James Gill gives us a quick look at what’s on this week at HOME Cinema.
Films opening at HOME this week:
Borg Vs McEnroe
Directed by Janus Metz Pedersen — Rated 15
Award-winning Danish director Janus Metz brings to the screen the story of one of the world’s greatest icons Björn Borg — and his biggest rival, the young and talented John McEnroe — for their legendary duel during the 1980 Wimbledon tournament. The film stars Sverrir Gudnason as Borg and Shia LaBeouf as his tennis court rival John McEnroe. Playing Borg’s trainer, the legendary Lennart Bergelin, Stellan Skarsgård returns for a major part in a Swedish film for the first time in almost a decade.
Directed by Maysaloun Hamoud — Rated 15
In director Maysaloun Hamoud’s remarkable feature debut, three Palestinian women sharing an apartment in the vibrant heart of Tel Aviv find themselves doing the same balancing act between tradition and modernity and citizenship and culture.
On Body and Soul
Directed by Ildikó Enyedi — Rated 18
A slaughterhouse in Budapest is the setting of a strangely beautiful love story. No sooner does Mária start work as the new quality controller than the whispers begin. At lunch, the young woman always chooses a table on her own in the sterile canteen, where she sits in silence. She takes her job seriously and adheres strictly to the rules, deducting penalty points for every excessive ounce of fat. Hers is a world that consists of figures and data that have imprinted themselves on her memory since early childhood. Her slightly older boss Endre is also the quiet type. Tentatively, they begin to get to know each other. Recognising their spiritual kinship, they are amazed to discover that they even have the same dreams at night. Carefully, they attempt to make them come true.
This story of two people discovering the realm of emotions and physical desire — at first individually and then together — is tenderly told by director Ildikó Enyedi, but in a way that also exudes subtle humour. On Body and Soul is a film about the fears and inhibitions associated with opening up to others, and about how exhilarating it can be when you finally do.
Directed by Sally Potter — Rated 15
Orlando is a story of the quest for love, and it is also an ironic dance through English history. Addressing contemporary concerns about gender and identity, the film is remarkably true to the spirit of Virginia Woolf, but it also skilfully adapts the original story to give it a striking, cinematic form. The screenplay is a standard text taught in film schools as a radical and successful adaptation of a classic work. Orlando is a bold, unsentimental re-working of Virginia Woolf’s classic novel in which an innocent aristocrat (Swinton) journeys through 400 years of English history first as a man, then as a woman.
Directed by Vatche Boulghourjian — Rated 15
Vatche Boulghourjian’s poetic and sensitive feature debut is a poignant exploration of the role of culture and storytelling in navigating the complex histories of war and life after conflict. Rabih, a young blind man, finds his life unravelling when he applies for a passport in order to tour with his choir and discovers the ID card he’s carried his whole life is a forgery. With his mother unable and his uncle unwilling to address his many questions, he sets out to find answers himself. Travelling across rural Lebanon in search of the truth, he must confront the sheer magnitude of the layers of collective silence that permeate the country’s troubled recent past. In his first acting role, real-life blind musician Barakat Jabbour bestows Rabih with a drive and persistence that are deeply moving, enhanced by his magnetic and defiant musical performances.
Films continuing this week:
Directed by Darren Aronofsky — Rated 18
A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream fame, Mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in a potent psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.
Victoria and Abdul
Directed by Stephen Frears — Rated PG
The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity. Directed with characteristic intelligence by Stephen Frears.
Directed by Taylor Sheridan — Rated 15
Screened to acclaim in Cannes where director Taylor Sheridan deservedly won the Best Director in the Un Certain Regard section, Wind River is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Olsen) who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Renner) to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation in the hopes of solving her mysterious death.
God’s Own Country
Directed by Francis Lee — Rated 15
Johnny, a young sheep farmer from Yorkshire, has sacrificed his own life choices to run the family farm. As lambing season approaches, much to Johnny’s initial resentment, migrant worker Gheorghe is hired to assist. Gheorghe proves he not only understands this farming life but more importantly, he understands Johnny.
Special events taking place this week:
23rd & 24th September — Hook
Directed by Steven Spielberg — Rated U
Captain Hook kidnaps his children so an adult Peter Pan (Robin Williams) must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.
23rd September — The Night is Short, Walk on Girl
Directed by Masaaki Yuasa — Rated CTBA
Masaaki Yuasa’s animated tale of young love is based on Tomihiko Morimi’s novel of the same name. Sendai falls head-over-heels in love with a fellow student at his college and decides on a strategy of ‘accidentally’ running into her to get her to notice him.
24th September — The Tango Lesson
Directed by Sally Potter — Rated PG
The Tango Lesson is about a female filmmaker (Potter) who discovers and falls in love with the tango. In between bouts of writing a screenplay for Hollywood with which she finds herself increasingly dissatisfied she places herself under the tutelage of Pablo, an Argentinean tango dancer living in Paris. As the lessons proceed, they strike a bargain: if he will make her a tango dancer, she will make him a movie star. He accomplishes his side of the bargain when they perform in a show, but her attempt to make a film with Pablo in Buenos Aires exposes the complexities at the heart of the story — how do you follow when your instinct is to lead?
24th September — The Cinema Travellers
Directed by Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya — Rated 12A
Part of HOME’s Not Just Bollywood Season
One of the most critically acclaimed documentaries to have come out of India in years. Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham’s stirring elegy is a semi-observational portrait of the travelling cinemas of India, uncovering an unforgettable subterranean subculture of dreamers, cinephiles and projectionists. The work also depicts the transition from celluloid to digital and the inescapable anxieties associated with this technological leap of faith.
