New July Season On Sale
Having celebrated our first birthday on 20 June, we start our second year with another bumper crop of films lined up for July. The season features the best of new releases including period drama Belle and the film adaptation of stage Jersey Boys, along with a great selection of world cinema including Cedric Klapisch’s Spanish Apartment trilogy, Fanny Ardant in Bright Days Ahead and Juliette Binoche in Camille Claudel 1915. Live broadcasts and special events include screenings from the National Theatre and Monty Python performing live at the O2, while a fascinating programme of documentaries and a great selection of family films completes the line up.
Among the high profile new releases being shown is the richly detailed historical drama Belle, inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral and directed by British director Amma Asante (A Way Of Life). Also based on real events, Devil’s Knot stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth in a retelling of the notorious West Memphis Three murders of 1993. There is another chance to see Colin Firth in Arthur And Mike, the tale of a man who fakes his death to escape his old life, only to have his plans disrupted by the arrival of the fragile but beautiful Mike (Emily Blunt) who is also trying to leave her past behind. In ‘80s-set thriller Cold In July, placid Michael C Hall (TV’s Dexter) becomes a local hero after killing a burglar, but has to team up with a private eye when the deceased’s father seeks vengeance. On a more light-hearted note, director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) returns to his indie comedy roots in Chef, in which he stars as a jaded LA chef who finds a new passion for cooking when he quits his job after a flame war with an online critic. Clint Eastwood directs an adaptation of the smash hit stage musical Jersey Boys, telling the tale of iconic 1960s pop quartet The Four Seasons, with Christopher Walken as the mobster trying to muscle in on the act’s success, while Leona Lewis makes her film debut in feel-good musical Walking On Sunshine, set to the greatest hits of the ‘80s.
The Under The Radar selection of brilliant new independent features includes some fine world cinema this month, starting with Camille Claudel 1915, the tragic tale of a celebrated French sculptress confined to an asylum by her family, starring Juliette Binoche and Bruno Dumont. In Bright Days Ahead, French icon Fanny Ardant gives a standout performance as a distinguished woman undergoing a mild late-life crisis – and enjoying every minute of it. From Greece, Miss Violence is Alexander Avranas’ gripping drama, that won him the Silver Lion for Best Director at Venice last year, focusing on an investigation about an 11 year old girl who leaps to her death with a smile on her face. Following the release of the final part of Cedric Klapisch’s Spanish Apartment Trilogy, there is a chance to see all three films, which can be viewed as a trilogy or enjoyed individually. In the first part, Pot Luck, young Xavier heads to Spain to study, while in Russian Dolls he struggles to make it as a writer after leaving college, and the final instalment, Chinese Puzzle, sees Xavier, now a novelist in China, head to New York to reunite with his ex and their children. Other highlights in the Under The Radar season include the poignant drama Concussion, about wealthy Abby (Robin Weigert) who starts a double life as a high-class lesbian call girl, after receiving a blow to the head.
Errol Flynn Filmhouse continues to bring film-goers the chance to enjoy some classic revivals with this month’s offering being Billy Wilder‘s hysterical 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot, which sees Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon hiding from the mobsters disguised as women in an all-female band, and befriending singer Sugar (Marilyn Monroe).
A fascinating selection of documentaries starts off with Senna, the gripping tale of one of Formula One’s greatest drivers, selected to mark the British Grand Prix weekend. Shown in association with Q-Film, The Man Whose Head Exploded explores the life of Drako Zarharzar, a former muse of Dali and model for Derek Jarman. Amnesia has robbed Drako of the ability to make new memories, causing him to live entirely in the present. I Am Divine is the definitive biographical portrait of Divine, the ‘Drag Queen of the Century’, featuring film clips, rare home movies and live performance footage. Telling the story of the fashion blog that became an international phenomenon, Advanced Style sees a group of New York ladies aged 60+ challenge conventional ideas about beauty and ageing.
Another wide-ranging selection of special events and live screenings includes the National Theatre production of David Hare‘s Skylight, staring Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy, shown as part of the NT Live series. There will also be the chance to see the Glyndebourne production of Mozart‘s opera Don Giovanni, recorded in 2010. The live broadcast of Monty Python Live (Mostly) from London’s O2 is already sold out, but there will be the opportunity to catch a repeat screening later in the month, as these comedy legends perform some of their greatest hits, with modern, topical, Pythonesque twists. Finally Film Northants presents Darkness Visible, a series of dark shorts from local film-makers, followed by a Q&A.
A clutch of the best new children’s films for the summer holidays includes X-Men: Days Of Future Past 3D, which sees the original X-Men (Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart et al) unite with the stars of First Class (James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender) to thwart an array of mutant-killing robots. The famous monster Godzilla is brought back to the big screen in thrilling 3D CGI, while Disney bring a new twist to Sleeping Beauty, in Maleficent, the tale of the unhappy fairy, played on top form by Angelina Jolie, who curses the young princess Aurora in an act of vengeance against the king. Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return sees a cracking cast lend their vocal talents to this animated adventure, with Dan Ackroyd, Kelsey Grammer and Jim Belushi voicing Scarecrow, Tim Man and Cowardly Lion. Postman Pat 3D sees Britain’s favourite postman (and his cat) make his big screen debut, as Pat (Stephen Mangan) enters a TV talent contest. The stellar cast includes David Tennant, Rupert Grint and Jim Broadbent, with Ronan Keating as Pat’s singing voice. For any of these family films, customers can enjoy a special Summer Holiday Ticket Offer of just £10 for one adult and one child.