May season on sale now
For May we will be screening more of the best new releases, including the comic biopic Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep, and John Le Carré spy thriller My Kind of Traitor. The cinema’s Under the Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films, including the pick of world cinema such as the moving Hungarian drama Son of Saul and Belgian satire The Brand New Testament. A diverse selection of classic movies includes some great British comedies, a Studio Ghibli retrospective and a special dementia-friendly screening of Singin’ in the Rain. May’s event cinema features American dance company Alvin Ailey and Met Opera Live, plus the Filmhouse’s annual Eurovision Song Contest celebration.
One of the highlights of the cinema’s selection of top independent films from around the world is Hungarian film, Son of Saul. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Feature, this unflinching drama follows an Auschwitz inmate trying to give a boy a proper burial. Dheepan, a drama by French director Jacques Audiard, was awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes and sees a Tamil warrior and his surrogate family flee to France after the Sri Lankan civil war. Filmed in one take, German heist film Victoria, winner of the Silver Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival, tells the story of a Spanish woman in Berlin who becomes involved in a robbery, after meeting four guys outside a nightclub. In whimsical comedy The Brand New Testament, God’s daughter, living in present day Brussels with her father, decides to follow in her older brother’s footsteps by gathering her own apostles and writing her own testament. Shown in association with Q-Film, entertaining Eurovision celebration Cupcakes sees a group of friends in Tel Aviv spontaneously record their own song for ‘Universong’, only to have it unexpectedly chosen as the official Israeli entry. Starring Douglas Henshall and Ruth Negga, Iona is the second feature from Scottish filmmaker Scott Graham, following a woman and her son as they retreat to the remote Scottish holy island where she was born, seeking refuge from a violent crime. The University of Northampton’s Cult Film Club presents the regional premiere of Malady, the bold and dreamlike debut feature of Northampton filmmaker Jack James, who will be at the Filmhouse for a post-show Q&A.
The latest big releases include Stephen Frears’ biographical comedy Florence Foster Jenkins. The film stars Meryl Streep as the legendary New York socialite who dreams of being an opera singer despite her terrible singing voice, with Hugh Grant as her manager who tries to protect her from the truth. In British spy thriller Our Kind of Traitor, adapted from John le Carré’s novel, Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris play an ordinary couple who become embroiled in a Russian money launderer’s plans to defect. Set in Cold War Moscow, Despite the Falling Snow sees a female spy, played by Rebecca Ferguson, take on her biggest assignment stealing secrets from a rising government star, only to fall in love with him. War thriller Eye in the Sky stars Helen Mirren as the commander of a drone operation whose mission escalates when a young girl enters the kill zone. The film also features Alan Rickman in his final film role. Boulevard stars Robin Williams in his last onscreen role, playing a married man in his sixties who finally decides to be true to himself after forming a friendship with a young hustler. In Demolition Jake Gyllenhaal plays an investment banker who, struggling after losing his wife, forms an unlikely connection when his letters catch the attention of a vending machine customer services rep (Naomi Watts). Don Cheadle directs and stars in Miles Ahead, an exploration of the life and music of jazz musician Miles Davis. Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi drama Midnight Special sees a father and son go on the run upon discovering that the boy possesses mysterious powers.
For younger audiences, Disney’s acclaimed new animation Zootropolis sees a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox forced to work together to uncover a conspiracy. Disney also brings Rudyard Kipling’s beloved story The Jungle Book back to the big screen in a brand new version using live action and CGI, featuring the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba and Scarlett Johansson. Families can take advantage of a special Family Ticket Offer of one adult and one child ticket for just £11 for screenings of Zootropolis and The Jungle Book.
There will also be further chances to see some recent audience favourites, including the futuristic film High-Rise starring Tom Hiddleston, the feel-good comedy Eddie the Eagle about the true story of the unlikely British sky jumper, Steven Spielberg’s cold war drama Bridge of Spies, the Coen Brothers’ star-studded comedy mystery, Hail, Caesar!, set in 1950s Hollywood, and the new big screen version of Dad’s Army.
A diverse programme of classic movies includes the start of a three month Studio Ghibli Retrospective, showing 12 animated films from the visionary Japanese studio, from its humble beginnings in 1984 up to its pause in production on the retirement of director Hayao Miyasaki in 2014. Films scheduled for May are Nausciaä of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies and Kiki’s Delivery Service. All are shown in Japanese with English subtitles, and a discounted season ticket will be available for anyone booking all 12 films. Full details are available on the cinema’s website.
Other classics for May include Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner – The Final Cut, starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, in what will be one of the last chances to see the 1982 sci-fi thriller on the big screen for some time. Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 movie Ran, a masterly Japanese reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, won awards including the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and is now shown in a stunning restoration. In Nicholas Ray’s 1954 Western, Johnny Guitar, Joan Crawford plays a strong-willed saloon owner who is wrongly suspected of murder and robbery.
A selection of great British comedies starts with the Oscar-nominated 1955 film, The Ladykillers, starring Alec Guinness as the criminal mastermind of a gang of eccentric thieves posing as a string quartet. The Smallest Show on Earth features Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna as a middle-class couple who inherit a decrepit cinema, along with the venue’s ancient employees, played by Peter Sellers and Margaret Rutherford. Rutherford also stars in the 1950 comedy, Happiest Days of Your Life, along with Alastair Sim, as heads of two rival schools who endure chaos when the London girls school is billeted with the boys school in the country after evacuation from the Blitz.
During Dementia Awareness Week, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse will be offering a special dementia-friendly screening of the 1952 musical comedy Singin’ in the Rain. The event offers people living with dementia and their carers the chance to enjoy a classic film in a relaxed and supportive environment.
May’s film programme also includes some fascinating documentaries, such as Patricio Guzmán’s award-winning feature The Pearl Button, which explores Chile’s troubled history usual archival images and gorgeous new footage (in Spanish with subtitles). In The Last Man on the Moon, Apollo astronaut Eugene Cernan shares his epic but deeply personal story, forty years after he stepped off the moon.
As part of the popular programme of live screenings and event cinema, Met Opera Live broadcast their production of Richard Strauss’ opera Elektra live from New York, telling the story of the late King Agamemnon’s daughter as she seeks revenge for his murder. NT Live offers another chance to see the Young Vic’s 2014 Olivier Award-winning production of Arthur Miller’s tragic masterpiece, A View from the Bridge, with a repeat screening of its original live broadcast. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Mixed Programme presents an iconic tour-de-force of American dance, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, drawing on African-American spirituals, song-sermons and holy blues, recorded in New York in 2015. From Exhibition on Screen comes Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, taking viewers on journey down the years, showing how Monet’s example led other artists to be inspired by their gardens. The Errol Flynn Filmhouse’s annual Eurovision Song Contest celebration returns, with an evening of fun, fancy dress and euro-snacks, accompanying a screening of the final live from Stockholm.