James Gill talks us through this week of November at HOME Cinema
Films opening at HOME this week:
The Florida Project
Directed by Sean Baker — Rated 15
Sean Baker’s follow-up to the astonishing Tangerines is another lucid, brilliantly realised portrait of life on the margins. The Florida Project tells the story of a precocious six-year-old and her rag-tag group of close friends whose summer break is filled with childhood wonder, possibility and a sense of adventure, while their parents and the adults around them struggle with hard times. A synthesis of Mark Twain, Gummo and Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, this is a bold, visionary work.
Directed by Alain Gomis — Rated 12A
A gritty, music-infused drama about a Kinshasa bar singer who comes out of her emotional shell after a brush with misfortune, the fourth feature from French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis (Tey) was one of the standout features at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival. Initially grounded firmly in realism, the film gradually morphs into a dreamlike mood piece and, eventually, a tentative romance.
Directed by Rupert Jones — Rated 15
The title of this tense, unsettling and atmospheric psychological chiller couldn’t be more apt, with debut British director Rupert Jones creating a dizzying nightmare that looks slightly different with each twist and turn. Toby Jones is typically terrific as Carl, a single man whose attempt to live a carefully ordered existence is upset by visitors he can’t easily control (Sinead Matthews as a pushy date; Anne Reid as Carl’s mother). Shades of Polanski’s Repulsion and, following on from our opening night, Hitchcock’s Psycho colour Jones’ story, creating a tightly wound and unpredictable tale with a fascinating character at its centre.
Directed by Michael Almereyda — Rated 12A
What would we remember and what would we forget if we could choose? In a near future, 86-year-old Marjorie (Lois Smith) has conversations with a hologram that resembles her dead husband and has been programmed to share Marjorie’s past with her. A fascinating film about identity and memory, love and loss from director Michael Almereyda.
Films continuing this week:
The Death of Stalin
Directed by Armando Iannucci — Rated 15
Based on the graphic novel The Death Of Stalin by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, writer and director Armando Iannucci’s (Veep, The Thick of It) acerbic satire is set in the days following the Russian leader’s stroke in 1953 as his core team of ministers tussle for control. An all-star cast includes Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, and Olga Kurylenko.
Call Me By Your Name
Directed by Luca Guadagnino — Rated 15
It’s the summer of 1983 in northern Italy, and Elio Perlman (Chalamet), a 17-year-old American-Italian, spends his days in his family’s seventeenth-century villa lazily transcribing music and flirting with his friend, Marzia.
One day Oliver (Armie Hammer, Free Fire), a charming, 24-year-old American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father (Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor.
Amid the sun-drenched splendour of this sensual setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a fateful summer. The latest film by Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) is sensuously adapted from the novel by André Aciman.
Directed by William Friedkin — Rated 15
William Friedkin’s remake of Clouzot’s Wages of Fear has acquired a sizeable reputation after having been marginalised on release.
Four desperate renegades, led by Roy Scheider, reuniting with the director after a public falling out following not being cast in The Exorcist, from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle.
The equal of the original, the film has been restored for its 40th anniversary and, augmented by the Tangerine Dream score, is essential big screen viewing.
The Killing of a Sacred Dear
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos — Rated 15
Steven (Farrell), an eminent cardiothoracic surgeon is married to Anna (Kidman), a respected ophthalmologist. They are well off and live a happy and healthy family life with their two children, Kim and Bob.
Their lives take a darker turn when Martin (Keoghan), a fatherless youth with whom Steven has a strained friendship ingratiates himself further into the lives of the family.
Lanthimos’s follow-up to The Lobster is a brilliantly realised, Kubrickian look at human behaviour.
Special events this week:
11th November — Coin Locker Girl
Directed by Han Jun-hee — Rated 18
As a newborn, ‘Il-young’ is abandoned in a subway station locker and eight years later, she is sold to the godmother of a Chinatown gang. Coin Locker Girl is a story of two women who have found their own ways to survive in a cruel, harsh world.
11th November — The First Lap
Directed by Kim Dae-hwan — Rated 12A
Kim Daehwan’s film explores generational conflict within a contemporary love story in thrilling forensic detail. Twenty-somethings Su-hyeon and Ji-young live together in financial and emotional insecurity. When Ji-young tells Su-hyeon that she may be pregnant, pressure mounts on them to either commit or split up.
12th November — The Day of the Jackal + Discussion
Directed by Fred Zinnemann — Rated 15
A UK-France co-production, Fred Zinnemann’s legendary film explores the attempts of a right-wing paramilitary group to assassinate French President General De Gaulle following the independence of Algeria. Boasting a career-defining performance from Edward Fox and replete with many political twists and turns, The Day of the Jackal is one of the best thrillers of the 1970s.
This screening will be followed by a post-screening discussion with Roy Stafford, Freelance Film Educator.
12th November — The Merciless
Directed by Byun Sung-hyun — Rated 18
Whether inside prison or out, ruthless gangster Jae-ho and his new young protégé Hyun-soo struggle to trust each other in a world of endless double-dealing and betrayal. Reminiscent of Tarantino, this is also a moody neo-noir, all existential musings, rain-swept treachery and savagery just out of shot.
13th November — The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel + Discussion
Directed by Jonatan Nir — Rating TBA
Despite taking an integral role in the Kindertransport and working in partnership with the British intelligence, Wilfrid Israel is a forgotten hero. This fascinating documentary explores not only Israel’s remarkable rescue operations but also the reasons they had been kept secret for so long.
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Ruth Barnett and Dr Jean-Marc Dreyfus, chaired by Dr Bobby Garson.
14th November — One Nite in Mongkok
A hitman from the Chinese mainland, Lai Fu, is hired to avenge the death of a Hong Kong crime lord’s son, but the police are onto him from the start. Hidden in the dense streets of Mong Kok, Lai Fu works to complete his contract.
14th — 16th November — Manchester Animation Festival
Manchester Animation Festival is the UK’s largest Animation Festival dedicated celebration of the animated art form.
Hosted at HOME in Manchester, the festival brings one of the UK’s biggest animation hubs together and invites the international community to join us to delight in all things animated.
Animation is everywhere, from the smallest smart phone screen to the largest cinematic projection. Manchester Animation Festival unites artists, practitioners, students and enthusiasts and all those in between to savour the many and varied achievements of the animated form.
If you’re an animation insider or just want to see something unique, you don’t have to be an animation boffin to join us for animated short competitions, feature films, retrospective screenings, workshops, networking events, panel discussions, masterclasses and screen talks from the industry’s finest over three packed days.