|M A I N F E A T U R E S |
• Friday 30 March for two weeks
THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS 3D (U)
(UK/US 2012) dirs. Peter Lord & Jeff Newitt 88m. Digital.
Voices of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Lenny Henry, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, David Tennant, Ashley Jensen, Imelda Staunton, Russell Tovey.
From the creators of Wallace and Gromit comes an equally very funny, very silly and very original animated adaptation of the first two books in Gideon Defoe's much loved cult series of 'Pirates' tales. The Pirate Captain is a somewhat less-than-successful terror of the High Seas famed rather than feared for his boundless enthusiasm and ridiculous schemes even when impossible odds are stacked against him. His one great ambition is to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It's a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. And it's adventure all the way as the Pirate Captain and his rag-tag crew encounter a pirate-hating Queen Victoria and young scientist Charles Darwin. But there's enough one liners, cliche debunking and touches of irony to keep fans of Monty Python and Douglas Adams more than happy. In other words, it's that ironic cliche of a one-liner, Fun for All the Family! Arrrrrrhhhhh...
N.B. The film will be shown in 2D at the Parents & Babies screenings on Thur 5 and Tue 10 Apr at 11.30am. Anyone preferring to watch the film in 2D may also attend these screenings and watch the film from the Circle.
• Friday 13 April for one week
LE HAVRE (PG)
(Finland/France/Germany 2011) dir. Aki Kaurismaki 93m. Subtitles. Digital.
Andre Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Blondin Miguel, Pierre Étaix, Jean-Pierre Léaud.
Few movies offer greater pleasures than the deadpan comedies of Aki Kaurismaki with their subtle combination of absurdism and lyricism and LE HAVRE is one of the writer/director's finest mixes of the morose and the merry. It may pay hommage to a glorious epoch of French cinema and the lost world of silent movie melodrama, but there's also a cutting social edge mixed in with the comedy and absurdity. It's the story of Marcel and his wife Arletty scraping to make ends meet against all the odds in the French port city of Le Havre (Doctor: "Miracles do happen." Arletty: "Not in my neighbourhood"). But Marcel is still ready to help the dreams of a fellow underdog, a young African boy on the run, come true. With a gloriously drawn gallery of characters: friends, neighbours, a shadowy informer, an enigmatic police inspector and unforgettable rocker Little Bob, the poor man's Johnny Hallyday, this is a rich and multi-layered portrait of a recognisable world painted by a master film maker... and an absolute treat.
• Friday 13 April for one week
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (15)
(Italy/France/Ireland 2011) dir. Paolo Sorrentino. 112m. Digital.
Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Kerry Condon, Harry Dean Stanton, Judd Hirsch, David Byrne.
The oddest of odysseys and thanks to a matchless performance from Sean Penn, one of the strangest road movies ever. Replete with Goth make-up, red lipstick, Robert Smith-style hair and quavering voice, he plays retired rock star Cheyenne, living in a Dublin mansion and pondering whether to sell his Tesco shares. When he goes back on the road, the roads are in the backwoods of the American midwest and he's searching for the fugitive Nazi who tortured his father. Full of great lines and memorable images, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE soars to greatness with an unbelievable cameo from David Byrne who plays the title song in concert and shares a scene with Penn that has to be seen to be believed.
• Fri 20 April for two weeks
(US/UK 2012) dir. Kevin Macdonald 145m. Digital.
Bob Marley, Cedella Marley Booker, Neville 'Bunny' Livingston, Jimmy Cliff, Chris Blackwell.
