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thumbnail Félicité (2017 France/Senegal)

Drama, Event, Genre , comments closed
May 20, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: Alain Gomis
Starring: Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu, Gaetan Claudia, Papi Mpaka
Genre: Drama
Duration: 123 mins

The first film Senegal has sent for consideration for Best Foreign Language film at the Academy Awards. Congolese singer-turned-actress Véro Tshanda Beya proves entirely mesmerizing in the title role as charismatic Afropop singer working in an alleyway night club in Kinshasa. Her fierce independence is put to the test when her son, Samo, has a motorbike accident that leaves him hospitalized and in danger of losing his leg. Due to the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s cash-on-the-barrelhead medical system, Félicité must scrape together a large advance payment in order for Samo to receive treatment. The movie is a virtual documentary of city sights and moods, and also a bitter exposé of a country without a social safety net.

thumbnail Lucky (2017 USA)

Drama, Event , comments closed
October 21, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: John Carroll Lynch
Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston
Genre: Drama
Duration: 88 mins

Everything Harry Dean Stanton has done in his career, and his life, has brought him to his moment of triumph in ‘Lucky’, an unassumingly wonderful little film about nothing in particular and everything that’s important. It follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the grid desert town. Having out lived all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self exploration, leading towards that which is so often unattainable: enlightenment. Acclaimed character actor John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut ‘Lucky’, is at once a love letter to the life and career of Harry Dean Stanton as well as a meditation on morality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection.

thumbnail Breath (2017 Australia)

Drama, Event, Genre , comments closed
October 14, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: Simon Baker
Starring: Elizabeth Debicki, Simon Baker, Richard Roxburgh
Genre: Drama
Duration: 115 mins

No author has written more evocatively than Tim Winton about growing up in regional Australia in the 1970s. His 2008 novel, Breath, enriches its themes of teenage self-discovery, daredevil recklessness, friendship, love and disillusionment with uncommonly beautiful descriptions of surfing, steeped in grandeur and lyricism. Those elements translate effectively to the screen in Simon Baker’s debut feature. Observed with warmth and sensitivity, this is a rewarding coming-of-age drama that features terrific performances from two young newcomers in the central roles. Poetic narration from Winton bathes their teenage exploits in reflection, positioning the narrative as the memories of a man contrasting the boy he was with the person he’ll grow into.

thumbnail Loveless (2017 Russia)

Drama, Event, Genre , comments closed
October 7, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Starring: Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov
Genre: Drama
Duration: 129 mins
Rated R

Andrei Zvyagintsev’s film is a stark, mysterious and terrifying story of spiritual catastrophe: a drama with the ostensible form of a procedural crime thriller. This is a story of modern Russia whose people are at the mercy of implacable forces, a place where the ordinary need for survival has mutated into an unending aspirational demand for status, money, freedom to find an advantageous second marriage which brings a nice apartment, sex, luxury and the social media prerogative of selfies and self-affirmation, all of it overseen by intensely conservative social norms of Christianity, conformism and nationalism.
Zhenya and Boris are going through the awful final stages of a failed marriage. Already embarking on new lives, each with a new partner, they are impatient to start again even if it means threatening to abandon their 12-year-old son Alyosha. Until, after witnessing one of their fights, Alyosha disappears.

thumbnail Phantom Thread (2017 USA)

Drama, Event, Genre , comments closed
September 30, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Vicky Krieps, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville
Genre: Drama
Duration: 130 mins

Set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril are at the centre of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. With his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey, and the women who keep his world running.

thumbnail Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017 USA)

Crime, Drama, Event , comments closed
September 23, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell
Genre: Drama, Crime
Duration: 115 mins

This third film written and directed by profane poet Martin McDonagh is a rough meditation on the true nature of loss, grief and vengeance. Yet it’s not the simple tale you presume it to be at heart: that of a mother’s most primal pain and her redemptive path away from it. It dwells and squats in the ugly pain, the very fire of the grief, muddying preconceptions and presumptions beyond recognition, while still speaking to both small realities and profound truths. This is McDonagh at his most complex, painting entirely in greys as he surveys the cruelties born from barely buried hurts.

thumbnail After the Storm (2016 Japan)

Drama, Event, Genre , comments closed
September 16, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Starring: Hiroshi Abe, Yôko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi
Genre: Drama
Duration: 117 mins

Ryota won a prestigious award for his first novel, but his muse seems to have deserted him. He works for a private detective agency but to save face tells others it’s a temporary stint to research his next novel (which hasn’t materialized for 15 years). His wife, Kyoko, has left him, presumably due to his gambling addiction, and she threatens not to let him see their young son Shingo unless he pays child support. After the death of his father, his aging mother and beautiful ex-wife seem to be moving on with their lives. Renewing contact with his initially distrusting family, Ryota struggles to take back control of his existence and to find a lasting place in the life of his young son – until a stormy summer night offers them a chance to truly bond again.

thumbnail The Party (2017 UK)

Black comedy, Event, Genre , comments closed
September 9, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: Sally Potter
Starring: Timothy Spall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson
Genre: Black comedy
Duration: 71 mins

Writer-director Sally Potter’s riotous tragicomedy is both a ghastly social function at which bourgeois lives unravel and the unnamed political opposition party through whose ranks Kristin Scott Thomas’s brittle anti-heroine Janet ascends. She’s the newly appointed shadow health minister, a careerist idealist who believes in ‘truth and reconciliation’ rather than shouting, punching and biting. Yet during the course of a single calamitous soiree, her right-thinking, left-leaning comrades will turn on themselves and one another in an increasingly farcical feeding frenzy. Indeed, when we first meet Janet, she’s pointing a gun at the camera, a harbinger of what’s to come in Potter’s short, sharp satire of love, politics and burnt vol-au-vents.

thumbnail Shape of Water (2017 USA)

Event, Fantasy, Genre, Romance , comments closed
September 2, 2018
7:30 pm
7:30 pm

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Duration: 120 mins

In Guillermo del Toro’s new cold war-era film, Elisa, the cleaner at a shady Baltimore laboratory, swabs out the toilets alongside the hard-bitten Zelda. “Some of the best minds in the country,” sniffs Zelda disapprovingly, “and they still pee all over the floor in here.” Elisa is mute, unable to speak since she was a child. One morning a big metal tank is wheeled into the basement. It contains an exotic amphibian recently fished from a South American river. The creature is dangerous – it devours cats and human fingers. But Elisa is entranced and takes to stealing downstairs whenever she has time to spare, placing hard-boiled eggs on the rim of the tank and waiting for the beast to come and eat his lunch.
The Shape of Water isn’t simply a romance, but a B-movie thriller as well – which naturally means the clandestine meetings can’t last.

thumbnail Foxtrot (2017 Israel)

Drama, Event, Genre , comments closed
August 26, 2018
7:30 pm

Director: Samuel Maoz
Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonaton Shiray
Genre: Drama
Duration: 114 mins
Rated R

Samuel Maoz’s Israeli drama on the complexities of war is wilfully confusing, emotionally chaotic, and occasionally anarchic. Not content to merely confront the unspeakable grief of parents who lose a child, Maoz uses the film’s tripartite structure to encompass a devastating litany of Israeli attributes that run the gamut from machismo to racism to a past subverted by the Holocaust and then back again to grief. Each of the three parts is stylistically and tonally distinct. The first throws you into a hothouse intensity that’s wrenching to watch; the second has a hyper realistic, comical surrealism recalling the sharply composed tableaux of Israeli photographer Adi Nes; while the third feels as if Maoz doesn’t quite know how to end things. By the final frames, however, that last impression is laid to rest with a quiet and devastating sense of cruel futility.