March season now on sale
With the awards season well underway, twe have another exciting selection of films lined up for March, including a second chance to see some of the recent award-winners and nominees. We will be showing the best of the current mainstream releases, including the latest offering from the Coen Brothers, Hail, Caesar! and Bryan Cranston’s Oscar-nominated performance in Trumbo. Our Under The Radar series continues to present brilliant independent films, along with a feature-length selection of BAFTA Shorts and a fascinating selection of documentaries, such as Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision of Paradise. Classics include a short season of films by and about the great Alfred Hitchcock and event cinema includes the award-winning production of The Railway Children, filmed at the National Railway Museum, and screenings from Met Opera Live and NT Live.
One of the highlights of the Under The Radar selection is the BAFTA Shorts, a chance to see a selection of the live-action and animated films nominated at the EE British Academy Film Awards, celebrating a new crop of talented UK filmmakers. Other highlights include the drama Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore as a decorated New Jersey police detective, who is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her to pension to her domestic partner, played by Ellen Page. This moving struggle for equality is shown in association with Q-Film. The movie Chronic sees Tim Roth play a dedicated nurse working with terminally ill patients who struggles privately with his own ongoing burden of guilt and remorse. Winner of the 2015 Cannes Best Screenplay, this is an enigmatic and deeply moving character study from Mexican auteur Michel Franco (After Lucia).
Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision of Paradise is a fascinating documentary filmed over 15 years, by director Volker Schaner who gained unprecedented access to the man who can lay claim to being the godfather of both reggae and dub music. In Janis: Little Girl Blue, director Amy Berg examines singer Janis Joplin’s story in depth, giving an intimate and insightful portrait of a complicated, often beleaguered artist who died aged 27 in 1971.
The latest big releases include the Coen Brothers’ comedy mystery, Hail, Caesar!, set in 1950s Hollywood and following a day in the life of a studio ‘fixer’, played by Josh Brolin, trying to locate a kidnapped actor (George Clooney). The star-studded cast also includes Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johannson, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum. With Bryan Cranston giving an acclaimed performance in the title role, Trumbo tells the story of celebrated screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who in 1947 was jailed and blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee. In Quentin Tarantino’s mystery Western The Hateful Eight, a group of stranded strangers, including bounty hunters Samuel L Jackson and Kurt Russell, realise that some of them may not reach their destination or even survive the night. The cast also includes Jennifer Jason Leigh (in an Oscar-nominated performance), Tim Roth and Channing Tatum. Kurt Russell also stars in horror Western Bone Tomahawk as a sheriff leading a team of gunslingers on a mission to rescue three people from a savage group of cannibalistic cave dwellers. A new chapter in the Rocky story is explored in Creed, starring Michael B Jordan as the son of boxer Apollo Creed, who reaches out to retired champ Rocky Balboa to help him train. Sylvester Stallone’s return to his iconic role has earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. In the powerful and haunting thriller Secret in Their Eyes, a close-knit team of FBI investigators, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, is torn apart when one of their own teenage daughters is brutally murdered.
With the awards season in full flow, there are also further chances to catch up with some of the films that have earned nominations and awards, plus other audience favourites. Based on true events, The Big Short follows a group of men who anticipated the housing and credit bubble collapse and decided to profit from the big banks. Nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director, the film has already won the BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Revenant has already scooped Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for Best Picture, and for Leonardo DiCaprio as Best Actor and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu as Best Director. DiCaprio plays frontiersman Hugo Glass, who in 1823 was brutally attsacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. The film is also nominated for twelve Oscars. Steven Spielberg’s drama Bridge of Spies (nominated for six Oscars), starring Tom Hanks as a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the centre of the Cold War, has already won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for Mark Rylance (from nine BAFTA nominations overall). There are also more screenings of biographical drama The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, the new screen version of Dad’s Army, starring Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Toby Jones, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon, and The Lady in the Van featuring Alex Jennings as the playwright Alan Bennett and Maggie Smith as the transient woman, Miss Shepherd, living on his driveway in her battered van.
March’s programme of classics includes a celebration of the work of the great British director Alfred Hitchcock, with screenings of three of his great thrillers and an insightful documentary. Despite initial dismissal, the 1958 thriller Vertigo is regularly voted the greatest film of all time and stars James Stewart as an acrophobic detective who investigates the strange behaviour of a friend’s wife while becoming increasingly obsessed by her. 1959 spy adventure North by Northwest sees Cary Grant play a hapless New York advertising executive who is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies. In the suspenseful 1954 mystery Rear Window, James Stewart plays a photographer confined to his apartment by a broken leg who becomes convinced that one of his neighbours has committed murder. In the documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut, director Kent Jones interviews filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Richard Linklater, who have been influenced the seminal book of the same name, produced by Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut in 1962.
Other classics include Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 movie Spartacus, with screenplay by Dalton Trumbo (complementing the screening of the new movie about the writer). Winner of four Academy Awards, the film stars Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov and Tony Curtis alongside Kirk Douglas as the eponymous leader of a slave revolt in ancient Roman times. The Cult Film Club screening for March, in association with The University of Northampton, is the 1979 action thriller The Warriors, following a street gang in New York falsely accused of the murder of a respected gang leader. Ideal for Easter school holiday audiences, the animated family classic The Iron Giant, originally released in 1999, has been remastered with additional scenes. Based on the novel by Ted Hughes, the story follows young Hogarth as he befriends a giant robot and tries to protect him from a government investigator. Family audiences can take advantage of a special half-term offer of one adult and one child ticket for just £11 for screenings of The Iron Giant.
As part of the popular programme of live screenings and event cinema, Met Opera Live broadcasts Puccini’s obsessive love story Manon Lescaut, live from New York, starring soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Roberto Alagna. There will be a screening of York Theatre Royal’s Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of The Railway Children, filmed at the National Railway Museum and featuring the original locomotive from the much-loved 1970 film. NT Live brings a screening of Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen (recorded on 3 March), as it comes to the West End after a sell-out run at the Royal Court. Matthew Dunster’s award-winning production of this deeply funny play stars David Morrissey, Andy Nyman and Johnny Flynn. There will also be another chance to see the NT Live recording of the Donmar Warehouse production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Exhibition on Screen: Goya explores Spain’s celebrated artist Francisco Goya in a cinematic tour de force based on the National Gallery’s must see exhibition Goya: The Portraits.