The Deep Blue Sea
Director Terence Davies/Great Britain 2011/
Cast includes: Rachel Weisz, Simon Russell Beale, Tom Hiddleston
Following his poetic screen homage to Liverpool, Of Time and the City, iconic British director Terence Davies returns to fiction filmmaking with a visually impressive adaptation of Rattigan’s 1952 play. The enthralling story follows dazzling socialite Hester who abandons her privileged life as the wife of a high court judge to embark on a passionate love affair with her secret lover, a dashing young pilot, and in the process gives up an unhappy life of comfort and convention.
Dir Jeff Nichols/US 2011/121 mins (15)
Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon,
Jeff Nichols’ follow up to Shotgun Stories is an atmospheric portrait of a father’s struggle to combat the schizophrenia that has taken over his mother’s life. Curtis LaForche is a down-to-earth family man whose life starts to unravel when he experiences terrifying visions and waking nightmares that predict apocalyptic destruction. Michael Shannon is excellent in the central role, and Jessica Chastain is luminous as the wife who lovingly supports her husband as he sinks the family deeper and deeper into debt in a bid to construct a shelter that will weather all manner of storms.
From Fri 2 Dec: Las Acacias
Director Pablo Giorgelli/Argentina, Spain 2011/85 minutes/Spanish with English Subtitles.
Cast includes: Germán de Silva, Hebe Duarte
Ruben is a truck driver who seems suited to his lonely day-to-day life transporting lumber from Paraguay to Argentina. On one of his regular trips to Buenos Aires, he agrees to accept a passenger in exchange for a little extra cash. When Jacinta brings along her baby daughter, Ruben struggles to hide his annoyance, and the trio must embark on their lengthy journey.
From Fri 2 Dec: We Have a Pope
Director: Nanni Moretti/ Italy, France, 2011/104 minutes/Italian with English Subtitles
Cast includes: Michel Piccoli, Nanni Moretti, Renato Scarpa, Jerzy Stuhr
Italian director Nanni Moretti follows up his 2006 film The Caiman with a gentle satire set in the Vatican. Veteran French actor Michel Piccoli plays the newly elected pontiff whose attack of nerves leaves him unable and unwilling to take up his new post. The reluctant Pope is tended by a renowned psychiatrist (played by Moretti himself) as his anxious cardinals await news from the Vatican.
From Fri 16 Dec: Mysteries of Lisbon
Dir Raoul Ruiz/PT FR 2010/272 mins/Portuguese with English Subtitles
Cast includes: Adriano Luz, Maria João Bastos, Ricardo Pereira, Clotilde Hesme
Set in the 19th century, this majestically paced adaptation of the eponymous Portuguese novel (by Camilo Castelo Branco) details the travails of a jealous countess, a wealthy businessman and a young boy as they tour through Portugal, France, Italy and Brazil, encountering a series of mysterious characters. An epic, masterful and enigmatic swansong from one of cinema’s most lyrical filmmakers, this is a truly elegiac meditation on love lost and rediscovered through intertwined narratives and memory.
From Fri 16 Dec: Dreams of a Life
Dir Carol Morley/GB IE 2011/90 mins (CTBA)
Cast includes: Zawe Ashton, Alix Luka-Cain
One of the buzz films at this year’s BFI London Film Festival has been Dreams of a Life, the hotly anticipated docu-drama from British filmmaker Carol Morley. Nobody noticed when Joyce Vincent died in her bedsit above a shopping mall in North London, 2003. Her body wasn’t discovered for three years, surrounded by half-wrapped Christmas presents and with the TV still on. Interweaving interviews with imagined scenes from Joyce’s life, Dreams of a Life is an imaginative, powerful, multilayered quest, and is not only a portrait of Joyce but a portrait of London - the City, music, and race. It's a film about urban lives, contemporary life, and how, like Joyce, we are all different things to different people.
