CONTENTS Page 3 Editorial 4-7 Apollo 11 An historical mission to land on the moon led by Commander Neil Armstrong & pilots Buzz Aldren and Michael Collins.
8-11 Late Show A Late-Night-Talk Show Host suspects that she may soon lose her long running show.
12-15 The Farewell A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding together before she dies.
16-19 Animals A film based on the best-selling book By Jane Unsworth.
20-23 The Brink Documentary. A fly-on-the-wall chronicle of embattles former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannonâ€™s Global mission to spread extreme Nationalism.
24-27 The Last Tree Femi is a British boy of Nigerian Heritage who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire moves to London to live with his mum.
28â€”31 FilmFest Follower A look at the films being shown at
Edinburgh International Film
32 Poster Apollo 11
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: We would like to thank the following: Elizabeth Taylor, Megan Jones and all the Sundance Press Team at Premier.Comms.com PHOTO CREDITS: UNIVERSAL PICTURES: 1,4,7.32 SUNDANCE LONDON: 8.11,12,15,16,19,20,23,24,27
EDITORIAL Here is the latest issue of MbM and we endorse films that make you feel emotional and our cover feature review this month is the outstanding documentary Apollo 11. The movie is one of the titles that we viewed at the Sundance London Film Festival along with 5 others, all of which are reviewed: Late Night, The Friendship, The Brink, The Last Tree, The Animals. There is also a look at what will be on offer at The Edinburgh Film Festival, the longest running film festival in the world, in this month’s FilmFest Follower.
*************** NEWS JUST IN **************
ANTONIO BANDERAS WILL CHALLENGE LEONARDO DI CAPRIO FOR THE 2020 BEST ACTOR OSCAR. PEDRO ALMODOVAR CAN BE AN EXACTING TASKMASTER, BUT EVEN HE BROKE DOWN DURING A PIVOTAL SCENE IN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL DRAMA “PAIN AND GLORY”
Enjoy the read. Brian Mills Magazine Editor
Paul Ridler Magazine Designer
APOLLO 11 Directed by Todd Douglas Miller Starring: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldren, Michael Collins It’s a job that we collectively said was possible that we could do and of course the Nation itself is backing us, so we materially hope that we measure up to that. - NEIL ARMSTRONG A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon, led by Commander Neil Armstrong and pilots Buzz Aldren and Michael Collins. On July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldren embarked on a historic lunar odyssey, successfully landing on the moon and then returning to Earth. Free of talking heads, re-enactments, and newly-recorded narration, the new documentary Apollo 11 takes viewers on this nine-day journey, constructed from astounding, never-before-seen 65mm, and 16mm footage, as well as audio culled from over 18,000 hours of tapes. A perhaps initially unintended result when NASA handed over this remarkably pristine footage to director Todd Douglas Miller, his documentary is also a fascinating time capsule of this specific era. And what was the director Todd Douglas Miller’s take on making this extraordinary documentary: I’ve been a fan of the large format films of the 40s and 50s that were told in the direct cinema style that I wanted to do with Apollo 11. The way we discovered the 65mm and seeing it for the first time was something I will never forget. There were two reels and we put on a prototype scanner that the guys here at Final Frame built and they were just little bursts of imagery every 3 or 4 seconds. The detail that we were seeing in the footage was something I had never seen before. We recreated the mission in 9 days. We have a timeline where you can see over 100 tracks of audio and that took the better half of a year to compile.
