January films on sale
With films now on sale for January, we continue to present the best new releases, including the romantic musical La La Land, the moving drama Manchester By The Sea and Star Wars spin-off Rogue One. Our Under the Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films from around the world, including Belgian-French thriller The Unknown Girl, and also a fascinating selection of music documentaries. As part of the Screen Anime festival the cinema will be screening a trio of the top Japanese films. The classics programme includes Sunset Boulevard and The Purple Rose Of Cairo, and special events include more live and encore screenings of theatre, music and dance from around the world, with performances by the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and Bolshoi Ballet.
One of the highlights of the cinema’s selection of top independent movies is the new French drama from the Dardenne Brothers, The Unknown Girl, in which a young doctor’s guilt over the death of a girl she failed to help inspires her to turn detective. Shown in association with Q-Film, The Pass stars Russell Tovey (The History Boys, Being Human) reprising his role in an absorbing adaptation of John Donnelly’s play. A football player’s clandestine kiss with a team-mate ten years earlier continues to echo through both their lives in a sporting world where image is everything. Documentary The Music Of Strangers tells the extraordinary story of the renowned international musical collective created by the legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and Eat That Question provides an intimate encounter with the iconoclastic composer and musician Frank Zappa, using rare archival footage to reveal the provocative 20th century musical genius.
The latest big releases coming up at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse include the romantic musical La La Land, which has been nominated for seven Golden Globe awards. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), the film tells the story of an aspiring actress and a jazz musician who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Felicity Jones stars in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the eagerly-awaited spin off from the popular franchise, in which a group of unlikely heroes embark on a dangerous mission to steal the plans to a powerful weapon. Felicity Jones also features in the visually spectacular drama, A Monster Calls, which sees a young boy dealing with his mother’s illness and bullying classmates, who finds an unlikely ally when a monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) appears at his window. Casey Affleck stars in the affecting movie Manchester By The Sea (nominated for five Golden Globes), as a man whose life is ruptured when the death of his brother forces him to return to the hometown he abandoned years before. Collateral Beauty tells the tale of a successful New York advertising executive (played by Will Smith) experiencing a deep personal tragedy and retreating from life entirely, whose colleagues devise a drastic plan to force him to confront his grief. The ensemble cast includes Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton and Keira Knightley. Based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Ewan McGregor directs and stars in American Pastoral, following an American family across several decades, as their idyllic existence is shattered by social and political turmoil. Oliver Stone’s thriller, Snowden, takes a look at one of the most polarising figures of the 21st century, Edward Snowden (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities and became one of the world’s most wanted men. There is also another chance to see Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender in the heart-breaking drama, The Light Between Oceans, about a couple who take a baby as their own when she washes up on the shore of their remote lighthouse home.
As part of the Screen Anime festival, over the next three months the Errol Flynn Filmhouse will be screening a selection of films showcasing some of the best contemporary and classic anime. Screened in Japanese with English subtitles, acclaimed auteur Makoto Shinkai’s new film, the beautiful body swap drama Your Name, follows two high school kids who have never met, who keep waking up in each other’s bodies. A decade in the making, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side Of Dimensions sees anime’s most beloved characters make their long-awaited return, with new designs and an all-new story from the original creator of the global phenomenon, Kazuki Takahashi, and will be shown dubbed into English. The season also includes the 1995 award-winning cyber thriller Ghost In The Shell, one of the best-selling Japanese animation films of all time, which tells the tale of a female cyborg cop hunting down a mysterious computer hacker (shown with subtitles).
To coincide with the release of La La Land, the classic programme includes two films that explore obsessions with stardom and the world of movies. Billy Wilder’s 1950 Oscar-winning satire Sunset Boulevard sees a struggling young screenwriter drawn into the fantasy world of an ageing silent film star, who dreams of making her big screen comeback. Set in the 1930s, Woody Allen’s unique comic fantasy The Purple Rose of Cairo, from 1985, follows a bored waitress (Mia Farrow) who is surprised when the main character of the film she is re-watching steps off the screen and asks her to show him around.
Other classics include The University of Northampton’s Cult Film Club screening of John Arnold’s 1954 monster horror, Creature From The Black Lagoon, shown in 3D, following a group of scientists who discover a prehistoric beast in the Amazon and try to bring it back to civilisation to study. There is also a chance to see Danny Boyle’s 1996 classic Trainspotting, starring Ewan McGregor, in advance of the sequel reaching cinemas.
The next Dementia-Friendly screening will be the well-loved 1955 musical Guys And Dolls, starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. These screenings are open to all, but the cinema extends an especially warm welcome to those living with dementia, their carers and their families.
As part of the popular programme of live broadcasts, Met Opera Live presents Verdi’s stirring drama Nabucco, about the fall of ancient Jerusalem, and Gounod’s lush Shakespeare adaptation Romeo et Juliette, both screened live from New York. The RSC Live screening of The Tempest, starring Simon Russell Beale, is already sold out but an encore screening is scheduled for later in the month. Peter Schaffer’s iconic play Amadeus will be broadcast live from London’s National Theatre, starring Lucian Msamati as Salieri, and there will be another chance to see the NT Live screening of Harold Pinter’s comic classic No Man’s Land, starring Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart, which was recorded live at Wyndham’s Theatre, London. Bolshoi Live brings a screening of the resplendent and magical classic ballet, The Sleeping Beauty, broadcast live from Moscow by the Bolshoi Ballet.