James Gill talks us through this week of November at HOME Cinema
Films opening at HOME this week:
Ingrid Goes West
Directed by Matt Spicer – Rated 15
Following the death of her mother and a series of self-inflicted setbacks, young Ingrid Thorburn (the always wonderful Aubrey Plaza) escapes a humdrum existence by moving out West to befriend her Instagram obsession and L.A. socialite Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). After a quick bond is forged between these unlikeliest of friends, the façade begins to crack in both women’s lives — with comically malicious results in this acerbic comedy that also looks at the destructive effects of social media.
Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool
Directed by Paul McGuigan – Rated 15
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell star in this adaptation of the memoir by British actor Peter Turner, recounting his romance with the legendary (and legendarily eccentric) Hollywood star and film noir stalwart Gloria Grahame during the later years of her life. Detailing a trail of broken marriages and affairs, the film also offers a look at the underside of stardom.
Directed by Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – Rated 15
After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Constantine “Connie” Nikas (Robert Pattinson) embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city’s underworld in an increasingly desperate – and dangerous – attempt to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of jail. Over the course of one adrenalised night, Connie finds himself on a mad descent into violence and mayhem as he races against the clock to save his brother and himself, knowing their lives hang in the balance.
Directed by Joachim Trier – Rated 15
After moving to Oslo to study, a young woman falls in love and discovers that she possesses terrifying powers in this superb and cerebral supernatural thriller from acclaimed director Joachim Trier (Louder Than Bombs). Echoing films as refreshingly disparate as Day of Wrath and Carrie, this is an engrossing, ambiguous work.
Films continuing 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.
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.
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.
Special events this week:
November 17th – Manifesto: Live from Tate Modern + Recorded Intro and Q&A
Directed by Julian Rosefeldt – Rated 15
Manifesto, starring Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, pays homage to the moving tradition and literary beauty of artistic manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. Ahead of the film’s general release there is a special live event exclusive to cinemas — Manifesto: Live from Tate Modern – which will include a private view introduced by Cate Blanchett and featuring artworks in the Tate Modern’s collection related to the film, plus live on-stage conversation at the gallery with the film’s Director, Julian Rosefeldt and Editor Bobby Good, hosted by a leading cultural critic.
Manifesto draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situationists, Dogma 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers. Passing the ideas of Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, Jim Jarmusch, and other creators through his lens, Rosefeldt has edited and reassembled thirteen collages of artists’ manifestos.
November 18th – Don’t Torture a Duckling + Q+A
Directed by Lucio Fulci – Rated 18
A great example of the ways in which a popular form, here the giallo style of violent thriller, can be used to critique society’s institutions. Set in rural Italy, Lucio Fulci’s film focuses on a series of brutal murders where the killer seems to target young boys on the verge of adulthood. As the media flocks to the village where the victims lived, suspicion falls on those residents who due to their lifestyles are considered outsiders. Rumour has it that Fulci was subsequently blacklisted due to his critical representation of Italy’s powerful social institutions.
This screening will be introduced by Andy Willis, Professor of Film Studies at University of Salford.
November 19th – State of Seige + Post-screening discussion
Directed by Costa-Gavras – Rated 15
Perhaps the greatest political thriller of the 1970s, Costa-Gavras calls on Yves Montand to lead this story of an American who is kidnapped by guerrillas in Uruguay. The taut story is told against the backdrop of repressive politics, death squads and American involvement in Latin America.
The screening will be followed by an informal post-screening discussion led by Maggie Hoffgen, Freelance Film Educator.
November 20th – Days of ’36 + Intro
Directed by Theodoros Angelopoulos – Rated 12
During the 1970s Angelopoulos made films that were formally challenging and highly stylised; on occasion these used the narrative conventions of the political thriller to a very different effect to the slick films that make up the majority of this season. In Days of ’36 an imprisoned murderer takes a government official hostage in prison sparking a political crisis. Full of Angelopoulos’ trademark symmetrical compositions, this reads like a thriller but through the director’s use of film form resists the normal pleasures of the genre.
This screening will be introduced by Dr Eleftheria Rania Kosmidou, Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Salford.
November 21st – Remember Baghdad + Panel
Remember Baghdad is a fascinating exploration of the rich Jewish life and culture that had flourished in Iraq before the events of the 20th and early 21st centuries dramatically changed the course of the country – and the fate of its Jews.
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion with director Fiona Murphy, Dr Moshe Behar and Mickie Akka. Chaired by Rabbi Amir Ellituv.
November 22nd – Special Selection + Intro
Directed by Costa-Gavras – Rated PG
With Special Section, director Costa-Gavras turned his attention to events in France during World War II. When a German officer is killed, the Nazi occupying forces demand a quick response, threatening to kill 100 civilians. To appease them, a special court is created, presided over by a group of ambitious and subservient judges, with the aim of convicting a group of six men coldly used as scapegoats. Another of his engaging political films, Costa-Gavras was awarded Best Director at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival for Special Section.
This film is presented with the support of the Alliance Française de Manchester, the official centre for French language and Culture.
November 23rd – Killer Cop
Directed by Luciano Ercoli – Rated 15
In this Milan-set low-budget gem, director Luciano Ercoli creates a political thriller full of 1970s Italian style. After a terrorist bomb explodes in a busy hotel, the official investigation gets caught up in politics and bureaucracy. As the bombers go on the run, the only hope of catching them lies with Cassinelli’s determined narcotics cop, who accidently got caught in the mayhem. This highly effective Poliziotteschi shows how the radical politics of the decade bled into genre filmmaking in Italy.