June season now on sale
As we prepares to celebrate our second birthday in June, having welcomed over 45,000 people to its screenings in the last year, another great programme of films has been announced for the anniversary month ahead. The season features the best of big new releases including Mr Holmes, with Ian McKellen as the aging detective, while the cinema’s Under The Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films from around the world, including the gripping drama Clouds of Sils Maria and Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful documentary about Indonesian genocide, The Look of Silence. A fascinating programme of music documentaries includes a special preview of Amy, telling the incredible story of Amy Winehouse.
The second anniversary of our opening is marked by the EFFIE Award ceremony followed by an exclusive pre-release screening of Western thriller Slow West. Once again the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite films shown at the cinema during the course of the year, and the results will be revealed in a special ceremony on Saturday 20 June at 2pm, followed by the preview of Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender as a laconic gunslinger. Tickets are limited so early booking is recommended.
Among the pick of the latest big releases coming in June is Mr Holmes, starring Academy Award nominee Ian McKellen in a new twist on the Sherlock Holmes story set in 1947, which sees the sleuth revisit the unsolved case that forced him out of retirement. Queen and Country, featuring David Thewlis and Richard E Grant, is John Boorman’s hilarious follow-up to his 1987 autobiographical Oscar-nominated comedy Hope and Glory, set ten years later as Bill Rohan is drafted into the army to train for the Korean war. Sci-fi adventure Avengers: Age of Ultron sees the team of superheroes (including Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans) reassemble when an experiment in artificial intelligence threatens to destroy the Earth. With a cast including Harrison Ford and Ellen Burstyn, The Age of Adaline tells the tale of a woman born in the 1890s who stops ageing after a tragic accident. In an exciting event, the National Theatre’s film adaptation of their ground-breaking stage production London Road, about a series of murders of women in Ipswich, gets a premiere screening. Starring Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman and Anita Dobson, the film is followed by a live satellite Q&A with key cast and crew.
One of the highlights of the Under The Radar selection of independent films is Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance, an inspirational docudrama about a group of people in a Welsh village who form a syndicate to buy a racehorse. June’s Q-Film screening is a New York comedy, Appropriate Behaviour, about a young Iranian woman coming to terms with her sexuality while keeping it a secret from her strict family. Jon Stewart, from The Daily Show, makes his directorial debut with Rosewater, the true story of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari who was detained by Iranian forces under suspicion of being a spy. Another highlight is Clouds of Sils Maria, from French director Oliver Assayas, starring Juliette Binoche as a veteran actress who agrees to take part in a revival of the play that launched her career 20 years earlier, with Kristen Stewart playing her assistant, in a role that made her the first American actress to win a César Award.
There is also a choice selection of French language films including The New Girlfriend, a humorous psychological drama based on a short story by Ruth Rendell, in which a young woman pledges to take care of the family of her deceased friend, only to find the husband is hiding a secret. In award-winning drama Girlhood, a young girl changes her name and dress code, and quits school, to be accepted in a gang of free-spirited girls, hoping to find freedom herself. In a revisiting of William Friedkin’s classic from a European viewpoint, The Connection is a thrilling crime drama telling the story of a magistrate’s relentless crusade to dismantle the notorious drug smuggling operation, the French Connection.
From Germany, Phoenix is a masterful thriller following a disfigured Auschwitz survivor (Nina Hoss), unrecognisable after reconstructive surgery, as she searches post-war Berlin for the husband who may have betrayed her. In Blind, a twisting Norwegian thriller, a woman who has recently lost her sight retreats to her own internal world where the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred. Master Swedish director Roy Andersson takes up the theme of ‘being a human being’, in a meticulously crafted, dreamlike black comedy, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars and winner of Best Film at the César Awards, haunting French-Mauritanian drama Timbuktu is set in the early days of the jihadist takeover of Mali in 2012.
In English and Indonesian, The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to his Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing. Its screening on Sunday 14 June features a live satellite Q&A with the director, hosted by a special guest.
There is a wide selection of music films on offer this season, including Cobain: Montage of Heck, Brett Morgan’s documentary blending Kurt Cobain’s personal archive of art, written word, music and home movies, with animation and interviews. Documentary Lambert and Stamp reveals how the unlikely partnership between aspiring filmmakers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert produced one of the greatest rock bands in history, The Who, and Take That’s spectacular new show will be broadcast via satellite live from London’s O2 arena.
As our contribution to Northampton Music Festival, there is a whole day of music related films on Sunday 21 June, including a special preview screening, ahead of its general release, of Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy, about the six-time Grammy Award-winner Amy Winehouse. Profound documentary Heaven Adores You explores the life of songwriter and musician Elliott Smith, before his tragic death in 2003. The 1984 cult classic Purple Rain stars Prince as a young singer on the rise to stardom, and Disney favourite from 1940, Fantasia interprets iconic pieces of classical musical through delightful animations.
Complementing the screenings of Mr Holmes, June’s selection of classic films includes the 1979 mystery thriller Murder by Decree, starring Christopher Plummer as Sherlock Holmes attempting to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel murders. Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, there is a screening of iconic movie musical, The Sound of Music. Another classic musical, Singin’ in the Rain, will be screened in association with the University of Northampton, followed by an optional seminar on ‘The Hollywood Musical’. The 1935 horror movie Bride of Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, will also be accompanied by a university seminar, ‘Frankenstein: Mutation and Monsters’.
There is a further chance to see some audience favourites from recent months including the lavish new adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd, starring Carey Mulligan, Woman in Gold featuring Helen Mirren as a World War II survivor trying to recover artwork stolen by the Nazis, the hilarious collection of Spanish short stories about revenge, Wild Tales, and Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, Blade Runner: The Final Cut.