|15 September 2023:
7 BoxesParaguay 2012 110 mins
Directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia
"The rules are simple: deliver or die" reads the strapline of the
film poster. Teenage porter Victor jumps at the chance to earn
$100 simply by transporting seven boxes across a busy street
market. Soon it seems that all eyes are on him. But is the prize
worth the possible price?
22 September 2023:
Five Easy PiecesUSA 1970 98 mins
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Worth seeing for the sardonic "side order of wheat toast"
scene alone, Rafelson's film is a triumphant starting gun for
Hollywood's second Golden Age - a powerful meditation on
families, alienation, loss and a picture that announced Jack
Nicholson's arrival as an actor of complexity and depth.
20 October 2023:
Petite MamanFrance 2021 72 mins
Directed by Celine Sciamma
Sciamma's charming fantasy sees eight-year-old Nelly
befriending a girl her own age while exploring the woods near
her late grandmother's home. But her new friend somehow has
links with Nelly's past - and possible future - and those links
become clearer yet somehow more complicated with time.
Society AGM to be held at this meeting.
27 October 2023:
The Maltese FalconUSA 1941 101 mins
Directed by John Huston
"I'll tell you right out - I like talking to a man who likes to
talk". Sidney Greenstreet (in his debut role as The Fat Man)
imbues the line with jovial menace as he aims to haggle with
Sam Spade to recover the priceless bird statue. Huston's
bravura adaptation of the classic Dashiel Hammet novel is
now recognized as the first American film noir.
10 November 2023:
A Season in FranceFrance 2017 100 mins
Directed by Mahamet Saleh Haroun
Haroun's film centres on the humiliations and traumas
of sans papiers immigrants in the Parisian banlieues. Having
lost his wife to civil war in the Central African Republic,
Abbas struggles to find a new life for his fractured family.
A budding relationship with a local woman promises hope,
but will love be enough?
24 November 2023:
MurinaCroatia 2021 92 mins
Directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic
Nearly every review tells us that "murina" means "moray eel"
in Croatian. It's not surprising, since this film's central
(human) character, Julija, is an adept spear fisher. The
question is, who is her prey? Tensions build when a guest
from abroad visits their idyllic island, stoking tensions
between Julija and her domineering father, Ante. Just when
you thought it was safe to go back in the water...
8 December 2023:
Monsieur Hulot's HolidayFrance 1953 98 mins
Directed by Jacques Tati
Buster Keaton meets Mister Bean...in Biarritz. Tati's beloved
comedy has always attracted glib comparisons with other
films and cinematic characters, but the writer/director/star's
pipe-smoking Everyman is a unique creation. Hulot breezes
into a seaside resort oblivious to the chaos that he creates. It's
a whirlwind of pratfalls and sight gags, with the charm of a
silent film while using background noise and half-heard
dialogue to build comic effect.
|12 January 2024:
I'm Your ManGermany 2021 105 mins
Directed by Maria Schrader
Never slow to pick up on the zeitgeist, the Bath Film Society
turns its attention to the subject of artificial intelligence. Rest
assured that your brochure has been produced by a human,
but this German film posits the idea of "an AI rom-com", as
one charmed reviewer termed it. Pergamon Museum
archaeologist and AI sceptic Alma agrees to test robot
capabilities in return for a research grant and is soon
introduced to "Tom". Hmm. Alma never thought she'd meet
her perfect man. Has something just clicked?
26 January 2024:
The Quiet GirlIreland 2022 94 mins
Directed by Colm Bairead
When the BFS screened an earlier Irish film, there were calls
for subtitles, and The Guard was in English! The Quiet Girl is
different, with most of its dialogue "as Gaeilge" (as native
Irish speakers would term it). Nine-year-old Cait is sent to
spend a summer with "her mother's people". There she finds
a tender welcome tinged with a mysterious sadness. Fine,
subtle performances prove, as one critic noted, that "the
smallest stories can have a global impact".
9 February 2024:
Ae Fond KissUK 2004 104 mins
Directed by Ken Loach
Taking its title from the poignant Robert Burns poem, Loach's
film traces the path of star-crossed lovers in Glasgow. Casim,
the only son of Pakistani immigrants, falls for Roisin, a music
teacher in a Catholic school. The relationship upends his
proposed arranged marriage, her job and anything resembling
happy families. But can love overcome these odds?
NEXT FILM 23 February 2024:
Summer of SoulUSA 2021 117 mins
Directed by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson
Staged over six successive Sundays in the "Summer of 69", the
Harlem Cultural Festival was an explosion and celebration of
African-American music. The world knows about Woodstock,
taking place about 100 miles to the north, but this exciting
documentary unearths forgotten footage to showcase Nina
Simone, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Sly and the Family Stone
and many others bursting with joyous Black Pride.
8 March 2024:
Jean de FloretteFrance 1986 120 mins
Directed by Claude Berri
Now accorded "classic film" status, this adaptation of a Marcel Pagnol novel is a moving tale of family rivalries and gritty
determination. It's set in a Provençal landscape that's fecund
and colourful...provided that there's enough water. Stalwarts
Montand, Depardieu and Auteuil provide acting heft.
22 March 2024:
BalloonChina 2019 102 mins
Directed by Pema Tseden
A largely non-professional cast adds to this story of traditional
Tibetan culture and Chinese influence. A condom ("balloon")
is linked to Beijing's one-child policy. One farming family
weighs up this "policy from afar" (also promising more
freedom for women) against age-old customs laced with
05 April 2024:
All About My MotherSpain 1999 104 mins
Directed by Pedro Almodovar
How to describe this Oscar-winning channelling of Cukor, Sirk,
Capote, Williams, and All About Eve? Leave it to its tagline:
"Part of every woman is a mother/actress/saint/sinner. And
part of every man is a woman."