A I N F E A T U R E S
• Friday 6 August for 1 week
(France 2010) dir. Joann Sfar 122m. Subtitles. Digital.
Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones, Anna Mouglalis, Mylene Jampnoi, Sara Forestier, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Razvan Vasilescu, Dinara Droukarova.
Serge Gainsbourg (1928-91) was a singer-songwriter, actor and director (or maybe simply an artist impossible to categorise), who remains a French cultural icon and a continuing influence on popular music worldwide. Based on the director's own graphic novel, this is an unconventional biopic of a complex man (it's subtitle is 'Vie Heroique') which follows Gainsbourg's life from a childhood in 1940s Nazi-occupied Paris to the scandal-filled Bardot, Birkin and 'Je t'aime... moi non plus' years which made him internationally notorious. With a star performance from Eric Elmosnino in the title role, it's an audacious and captivating debut from cartoonist Joann Sfar who has said of his subject: "It's not the truth about Gainsbourg that interests me, but his lies." The film is dedicated to British actress Lucy Gordon who committed suicide shortly after completing her role as Jane Birkin.
• Friday 13 August for 1 week
THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (18)
(Argentina/Spain 2009) dir. Juan Jose Campanella 129m. Subtitles. Digital.
Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil, Guillermo Francella, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Jose Luis Gioia.
With THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, Argentinean writer/director Juan Jose Campanella has created a multi-layered and poignant thriller that interweaves personal lives with a manhunt spanning twenty-five years. Recently retired criminal court investigator Benjamin (Ricardo Darin), decides to write a novel based on an old unresolved rape and murder case, which still haunts him. He shares his plans with Irene (Soledad Villamil), the former colleague he has secretly been in love with for years. But Benjamin's search for the truth will put him at the centre of a nightmare, as the mystery continues to unfold in the present and tests the limits of a man seeking justice and personal fulfillment to breaking point. Splendidly acted and magnificently constructed as a Hitchcockian chess game, with the guilty, the dead and the lovesick as the pieces, its unpredictable twists and turns provide a rich and entertaining journey of discovery. 2010 Oscar Winner: Best Foreign Film.
• Friday 20 August for 1 week
(South Korea 2009) dir. Joon-ho Bong 129m. Subtitles. Digital.
Kim Hye-ja, Weon Bin, Jin Gu.
A dazzlingly original and spellbinding nail-biter of a murder-mystery with an unforgettable character at its heart. Mother (Kim Hye-ja) keeps a close watch on her mentally challenged son Do-jun but when a local girl winds up gruesomely murdered the police arrest Do-jun and goad him into a confession. With her son in prison, Mother (a tour de force performance by Kim Hye-ja ) sets out to find the real murderer. It's a high-wire act from acclaimed director Joon-ho Bong that walks a fine line between wry comedy and edge-of-the-seat suspense whilst revealing an unsettling portrait of life in a small town in which there are many hidden secrets that are best left unturned. It all adds up to a genuinely unique perspective on the nature of truth and commitment from one of international cinema's most intriguing filmmakers.
|• Friday 27 August for 2 weeks
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE (15)
(Sweden/Denmark/Germany 2010) dir. Daniel Alfredson 129m. Subtitles. Digital.
Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Peter Andersson, Georgi Staykov.
The second part of Stieg Larsson's international best-selling trilogy finds journalist Mikael Blomkvist still intent on exposing the crooked and corrupt practices of establishment figures. When a young journalist approaches him with a meticulously researched thesis about sex trafficking and those in high office guilty of child abuse, Blomkvist goes to work but his investigation soon becomes personal when his tattooed friend Lisbeth Salander is accused of multiple murders and links to Blomkvist's case become clear. As Salander goes on the run, Blomkvist searches her past for clues to prove her innocence, but what he unravels is more unexpected than he could ever have imagined. As equally fast-paced and gripping as the novel, Noomi Rapace again delivers a mesmerizing performance as one of literature and cinema's greatest modern heroines.
• Friday 10 September for 2 weeks
TAMARA DREWE (15)
(UK 2010) dir. Stephen Frears 111m. Digital.
Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Bill Camp, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans.
Based on Posy Simmonds's graphic novel (itself inspired by Thomas Hardy's 'Far From the Madding Crowd'), TAMARA DREWE is an hilarious, satirical swipe at middle-class mores and morals as encountered in rural Dorset. Journalist Gemma Arterton, transformed by a new nose-job and ready to write her first novel, returns to her childhood village but only succeeds in kicking up an emotional storm with former boyfriend Luke Evans, indie drummer Dominic Cooper and crime novelist and serial-shagger Roger Allam who runs an appalling "writers' retreat" farmstead with his long-suffering wife Tamsin Greig. Plus there's two teen wannabee WAGs who provide both commentary and complications. Told with bold comic brushstrokes with pitch-perfect performances from a magnificent cast, it's a delight from start to action-packed finish.
• Friday 24 September for 1 week
ENTER THE VOID (18)
(France/Germany/Italy 2009) dir. Gaspar Noé 135m. Digital.
Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind, Jesse Kuhn, Olly Alexander, Masato Tanno, Ed Spear, Sara Stockbridge, Sakiko Fukuhara, Nobu Imai, Emi Takeuchi, Janice Sicotte-Beliveau, Simon Chamberland.
One of contemporary cinema's most controversial directors returns to the swirling camerawork, hallucinatory sense of real time and narrative maelstrom of explicit sex, drugs and death that characterised his last movie, IRREVERSIBLE. The settings are the seedy neon-soaked backstreets of Tokyo and the transcendental worlds of the afterlife explored in The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Oscar, an American living in Tokyo with his sister Linda, is shot dead. His spirit leaves his body but he continues to watch over his sister whilst being haunted by childhood nightmares that invoke deeper, weirder issues. This is cinema at its most extreme: beautiful, experimental, bold, infuriating, sadistic, original, mindblowing, exhausting, unforgettable. It might be a work of pure genius but it is certainly like nothing you've ever seen.
N.B. There will be a preview of ENTER THE VOID followed by a Q&A with Gaspar Noé on Thursday 23 September at 8.30.
Kingsland High Street E8
(corner John Campbell Road)
Tel 020 7241 9410