Next Films

Tuesday 31 October 2017 at 7.30pm

The Salesman

Iran/France 2016 (UK release 2017).  2hr 4min.  Dir: Asghar Farhadi. Cast: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Babak Karimi.  Language: Persian with English subtitles.  Awards: 9 wins & 18 nominations including Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2017.  Cert. 12A.  [Original title: Forušhande]

The SalesmanWith his distinctive directorial style, Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) has created his second Oscar-winner (Best Foreign Language film of 2017), a quiet drama which morphs into a low-key, tense mystery. Two actors, a husband and wife, rehearse for an amateur stage production of Death of a Salesman in Tehran, which the husband also directs. When an event changes both of their lives, the show must go on, despite symbolic cracks forming.

A shifting of sympathies is engendered as the lead characters’ emotions brood under the surface while their behaviour polarises, calling into question the couple’s ability to understand and respond to each other’s reactions.

Filmed in neorealist style, with naturalistic acting and a fastidious script, rarely has onscreen domestic discord proved so absorbing.

“With exquisite patience and attention to detail, [writer and director Farhadi] builds a solid
and suspenseful plot out of ordinary incidents, and packs it with rich and resonant ideas”
A. O. Scott, New York Times

Tuesday 21 November 2017 at 7.30pm

Sweet Bean

Japan/France/Germany 2015 (UK release 2016).  1hr 53min.  Dir: Naomi Kawase.  Cast: Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, Kyara Uchida.  Language: Japanese with English subtitles.  Awards: 6 wins & 6 nominations.  Cert. PG.  [Original title:  An]

Sweet BeanAn affecting Japanese drama about the delights of cooking, the wonders of nature and the spiritual legacy a wise old woman leaves behind.

As the cherry trees come into their short blossom, a determined elderly lady Tokue (played by veteran actor Kirin Kiki) walks into a baker’s street booth in response to an advert and offers to share her recipe for a sweet bean paste. Concerned about the toll the job could take, dispirited vendor Sentaro is initially reluctant to take her on.

A respectful friendship develops between Sentaro and Tokue eventually allowing them to reveal to each other their hidden pasts. Contemplative reflections on two lives which have become lonely for different reasons offer a poignant exemplar of how secrets shared can unexpectedly connect individuals with diverse life experiences.

“This is one intensely lovely film. [Director] Kawase enfolds it in an invitingly meditative hush”
David Noh, Film Journal International

Tuesday 5 December 2017 at 7.30pm

Lady Macbeth

UK 2017.  1hr 29min.  Dir: William Oldroyd.  Cast: Florence Pugh, Christopher Fairbank, Cosmo Jarvis, Naomi Ackie.  Language: English.  Awards: 11 wins & 7 nominations.  Cert. 15.

Lady MacbethBased on a short novel by Russian writer Nikolai Leskov (which was adapted into a Shostakovich opera), this recent much-lauded film version is set in north-east England, amidst stark hues and windswept moorland.

The domestic scenario is one of sparse realism: it’s 1865 and a young woman is the trophy-bride in a soulless household where she is suffocatingly observed. Like a caged bird, she yearns for release.

This provides the canvas for a disturbing, brutish portraiture of power structures where women and servants are regarded as disposable. Desperate passions aroused become dangerously reckless and just when the scenario couldn’t be more darkly disquieting, events pack further wallop. Compared, Madame Bovary was positively angelic.

NOTE: Contains scenes of brutality, strong sex and powerful language.

“Brisk and sure-footed, Lady Macbeth outclasses many of its peers…because of its dramatic intelligence and its skill at filleting contemporary relevance from a classic literary source”
Pamela Hutchinson, Sight & Sound

Tuesday 9 January 2018 at 7.30pm

It’s Only the End of the World

Canada/France 2016 (UK release 2017). 1hr 37min.  Dir: Xavier Dolan.  Cast: Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Gaspard Ulliel.  Language: French with English subtitles.  Awards: 11 wins & 22 nominations.  Cert. 15.  [Original title: Juste la fin du monde]

Juste la fin du mondeThe incapacity to listen to one another through a fog of self-absorption is at the core of this blistering depiction of family dysfunction. When a son reappears after a long gap with ominous news to disclose, he smacks into a wall of pent-up resentment, as old feuds are cruelly exposed and familial rivals jostle for position.

With a strong cast (Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel) this contentious film, from Canadian-French director Xavier Dolan (Mommy) and based on a play by Jean-Luc Lagarce, was a highly successful release in France, won awards in both France and Canada and has divided audiences and critics everywhere else. Love it or hate it : you decide.

“It’s a film that intentionally makes watching it uncomfortable, as if we are ourselves caught in the claustrophobia…Yet how bracing it is, such snatches of virtuoso flair”
Tom Birchenough,

“This is a pressure cooker of anxiety, a film with the dials turned up to 12…the uncompromising ear bashing here is an intentional, black comic effect”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Tuesday 30 January 2018 at 7.30pm

A Man Called Ove

Sweden 2015 (UK release 2017).  2hr 6min.  Dir: Hannes Holm.  Cast: Rolf Lassgård, Bahar Pars, Filip Berg.  Language: Swedish & Persian with English subtitles.  Awards: 13 wins & 23 nominations.  Cert. 15.  [Original title: En man som heter Ove]

A man called OveCantankerous. Grumpy. Querulous. Not your ideal neighbour!