The work also depicts the transition from celluloid to digital and the inescapable anxieties associated with this technological leap of faith.
Moreover, Madheshiya and Abraham’s eye trains itself on capturing the idiosyncrasies of the ways in which audiences behave and watch films, leading to some rapturous images of cinema gazing. The Cinema Travellers has won numerous prizes at various film festivals including most notably The Golden Eye (Special Mention) at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, The Young Critics Choice Award at The Mumbai Film Festival 2016 and the Special Jury Award at the National Film Awards in 2017.
25th September — Step
Directed by Amanda Lipitz — Rated PG
The Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women opened in 2009 with a mandate to send every student to college, despite the barriers that their home lives and community might present. Now, as the first class enters its senior year, the stakes are high to achieve that purpose. The film follows three irrepressible seniors and their ‘Lethal Ladies’ step dance team as they navigate a nerve-wracking college application process and strive to elevate the creative outlet that keeps them united and fighting to reach their goals.
Step hones in on the trials and triumphs of these tenacious young women, as well as their relationships with the women who champion and challenge them: their mothers, an unstoppable college counsellor, and a no-nonsense step coach. These mentors are never far, doing all that they can to enable achievement, often with the odds stacked against them. This founding class is wrestling with life at the brink of their independence, always to a contagious beat that is haunting and universal.
25th September — The Lost Weekend
Directed by Billy Wilder — Rated PG
Don Birnam (Milland) is a struggling writer. Every day he bangs away at his typewriter, trying to compose something he can sell to meet the rent and to keep his creativity alive. But instead of completing pages of manuscript, Don is only adept at finishing off bottles of liquor.
Burdened with a severe case of writer’s block, he turns to alcohol for inspiration and emotional support. Wick (Phillip Terry) Don’s brother, tries to bring his sibling back from the abyss of alcoholic despair. Even the protestations of Don’s girlfriend, Helen (Jane Wyman) are not enough to stop the writer’s descent into a black hole from which he may never return.
The Lost Weekend is selected by Portraits of Recovery as part of a week-long series of activities here at HOME, including the free live performance Portraits of Recovery present: Apples & Other Fruits, and indoor gallery picnic and discussion, Portraits of Recovery present: Sustenance. Portraits of Recovery are a Manchester based, international visual arts charity. Founded in 2011 by Mark Prest, the organisation’s work supports people and communities affected by and in recovery from substance use to open up new ways of knowing and looking at the subject by working with contemporary visual art and artists.
26th September — Court + Panel Discussion
Directed by Chaitanya Tamhane — Rated PG
Part of HOME’s Not Just Bollywood Season
An astonishing directorial debut, this skilfully scripted docu-fiction political melodrama from Chaityane Tamhane won a major prize at the Venice Film Festival. Taking a pointed look at the contradictions of the Indian legal system, Tamhane uncovers a prescient story about Mumbai’s invisible underclass in which an ageing folk singer emerges as an unlikely source of socio-political resistance. The film took three years to make and was supported by the Hubert Bals Fund of International Film Festival Rotterdam. Court was met with universal critical acclaim on the film festival circuit and is one of the best films to emerge from the recent wave of independent Indian films.
This screening will be followed by an informal panel discussion exploring Indian independent cinema. We will be joined by Ashvin Devasundaram, Lecturer in World Cinema at Queen Mary, University of London; Cary Sawhney, Director of the London Indian Film Festival; and Roy Stafford, freelance film educator.
27th September — Missing
Directed by Costa-Gavras — Rated 15
When his son goes missing in a Latin American country following a military coup that overthrew a democratically elected government, Ed Horman is quick to blame the young man’s radical politics. However, when Ed visits the country to try to find his son he slowly realises the American government he supports so much is deeply involved in the atrocities enacted in the aftermath of the coup. A gripping story based on real events that took place in Chile following the overthrow of President Allende, Missing won the Palme d’Or and Best Actor awards at the 1982 Cannes film festival and is another example of director Costa-Gavras’ mastery of the political thriller.
27th September — The Man Who Cried
Directed by Sally Potter — Rated 12A
Fegele (Christina Ricci), a Russian Jewish refugee working in a variety troupe in Paris just before the Second World War, is befriended by Lola, a white Russian exile (Cate Blanchet). Fegele meets Cesar, a traveller (Johnny Depp) in the world of the opera and they fall in love. But when the German Nazis invade Paris, Dante Domino, the star of the opera (John Turturro) betrays Fegele, and she has to escape. Under the extreme conditions of war, alliances are formed and broken and questions of identity become matters of life and death.
28th September — Black Sabbath The End of the End
Directed by Dick Carruthers — Rated 15
The End of The End chronicles the final tour from the band who forged the sound of metal — Black Sabbath. On 4th of February 2017, the band took to the stage in Birmingham, the city where it all began, to play the 81st and final gig of The End tour — bringing down the curtain on a career that spanned almost half a century.
The sold out show marked the culmination of a tour that had seen them play to well over a million fans in arenas across the globe. Since their beginnings in 1968, they created a sound that would form the basis of heavy metal, going on to influence bands all over the world — an influence which is still felt to this day.
The End of The End is the story of that final, emotionally-charged concert. Fans are taken into the heart of the action, up close and personal with the band on stage as they perform genre-defining hits, from Iron Man to Paranoid to War Pigs, amongst others. Sabbath also took the opportunity to spend some time in the studio, delivering a unique performance of some of their favourite songs.
This film gives fans an intimate glimpse into the band’s relationships and their banter with each other, with both individual and group recollections from Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.
The band’s loyal following spans generations and this is the opportunity for fans, young and old, to come together and see the boys from Birmingham doing what they do best, almost 50 years after they started. This is the final word from the greatest metal band of all time.