You have to whittle down to what are the key moments? What were the moments of humanity that happened? What were the things? 4
What really got me was the emotion on their faces, you could see the weight of what they were about to do, in a way I had never seen before and that’s when I knew we had something. The opening sequence embraces and embeds in your mind the incredible scale of massive infrastructure that is in place to pull off this launch. We witness NASA workers next to the wheels of the towering transport vehicle designed to move the aircraft, and you can see what inspired George Lucas to create Sandcrawler. As the music rises to accompany the countdown to take-off, we cut to the Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas. In one dolly shot we wheel past each row of workers. Each new shot impounds the human element of this journey into space and raises our admiration and awe at what we are seeing: this pulse racing moments are not fictional – but historical fact. You get the feeling that you are in the apace capsule with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. This is helped by the close-ups of them putting on their gear and we see the determination in their eyes. Over a million spectators are viewed at the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt, Florida. Crews ventured out to the beaches, motels, and department store parking lots to get a glimpse of the Americans awaiting this historic launch. We see the fashion of floral dresses, bob cuts, oversized sunglasses, cans and cans of Coke, and multitudes of camera equipment there to capture it all. Alongside this, the news of Vietnam and the Chappaquiddick incident competing for airtime. Apollo 11 is an outstanding documentary that once viewed will not be forgotten. From the opening credits to the end we are reminded of J.F. Kennedy’s inspiring speech about space travel, we the audience are at one with what man can achieve. On Buzz Aldren’s mixtape we hear John Stewart’s singing “Oh, Mother Country, I do love you”. Do get a chance to also view Damien Chazelle’s “First Man” which like “Apollo 11” is extraordinary.
Apollo 11 is a visually inspiring and visceral experience. A film not to be missed.
UK RELEASE DATE: th
Buzz Aldrin in Apollo 11
Space crew boarding crew bus in Apollo 11
Onlookers watching Apollo 11 Lift-off in Apollo 11
Buzz Aldrin (reflection of Neil Armstrong in Aldrinâ€™s helmet In Apollo 11
LATE NIGHT Directed by Nisha Ganatra Starring: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow A late-night talk-show host suspects that she may soon lose her long-running Show. Do none of you understand what is at stake here? I’m being replaced. Think about why the Show is bad and come up with ways to fix it. - Katharine Newbury A delightful surprise at this year’s Sundance was this film which gave Emma Thompson one of her best performances of her career and introduced the extremely talented Mindy Kailing who wrote the screenplay and stars as Molly who fronts the line of those aiming to fix the problems of saving Katharine’s late night show. Molly may not seem to have the perfect CV to be employed as a comedy writer for what was once, and may be again, the most successful Talk Show on TV, a worker at a chemical plant that is, but her determination to be a comedy writer is unprecedented and though there will be blips along the way to reaching her goal, we know that she is going to get there and want her to get the job. Mindy Kailing has worked her way to getting the right parts in films by writing them herself, as she does in Late Night. Everyone knows that Katherine’s show has been in decline for years, even though it once was it held the top spot for a late show for three decades. Yes, it is no wonder that Katherine’s wants to make big changes. Her team of writers are mostly privileged white males who write very carefully to avoid Katharine’s dreaded “You’re fired!” Quick, short, and painfully clear. They are all interchangeable in Katherine’s eyes, so much so that when she calls the meeting of ‘doom’ she refers to each one of them by number. When the one woman, Molly invades their space and finds no where to sit, she improvises the use of a trashcan by emptying its contents on the floor and turning upside
down to use as a stool. The looks she gets from the other writers is a sparkling visual gem. The late night arena is still considered a man’s world, even today with a few notable exceptions, and Kailing casts a spotlight on the reality of what someone like Katharine Newbury would have to contend with in today’s world. Overall the film is a commentary on ageism and sexism but in these times of the ME—TOO movements is politically correct. One of the important strands of Late Night is the diversity tag which appears at first when fellow writers tell Molly that she is only there as a ‘diversity hire’ and that is true, it is why she was hired over another white man. Kailing herself was a ‘diversity hire’, having been part of NBC’s diversity writing programme. And for on “The acutely getting
a long time I was really embarrassed about that. No one Office” said anything to me, but they all knew and I was aware of that. It took me a while to realise that I was the access other people had because of who they knew.
It has been the longstanding tradition in the US corporate world of hiring only white male ivy league graduates.
When we started on the film, I thought, OK, things are different now. But then I met the first African American female writer on a late-night talk show and she was only hired in, I think, 2006 in New York, that’s hard to do. So, why? I think there’s such a pressure when you’re creating a show to keep it on the air that people only hire those that they feel comfortable with. Late Night concerns political issues such as the gender pay gap and racial prejudices in the entertainment business. Kailing maintains by challenging the old beliefs by writing parts for herself and creating a female lead that a fifty-something woman would have her own talk show. It many ways it works, though the gags are sometimes not as funny as intended, the film is entertaining and provides a time well spent and remembered.
