September season now on sale
Highlights include British drama 45 Years, starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, crime thriller Legend, about notorious gangsters the Kray Twins, Woody Allen’s latest feature, Irrational Man and Gemma Bovery, a modern retelling of the Flaubert classic. The cinema’s Under The Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films from around the world, including the provocative satire, Dear White People. How to Change the World, telling the story of Greenpeace, heads up a fascinating selection of documentaries. The event cinema programme includes The Battle of Britain at 75, and the start of a new season of live broadcasts from New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Cult Film Club returns for the Autumn, and a selection of dystopian classics is being screened to complement Royal & Derngate’s stage production of Brave New World.
One of the highlights of the cinema’s selection of independent films is the sly comedy, Dear White People, about group of college students seeking to secure equal treatment and opportunities. This provocative satire of race relations won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent. September’s Q-Film screening, Australian coming of age drama 52 Tuesdays was also recognised at last year’s festival, winning a directing award. Shot in real-time every week for a year, the film tells the story of a mother undergoing gender transition who decides to limit her time with her precocious teen daughter to Tuesday afternoons, wary of the effect the process may have on her. Escobar: Paradise Lost sees a young Canadian surfer find his life on the line when he falls for the niece of Columbian drug baron Pablo Escabar. French absurdist murder mystery, P’tit Quinquin, originally broadcast as a miniseries, sees two rural cops attempt to unravel a seemingly unsolvable crime after finding body parts stuffed inside a dead cow.
The latest big releases coming to the Errol Flynn Filmhouse include 45 Years which won its stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay Best Actor and Best Actress Awards at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. This romantic drama sees them play a couple who find the foundations of their marriage shaken to the core in the lead-up to their 45th wedding anniversary. Gemma Arterton stars in a comic retelling of Gustave Flaubert’s French classic Madame Bovery entitled Gemma Bovery, which follows a young English couple arriving in a small Normandy town only to find their lives starting to play out like the characters in the novel. In crime thriller Legend, Tom Hardy gives an incredible performance as both of the infamous gangster twins, Ronald and Reginald Kray, who terrorised London in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Woody Allen’s latest feature, Irrational Man, stars Joaquin Phoenix as a burned-out, brilliant professor who takes a teaching job at a college and has his life turned around. Based on the play by August Strindberg, Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain star in Miss Julie, a period drama set in Ireland in the 1880s, which sees a servant seduced by his wealthy mistress over the course of one midsummer night. Amy Schumer writes and stars in comedy drama Trainwreck, directed by Bridemaids’ Judd Apatow, about a woman forced to reassess her dismissive attitudes to relationships when she meets a charming and successful doctor. The film features cameo appearances by Tilda Swinton and Daniel Radcliffe. Screwball comedy Mistress America reunites Frances Ha’s director Noah Baumbach and writer Greta Gerwig, for the hilarious tale of a lonely female student whose life is turned upside down by her adventurous soon-to-be stepsister.
As part of an exciting programme of live broadcasts this Autumn, the Met Opera Live’s season begins with Verdi’s tragic love story, Il Trovatore, screened live from New York and starring soprano Anna Netrebko as the heroine who sacrifices herself for the love of a gypsy troubadour. NT Live also offers another opportunity to see their recording of the stunning 2014 Donmar Warehouse production of Shakespeare’s tragedy Coriolanus, starring Tom Hiddleston. Filmed during the sold-out The Wall Live Tour 2010-13, Roger Waters: The Wall is part immersive concert experience and part road movie. It also offers a unique opportunity to see Roger answer questions submitted by fans, alongside his Pink Floyd bandmate Nick Mason. Another truly special event will be The Battle of Britain at 75, when BBC Radio 2 presents the epic story of the greatest aerial conflict of World War II. Live from the most iconic of Britain’s fighter stations, Biggin Hill, this spectacular concert by the BBC Concert Orchestra is presented by Dermot O’Leary, Jeremy Vine and Sophie Raworth, with rare archive footage, guest singers and a cast of actors to bring the stories to life.
An intriguing selection of documentaries starts with How to Change the World, revealing the fascinating untold story behind the modern environmental movement, Greenpeace, charting how eco-hero Robert Hunter helped to alter the way we look at the world. Drawing on interviews and archive footage, the film’s screening will be followed by a live satellite Q&A hosted by Mariella Frostrup. The spellbinding documentary, Addicted to Sheep, follows the life of a family of farmers in the Pennines as they look after their flock of prized sheep, hoping this will be the year they breed the perfect one. Death of a Gentleman sees two cricket journalists set off on a journey to the heart of the game they love, only to stumble upon one of the biggest sporting scandals ever.
The University of Northampton’s Cult Film Club returns with a screening of Mirage Men. This 2013 documentary, in which former government agents discuss their involvement in shaping UFO mythology during the Cold War, is followed by an in-person Q&A with director Mark Pilkington in the Filmhouse. Other classics include Touch of Evil, concluding the cinema’s celebration of Orson Welles’ centenary. In this 1958 crime thriller, Charlton Heston plays an idealist drug enforcement officer on the Mexican border who incurs the wrath of a corrupt police officer (Welles).
To mark the opening of Royal & Derngate’s production of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, two classic movies with dystopian themes are being screened on Saturday 5 September, each followed by a talk from an eminent scientist. Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman star in the 1997 sci-fi film Gattaca, set in a world where DNA plays the primary role in determining social class. The post-film talk by Oxford University’s Dr Will Abberley explores the topic of test-tube babies. There is also an opportunity to see Steven Spielberg’s original iconic fantasy about cloned dinosaurs, Jurassic Park, shown in glorious 3D. Dr Merryn Ekberg will give on a talk on genetic enhancement after the screening.
There is a further chance to see some audience favourites from recent months including action comedy Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy as a female CIA analyst on an undercover mission, and music documentary Amy, telling the incredible story Amy Winehouse.