Kevin Macdonald's MARLEY is the definitive, exhaustive portrait of the legend behind the music. Filled with rare concert footage and scores of in-depth interviews with the singer-songwriter's friends, family and fellow Wailers, this is an all-encompassing and moving birth-to-death portrait of a major world artist who also became a political figurehead to his fellow Jamaicans. From the ghettos of Trenchtown to the upper-class quarters of Kingston, archive footage brings to life the places and times that influenced the music. Although made with the full cooperation of the Marley Estate, this is still a warts and all portrait which explores controversial areas of an often unconventional life. Conflicting, contradictory accounts from such memorable characters as mad guru Lee 'Scratch' Perry and loveable rogue Neville Livingston, aka Bunny Wailer, are fascinating anecdotes but ensure that Marley remains an enigma. The music of course speaks for itself.
|• Friday 4 May for one week
MONSIEUR LAZHAR (12A)
(Canada 2011) dir. Philippe Falardeau. 95m. Subtitles. Digital.
Mohamed Fellag, Danielle Proulx, Émilien Néron, Sophie Nélisse.
As an elementary school in Montreal begins to recover from a tragedy that has affected both pupils and staff, the genial Bachir Lazhar seemingly materialises out of thin air, boasting 19 years of teaching experience in his native Algeria and eager to begin his 20th. Philippe Falardeau's multi-awarding winning story of a teacher and his class, with each discovering that they can help the other in coming to terms with the traumatic events in their individual lives, is delicate, thoughtful, perceptive and often very funny. Whether poking fun at internal school politics and practices or exploring the classroom as a microcosm of greater universal concerns MONSIEUR LAZHAR is a life-affirming delight with great performances from Algerian actor and writer Fellag and his wonderfully authentic and very recognisable class of 12-year-olds.
• Friday 4 May for one week
THE MONK (15)
(France 2011) dir. Dominik Moll 100m. Subtitles. Digital.
Vincent Cassel, Déborah François, Sergi López, Catherine Mouchet.
The extraordinary Vincent Cassel personifies goodness, evil and dark desire in a masterly adaptation of the legendary18th century Gothic novel which became a key text for the Surrealist movement. He's a pious monk who finds himself confronting supernatural forces and his own illicit desires when a mysterious masked youth arrives at the monastery. Director Dominic Moll's exploration of religious guilt and hypocrisy in the face of temptation, eschews the lurid and creates a tense and gripping portrait of a tortured mind. Equally masterly is the evocation of a properly gothic atmosphere: candlelight, graveyards, threatening architecture, barren landscapes and rose gardens at midnight all loom large. Appropriately enough, THE MONK, with its wicked philosophical pay-off, could well be the year's guiltiest pleasure.
• Friday 11 May for two weeks
DARK SHADOWS (12A)
(US 2012) dir. Tim Burton 113m. Digital.
Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee.
DARK SHADOWS marks the eighth collaboration between director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp and the second coming of vampire Barnabas Collins, who previously rose from the dead in the 1960s to become the central character of a cult ABC daytime tv series. Once an 18th century wealthy playboy who had the misfortune to break the heart of a witch and be buried alive, Barnabas returns to the once-magnificent ancestral home to discover some dysfunctional descendants and some dark secrets. In particular Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles. Director Burton's typically sylish and idiosyncratic re-imagining of the original tales of witches, werewolves, vampires, and ghosts finds room for delightful cameos from some of the original series cast as well as horror legend Christopher Lee and Alice Cooper as himself!
• Friday 25 May for two weeks
MOONRISE KINGDOM (12A)
(US 2012) dir. Wes Anderson 94m. Digital.
Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Frances McDormand.
The creator of such colourful, surreally quirky world views as THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS and THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU returns with more funny goings on. Set on an island off the New England coast in 1965, it's the tale of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away from Summer Camp. As various authorities pursue them, a violent storm is brewing off-shore. The town and the lives of its inhabitants are turned upside down in more ways than one but perhaps that's no bad thing... Wes Anderson's now standard collection of flawed oddballs and misfits is wonderfully brought to life by a dream of an ensemble cast: Bruce Willis is the local sheriff, Edward Norton is a scout troop leader and Bill Murray and Frances McDormand play the runaways' parents. The surface humour is as dry as ever but it's the subterranean rumblings that once again provide the real pleasures.
107 Kingsland High Street E8 2PB
(corner John Campbell Road)
Tel 020 7241 9410