UK RELEASE DATE:
Molly (Mindy Kailing) in Late Night
Nisha Ganatra & DP on set. 10
Molly (Mindy Kailing) in Late Night
Katharine (Emma Thompson) in Late Night
THE FAREWELL Directed by Lulu Wang Starring: Awkwasfina, Tzi Ma, Zhao Shuzhen. Billi! What’s wrong? Why aren’t you talking? - Zhao Shuzhen Undoubtedly a highlight of this year’s Sundance London Film Festival was Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. An outstanding performance by Awkwafina, who was in one of China’s most successful films Crazy Rich Asians and was one of the best Romcoms for years. We see Billi ((Awkwasfina) walking the Manhattan streets while talking with her grandmother Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) who lives halfway across the globe in China. Nai Nai is focusing all of her energy on Billi, while trying to hide that she’s actually in a doctor’s office for an MPt. The one who actually hears from the doctor first is her sister, Little Nai Nai (Lu Hong), who learns the diagnosis is inoperable lung cancer. Chinese law doesn’t require doctors to give such news directly, and culture actually encourages family not disclose that kind of information to the patient. Thus begins a bittersweet, but mostly sweetly hilarious web of lies to keep Nai Nai, the family matriarch, in the dark while giving everyone a chance to say their goodbyes. The movie is full of unique insights on family and what it means to fly off to attend a phony wedding concocted so the family has a reason to get together in China, she’s warned not to come. Billi wears her feelings on her sleeve, she’ll never be able to keep the secret from Nai Nai. But Billi flies there on her own, reconnecting with the birth country she left as a child. While the central focus of Wang’s film is the big lie everyone is telling to spare Nai Nai, beneath the surface is the current sadness for those in the family who have struck out on their own. 12
Billi and her parents flew off to America years before and we can sense the disconnect. Billi’s uncle journeyed to Japan when he found success as a businessman; another aunt plans on sending her young son to learn in America. Chinese culture teaches that no one person’s life is simply their own, it is just a small part of the whole. In geek terms, Billi and others in her family have been separated from the Bong collective, and now they are trying to learn how to fit back into it, which causes all sorts of family conflict, which Wang handles with nuance, deft insights, and comedy that could only come from her own life. These aren’t people who hate one another; they just don’t know how to relate after so long apart. A particularly awkward dinner scene mines comedy gold as everyone tries to prove how Chinese they still are, regardless of what it says on their passport.
The Farewell has some beautiful, truthful things to say about how love persists across the oceans. We often move away and leave our family, but we are more intrinsically tied to them than we ever will be to anyone else. Watching Bili at a formative point in her life, comprehend the influence her grandmother has had on her while fighting her natural instinct to literally say goodbye makes for powerful filmmaking. The film is likely to make you wish you had spent more time with your grandparents, but it will also reaffirm how important your connection to them was though you didn’t.
Lulu Wang’s The Farewell is a phenomenal movie with multiple movie moments. Wang has written a remarkably personal film that claims to be “Based on an Actual Lie” and she’s found precisely the right star to maintain the delicate balance of the story – one that easily could have become sentimental and manipulative but resonates with truth from the first scene to the last. This will go down as one of the best performance of Sundance 2019, a genuine, heartfelt acting turn that proves that Awkwafina has a range that even her most devoted fans may not have suspected
She never once feels mannered or forced, completely disappearing into her likable, heart-breaking character.
THE FAREWELL HAS NO SCHEDULED THEATRICAL RELEASE IN THE UK BESIDES THE ONE WHICH WAS SCREENED AT SUNDANCE LONDON
Billi (Awkwasfina) and family in The Farewell
and some of the Cast at IMDB Studio.
Billi (Awkwasfina) and Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) in The Farewell
Poster of The Farewell.
ANIMALS Directed by Sophie Hyde Starring: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat You know nothing like this changes our friendship. - Laura Sophie Hyde’s Animals is based on the novel of the same name by Emma Jane Unsworth and who also pens the screenplay, which gained ‘must-sees’ from Sundance, Park City…but did it deserve them?
