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Our Current Programme

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Hidden Figures - Sun 17 Sept, 7:30 pm

2016 USA, Cert PG, 127 min, Theodore Melfi




The story of a team of female African-American mathemeticians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.  Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers".  

John Glenn: Let's get the girl to check the numbers.

Al Harrison: The girl?

John Glenn: Yes, Sir.

Al Harrison: You mean Katherine?

John Glenn: Yes, Sir, the smart one. And if she says they're good. I'm ready to go.

"It balances the peppy subplots with tear-jerking moments of clarity: at first Katherine’s mission to get across campus to reach the “coloured bathrooms” is presented in comedic fashion, with bursts of Pharrell Williams’s jaunty pop-soul whenever she flings open a door and totters off for a wee. But her impassioned speech delivered later to her all-white office about why she keeps disappearing stings" -  Kate Huchinson

Trailer

Review


 
Lion - Sun 15 Oct, 7:30 pm

2016 UK, Cert PG, 118 mins, Garth Davis
 

"Everyone says that modern GPS and digital technology are wiping out jeopardy and making storytelling impossible. Well, that is very much not the case with Lion, the extraordinary true story of how a foundling Indian boy, estranged from his home village by the cruellest of fate and growing to adulthood far from home, used Google Maps to find his mother.

Screenwriter Luke Davies and first-time feature director Garth Davis (known before this for Jane Campion’s TV drama Top of the Lake) have responded to this incredible situation with a heartfelt film combining intelligent attention to detail with a necessary sense of their story’s simplicity and strength. Dev Patel brings his A-game to the leading role, newcomer Sunny Pawar is wonderful as his character’s younger self and Nicole Kidman gives a very decent performance as the adoptive mother.

This big-hearted film does full justice to the horror, the pathos and the drama of his postmodern odyssey. - Peter Bradshaw

Trailer

Review


 

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Aquarius - Sun 12 Nov, 7:30 pm

2016 Iran Cert 18, 148 mins, Kleber Mendonça 
 
"Kleber Mendonça Filho is the Brazilian critic turned film-maker famed for his first feature, Neighbouring Sounds. Maybe it’s appropriate that his new film, showing in the Cannes competition, has a scene in which its heroine comes close to being driven out of her wits by the people upstairs having an aggressively loud party. It’s a richly detailed character study, immersing the audience in the life and mind of its imperious main character, Clara, who is addressed as “Dona Clara”, commandingly played by Sônia Braga.

Clara is devoted to her flat in the small apartment building called Aquarius. She inherited it from her adored Aunt Lucia, a dissident, romantic intellectual and resistance veteran of Brazil’s era of military rule, to whom we are introduced in the opening flashback sequence. It is Lucia’s style she has clearly copied. But then the building’s freehold is sold to a hard-faced property company which wants to bulldoze it and put up a glitzy, lucrative block on this prime beachfront site. Every other tenant has sold up. But tough-minded Clara refuses the developers’ blandishments and veiled threats. She hangs tough as the sinister firm tries to bully and intimidate her. Then Clara’s grownup children start pressuring her as well.

Filho gives his movie a righteously victorious ending, the implications of which, I think, are a little strained and naive, though it certainly brings the film to a conventional dramatic crunch, skewing towards bang rather than whimper. Sônia Braga was perhaps known before this for her role in Hector Babenco’s Kiss of the  Spider Woman. But this performance is her finest hour." - Peter Bradshaw



Trailer

Review




 
My Life as a Courgette - Sun  3 Dec, 7:30 pm

2016 France/Switzerland Cert PG, 66 mins, Claude Barras
 

"Here is a little miracle of gentleness, tenderness and intense, traditional Frenchness. It was an Oscar nominee for best animated feature earlier this year, losing out, probably unjustly, to Zootopia. The screenwriter Céline Sciamma has adapted the 2002 novel Autobiography of a Courgette by Gilles Paris for this beguiling stop-motion animation; director Claude Barras makes his feature debut." - Peter Bradshaw

"Described by its director as “Ken Loach for kids”, has already been breaking the mould. With a clutch of film festival prizes and a European film award, it happens to be a sweetly winning film, feel-good despite its focus on the damaged residents of a French orphanage.

