The Kid With a Bike (Le gamin au vélo)
Directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne/BE FR IT 2011/87 mins/French wEng ST/12A
Cast includes; Cécile de France, Thomas Doret, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Egon di Mateo
This unflinching piece of European realism marks the anticipated return of Belgian brothers and double Palme d’or winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Eleven-year-old Cyril has been abandoned by his father (played by Dardenne regular Jérémie Renier) and struggles to keep his pent-up anger under control. On one of his regular attempts to run away from his children’s home, the troubled youngster meets Samantha, a local hairdresser who quickly takes him under her wing. A truly compelling, emotionally acute film and worthy winner of the Grand Prix award at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Into The Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life
Director Werner Herzog/US 2011/107 mins/12A
The latest film from Werner Herzog continues the director’s forays into the documentary genre with his trademark auteur flair. Focusing on two prison inmates who were sentenced for a triple homicide over ten years ago, Herzog combines emotionally-charged interviews with period news and police footage, exploring how the murders affected both the victims and the perpetrators alike. A delicate piece that is sure to spark debate.
Le Havre (from Fri 6 Apr)
Director Aki Kaurismäki/FI FR DE 2011/93 mins/French wEng ST/PG
Cast includes; André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Blondin Miguel, Elina Salo, Jean-Pierre Léaud
Aki Kaurismäki, the Finnish master of deadpan, relocates to the French industrial port of Le Havre for this comedy drama. Playful yet tender, the film recounts the story of Marcel, a down-at-heel husband with an ad hoc shoeshine business and an ailing wife. Marcel risks all to rally his friends and neighbours to unite and help to protect a young African immigrant struggling to find his mother.
Headhunters (Hodejegerne) (from Fri 6 Apr)
Director Morten Tyldum/NO 2011/101 mins/Norwegian wEng ST/CBTA
Cast includes; Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Julie R. Ølgaard
This rollercoaster Norwegian thriller puts a wild spin on a high stakes game of cat-and-mouse. Stealing and selling artworks to fuel his wife’s lavish lifestyle, business man Roger Brown soon finds himself in over his head, dealing with a former mercenary determined to put a stop to his out-of-control thievery for good.
This Must Be the Place (from Fri 13 Apr)
Director Paulo Sorrentino/IT FR IE 2011/112 mins/15
Cast includes; Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Eve Hewson, Kerry Condon
Paulo Sorrentino follows up 2009’s Il Divo with a quirky and often hilarious English language film starring Sean Penn as Cheyenne, an aging rock star clinging onto the remnants of his wild past. When Cheyenne finds out that his father is dying back home in America, he sets off across the sea from his Irish home and is reunited with his observant Jewish family. This first leg of his journey begins an unusual chain of events that see him embarking on a road trip to find the concentration camp Nazi who targeted his father as a young man. Featuring music by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, This Must Be the Place is guaranteed to have audiences enthralled.
Elles (from Fri 20 Apr)
Director Małgorzata Szumowska/FR PL DE 2011/92 mins/French, Polish wEng ST/18
Cast includes; Juliette Binoche, Anaïs Demoustier, Joanna Kulig, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
Elles is a frank and often explicit film which puts female sexuality under the spotlight. Juliette Binoche stars as Anne, an Elle magazine journalist taking time out from writing fashion pieces to research an article on student prostitution. As Anne gets to know Lola and Alicja, the two subjects of her study, their forthright opinions and open attitude encourage Anne to reflect on her own privileged life.
From Fri 20 Apr
Director Kevin MacDonald/US GB 2012/145 mins/15
A stunning biographical documentary of legendary Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley from Oscar winning director Kevin Macdonald (Life In A Day and The Last King Of Scotland). In the making of Marley, Macdonald had unprecedented access to private archive material and the resulting film is an in-depth and enticing exploration of a musical icon. This film is set to enthral Bob Marley fans and gain him countless more admirers.
Director Alice Rohrwacher/IT CH FR 2011/Italian wEng ST/99 mins/U
Cast includes; Yle Vianello, Salvatore Cantalupo, Pasqualina Scuncia, Anita Caprioli, Renato Carpentieri
Corpo Celeste is the first feature film from Italian documentary filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher. This coming of age tale follows feisty thirteen-year-old Marta who has returned to the grey urban sprawl of Reggio Calabria with her family after they have spent ten years living in Switzerland. Marta is struggling to come to terms with her new, dour surroundings and in an effort to make friends with the local kids is sent to catechism classes, where she further explores her Catholic faith.
Bonsái (Bonsai: A Story of Love, Books and Plants)
Director Cristián Jiménez /CL FR 2011/96 mins/Spanish wEng ST/15
Cast includes; Diego Noguera, Natalia Galgani, Gabriela Arancibia, Trinidad González, Hugo Medina
Chilean director Cristián Jiménez’ second feature film Bonsái, is a melancholy-tinged love story that explores life, love and lies. Julio is an aspiring but ineffectual writer who hopes to work for respected author Gazmuri. When Julio bungles the job interview, he chooses not to tell his girlfriend of his failure, preferring instead to invent a fake novel in Gazmuri’s name, and in search of a plot, Julio turns to his own romantic past for inspiration.
Breathing (Atmen) (date tbc)
Director Karl Markovics/AT 2011/93 mins/German wEng ST/15
Cast includes; Thomas Schubert, Karin Lischka, Gerhard Liebmann, Georg Friedrich, Stefan Matousch
Tomas Schubert gives a quiet, understated performance as Roman – a teenager who takes a job in a morgue disposing of the recently deceased, while attempting to reconnect with his absent mother. A slowburning drama, Breathing features some stunningly bleak cinematography by Martin Gschlacht, and was Austria’s submission for Best Foreign Language film for this year’s Oscars.