The story is about two best friends, Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat), who have been by each other’s side for over a decade and are on the cusp of 30-something without much to show for it – Laura dreams of being a writer but has been blocked for years, whilst Tyler is living vicariously due to leaving her family in the US. Their care-free, responsibility-like friendship changes when Laura meets and subsequently gets engaged to a local Irish piano player. It’s a universal life crossroads and even more colossal when life hasn’t gone the way you hoped it would a decade earlier: when dreams were big and broad while the reality is small and dark with those alternate versions of what could have been overtaking you like sports cars on an endless motorway, and Hyde captures this coming-of -age growing pains with deftness and flair. There is a jarring nature to proceedings as we get our heads around the sheer volume of time and experiences the two ladies have been on together but it’s never to the detriment of them, instead only adding to the weight of this undeniable love between the duo. The leads perform well throughout the film with Holliday Grainger stealing the show. It is a boozy journey throughout without realizing what or if, they have anything to celebrate, which in the same way one could feel about the film in general. 16
Tyler is like a thrift store femme fatale; black lipstick and speaking with an American drawl. Her down-to-earth flatmate Laura has been distracted for quite a while and it is not surprising that she hasn’t made much headway on writing her novel. The women are fabulously glamourous in their eye-catching vintage clothes as they both suck up drugs and dregs and frequent the same venues. Tyler fears abandonment, the more ambitious Laura is in need of escape and inspiration. Laura seems however, to have found it in pianist Jim (Fra Fee) who has a clear-headed approach to his own profession, while her former wild-sister (Amy Malloy), now settled with a baby on the way, offers a vision of another kind of future. Hyde’s directional style lends intimacy and buoyancy to the women’s stories, She magnifies nuanced performances from her actors. Where then does it fail? Why shouldn’t you feel for the characters? To answer that question is to examine the narrative again to find what the film is hiding away from…which is that it seems to be too cautious to make it a feel-good movie! When you take your seat in the auditorium and have read the publicity blurb, you are ready for a down and out romantic drama…it doesn’t happen.
THE FILM WILL BE THEATRICALLY RELEASED IN THE UK ON AUGUST 2nd.
Laura (Holliday Grainger) & Tyler (Alia Shawkat) in Animals.
Laura (Holliday Grainger) & Tyler (Alia Shawkat) in Animals. 18
Laura (Holly Grainger) & Jim (Fra Fee) in Animals.
Laura (Holly Grainger), Tyler(Alia Shawkat) and Jim (Fra Fee) in Animals.
THE BRINK Directed by Alison Klayman Featuring: Steve Bannon, Louis Allot, Sean Bannon This is 1896. Lincoln said they wish to get rid of me and I sometimes disposed to gratify them. We are now on the brink of destruction. It appears that the Almighty is against us, and I can hardly see a ray of hope.
When Steve Bannon left his position as White House chief strategist less than a week after the Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ rally in August 2017, he was already a notorious figure in Trump’s inner circle, and for bringing a far-right ideology into the highest echelons of American politics. Unconstrained by an official post – though some say he still has a direct line to the White House- he became free to peddle influence as a perceived kingmaker, turning his controversial brand of nationalism into a global movement. The Brink follows Bannon through the 2018 mid-term elections in the United States, shedding light on his efforts to mobilise and unify far -right parties in order to win seats in the May 2019 European Parliamentary elections. To maintain his power and influence, the former Goldman Sachs banker and media investor reinvents himself – as he has many times before – this time as the self-appointed leader of a global populist movement. In 2011, he was an overtly political filmmaker, and by the end of the movie, after helming a technically but not popularly, winning Presidential campaign and being ousted from the White House, before being summarily dismissed as a person by the same President he helped elect, he has moved on from the United States and into shaping the politics of Europe. The description of his goals and his methods are not a blind attack on the man; the description comes from Bannon’s own mouth. Bannon knows exactly what he’s saying when, discussing the editing of a self-described propaganda movie he has made about the President, he wonders,
What would Leni Riefenstahl do? To further the point, he also knows precisely what he’s saying when he freely states his admiration for the design of the Nazi death camps. EDITORS NOTE: Leni Riefenstahl made “Triumph of the Will” in 1935, a ground-breaking documentary and propaganda. Director, Alison Klayman doesn’t believe in Bannon’s doctrine and makes the point several times and challenges him on certain political points, on the meetings he’s taking with far-right political entities across Europe. Bannon knows what he’s doing. He is seen as a celebrity at public speaking engagements. He plays the mainstream media field and claims to despise them but points out coverage of himself and his actions is the only thing keeping his movement afloat.
