August season on sale now
With more films going on sale for August and early September, we continue to present the best new releases, including British black comedy The Legend of Barney Thomson, and American thriller True Story, directed by Rupert Goold. The pick of new European cinema includes The Wonders, a captivating story of a beekeeping family in rural Italy. Building Jerusalem, looking at British Rugby under Sir Clive Woodward, heads up a fascinating selection of documentaries, while the classic film selection follows a dystopian theme. There are more live broadcasts to look forward to from the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company, and some great new family films for the school holidays.
A highlight of the great selection of new films from Europe is Italian movie The Wonders, a mesmerising drama about a family of beekeepers on a remote farm, who find their secluded lives disrupted by the arrival of a TV crew in their area, filming for a talent show. From Germany, the thrilling drama 13 Minutes, directed by the Oscar-nominated Oliver Hirschbiegel, tells the incredible true story of Georg Elser’s failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1939. Belgian thriller, The Treatment, is based on the best-selling novels of British crime writer Mo Hayder, and follows a police inspector investigating the disappearance of a young boy, who exposes an insidious criminal network that unnervingly has links to his own past. With a pulsating soundtrack including music from Daft Punk, French film Eden follows a young Parisian DJ over 20 years as he is caught up in the exploding world of dance music.
One of the highlights of the latest big releases coming to the Errol Flynn Filmhouse is Robert Carlyle’s directorial debut, The Legend of Barney Thomson, in which he stars as a diffident Glasgow barber, who gets mixed up in a murder investigation. This deliciously dark comedy also features Emma Thompson and Ray Winstone. The Choir sees a rebellious boy with an angelic voice sent to a prestigious choir school, after the death of his single mother, to have his talent nurtured by demanding teacher Dustin Hoffman – part of a stellar cast including Kathy Bates and Eddie Izzard. The tender drama Ruth & Alex stars Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton as a long-married couple, facing the challenges of moving away from the New York apartment they have shared for over 40 years. Jonah Hill and James Franco star in True Story, a drama based on true events, which sees a disgraced journalist form a bond with an accused murderer who has assumed his identity. This American thriller is the debut feature film of Rupert Goold, former Artistic Director of Northampton’s Royal & Derngate. In psychological sci-fi thriller Self/less, Ben Kingsley plays a wealthy dying man, who pays for an operation to transfer his consciousness into the body of a young man, but finds all is not as it seems. Jake Gyllenhaal stars in the powerful drama Southpaw, about a successful professional boxer whose life falls apart after a tragedy. Based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is a comedy drama set in 1970s San Francisco charting the coming of age adventures of Minnie, as she starts an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. There is more comedy in The Overnight, where a couple, feeling somewhat lost after moving with their son to Los Angeles, are invited to the home of some new friends and find the evening growing increasingly peculiar. Continuing the popular action movie series, and with a cast including Simon Pegg and Alec Baldwin, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation sees Tom Cruise return as Ethan Hunt to take on a network of highly skilled operatives called The Syndicate. Comedy sequel Magic Mike XXL sees ex-stripper Mike, played by Channing Tatum, hit the road with the remaining members of his crew the Kings of Tampa to put on one last blow-out performance.
There is also a great selection of films for families to enjoy during the Summer holidays, starting with Despicable Me spin-off, Minions, featuring the voices of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keagan and Steve Coogan. In Thomas & Friends – Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure, Eddie Redmayne, Olivia Colman and John Hurt lend their voices to an animated adventure about Britain’s favourite locomotive, Thomas the Tank Engine, hunting for lost pirate treasure. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, Song of the Sea is an enchanting Irish animation, featuring the voice of Brendan Gleeson, in which a young boy discovers that his mute sister is really a selkie and can turn into a seal. There will also be the chance to see the latest Disney-Pixar release Inside Out, a colourful family adventure about a young girl who is uprooted from her Midwest life to move to San Francisco. With the cinema’s special Summer Holiday Family Ticket Offer one adult and one child can enjoy any of these for family films for just £11.
August’s Q-Film screening is the classic French comedy La Cage Aux Folles, from 1979, which sees a young man bring his fiancée and her ultra-conservative parents to St Tropez to meet his parents – a nightclub owner and his drag queen partner. The film was nominated for three Oscars and won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film in 1980.
In the run up to Royal & Derngate’s stage production of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in September, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse is screening a selection of classic films with a dystopian theme, starting with Francois Truffaut’s 1966 feature Fahrenheit 451, based on Ray Bradbury’s novel about a fireman who begins to question his task of burning all literature. French movie Alphaville is Jean-Luc Goddard’s 1965 sci-fi noir, about an American private eye who arrives at a city on a distant planet and finds himself at odds with the city’s ruler. From 2003, futuristic thriller Code 46 stars Tim Robbins as an investigator who falls for a passport forger but finds their romance is doomed by their genetic incompatibility. Also to come in September are screenings of space age thriller Gattaca and the original Jurassic Park movie, shown in 3D.
A fascinating selection of documentaries starts with The Salt of the Earth, Wim Wenders’ film about the life and work of photographer Sebastiao Salgado. Then in Iris, 87 year old documentarian Albert Maysles is paired with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 97 year old maven who has been influential on the New York fashion scene for decades. Building Jerusalem is a thrilling documentary charting the dawn of modern rugby with Sir Clive Woodward at the helm, culminating in England’s glorious World Cup victory in 2003. Combining exciting match action with news and behind the scenes footage, the film is followed by a live satellite Q&A with Sir Clive Woodward, Jonny Wilkinson and Martin Johnson.
Live screenings include the National Theatre’s production of The Beaux’ Stratagem, George Farquhar’s wild tale of love and cash, directed by Simon Godwin, and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new production of Othello, starring Hugh Quarshie as the moor, alongside Lucian Msamati as Iago. There is also a repeat screening of the RSC’s The Merchant of Venice, recorded recently in Stratford upon Avon.
There is a further chance to see some audience favourites from recent months including Mr Holmes, starring Ian McKellen as the ageing detective in a new twist on the Sherlock Holmes story, Love & Mercy, the moving biopic about Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, and music documentary Amy, telling the incredible story Amy Winehouse.