November season on sale
November includes the inspirational historical drama Suffragette, new bond movie Spectre and dark comedy The Lobster. Our Under The Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films, including the touching documentary He Named Me Malala, about the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, and By Our Selves, about Northamptonshire poet John Clare. Live screenings include Kenneth Branagh’s The Winter’s Tale, with more from the Metropolitan Opera, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Halloween is marked by a special late night screenings of horror classics, A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Lost Boys.
One of the highlights of the cinema’s selection of top independent films is the intriguing By Our Selves, in which actor Toby Jones and writer Iain Sinclair follow in the footsteps of poet John Clare’s legendary four-day walk from Epping Forest back to Northamptonshire in 1841, after his escape from an asylum. Shot is lustrous black and white, the film includes contributions from Northampton writer Alan Moore. British drama Captain Webb tells the story of the retired sailor who in 1875 survived treacherous currents and jellyfish stings to become the first man to swim the English Channel. Based on another true story, Life stars Robert Pattinson as the photographer from Life Magazine, Dennis Stock, who formed a friendship with the elusive young actor James Dean, as he was on the cusp of stardom. In the gripping drama 99 Homes Andrew Garfield plays a man who loses his house and is offered a job with the man who evicted him. The riveting thriller shows what lengths one man will go to in order to support his family and regain his home. Coinciding with the release of the feature film Suffragette, Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Silent Film is a selection of short films from the BFI National Archive showing how suffragettes were being portrayed on the cinema screen while their battles were still being waged on the street. He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait by acclaimed documentary maker Davis Guggenheim of the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai who was shot by the Taliban, and has since become an advocate for the education of girls and the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
Top foreign language films this month include the haunting Portuguese movie Horse Money. Named third best film of 2014 by Sight & Sound magazine, it follows an elderly immigrant as he travels through Lisbon slums populated by the ghosts of his past. Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi rebelled against the state ban on his film-making and won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival for his witty feature Taxi Tehran, which sees him posing as taxi driver in the city.
The latest big releases coming to the Errol Flynn Filmhouse include the powerful drama, Suffragette, the untold story of the foot soldiers of the suffrage movement. Carey Mulligan gives a tremendous performance as a young laundress joining the campaign in 1912, alongside an ensemble cast featuring Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw and Meryl Streep. Daniel Craig returns as 007 in Spectre, the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, alongside Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes. A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. Ridley Scott’s sci-fi adventure The Martian sees Matt Damon play an astronaut presumed dead and left behind on the Red Planet, who must find a way to signal to earth that he is still alive. The cast also includes Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels. Colin Farrell stars in blackly-comic dystopian drama The Lobster, in which single people are sent to a hotel and given 45 days to find a partner, or be turned into an animal and sent into the woods. Comic drama Mississippi Grind sees Ben Mendelsohn play a gambler who teams up with a charismatic poker player, as they gamble their way to a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans. Master provocateur Gaspar Noé’s sexual melodrama Love 3D celebrates sex in a joyous way, shot in unflinching 3D, and features an exclusive filmed introduction from the director at this UK premiere screened simultaneously at selected cinemas across the country. Romantic drama Brooklyn, set in 1950s Ireland and New York, stars Saoirse Ronan as a young woman who moves to America for the promise of a better life but is soon caught up by her past, forced to choose between two men and two countries. Ben Foster portrays cyclist Lance Armstrong in biographical drama The Program, directed by Stephen Frears (Philomena), with Chris O’Dowd as the Irish journalist who fought to discredit Armstrong. There is more real-life drama in Steve Jobs, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender as the famous co-founder of Apple. Shown in association with Q-Film, documentary The Celluloid Closet gathers clips from mainstream Hollywood films, including Philadelphia, Rope and Spartacus, to illustrate how they have dealt with LGBT themes.
There will also be further chances to see recent popular releases Legend, in which Tom Hardy gives an incredible performance as both of the infamous gangster twins, Ronald and Reginald Kray, and the comedy adventure A Walk in the Woods, with Robert Redford playing travel writer Bill Bryson as he hikes the Appalachian Trail.
Looking ahead to December, screenings will soon be going on sale for The Lady in the Van, based on Alan Bennett’s hit West End play, with Alex Jennings playing the writer himself and Maggie Smith reprising her role as the transient woman living in her battered Bedford van, which she parked on Bennett’s driveway for 15 years.
Classic movies coming up include special Halloween screenings of two iconic horror films, starting with the late Wes Craven’s seminal 1984 slasher, A Nightmare On Elm Street, starring Robert Englund and Johnny Depp in his debut role. Following at midnight The University of Northampton’s Cult Film Club presents the 1987 vampire classic, The Lost Boys, featuring Jason Patric, Corey Haim and Kiefer Sutherland. The Cult Film Club screening for November will be Jim Henson’s fantasy adventure Labyrinth, starring Jennifer Connolly along with David Bowie as the Goblin King. Other classics include the 1962 adaptation of Harper Lee’s beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird, featuring Gregory Peck as lawyer Atticus Finch, with a post-film discussion hosted by Dr Patrick Glen of University College London. The programme is completed by Noel Coward’s quintessential British romance, Brief Encounter, returning to cinema screens in a 70th anniversary digital restoration.
As part of an exciting programme of live screenings this Autumn, the Met Opera Live’s season continues with William Kentridge’s visionary production of Lulu, Berg’s tale of the notorious femme fatale, broadcast live from New York. There is also the chance to see Wagner’s early masterpiece Tannhauser, recorded at a recent live Met Opera performance. Co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy The Winter’s Tale, starring Judi Dench, will be broadcast live from London’s Garrick Theatre. Although this initial screening is sold out, further encore screenings will be scheduled shortly. The November screening of the hit Broadway production Of Mice and Men, filmed on stage in New York starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, is also sold out, but a further showing will take place in December. November also sees opportunities to catch repeat screenings of the National Theatre’s production of Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Henry V with Alex Hassell in the lead role, and The Importance of Being Earnest with David Suchet as Lady Bracknell.
As part of a BBC’s initiative to open up the world of classical music to children, there will be special schools screenings of the cinematic orchestral film Ten Pieces, which can also be accompanied by a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Meet the Player session.