on his daughter threatens her university scholarship chances.
Tue 6th, 7.30 – HARMONIUM (12A): In this Japanese drama, a man hires an old friend to help in his workshop, with disastrous results for his family life.
Thu 8th, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – THE SENSE OF AN ENDING (15): Based on Julian Barnes’s Booker prize winning novel, Jim Broadbent plays a man forced to confront his past after receiving a diary.
Tue 13th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG) 2017
Tue 13th, 7.30 – LADY MACBETH (15): In 1865, a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage to an older man begins an affair with a man her own age.
Thu 15th, 11 & 7.30 – LETTERS FROM BAGHDAD (PG): Documentary that tells the story of Gertrude Bell, the explorer, diplomat and archaeologist who helped shape the map of the Middle East in the years after World War One.
Tue 20th, 7.30 – HEAL THE LIVING (12A): This French film follows the results of a young man’s accident and the donation of his heart to a sick woman.
Thu 22nd, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – THEIR FINEST (12A): Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy star in a celebration of the British film industry in the Second World War.
Sat 24th, 2.30 – DAVID LEAN PANEL DISCUSSION + BRIEF ENCOUNTER (PG): Croydon Heritage Festival screening. Lean’s 1945 classic will be followed by a discussion of his work, chaired by his biographer Kevin Brownlow.
Tue 27th, 7.30 – MINDHORN (15): Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) plays a has-been actor helping the police to capture a serial killer who will only talk to Mindhorn, a fictional character he used to play in a successful TV series.
Thu 29th, 8.00 – THE LONG DAY CLOSES (PG): Purley Festival screening, at St. John the Baptist church hall, Purley, of Terence Davies’s adolescent memoir.
May – DLC Programmer Philip Howard writes: After the great popularity of the mostly American films in our ‘awards season’ programmes, May begins the annual transition towards the many foreign language, British and independent films in our summer programmes. We start in ‘awards’ mode with a huge American crossover hit – the ingenious horror-satire Get Out – and the Best Foreign Language Academy Award winner, Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman, as well as welcome repeats of the popular Viceroy’s House, while our Babes in Arms title will be Best Picture winner Moonlight.
Our second and third weeks are much more typical of the months ahead, with a trio of fascinating, contrasting movies from around the world – from Korea, the dazzling adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith, The Handmaiden; from Spain, though written by I, Daniel Blake’s Paul Laverty, the socially conscious road trip drama The Olive Tree; from Japan, the superbly animated and emotionally involving A Silent Voice. Our remaining five titles all feature major British talent, the first of whom is director Terence Davies, who has moved from his early films’ native Liverpool to Sunset Song’s Scotland and now to New England for his long-awaited Emily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion.
As promised at our last AGM, we have explored filmed theatre options, and now bring you the Globe’s Twelfth Night, starring Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry. Adventure epic The Lost City of Z stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller, while Emma Watson lights up the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Finally, set in Boston yet filmed in Brighton, is Ben Wheatley’s scintillating shoot-out Free Fire. I hope you’ll enjoy many of these films at the David Lean… and, with more excellent movies in the pipeline, we’ll preview a couple of our June highlights next week!
Tue 2nd, 7.30 – GET OUT (15): In this acclaimed comedy horror film, things go badly for a young black man when he visits his white girlfriend’s parents.
Wed 3rd, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – VICEROY’S HOUSE (12A) – Extra screenings
Thu 4th, 2.30 & 7.30 – THE SALESMAN (12A): Iranian drama from Asghar Farhadi (A Separation), winner of this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar.
Tue 9th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – MOONLIGHT (15)
Tue 9th, 7.30 & Thu 11th, 2.30 – THE OLIVE TREE (15): Written by her partner Paul Laverty (I, Daniel Blake), Icíar Bollaín’s film follows Alma on her quest from Spain to Germany to track down the olive tree once owned by her grandfather.
Thu 11th, 7.30 – THE HANDMAIDEN (18): Psychological thriller from Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), which moves the plot of Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith to Japanese controlled Korea.
Sat 13th, 2.30 & Tue 16th, 7.30 – A SILENT VOICE (12A): In this emotionally rich Japanese anime, a boy seeks redemption after bullying his deaf classmate.
Thu 18th, 2.30 & 7.30 – A QUIET PASSION (12A): Film biography of Emily Dickinson directed by Terence Davies, starring Cynthia Nixon as the US poet.
Tue 23rd, 7.30 – THE LOST CITY OF Z (15): The story of explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared looking for a lost city on the Amazon in the 1920s.
Thu 25th, 11 & 7 – TWELFTH NIGHT (U): Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry in the Globe Theatre production of the Bard’s comedy. Tickets £15 (no concessions).
Sat 27th, 2.30 & Tue 30th, 2.30 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG): Live-action version of the much-loved Disney cartoon, starring Emma Watson as Belle.
Tue 30th, 7.30 – FREE FIRE (15): In Ben Wheatley’s comedy crime thriller, an IRA gang go Stateside to buy guns from a dodgy fixer, but it soon goes wrong!!
April – DLC Programmer Philip Howard writes: Following our March programme, which has broken the David Lean’s pre-sales record, we’re delighted to bring you further Academy Awards contenders in April. (I’m writing this before the results are known!)
Joining our season opener Moonlight and rerun Lion among the Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominees are Fences and Hidden Figures, two contrasting tales of twentieth-century African-American life, also both nominated for acting awards (Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Denzil Washington). If you enjoy gently-paced character-based dramas such as last year’s Our Little Sister, then Best Original Screenplay nominee 20th Century Women will be an absolute treat. And, finally among the nominees, Elle is a rarity in being a foreign language film with a Best Actress nomination, for Isabelle Huppert.
