New September season on sale
For September we continue to present the best new releases, such as Lasse Hallstrom‘s romantic tale The Hundred-Foot Journey,starring Helen Mirren, and the moving drama Lilting with Ben Whishaw. The cream of new world cinema coming to Northampton includes the Dardenne Brothers’ latest movie, Two Days, One Night, while classics range from 1930s German thriller M to John Waters’ 1981 black comedy Polyester, and documentaries include the fascinating Finding Vivian Maier. September also sees more live broadcasts and special events, the return of the Cult Film Club with Eyes Without A Face, and the Awards Ceremonies for the Film Northants Festival 2014.
One of the highlights of the Under The Radar selection of independent films is the touching debut feature from Hong Khaou, Lilting, shown in association with Q-Film. Starring Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) as a young gay man who forms an unlikely bond with his deceased lover’s Chinese Cambodian mother (Pei-Pei Cheng) despite their language barrier, the film boasts magnetic performances by its two leads. The provocative and occasionally explicit Welcome To New York, based on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair, stars Gerard Depardieu as a powerful, sex-crazed businessman. Robin Wright plays a version of herself in a futuristic Hollywood in The Congress, an innovative blend of live action and animation, where the actress is ‘sampled’ by film studio Miramount for unlimited future use.
Surrealist French romance Mood Indigo also strays into the realms of fantasy, with Amelie star Audrey Tatou as a woman plagued by a water lily growing in her lungs. The Dardenne Brothers’ new film Two Days, One Night stars Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) in the moving tale of a woman who has one weekend to persuade her colleagues to forgo their bonuses to save her job. Exploring themes of crime, class and family on an epic scale, Norte, End Of History is a careful rethinking of Dostoyevsky’s Crime And Punishment, set in the modern-day Philippines, while German film The Police Officer’s Wife, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Venice International Film Festival, studies the effects of domestic abuse on a young family. A brace of Scandinavian crime thrillers heads first to Denmark, with The Keeper Of Lost Causes, an atmospheric mystery where a chief detective and his assistant are dragged deep into the undercurrents of abuse and malice that lurk beneath the polished surface of Scandinavia, when they reopen the case of politician’s disappearance. In a slick black comedy from Norway, In Order Of Disappearance, Stellan Skarsgard plays a snow-plough driver who will stop at nothing for revenge, after his son is mistakenly killed by gangsters.
Continuing the cinema’s strand of top documentary features, Finding Vivian Maier is a fascinating look at the previously unknown nanny who has earned a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers. Dinosaur 13 depicts a team of palaeontologists who discover the largest T. Rex ever found, only to get mired in a ten-year custody battle with the US Government.
Among the pick of the latest big releases is the engagingly off-beat romantic drama The Hundred-Foot Journey, directed by Chocolat’s Lasse Hallestrom. Based on the book by Richard C Morais, the film tells the tale of Indian family who encounter trouble when they move to a picturesque French town and open an eatery – right across the road from Madam Mallory’s (Helen Mirren) Michelin-starred restaurant. In British thriller Keeping Rosy, Maxine Peake stars as a career-driven woman caught up in a journey of atonement, self-discovery and danger.With a cast including Colin Firth and Mark Strong, Before I Go To Sleep stars Nicole Kidman in a taut thriller about a woman who loses her memory every time she goes to sleep. In Night Moves, Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning play a pair of environmentalists who plot to destroy a hydroelectric dam. The long-awaited sequel Sin City: A Dame To Kill For reunites original cast members from the 2005 blockbuster, including Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis, alongside newcomers Josh Brolin and Lady Gaga, in a second movie inspired by the graphic novels of Frank Miller. Luc Besson’s (The Fifth Element) latest action thriller Lucy stars Scarlett Johansson as a kidnapped woman who turns the table on her captors after the drugs they force her to carry give her superhuman powers. Hector And The Search For Happiness is a comic adventure starring Simon Pegg (Sean Of The Dead) as a bored psychiatrist embarking on a global quest in the hope of finding the elusive formula for true happiness. Brendan Gleeson (Calvary) stars in the wry and charming comedy The Grand Seduction, as the residents of a small Canadian port conspire to keep to keep a handsome doctor in their midst in order to secure a recycling plant for the town. Woody Allen’s new romantic comedy Magic In The Moonlight stars Colin Firth as a celebrated stage magician sent to France to debunk a glamorous clairvoyant, only to fall for her. Another Q-Film screening, Pride is a comic drama starring Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, based on the true events of 1984, when a group of gay activists try to raise money for the striking miners of a small Welsh community.
There is a bumper crop of classic films on offer this Autumn, with a particular highlight being John Waters’ black comedy Polyester from 1981, starring drag queen Divine as a tormented suburban housewife. This screening, in association with Scalarama, a UK celebration of cinema, comes complete with authentic Odorama Scratch ‘n’ Sniff cards to use at key points in the film. Also screened as part of Scalarama, there is the chance to see The Boy Who Turned Yellow, the last work by renowned British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. This 1972 sci-fi movie, made for the Children’s Film Foundation, tells the imaginative tale of a young boy’s adventures across London.
We continues our series of films in commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War, running alongside an 18-month long programme of events organised by Royal & Derngate and Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The next classic war film will be Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 classic Paths Of Glory, starring Kirk Douglas as a colonel, defending his men from the firing squad after they refuse to continue against an impossible attack. From 1978 The Deer Hunter explores the affects of the Vietnam War on a trio of Russian American steelworkers, played by Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage. Fritz Lang’s 1931 thriller M delves into the criminal underworld of a German city taking matters into their own hands when the police fail to catch a child murderer. Coinciding with NN Contemporary Art’s Roller Derby exhibition Playworld, the cinema is screening dystopian sci-fi classic Rollerball from 1975, starring James Caan. The screening includes a talk from NN’s Artistic Director and Roller Derby skater Catherine Hemelryk. The Cult Film Club returns in September with influential French horror movie from 1960, Eyes Without A Face, the macabre yet enchanting tale of a surgeon trying to restore his disfigured daughter’s beauty. Run in association with the University of Northampton, the Cult Film Club is open to all.
Live screenings of top theatre productions continue to be very popular, with September’s programme including RSC Live’s The Two Gentlemen Of Verona, directed by former Associate Director of Royal & Derngate Simon Godwin, who is currently directing Regeneration for the Royal stage. From NT Live there will be live screenings of a new adaptation of Euripides’ tragedy Medea, starring Helen McCrory and Tennessee Williams’ classic masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire, featuring Gillian Anderson. A special performance of Billy Elliot The Musical will also be broadcast live.
Other special events include 20,000 Days On Earth, a docudrama of a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and cultural icon Nick Cave, followed by a live performance by satellite. Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me is a live satellite event marking the publication of Fry’s memoirs, where the comedian and raconteur will give a sneak preview of the new book. There will also be the chance to see a documentary about New Romantics Spandau Ballet, Soul Boys Of The Western World, followed by a live performance by the band via satellite. This year Film Northants hosts its annual awards at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse, celebrating the county’s best short films with two nights of film screenings and award presentations.