|S U N D A Y M A T I N E E S
Sun 3 Oct • Searching for the Truth Double Bill
LONDON RIVER (12A) 1.30
(Algeria/France/UK 2009) dir. Rachid Bouchareb 87m. Digital.
Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyate, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, Frances Magee.
An intimate and beautifully observed movie with a lot to say about the prejudices and suspicions that take over in any climate of fear. In the aftermath of the London July 2005 bombings a very English widow travels from pastoral Guernsey to urban Finsbury Park, where her missing daughter lives. At the same time a Muslim man travels from France looking for his son who has also disappeared. They will inevitably meet. Avoiding the usual cultural clash and misunderstanding clichés, this is a fascinating and revealing outsider's look at multi-cultural city life.
+ THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES (18) 3.20
(Argentina/Spain 2009) dir. Juan Jose Campanella 129m. Subtitles. Digital.
Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil, Guillermo Francella, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino.
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. Together with a former colleague he has secretly been in love with for years, a retired criminal court investigator returns to the unresolved rape and murder case which still haunts him. But his search for the truth will put him at the centre of a nightmare with the guilty, the dead and the lovesick providing unpredictable twists and turns. A rich and entertaining journey of discovery that was the 2010 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner.
Sun 10 Oct • Chanel Numbers 1+2 Double Bill
COCO BEFORE CHANEL (12A) 1.30
(France 2009) dir. Anne Fontaine 110m. Subtitles.
Audrey Tautou, Benoit Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain, Emmanuelle Devos.
The fascinating story of the acclaimed fashion designer, portraying her roots from a humble seamstress to the first lady of Parisian haute couture. Audrey Tautou gives a career-defining performance as the young Gabrielle, before she became Coco, struggling through the ranks of the Parisian upper classes, love affairs and heartaches to become one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. With cinematography as stunning as the costumes, impeccable period detail and wholly convincing performances, this is appropriately enough, a cut above the standard biopic.
+ COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY (15) 3.40
(France 2009) dir. Jan Kounen 119m. Subtitles. Digital.
Mads Mikkelsen, Anna Mouglalis, Elena Morozova, Natcha Lindinger.
The story continues. Opening with a recreation of the notoriously rancorous premiere of Stravinky’s ‘Rite of Spring’, COCO AND IGOR follows the brief but passionate relationship between the radical composer and the fashion icon. Seven years later Stravinsky is now penniless when the newly-wealthy Chanel invites him, his sick wife and their four children to stay at her villa – their ensuing affair already inevitable. The performances of Anna Mouglalis (Juliette Greco in GAINSBOURG) and Mads Mikkelsen make this a confident and absorbing look at two of the twentieth century's most celebrated cultural figures.
Sun 17 Oct • 54th BFI London Film Festival
SILENT SOULS (Ovsyanki) (15) 1.00
(Russia 2009) dir. Alexei Fedorchenko 75m. Subtitles.
Yuri Tsurilo, Igor Sergeyev, Yuliya Aug, Viktor Sukhorukov.
A lyrical and mysterious road movie that creates its own unsettling atmosphere in an eloquent exploration of culture, tradition, belief and love. A husband who still is deeply in love with his dead wife sets out with a friend to bury her. The characters are Merjan, descendants of a 400-year-old Finnish tribe once native to part of western Russia. They have their own language, but most strikingly different are their rituals of marriage and death and grief. Director Alexei Fedorchenko captures the strange and unsettling atmosphere of this lost world in a fascinating and intriguing piece of poetic cinema.
PORTRAIT OF THE FIGHTER AS A YOUNG MAN (15) 3.00
(Romania 2010) dir. Constantin Popescu 141m. Subtitles.
Constantin Dita, Ionut Caras, Bogdan Dumitrache, Catalin Babliuc.
Based on stories from the archives of Romania's dreaded internal security services, PORTRAIT OF THE FIGHTER AS A YOUNG MAN focuses on just one of the many armed resistance groups that took refuge in the Carpathian Mountains after the country was invaded by Soviet forces in 1944. Led by Gavril Ogoranu (Constantin Dita, leading a superb ensemble cast) this is a true band of brothers who come to accept the anti-Communist struggle as their very way of life. Beautifully filmed in the realist, quasi-documentary style of the new wave Romanian cinema, this is powerful and committed epic movie making at its best.
Sun 24 Oct • A Masterpiece Restored
THE LEOPARD (PG) 2.15
(Italy/France 1963) dir. Luchino Visconti 188m. Subtitles. Digital.
Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, Paolo Stoppa.
An epic on the grandest possible scale, Visconti's masterpiece recreates, with nostalgia, drama, and opulence, the tumultuous events of mid 19th century Italy when the aristocracy began to lose its hold on society and a new republican movement fought for change. Burt Lancaster stars as the aging prince watching his culture and fortune wane in the face of a new generation, represented by his upstart nephew (Alain Delon) who has announced his intention to marry Angelica (Claudia Cardinale), the daughter of a nouveaux riche merchant. As the revolt gathers intensity and effects real change, Prince Don Fabrizio Salina must come to terms with the new world that surrounds him. Adapting Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel, Visconti achieves a near-perfect balance of personal drama and historical perspective. The climactic extended ballroom sequence is one of the great wonders of the cinematic world and its magnificence is revealed once again in this beautiful new digital restoration.
Sun 31 Oct • Questions of Choice Double Bill
LE REFUGE (15) 2.15
(France 2009) dir. Francois Ozon 88m. Subtitles.
Isabelle Carre, Louis-Ronan Choisy, Pierre Louis-Calixte, Melvil Poupaud.