Of course, Oscar’s decisions are often questioned. Elle (France) joins several excellent titles including Julieta (Spain) and Under the Shadow (UK) in not even making the nine-film Best Foreign Language longlist. The Academy also failed to recognise arguably American cinema’s breakthrough female performance of the year, Lily Gladstone’s charming and quietly heartbreaking turn as a lovestruck rancher in Certain Women – but I look forward to seeing her for a second time.
Elsewhere in the programme, fans of British cinema will be pleased to see Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson in the Indian Partition drama Viceroy’s House, and there’s another opportunity to watch the popular Denial. Our many ballet lovers will be fascinated by Dancer, the biopic of former Royal Ballet star Sergei Polunin, while my niece and nephew report that Spanish adventure Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang is a treat for Saturday family audiences!
Tue 4th, 2.30 & 7.30 – MOONLIGHT (15): Award-winning story of a young, black man growing up amidst the drugs and crime of downtown Miami – tickets already on sale.
Extra screenings: Wed 5th, 2.30 – LION (PG); 7.30 – DENIAL (12A)
Thu 6th, 2.30 & 7.30 – 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (15): California, 1979. Annette Benning plays a single mother who enlists two younger friends (played by Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning) to help with her teenage son’s upbringing.
Tue 11th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – LION (PG)
Tue 11th, 7.30 – CERTAIN WOMEN (12A): Kelly Reichardt’s drama tells the story of three independent women in small-town Montana, starring Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart and newcomer Lily Gladstone.
Thu 13th, 2.30 & 7.30 – FENCES (12A): Denzil Washington directs himself and Oscar-tipped Viola Davis in August Wilson’s play about an African-American working-class family in the 1950s.
Sat 15th, 2.30 – ZIP & ZAP AND THE MARBLE GANG (U): In this Spanish children’s film, twin brothers Zip and Zap, with the help of other students, discover a secret hidden in the summer school they have been sent to.
Tue 18th, 7.30 – ELLE (18): Isabelle Huppert stars in Paul Verhoeven’s critically acclaimed revenge thriller, playing a successful businesswoman who is raped in her home.
Thu 20th, 11 & 7.30 – HIDDEN FIGURES (PG): The true story of the African-American women “human computers” who played a vital role in getting John Glenn into space while fighting gender, race and professional discrimination.
Tue 25th, 7.30 – DANCER (12A): Documentary about Sergei Polunin, the Ukrainian who became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal dancer, before becoming disillusioned with fame and the ballet world.
Thu 27th, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – VICEROY’S HOUSE (12A): Gurinder Chadha’s film tells the “upstairs downstairs” story of Lord and Lady Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson), as the empire prepares to hand India back to its people.
The film with the most nominations – a record-equalling 14 – is of course La La Land, for which additional screenings are now on sale. Another leading contender, Manchester by the Sea, also has an additional screening by popular demand. Two other Best Picture nominees will arrive at the DLC in March, each also boasting British acting nominees: Lion and Hacksaw Ridge. The fifth Best Picture nominee of the current programme – although actually our first April screening – is another of the favourites, Moonlight. Of the other four Best Picture nominees, Arrival and Hell or High Water have been highlights of the last few months, and we look forward to announcing April screenings of Fences and Hidden Figures in due course.
Our two other Oscar nominees are the Civil Rights-era romantic drama Loving, for which Ireland’s Ruth Negga is a Best Actress contender, and the uproarious father-daughter comedy Toni Erdmann is up for the Foreign Language title. The British Academy has excellent taste too – the wonderful Eagle Huntress has a Bafta nomination, and by popular demand we’re giving it a Saturday rerun. Another Bafta-nominated film is Denial, the story of the David Irving libel trial, with terrific performances from Rachel Weisz and Timothy Spall. A couple of other fine British features round off our varied programme: The BBC’s film critic Mark Kermode selected the Tehran-set supernatural thriller Under the Shadow as his best movie of 2016, and – as you may have noticed from this weekend’s media coverage – Danny Boyle, Ewan McGregor and friends are back in the long-awaited T2: Trainspotting.
Extra screenings: Sat 4th, 2.30 & Tue 7th, 2.30 – LA LA LAND (12A); Wed 8th, 7.30 – MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (15); Sat 18th, 2.30 – THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (U)
Tue 7th, 7.30pm – UNDER THE SHADOW (15): In war-torn 1980s Tehran, a mother and daughter are trapped in their home, which is haunted by a mysterious evil.
Thu 9th, 2.30 & 7.30 – JACKIE (15): Oscar-tipped Natalie Portman stars in this drama about how JFK’s widow dealt with the aftermath of his assassination.
Tue 14th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – LA LA LAND (12A)
Tue 14th, 7.30 – HACKSAW RIDGE (15): Mel Gibson’s film about Army Medic Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), the pacifist who was decorated in WWII, but who never fired a shot.
Thu 16th, 11 & 7.30 – DENIAL (12A): David Hare scripts this story of how Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall) sued fellow historian Deborah E. Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) for libel.
Tue 21st, 7.30 – T2: TRAINSPOTTING (18): Danny Boyle and the cast of the original return to Edinburgh to continue the adventures of Renton and co.
Thu 23rd, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – LOVING (12A): The moving story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who challenged the anti-miscegenation laws in Virginia in the 1960s.
Tue 28th, 7 – TONI ERDMANN (15): A critically acclaimed German black comedy about a practical joker father’s strained relationship with his daughter.
Thu 30th, 2.30 & 7.30 – LION (PG): A young Indian boy becomes lost in a strange city. Years later, adopted in Australia, he tries to rediscover his childhood home. Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman star in this fascinating drama.
Tue 4th April, 2.30 & 7.30 – MOONLIGHT (15): Award-winning story of a young, black man growing up amidst the drugs and crime of downtown Miami.