We are pleased to announce a very special series of shows which we are presenting this autumn with the support of BFI Neighbourhood. The BFI Neighbourhood scheme has been established to facilitate access to British, independent and foreign language films.
Many of these get widespread Press coverage but only get shown in the major centres. Some are well known – for example Mr Holmes, released to celebrate 25 years of production by BBC films, and 45 Years, which has garnered rave reviews. Also representing the UK are Alan Rickman’s directing début A Little Chaos, John Boorman’s return to English history with Queen and Country, and x+y, a beautiful understated story about an autistic young man who is a mathematical genius. To complete this strand we have four unusual features which have proved immensely popular with audiences who have seen them so far: Dark Horse, a lovely documentary about a depressed mining community who clubbed together to buy a racehorse; London Road, Rufus Norris’s film of the groundbreaking NT musical; Amy, Asif Kapadia’s acclaimed documentary about Amy Winehouse; and The Falling, an atmospheric drama set in the emotionally-charged world of an English girls’ school in the 60s.
Amy and Dark Horse are not the only documentaries in the season. We shall also be showing Wim Wenders’s stunning The Salt of the Earth about the life and work of the photographer Sebastião Salgado, and veteran director Frederick Wiseman’s epic study National Gallery.
The other strand in our season offers you the best of world cinema – everything from comedy to superb drama – from the depths of the ocean to sub-Saharan Africa. Comedy is represented in great Hitchcockian style by François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend, Gemma Bovery, French director Anne Fontaine’s film of Posy Simmonds’s graphic novel, and the Almodóvar-produced Argentinian satire Wild Tales. White God and Marshland (which swept the Board of winners at last year’s Spanish Goyas) and Force Majeure are three dramas from entirely different perspectives of the genre. The Forgotten Kingdom follows a young South African as he leaves the slums of the big city to return to his rural homeland. Song of the Sea is a ravishing Irish animation based on Celtic folklore. And perhaps most important and memorable, there is Timbuktu, which shows us the famous city and its people overrun by Islamic militants. This is a film everyone should see, showing us people behaving with courage and dignity in the face of oppression. It is also a textbook example of how to put beauty on the screen.
It’s a great season of films and even if you have to travel a little to see them in one of our community cinemas, the trip will be well worth while. If you cannot, catch up with them on DVD (though of course that experience cannot match the splendour of the big screen), or better still encourage your local Moviola organisers to get involved in Cinematheque when it comes around again after Christmas.