Francois Ozon's latest intimate look at life, its mysteries and its relationships is a quiet, contemplative movie that delves into the strange journeys love can take. Mousse is a recovering junkie and pregnant. Paul is her late boyfriend's gay brother. Over a summer in a rural retreat by the sea, opinions, attitudes and actions are formed as they discover each other and the world outside until the time when Mousse must make a final choice... The performance of Isabelle Carré who was indeed heavily pregnant during the film's production is mesmerising.
+ UNDERTOW (15) 4.05
(Peru/Columbia/France/Germany 2009) dir. Javier Fuentes-Leon 101m. Subtitles. Digital.
Manolo Cardona, Tatiana Astengo, Cristian Mercado.
GHOST meets Latin American magic realism in this Sundance Film Festival award winner. In an impoverished Peruvian fishing village there's an inevitably secret love affair going on between the attractive, wealthy painter-photographer Santiago and the good-looking fisherman Miguel, whose wife, Mariela, is pregnant. Tragedy introduces supernatural elements handled by director Javier Fuentes-Leon with a wry sense of humour as he delicately and sensuously charts a collision of contemporary sexuality with centuries of dogma and tradition.
Sun 7 Nov • 16th London Turkish Film Festival
Programme to be announced
Sun 14 Nov • Distinguished Service Double Bill
DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID (12A) 2.30
(France/Italy 1964) dir. Luis Buñuel 97m. Subtitles. Digital.
Jeanne Moreau, Georges Géret, Daniel Ivernel, Françoise Lugagne, Muni, Jean Ozenne, Michel Piccoli, Joëlle Bernard, Françoise Bertin, Aline Bertrand, Pierre Collet.
Bunuel’s portraits of the hypocrisy and absurdity of the bourgeoisie are at their most biting and brilliant best as new maid Celestine begins her new employment at the Normandy estate of boot fetishist Rabour, his frigid daughter and her right-wing husband Montiel, who can't keep his hands off the staff. Jeanne Moreau excels as the sharp-witted servant picking her way through a minefield of political, social and sexual positions as Bunuel charts the rise of 30s Fascism in microcosm. A black comedy delight.
+ THE MAID (15) 4.25
(Chile/Mexico 2009) dir. Sebastián Silva 95m. Subtitles. Digital.
Catalina Saavedra, Claudia Celedón, Mariana Loyola, Alejandro Goic,
Anita Reeves, Delna Guzmán.
An entertaining and fascinating mix of psychological thriller, poignant human drama and dark comedy, THE MAID also boasts a startling denouement and an outstanding central performance from Catalina Saavedra as Raquel. She's the live-in maid, a quiet and ungainly 41-year-old from a remote village who's spent most of her life looking after an upper-class Chilean couple and bringing up their four children. But when her considerate, liberal employers decide that she is overworked and needs some additional help, chaos, complications and confusion quickly follow as Raquel declares war on both family and new arrivals.
Sun 21 Nov • Hommage to Tati Double Bill
MONSIEUR HULOT’S HOLIDAY (U) 2.30
(France 1953) dir. Jacques Tati 84m. Subtitles. Digital.
Jacques Tati, Henri Marquet, Pierre Aubert, Jacques Lagrange.
Jacques Tati's immortal creation Monsieur Hulot is a sublime blend of satire, slapstick and characterisation and his misadventures at the seaside still provide some of cinema's greatest comic moments. Ever the centre and usually the cause of a whirlwind of disasters, pratfalls, and mishaps, ever oblivious to the chaos he creates, the gangly and awkward M. Hulot lives in his own quiet world. But his creator's acute understanding of human behaviour and his gently mocking view of the absurdities and inefficiencies of the real world still speak volumes.
+ THE ILLUSIONIST (PG) 4.15
(UK/France 2010) dir. Sylvain Chomet 80m. Digital.
Edith Rankin, Eilidh Rankin, Jean-Claude Donda.
Based on an unproduced script by Jacques Tati, this is animator Sylvain Chomet’s long-waited follow-up to 2003’s BELLEVILLE RENDEZ-VOUS. 1950's Paris and an old-fashioned Parisian music-hall conjurer Tatischeff (Tati's real name) is struggling to find work. He leaves France and finds himself in Scotland with a new assistant, a naive young girl fresh out of a Scottish fishing village who regards him as a real-life magician, but the real magic is still to come. A beautifully observed and realised animated treasure.
Sun 28 Nov • Telling Tales Double Bill
ECCENTRICITIES OF A BLONDE-HAIRED GIRL (U) 2.30
(Portugal/Spain/France 2009) dir. Manoel de Oliveira 63m. Subtitles.
Ricardo Trepa, Catarina Wallenstein, Diogo Doria.
A sprightly told tale from 101-year-old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira based on a classic 19th century short story updated to contemporary Lisbon. Earnest accountant Macario becomes infatuated with a beautiful young woman with a Chinese fan whom he sees in a window across the street but his uncle disapproves for reasons that will become painfully apparent. It's a perfectly executed bitter-sweet, slightly perverse commentary on the perils of old-fashioned courtship: elegant, humorous and exquisite.
+ CERTIFIED COPY (12A) 4.00
(France/Italy/Iran 2010) dir. Abbas Kiarostami 107m. Digital.
Juliette Binoche, William Shimell, Jean-Claude Carriere.
Middle-aged English writer James has travelled to Tuscany to promote his latest book about works of art and their copies – arguing that imitation can be just as good as the original. After meeting French visitor Elle, the pair embark on a tour of southern Tuscany together and an uncorrected mistake leads to them play-acting as an unhappy married couple. But are they in fact really married? Against beautiful Tuscan backdrops, Kiarostami explores reflection, imitation and performance in love and life. Juliette Binoche’s performance won her the Best Actress prize at Cannes 2010.
Kingsland High Street E8
(corner John Campbell Road)
Tel 020 7241 9410