The story concerns Icare, nicknamed Courgette by his alcoholic single mum before he accidentally kills her while playing with her empty beer cans. When the boy arrives at an orphanage, he encounters other children whose family troubles represent a catalogue of social problems: drug addiction, mental illness, crime, child abuse and deportation." - Demetrios Matheou

". .this tale of resilient children surviving abuse and abandonment may sound tough and unpa".latable. Yet despite the spectre of parental alcoholism, drug addiction and worse, this beautifully tender and empathetic film addresses kids and adults alike in clear and compassionate tones that span – and perhaps heal – generations. . .

Part of the magic lies in the gentle rhythm of the editing, eschewing quick cuts for unfashionably lengthy takes, lingering upon tiny reactions – a blink here, a shrug there – through which the real story unfolds. The landscapes in which these children live may be full of shadows, but the use of bold colours – red, blue, brown, yellow – adds a bright spark of defiance to their characters.

. . .moved me to tears, buoyed up by Sophie Hunger’s plaintive music that perfectly accompanies the lyrical humanism of this lovely movie." -Mark Kermode


Trailer

Review

 

 

2018 programme 

               
 
                                                                                                                                                                New Life Hypnotherapy

                                                                                                                                                                 The George Hotel
                         
Their Finest - Sun 14 Jan, 7:30 pm

2016 UK Cert 12A, 117 mins,  Lone Scherfig   


"You’d need a heart of stone and a funny bone of porridge not to enjoy this sweet-natured and eminently lovable British film – a 1940s adventure, with moments of brashness and poignancy. It’s all about the love that flowers in the ruins of blitz-hit London and in the dusty offices of the Ministry of Information’s film unit as various high-minded creative types use the magic of cinema to keep the nation’s pecker up.

It’s about romance in a setting of wartime propaganda – actually, it’s about the romance of wartime propaganda – adapted by Gaby Chiappe from Lissa Evans’s novel Their Finest Hour and a Half, and directed by Lone Scherfig. They have created a tasty array of roles in period garb with period chat, for both the lead and supporting characters, in which latter category there’s a simply outrageous part for Bill Nighy: a colossally proportioned scene-stealer.

Gemma Arterton plays the clever and industrious Catrin Cole, inspired by the real-life Ealing screenwriter Diana Morgan, who has been seconded to war work in the film unit on the condescending grounds that she can turn out “slop”: plausible women’s dialogue for the female characters. She’s on a lower pay grade than the men, despite being more talented than the lot of them

It’s a film unashamedly and cheerfully in love with the conjuring tricks and artifice of cinema."  - Peter Bradshaw

Trailer

Review

 
La La Land - Sun 11 Feb 7:30 pm

2016 US Cert 12A, 128 minsDamien Chazelle
 

 "Chazelle’s paean to Los Angeles is funny, romantic and utterly charming, with captivating performances from its two stars. Ryan Gosling is Seb, in the comparably gorgeous musical romance La La Land, a struggling jazz musician who has just boorishly refused to accept congratulations on his performance from smart, pretty Mia, played by Emma Stone."

Damien Gosling’s Seb is a lonely guy in LA, a conceited musical purist who has just spent his last penny trying and failing to open a jazz club in the city. He meets-cute with Stone’s Mia, stuck behind her car in this same traffic jam, while she looks through her pages for an audition she’s got later in the day. He pulls out to overtake with much male aggression; she gives him a glare. They are destined to meet again.

