May season now on sale
For May we continue to present the best new releases, including the fascinating true story, A Royal Night Out, and delightful period drama A Little Chaos. Our Under The Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films from around the world, including Stones for the Rampart based on popular Polish novel Kamienie Na Szaniec, and Swedish psychodrama Force Majeure. Classics include cult 1980s sci-fi movie Flash Gordon and there will be a chance to celebrate all things Eurovision at a special event to mark this year’s finals.
Among the pick of the latest big releases coming to the Errol Flynn Filmhouse is the comedy drama A Royal Night Out, from the director of Kinky Boots, based on the true story of when the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret ventured out to enjoy the VE Day celebrations incognito. Rupert Everett and Emily Watson play George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth. Alan Rickman directs period drama A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet as a talented landscape designer chosen to work at King Louis XIV’s new palace at Versailles. A sumptuous new adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel Far From the Madding Crowd stars Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby) as the beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene, with Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen and Tom Sturridge as her three very different suitors. In The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe directs and stars as a father who travels from his farm in Australia to find his three sons’ resting place, four years after the devastating battle of Gallipoli. Child 44, a thriller based on Tom Rob Smith’s novel, features Tom Hardy as a disgraced member of the military police who encounters a series of child murders and goes on the trail of the serial killer, in Stalin-era Soviet Russia. Comedy-romance The Last Five Years is adapted from the musical by Jason Robert Brown, in which a struggling actress and her novelist lover each illustrate their on-off love affair through song.
Just in time for half-term younger audiences can enjoy the new live action Cinderella movie, directed by Kenneth Branagh, with Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez are among the stars lending their voices to new animated adventure, Home, about a lonely alien who goes on an unlikely road trip with a little girl who is trying to find her mother. With the cinema’s special Family Ticket Offer one adult and one child can enjoy Cinderella or Home for just £11.
One of the highlights of the Under The Radar selection of independent films is new British drama The Falling, set in the 1960s and starring Maxine Peake in the story of a fainting epidemic that develops amongst a group of schoolgirls after a tragic accident. A strong New Zealand cast come together in The Dark Horse, the inspiring true story of a charismatic Maori chess player, who battles bipolar disorder to find purpose and hope by passing on his gift to children in his community. Among the best of new world cinema releases is Polish film Stones For The Rampart, based on the cult 1943 novel by Aleksander Kaminski, following three friends who become resistance fighters during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. From Sweden, Force Majeure is a wickedly funny psychodrama about the aftermath of an avalanche, which proved a sensation at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, winning a Jury Prize. Written and directed by Québécois prodigy Xavier Dolan, the acclaimed melodrama Mommy follows a widowed single mother who finds support from a mysterious neighbour, shown in association with Q-Film. French movie Samba, combines humour and heart in a touching drama about a bored senior executive, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, who meets Samba, a migrant who is fighting to stay in France, when she starts volunteering at an immigration centre. Serving as a prequel to his long-running German TV series Heimat (itself an inspiration for BBC’s The Village), Home from Home: Chronicle Of A Vision is a heart-wrenching drama from Edgar Reitz about a group of German families migrating to Brazil in the late 19th century.
Documentaries include the fascinating Indian film My Name is Salt profiling individuals and families who spend a few months of every year living in a saline desert mining salt, taking pride in producing the whitest salt in the world. In Argerich: Bloody Daughter, filmmaker Stephanie Argerich turns the camera on her parents, internationally respected pianists Martha Argerich and Stephen Kovacevich, revealing the passion and madness that affects both of them.
Among the event cinema for May is Exhibition on Screen: The Impressionists, a unique film which gained unparalleled access to a major new exhibition featuring masterpieces by Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, Pissarro and more, from the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris, London’s National Gallery and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There is a live screening of the National Theatre’s exhilarating reinvention of George Bernard Shaw’s provocative classic Man And Superman, starring Ralph Fiennes and directed by Simon Godwin, former Associate Director at Royal & Derngate and director of last year’s hugely successful production of Regeneration. Following on from last year’s success, a highlight of the month will be the cinema’s celebration of all things Eurovision, with a special screening of the final, live from Vienna, accompanied by an evening of fancy dress, flags and fun, hosted by BBC Radio Northampton’s Helen Blaby. NN Contemporary will also be hosting an exhibition and post-finals party.
May’s selection of classic films starts with Robert Siodmak’s 1948 noir thriller Cry Of The City, starring Victor Mature as a New York police detective reluctantly tracking down a wounded gangster and cop killer, who used to be a childhood friend. Marking 100 years since the birth of Orson Welles, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse is screening one of the greatest cinematic adaptations of Shakespeare, the 1965 movie Chimes at Midnight, starring Welles as Sir John Falstaff in a story drawing from five of the Bard’s plays. For May’s Cult Film Club screening, The University of Northampton presents the 1980 sci-fi adventure, Flash Gordon, featuring Max Von Sydow as the dastardly Ming the Merciless and an iconic soundtrack by Queen.
There is a further chance to see some audience favourites from recent months including the popular and colourful sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig, war-time romance Suite Francaise, set in Nazi-occupied France and starring Kristin Scott Thomas, and Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, Blade Runner: The Final Cut.