Tuesday 29 January 2019 at 7.30pm
Sweden / Germany / France / Denmark 2017 (UK release 2018). 2hr 31min. Dir: Ruben Őstlund. Cast: Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West. Language: Swedish, Danish with English subtitles. Awards: 27 wins & 38 nominations. Cert. 15.
This mocking satire on the grandiosity of the contemporary art world and complacency of the privileged classes, spins social observation into squirm-inducing scenarios, memorable incidents and out-of-control performance art. You could well find yourself smirking and wincing in the same moment!
The director-curator of a prestigious modern art museum is caught out when an innovative installation, the square, becomes the scene of a seemingly real incident. A stream of episodes follow which are in turn cringingly amusing, jaw-droppingly bizarre and smartly on the button.
Winner of the Goya award for Best European film 2017, The Square is a knife-sharp parody on pretentiousness but above all a clever comment on humanity’s foibles, stabbing provocatively at social hypocrisy through a series of superbly punchy vignettes.
“Supremely fresh, witty and thought-provoking” Geoff Andrew, Time Out
“…a sharp and skilful dissection of bourgeois hypocrisies that resonates all too uncomfortably” Raphael Abraham, Financial Times
Tuesday 19 February 2019 at 7.30pm
France 2017. 1hr 29min. Dirs: Agnès Varda, JR. Language: French with English subtitles. Awards: 33 wins, 32 nominations including an Oscar for best documentary 2018. Cert. 12A. Original title: Visages Villages
Agnès Varda is an unusual French filmmaker with nothing to prove yet spades of indefatigable motivation. An adventuress with her own unique style, she recently turned ninety and remains an inspiration. Here, she joins forces with French street artist / photographer JR. Together they explore the rural byways of France in their head-turning camera-style van, taking photos of the people they meet on the road and transforming village walls in delightful ways.
It’s simply a joy to be carried along with their joint project, as living dialogue blends with still images to form works of art which resonate with ordinary people. The maestra’s natural rapport with her muralist co-creator has resulted in a solid friendship based on humour, ease and mutual respect that is altogether charming to witness. Come with us on this marvellous tour-de-force journey!
“The film works just fine as an anthology of amiable encounters and improvised collaborations. But it’s a lot more than that” A.O.Scott, New York Times
“Varda and JR truly are irresistible creative explorers, with infectious curiosity and chemistry that fizzes with charm and warmth” Katherine McLaughlin, The List
Tuesday 12 March 2019 at 7.30pm
In the Fade
Germany 2017 (UK release 2018). 1hr 46min. Dir: Fatih Akin. Cast: Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto, Numan Acar. Language: German, Greek, Turkish with English subtitles. 14 wins including Golden Globe and 17 nominations. Cert. 18. Original title: Aus dem Nichts
This tense, politically-charged thriller turns the tables on what we’ve become accustomed to hearing and seeing in the media.
A Kurdish ex-prisoner turned straight marries a free-spirited German woman and once settled, they raise a child in a loving relationship. Their stability is shattered by an event which holds huge repercussions, including a highly-charged court case.
Through exposing nationalist reaction to multiculturalism and a flawed justice system, such a story of deeply felt primal retribution would not be so human were it not for the visceral performance of Diane Kruger in this demanding lead role, for which she received Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival.
Note: Contains scenes of drug use, strong imagery and graphic verbal description
“In the Fade is made with skill and precision, both on technical terms and in its performances. Diane Kruger is a marvel, effortlessly portraying a range of emotions, never giving in to sentimental touches, never flinching from her character’s behavior” Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
Tuesday 26 March 2019 at 7.30pm
US 2017 (UK release 2018). 1hr 44min. Director: Chloé Zhao. Cast: Brady, Tim and Lily Jandreau. Language: English. Awards:13 wins, 13 nominations. Cert. 15.
Having suffered an almost fatal head injury, a cowboy in South Dakota is advised to give up his passion as a rodeo competitor. But it has become his identity and livelihood.
An authentic docu-drama based on a true story and set in the vast landscapes of the dusty Dakota plains, this is as much a contemporary elegy for the Western as it is about the strong bond that exists between a cowboy and his horse. Performed by genuine rodeo riders and their families alongside professional actors results in a tangible sense of reality, with the lead role played by the tenacious young man on whose life story this film is based.
Note: Includes scenes of rodeo riding/training, injuries to riders and horse. Frequent strong language
“The Rider reinvigorates tropes from the western genre of men, horses, honour codes and vast expanses of nature with a refreshing lack of sentimentality, without sacrificing their inherent lyricism and poetry” Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“…a very impressive, very accomplished film” Peter Bradshaw, The Observer
Tuesday 16 April 2019 at 7.30pm
Sweden / UK / USA 2017. 1hr 40 min. Dir: Björn Runge. Cast: Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater. Language: English. Cert. 15.
A charming, loyal and supportive wife (Glenn Close) had her own ambitions and talent as a young woman, but these were quickly shelved in favour of growing her husband’s career as an universally-recognised writer. Given their forty-year marriage has been built upon unequal sacrifice and huge compromise, the cracks are starting to show. But when he is up for the ultimate international literary award, will he be too busy basking in his own greatness to notice?
This film, adapted by Jane Anderson from the sassy novel by Meg Wolitzer, provides a perfect vehicle for two venerated actor veterans. Here, they expertly interpret roles in which their expressions and interactions are at the very forefront of the close-focus narrative. Amusing, poignant and affecting, savour this tale of self-discovery and the premise that it’s never too late to start over.
“It’s a smart, supremely watchable and entertaining film, and [Glenn] Close gives a wonderful star turn” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Tuesday 21 May 2019 at 7.30pm
The Eagle Huntress
Mongolia / UK / US 2016. 1hr 27min. Dir: Otto Bell. Cast: Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Rys Nurgaiv, Daisy Ridley | Language: Kazakh with English subtitles | Awards: 9 wins, 19 nominations including BAFTA. Cert. U.
Hunting with eagles is a tribal male tradition which goes back 2,000 years in Kazakh nomadic communities. Here is the true story of a young girl’s quest to become the first female huntress in twelve generations of her family. First, she must capture a fledging eagle, train it to hunt, compete with her adult male rivals and finally return the bird to the wild, to continue the circle of life.
Riding across the rugged landscapes of Mongolia, this young girl and her father face temperatures of minus forty degrees and precarious territory. Her ambition is strong and she must prove herself, in order to quiet the doubters and pursue her dreams. With stunning cinematography, this is an inspiring and uplifting tale of a trailblazing young woman’s resilience and determination.
Note: Contains two scenes of animal slaughter
“The Eagle Huntress is a remarkable documentary, one that combines superb National Geographic-style photography with a storyline that plays out like a real-life folk tale…” Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent