Films opening 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 — Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream — 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 — played by 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.
Centre of my World
Directed by Jakob M. Erwa – Rated 15
Based on the bestselling young adults’ novel, The Centre of the World, by Andreas Steinhöfel, director Jakob M. Erwa’s imaginative, candid, and complex film portrays a young man coming of age, discovering his sexuality, and falling in love. Returning home to Germany after a summer away at French-language camp, 17-year-old Phil finds a strange tension has developed between his mother and sister. Unsure of the reasons why, Phil finds much-needed fun and diversion with his best mate Kat. But the seemingly unshakable bond between the friends is tested when mysterious, handsome, new boy Nicholas arrives at their school. Full of admirable energy and verve, Centre of My World is both a compelling family drama and a tender tale of first love.
Kills on Wheels
Directed by Attila Till – Rated 15
Twenty-year-old wheelchair user Zoli, his physically disabled friend, and an ex-fireman, who is also confined to a wheelchair, decide to offer their services to the mafia as a gang of hired assassins. But, as is the way with life, the reality is a little more prosaic…
In his highly original comedy, Hungarian director Attila Till skilfully blends reality with fantasy as he offers a gentle probe into the lives of protagonists living on the edge of society and desirous of things which able-bodied people take for granted. The director was inspired to make his film from his own experiences as a volunteer for the disabled. He explains his motivation: “It was crucial to me to make a movie about disabled people where they finally aren’t played by actors but get the opportunity to act themselves and be the real heroes.”
Films continuing this week:
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 — Elizabeth Olsen — who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past — Jeremy Renner — to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation in the hopes of solving her mysterious death.
The Limehouse Golem
Directed by Juan Carlos Medina – Rated 15
In Victorian-era London, an intrepid police inspector — played by Bill Nighy — investigates a series of brutal killings that seem to be linked to a fearsome creature of Jewish legend. Director Medina takes meticulous care to preserve the foggy and unsettling atmosphere of late 19th-century London. With the spirits of both Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper hovering over the proceedings, Medina stops at almost nothing as he rubs our noses in the murk of a London that has itself been a character in many a murder mystery — a tradition to which his film is a welcome addition.
To read Jamie McEvoy’s review of this film click here.
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 the farming life, but more importantly, he understands Johnny.
Special events taking place this week:
15th September – Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast
Directed by Daniel Draper – Rated 15
A feature-length documentary about socialist, trade unionist, and Labour politician Dennis Skinner. Raised alongside nine siblings within a mining village, Dennis has fought for the rights of the working class for over 50-years. Uncompromising in his views, with a set of incorruptible principles, Dennis is both respected and feared on both sides of the House of Commons. Nature of the Beast looks at what lies behind his passion and drive, and tracks his rise from a local councillor to today, where he is one of Britain’s most recognisable politicians — widely known as ‘The Beast of Bolsover’.
16th September – Newton
Part of HOME’s Not just Bollywood Season
Directed by Amit Masurkar – Rated 12A
Having already bagged a major prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Newton stars Rajkumar Rao, one of Indian cinema’s brightest acting talents. A seamless socio-political satire, this is a potent work that pits a government clerk against the machinations of electioneering in India’s rural hinterland. Writer and director Amit Masurkar first shot onto the indie scene with the breakout cult comedy Sulemani Keeda (2014) about a pair of struggling scriptwriters. The main lead of Newton, Rajkumar Rao, has starred in numerous critically acclaimed indie films including Shahid (2013), Aligarh (2016) and Trapped (2017) and works predominately in the Indian indie film scene. Newton also stars the hugely talented character actor Pankaj Tripathy in a supporting role. Manish Mundra is the producer of Newton.
17th September – Belle de Jour + Post-Screening Discussion
Directed by Luis Buñuel – Rated 18
Deneuve stars as the beautiful, bourgeois, and bored doctor’s wife, who decides to spice up her afternoons by working at a local brothel where she encounters all sorts of clients and enjoys enduring no end of humiliation. The screening on Sun 17 Sep will be accompanied by a free, informal post-screening discussion led by Maggie Hoffgen, Freelance Film Educator.
17th September – Jungle Fever + Post-Screening Discussion
Directed by Spike Lee – Rated 18
Widely regarded as some Spike Lee’s best work, Jungle Fever tells the story of Flipper Purify, a successful architect who, on the surface of things, looks like he has it all. Until, he sleeps with his white co-worker, Angie, which leads to the beginning of a tumultuous relationship. With a wonderfully nuanced performance by Wesley Snipes in the lead role; a supporting role by Lee; a turn from then rising star Samuel L Jackson; and an unforgettable soundtrack by Stevie Wonder, Jungle Fever remains a film that lives long in the memory and provides hours of debate.
This screening includes a post-screening discussion with We Are Parable co-founder, Anthony Andrews, and founder of The British Blacklist, Akua Gyamfi.
18th September – The Gold Diggers
Directed by Sally Potter – Rated U
The groundbreaking first feature is a key film of early Eighties feminist cinema. Made with an all-woman crew, featuring stunning photography by Babette Magolte and a score by Lindsay Cooper it embraces a radical and experimental narrative structure. Celeste — played by Colette Laffont — is a computer clerk in a bank who becomes fascinated by the relationship between gold and power. Julie Christie plays Ruby, an enigmatic film star in quest of her childhood, her memories, and the truth about her own identity. As their paths cross they come to sense that there could be a link between the male struggle for economic supremacy and the female ideal of mysterious but impotent beauty.
20th September – Ankhon Dekhi + Q&A
Part of HOME’s Not just Bollywood season
Directed by Rajat Kapoor – Rated 15
The multi talented actor, writer, and director Rajat Kapoor’s idiosyncratic masterpiece is one of the key works of the new Indian independent cinema. A heady mix of Bergman, Fellini, and De Sica, this semi-philosophical comedy about family, self-identity, and existentialism, features a career defining performance by Sanjay Mishra.
Also featuring a memorable score by Sagar Desai and lyrics by the talented Varun Grover, the film received widespread critical acclaim on its release. In 2014 the film won three Filmfare awards, Indian cinema’s premiere awards ceremony, including Best Film, Best Actor and Best Story.
Rajat Kapoor has worked across the spectrum of Indian cinema, appearing in hugely popular crossover Indian films such as Mira Nair’s multi award winning Monsoon Wedding, the much-loved comedy Bheja Fry (2007) with Vinay Pathak, while also starring in popular Hindi cinema such as the recent Karan Johar produced Kapoor and Sons with Alia Bhatt. Rajat Kapoor trained at the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India and was taught by illustrious filmmakers Mani Kaul and Kumar Shahani. Rajat made his acting debut in Kumar Shahani’s Khayal Gatha in 1989. His directorial output includes Private Detective: Two Plus Two Plus One (1997), Raghu Romeo (2003), and Mithya (2008).
Ankhon Dekhi was the first film to be produced by Manish Mundra who founded Drishyam Films in 2013. Drishyam Films, an independent production company, has emerged as one of Indian cinema’s most innovative and original new voices, nurturing and supporting new filmmakers and contributing to the increasingly international profile of new Indian independent cinema.
We will be joined by actor, writer, and director Rajat Kapoor for a post-screening Q&A.