|22 September 2017:|
NerudaChile 2016 107 mins
Directed by Pablo Larrain
Director Larrain follows up his acclaimed Jackie with another study of a world figure at the heart of tumult. It's 1948, and the poet Pablo Neruda (elected to Chile's parliament as a Communist) is on the run. A fast-paced "anti-biopic" (according to the Guardian) plays with time - and the facts?
6 October 2017:
Force MajeureFrance/Norway/Sweden 2014 119 mins
Directed by Ruben Ostlund
An avalanche and a moment of cowardice sound like the makings of a Conrad novel, but this ice-cold comedy-drama is set very much in the modern world. Close to the edge in every way possible, this portrait of a Swedish family under stress somehow digs some laughs from the snowdrifts.
20 October 2017:
JulietaSpain 2016 96 mins
Directed by Pedro Almodovar
Almodovar's "best film in a decade" (Mark Kermode) is a tender story told with a device that the director cherishes - the flashback. Decades of estrangement come rushing back after a woman's chance encounter. The meeting triggers a life-changing decision to engage with her past.
Society AGM to be held at this meeting.
3 November 2017:
I WishJapan 2011 127 mins
Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
Hirokazu Koreeda elicits charming, naturalistic performances from two real-life brothers who play siblings separated by their parents' split. The original Japanese title translates as "Miracle" - a fitting description of this sensitive study of family unity sometimes at odds with individual freedom.
17 November 2017:
Salt of the EarthBrazil 2014 110 mins
Directed by Wim Wenders/Juliano Rubeiro Salgado
Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado is the subject of this fascinating documentary co-directed by Wenders and Salgado's son Juliano. Salgado Senior combines his training as an economist with the artistic sensitivities of a visual artist: he describes himself as "a man writing and rewriting the world with light...and shadows".
1 December 2017:
Les Quatre Cents CoupsFrance 1959 99 mins
Directed by Francois Truffaut
Probably the most commercially successful "Nouvelle Vague" director, Truffaut opened the door for fellow critics-turned-directors Godard, Chabrol and Malle with this masterful debut. Considered to be partly autobiographical, the film follows troubled Parisian teenager Antoine and his run-ins with his mother, teachers....and the law. Naturalistic and humane, the film is regularly cited as a cinematic classic. The title refers to a French idiom meaning "to raise hell".
15 December 2017:
Hail CaesarUSA 2016 106 mins
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Channelling their good-natured "Lebowski" and "O, Brother" roots (as opposed to "No Country for Old Men"), the Coen brothers deliver a festive delight for us all. George Clooney and Josh Brolin lead a cast-within-a-cast through a film-within-a-film set in the Hollywood studios of the 1950s. Yet another "sword and sandals" epic is being filmed out on the lot....when the star disappears. Kidnap? Reds under the bed? Ye gods!! Where's the PR man?
|12 January 2018:|
Toni ErdmannGermany/Austria 2016 162 mins
Directed by Maren Ade
Buttoned-up careerist Ines is on an important business trip to Bucharest when her father Winfried turns up to celebrate her birthday...and doesn't return to Germany. Instead he dons a garish disguise (think Sir Les Paterson) and keeps popping up as "Toni Erdmann, Life Coach". His aim is to get her to loosen up, but will she crack up instead? The Observer noted that it "finds excruciating humour and great pathos in a surreal collision between father and daughter".
26 January 2018:
SpotlightUSA 2015 129 mins
Directed by Tom McCarthy
With its well-deserved Best Picture Academy Award, Spotlight showed that the media - both print and visual - can shine a light on what's shameful. The term "Spotlight" refers to a team of investigative reporters on the Boston Globe, who doggedly chased down and exposed stories of child abuse by the clergy in one of America's most Catholic cities. A fine ensemble cast features Liev Schreiber as the new Globe editor and with Michael Keaton as leader of the Spotlight team.
9 February 2018:
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.
23 February 2018:
Measure of a ManFrance 2015 93 mins
Directed by Stephane Brize
Measure of a Man has been called the French I, Daniel Blake. Thierry is laid off from his job as a machinist and forced to go through the soul-numbing tedium of state benefits for 18 months...until he eventually lands a job as a store security guard. But does this new job offer release, or does it force him to sell himself - and others?
9 March 2018:
TannaAustralia/Vanuatu 2015 100 mins
Directed by Martin Butler/Bentley Dean
The island of Tanna is the setting for this tale of forbidden love and tribal culture faced with the pressures of modern life. A young woman runs away with her true love to escape a "diplomatic" arranged marriage -pursued by warriors from both sides. The film was shot on location, with an amateur cast (many of whom had never been to the cinema).
23 March 2018:
The SalesmanIran 2016 125 mins
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Willy Loman is an unlikely phantom in this tale of tension and sexual violence. Emad and Rana, involved in a production of Death of a Salesman, are shocked when Rana is attacked in their new flat. There's a link to the past, but what exactly?
8 April 2018:
A Man Called OveSweden 2015 116 mins
Directed by Hannes Holm
What makes a good Swedish comedy? Repeated suicide attempts, of course! Ove is a curmudgeon out to enforce the civic rules in his neighbourhood - even if everyone else ignores them. Things rattle along grumpily enough until Ove gets new neighbours. Is that the sound of ice melting?