Stone has never been better: superbly smart, witty, vulnerable, her huge doe eyes radiating intelligence even, or especially, when they are filling with tears

As for Gosling, he is excellent in his own way, an actor who has deepened a great deal since venturing into comedy. He is tough and sardonic, with a way of trying to conceal how hurt he is – or how in love he is" -  Peter Bradshaw

Trailer

Review

 

 

I, Daniel Blake - Sun 11 Mar 7:30 pm

2016  UK, Cert  15,  100 mins, Ken Loach
 

" Ken Loach’s latest Palme d’Or winner packs a hefty punch, both personal and political. On one level, it is a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers – neoliberal 1984 meets uncaring, capitalist Catch-22. On another, it is a celebration of the decency and kinship of (extra)ordinary people who look out for each other when the state abandons its duty of care

For all its raw anger at the impersonal mistreatment of a single mother and an ailing widower in depressed but resilient Newcastle, Paul Laverty’s brilliantly insightful script finds much that is moving (and often surprisingly funny) in the unbreakable social bonds of so-called “broken Britain”. Blessed with exceptional lead performances from Dave Johns and Hayley Squires, Loach crafts a gut-wrenching tragicomic drama (about “a monumental farce”)  - Mark Kermode

"And then there is the key scene: the mortifying moment in the food bank itself, and wretched, proud Katie endures an unspeakable humiliation, which is almost unbearably moving. The scene is a brutal, tactless evocation of what unthinkable things hunger might do. Dickens wrote in Bleak House that “what the poor are to the poor is little known, excepting to themselves and God”. This film intervenes in the messy, ugly world of poverty with the secular intention of making us see that it really is happening, and in a prosperous nation, too. I, Daniel Blake is a movie with a fierce, simple dignity of its own." - Peter Bradshaw

   

 

Review and Trailer

 

 

A United Kingdom  Sun 8 Apr, 7:30 pm

  2016 UK, Cert 12A, 111 min,  Amma Asante

 

"With terrific warmth and idealism – and irresistible storytelling relish – director Amma Asante gives us a romantic true story from our dowdy postwar past. And with some style and wit, she even revives the spirit and showmanship of Richard Attenborough, who I think would have really enjoyed this gutsy movie.

It’s a tale of star-crossed lovers with the bigoted British government playing a particularly shabby and nasty House Of Capulet: a story of imperialism, bully-ism, and Westminster functionaries passing off their taboo horror of interracial marrying as a matter of realism and political expediency.

With screenwriter Guy Hibbert, Asante has recovered a long-forgotten chapter of Britain’s history which deserves an airing. And Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo give beguiling performances as a white woman and black African man who fall in love. There’s an openness and ingenuous quality to the two leads which is never slushy.

Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, a young man in London in 1947 studying law; he is fact a prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), a British protectorate which effectively submits to imperial rule – via a native tribal council – in return for security and stability. But while in London, Seretse falls hard for Ruth Williams (played by Pike) a gawky, lonely young woman employed as a typist. They get married and propose returning in uxorious triumph to his homeland – to the horror of the people of Bechuanaland, who are suspicious of a haughty white queen and Her Majesty’s government, who are terrified that South Africa will take this marriage as a provocative affront and left-ist incitement on its doorstep and could possibly retaliate by leaving the Commonwealth and depriving Britain of its gold and strategic minerals.

So the smug bigwigs – played by Jack Davenport and Tom Felton – react to this cause-célèbre by doing everything they can to destroy the marriage, to undermine Khama’s legitimacy and keep the couple apart: an ordeal which requires Khama to be in long exile in London, while Ruth remains behind in Africa as a kind of hostage. Asante shows that Britain, in cringing to Bechuanaland’s overweening neighbour, was effectively attempting to revive two queasy spectres from prewar life: appeasement and abdication.

Maybe any biopic risks naïveté in suggesting the agony of postwar Africa can be soothed by a love story about a handsome prince. But this movie has candour, heartfelt self-belief, and an unfashionable conviction that love conquers all - though not immediately." -  Peter Bradshaw

Trailer

Review