From Sat 27 Dec: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Director David Fincher/United states, Sweden, Great Britain Denmark. 2011/
Cast includes: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer
David Fincher (The Social Network and Fight Club) puts his directorial stamp on this English language adaptation of Stieg Larrson’s bestselling novel. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is aided in his search to for a woman who has been missing for forty years by a young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).
Jack Goes Boating
Director Philip Seymour Hoffman/US 2010/91 minutes (certificate 15)
Cast includes: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega
The highly anticipated directorial debut from Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Goes Boating is an offbeat comedy about romance, friendship and betrayal set against the backdrop of workingclass New York City. As well as proving his directing credentials, Hoffman also stars as the titular Jack, a chauffeur obsessed with reggae who is unlucky in love. With a bit of matchmaking assistance from his mate Clyde, Jack meets Connie and together they take small steps to love.
Wed 7 Dec, 18:10: Hawi (The Juggler)
Dir Ibrahim El Batout/EG 2010/111 mins (CTBA)
From the director of the award-winning film Ein Shams (Eye of the Sun, 2008) comes El Batout’s most recent film Hawi (Juggler – Throwing things up and hoping they won’t fall!), winner of the Best Arab Film Award at the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Through the alleys of Alexandria, Ibrahim El Batout interweaves the story of one of the oldest cities in history with the personal journeys of various deeplyrooted and captivating characters. Inspired by an underground song entitled “Hawi”, Batout successfully portrays his characters’ everyday reality and their struggle to survive. These struggles, ironically, culminate in hope and the renewal of life.
Fri 9 Dec, 18:20: Steve McQueen: Shame (18) (£10.50 full/£8.50 concessions)
Shame is the highly-anticipated and stunning second feature from BAFTA-winning artist-turned-director Steve McQueen. McQueen’s critically-acclaimed début Hunger (2008) followed the last painful months of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. In his latest feature McQueen once again produces a visceral and courageous portrait of a man on the edge, which examines the extremes of human behaviour. Filmed on location in New York, Michael Fassbender gives a strong, confident performance as Brandon – a 30- something man living comfortably in the city balancing a busy job and active social life which revolves around his impulsive sexual encounters. When his wayward sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) turns up at his apartment unannounced, Brandon’s carefully managed but addictive lifestyle spirals out of control. Shame is a truly compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us. A must-see for the forthcoming awards season. With thanks to Momentum Pictures. This event forms part of BAFTA’s UK-wide learning and events programme, giving audiences across the country access behind the screens of the film, TV and video games industries. For more information visit www.bafta.org
Sun 11 Dec, 18:00: Inni
Dir Vincent Morisset/IS GB CA 2011/81 mins/English, Icelandic with partial English Subtitles (certificate U)
Inni, the second live film from Icelandic icons Sigur Rós, focuses purely on the band's performances, interspersing shots of their gigs with archival footage and interviews exploring the full scope of their origins, evolution, and influence. Originally filmed at London’s Alexandra Palace in HD digital, the film was first transferred to 16mm then projected and re-filmed to give a strong impressionistic look. Spare and nearmonochromatic in its tunnel vision, Inni was directed by Vincent Morrisset (director of Arcade Fire’s Mirror Noir) and is meticulously pieced together by Nick Fenton (editor of Sigur Rós’ 2007 documentary, Heima), providing an intimate perspective on how it feels for both band and fan to experience Sigur Rós live. This one-off screening is a must see for fans of the band and promises to be truly spectacular on the big screen.
Wed 14 Dec, 18:10: Sarah Palin: You Betcha! (£7.50 full/£5.50 concs)
Dirs Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill/GB 2011/90 mins (CTBA)
Directors Broomfield and Churchill travel to Alaska in pursuit of the elusive Sarah Palin, for a decidedly unauthorised perspective on this growing force in American politics. Through interviews with her friends, family, former aides and supporters – many of whom feel they were abandoned as Palin’s political career began to soar – Broomfield admits to being briefly charmed by her. However, what surfaces is an unsettling portrait of an opportunist whose political days were ultimately numbered. A witty, insightful and razor-sharp biographical exposé from one of the documentary genre’s most vital auteurs.