Ove is a nit-picking obstructionist with a mission: to ensure everyone in his gated community abides by the residents’ regulations, to the letter. He’s not a popular man – even with the local cat.  When a new family move into the neighbourhood, their chaotic friendliness throws Ove into confusion. From this auspicious development we learn of the bittersweet past which led him to become the person he is.

This gloriously humorous film portrayal (based on an international best-selling novel) offers a salutary reminder : that within every miserable-minded misanthrope, there’s a beating heart – and just perhaps, a story to tell.

NOTE: Contains scenes of attempted suicide

“A darkly funny, tragic and ultimately heartwarming story about the life of one lonely but extraordinary man” Devan Coggan, Entertainment Weekly

Tuesday 27 February 2018 at 7.30pm

Les Cowboys

France 2015 (UK release 2016). 1hr 44min.  Dir: Thomas Bidegain.  Cast: François Damiens, Finnegan Oldfield.  Language: French, English & Urdu with English subtitles.  Awards: 2 wins & 8 nominations.  Cert. 12A.

CowboysWhat impact does it have on a family when one member goes on an obsessive search for another member? That is the premise of this mystery drama set in eastern France. A young woman disappears and her father, from a family of country & western aficionados and a popular member of his community, devotes his waking hours to tracking her down.

Father and son comb the countryside following all possible leads, their quest taking them through contrasting landscapes and different cultures.

The storyline from director-writer Thomas Bidegain (Rust and Bone) is a nod to John Ford’s 1956 film The Searchers, but has a contemporary hypothesis which hits home, loud and clear.

“Written with passion and interpreted with fervour, this explosive subject, beautifully staged by [director] Thomas Bidegain already resonates like a thunderbolt”  Christine Haas, Paris Match

Tuesday 27 March 2018 at 7.30pm

The Black Hen

Nepal/France/Germany/Switzerland 2015 (UK Release 2016).  1hr 30min.  Dir: Min Bahadur Bham.  Cast: Khadka Raj Nepali, Sukra Raj Rokaya, Jit Bahadur Malla.  Language: Nepali with English subtitles.  Awards: 1 win & 4 nominations.  Cert. 12A.  [Original title: Kalo Pothi]

Black HenHere, BFS is delighted to be presenting its first programming choice from Nepal and a debut from the film’s director.

Two young boys, from different social castes and creeds within their small Nepalese village community, are inseparable friends.

In a spirit of enthusiastic enterprise, they decide to raise a hen (gifted by a sister), with the plan to sell her eggs. But when the eponymous hen goes missing, the boys set out on a journey full of risk, against a backdrop of ongoing civil strife, to discover just what has happened to their precious bird.

“From such a simple beginning, director Min Bahadur Bham is able to portray an entire society in microcosm” Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

“There’s a rough and ready enchantment – a magic of mood and landscape – in this prizewinning Nepalese film” Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

Tuesday 17 April 2018 at 7.30pm


France/Germany 2016 (UK release 2017).  1hr 54min.  Dir: François Ozon.  Cast: Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Ernst Stötzner.  Language: French & German with English subtitles.  Awards: 3 wins & 19 nominations.  Cert. 12A.

FrantzIn this sumptuously-produced period drama, a mysterious stranger is spotted at the graveside of a young German soldier in the immediate aftermath of World War One. The soldier’s grieving fiancée is eager to identify the visitor’s connection to her lost love. As a Frenchman appearing in a small German town, the stranger finds himself shunned as the enemy. Yet he has a story to relate.

With unequivocal visual beauty, director François Ozon (Potiche, In the House) demonstrates his quintessential versatility of style, using lustrous monochrome, interspersed with flashes of colour and complemented by a stylised production, to evoke a past era of elegance and fresh-felt pain. Based on a French play, the beguiling narrative ensures a satisfying unpredictability, right to the end.

“It is every bit as handsome, teasing and therapeutically smart as we‘ve come to expect from the prolific French director” Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

“A fine bilingual cast, haunting period detail and a provocative approach to a twisting story carry the day” Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail

Tuesday 15 May 2018 at 7.30pm

The Other Side of Hope

Finland 2017.  1hr 40min.  Dir: Aki Kaurismäki.  Cast: Sakari Kuosmanen, Sherwan Haji, Kati Outinen, Tommi Korpela.  Lang: Finnish, Arabic and Swedish with English subtitles.  Awards: 3 wins & 2 nominations.  Cert. 12A.  [Original title:  Toivan tuolla puolen]

A Finnish husband walks out on his marriage and embarks on a change of direction, taking over a restaurant with an identity crisis and its resident team of oddball employees. Meanwhile, a refugee arrives in Finland and while waiting for his asylum application to be processed, must find a way to survive. His priority is to be reunited with his sister, missing since they became separated while escaping from Syria.

Two disparate narratives and diametric moods somehow connect in this tender fusion of poker-faced drollery, topical circumstances and contrasting cultures, from the Finnish master of melancholy wit, Aki Kaurismäki. The result is both a heart-breaker and a side-splitter.

“The film is devilishly funny, economically constructed…Finnish screen writer [Kaurismäki] employs his usual sensitivity” Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian

“It all adds up to a gently loving fable…that home can be wherever you find it”  Nick Jones, Sight & Sound

Other side of hope


2017/2018 brochure

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Films Coming Up