|14 September 2018: |
Hotel SalvationIndia 2016 102 mins
Directed by Shubhashish Bhutian
Not so much a road movie but an end-of-the-road movie, this Indian comedy-drama explores the strain of getting by in the modern world while honouring age-old customs. Dutiful son Rajiv drops everything to escort his dying father to the holy city of Varanasi...but dad seems to blossom once he arrives.
28 September 2018:
Land of MineDenmark 2015 100 mins
Directed by Martin Pieter Zandvliet
The English title is a grim pun, since our attention is drawn to land mines almost from the first frame. It's May 1945, and Denmark has been liberated. A Danish officer orders a group of German POWs to clear mines from a beach with their bare hands. Can mercy overcome the desire for revenge?
12 October 2018:
The FencerEstonia 2015 99 mins
Directed by Klaus Härö
After years of Nazi occupation, Estonia has been "liberated", only to fall under the suffocating grip of Stalin's Soviet Union. Endel, a world-class fencer on the run from the KGB, nurses young protégés in his rural teaching post. Does he dare "go public" and enter them in a Soviet competition?
Society AGM to be held at this meeting.
26 October 2018:
GraduationRomania 2015 128 mins
Directed by Cristian Mungiu
Mungiu sets his story in the murky world of corruption and violence in today's Romania. Talented student Eliza stands to win a scholarship to Cambridge - and her surgeon father looks to pull strings on her behalf. When a traumatic event intervenes, he takes matters in his own hands.
9 November 2018:
ChocolatFrance 2016 119 mins
Directed by Roschdy Zem
As the French publicity put it, the film concerns "Chocolat, clown nègre. L'histoire oublièe du premier artiste noir de la scéne française." And as history reminds us, being the "premier anything noir" - in France or just about anywhere - can be a painful experience. Omar Sy is majestic in the title role, tracing a path from slavery to acclaim to obscurity.
23 November 2018:
Day for NightFrance 1973 115 mins
Directed by Francois Truffaut
Fourteen years on from his bravura debut, The 400 Blows, Truffaut paid tribute to the industry/art form/magic that had nourished him. Day for Night is a film within a film, with Truffaut playing the director of a potboiler...while dramas within the cast and crew play out around him. The film's title ("La Nuit Americaine" in French) refers to the filming of night scenes in daylight, then doctoring the film stock later. A visual metaphor for film's relationship with life?
7 December 2018:
Le HavreFinland/France 2011 93 mins
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
With Brexit fast approaching, what better way to whet intellectual appetites than a film about illegal African immigrants in France, directed by a Finn? Marcel, a bohemian "d'un certain age", ekes out an existence as a shoeshiner on the streets of Le Havre where he befriends the young Idrissa. Keeping Idrissa hidden from the tenacious Inspector Monet is one thing, but Marcel's wife has now fallen ill. Miraculously, the film remains full of gentle, quirky humour.
|21 December 2018: |
LauraUSA 1944 88 mins
Directed by Otto Preminger
"I can afford a stain on my character, but not on my evening jacket". Pampered playboy Shelby Carpenter (played by a young Vincent Price) is just one of the delightful ornaments in this classic film noir set among Manhattan's elite. A senior detective investigates the brutal murder of beautiful socialite Laura Hunt. Diligence gradually evolves into something like obsession, with witnesses and suspects suspecting him of falling in love with the victim. Or was she the victim?
11 January 2019:
After the WeddingDenmark 2006 120 mins
Directed by Susanne Bier
Mads Mikkelsen (BFS perennial and now "seen on TV" as Hannibal) plays Jacob Petersen, manager of an orphanage in India, who receives a mysterious offer. A businessman will donate $4 million to the orphanage, but strings are attached. Jacob must return to Denmark and attend a wedding...which will provide him with an ethical dilemma. This thought-provoking film calls on audiences to consider how pressing responsibilities can compete with each other.
25 January 2019:
The LevellingUK 2016 83 mins
Directed by Hope Dickson Leach
The title conveys two resonant messages, one setting the scene in the Somerset Levels, which were inundated by floods in 2014. A more figurative reading is how farms themselves were levelled...as trainee vet Clover finds when she returns home to confront a tragedy.
8 February 2019:
Loving VincentInternational 2017 94 mins
Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman
Billed as "the world's first fully-painted feature film", Loving Vincent is a remarkable work: each of its 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using a team of 125 painters. The story is riveting, using an undelivered letter from the painter to his brother as the springboard for an investigation into the mystery surrounding Vincent Van Gogh's tragic last days in the Ile de France.
22 February 2019:
A Fantastic WomanChile 2016 100 mins
Directed by Sebastián Lelio
Pablo Larrain, the director of BFS favourites No and Neruda, helped produce this harrowing tale of a transgender woman who's trying to come to terms with the sudden death of her lover ... and the fallout that ensues. A Fantastic Woman won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
8 March 2019:
Like Father, Like SonJapan 2013 120 mins
Directed by Hirokazu Kore'eda
The director of the charming I Wish (screened last season by the BFS) returns with another heartfelt story of family dynamics in modern Japan. It takes a well-worn premise (babies accidentally switched at birth) and examines the emotional fallout when both families learn of the mistake.
NEXT FILM 22 March 2019:
FrantzFrance/Germany 2016 113 mins
Directed by François Ozon
Anna, a young German grieving for her beloved fiancé Frantz (who has died in the First World War), meets mysterious Frenchman Adrien, who seemed to have his own connection with Frantz. As a form of Franco-German entente forms between the two, we learn more about Adrien and Frantz.