Discomforting as it is to watch Bannon consult with and bolster for right-wing politicians across Europe to victory, the process is enlightening. It’s as much in what we do see as in what we don’t. Klayman’s cameras are allowed in multiple meetings, which Bannon refers to as “informal dinners”. The portrait painted of Bannon is of an intelligent and cunning man, whose downfall by way of his stubbornness should seem a guarantee. Somehow and repeatedly throughout the film’s timeline, Bannon keeps going without any sign that his political manoeuvres and schemes will stop. It is that stubbornness that keeps him afloat. If you went in to see this film without knowing who Steve Barron is, you may be surprised to know who he is, but also wondering why you should even care. What you will see is a gripping Cinema Verité portrait of Steve Barron.
The White House? There is no glamour to the job at all. I hated every second I was in it. I’m on a mission to convert as many people as possible. You are part of a worldwide movement. Take out the sword and throw away the scabbard. The National Party seems viable, and I’m trying to help. I’m about one thing. I’m about winning. There is also a quote from Nigel Farage who met Barron in London –
The real battle isn’t in Washington, it’s in all our states. The Brink is an eye-opening documentary and worthy of being screened at Sundance.
NO FURTHER UK THEATRICAL RELEASE DATES AT PRESENT. www.moviesbymills.com
Steve Barron in The Brink
Steve Barron at casual meeting in The Brink.
Steve Barron and Nigel Farage in The Brink.
Steve Barron in The Brink.
THE LAST TREE Directed by Shola Amoo Starring: Nicholas Pinnock, Denise Place, Sam Adewunmi Always the tough guy. Your mum told me about your foster care. I can’t imagine what that must have been like. - Mr Williams
Femi is a British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire, moves to inner London to live with his mum. Struggling with the unfamiliar culture and values of his new environment, teenage Femi has to figure out which path to adulthood he wants to take. An inspiring film that is beautifully bookended and excels in its cinematography. Happy and contented Femi lives with his foster mother Mary (Denise Place) on a quiet Lincolnshire homestead. Femi has become a welcome part of the environment, having made friends with several boys his age with whom he has become quite close. But things change when his real mother Yinka (Layo-Christina Akinlude) arrives on one of her visits to announce she’s prepared to take Femi back to live with her in London, which he finds drastically challenging. His mother’s customs are totally strange to him and he distances himself from her emotionally. WE fast forward several years and Femi has begun to fall in with a local gang, going down a path which he can never return. It is evident in The Last Tree and idiosyncratic that ‘you can’t go home again’. What the director manages to convey in a carefully structured narrative is that the black and white mother figures competing for Femi’s ownership. Early sequences show kind-hearted Mary awash with a sun-soaked and glowing warmth little touches of pure naturalness like when Akinlude warns the young Femi not to step in the puddle of urine in the elevator during his first ascent to his new home. 24
But The Last Tree reaches its highest point when Femi returns to visit his childhood foster home, where Mary still house young black boys. Painful words which need to be exchanged are done so with sad dignity, and it’s a moment where we realize, along with Femi, the importance of letting go of what could have been and instead focusing on shaping the future as best we can. If we take a closer look at the narrative and its protagonist we will learn a lot more: a child too young to understand the complexities of adulthood or desire to ask questions when the pain of their ramifications is still raw. A mother too proud to excuse the situation she created with the all too justifiable reasons able to imbue her with the strength necessary to offset a selfhatred fostering her projection of abusive anger. The two architypes are intertwined with the film as though damning each other to the suffering their silences create, the hindsight necessary for healing many years and even more hardships away. And to make matters worse is the possibility that forgiveness and acceptance might never actually arrive. The hurt ruling their actions threatens to lead them astray, warping compassion with resentment until reconciliation appears impossible. Femi shows himself to be a respectful child that did well in school and hung with the right crowd. The chance that his mother would come and take him back to London always hung over his idyllic life, though, whether Mary promised he could stay forever or not.
What is a little confusing is the duality of betrayal? Not only is the woman who seemingly didn’t want him coming back without any regard for his thoughts, but the one he trusted in her role is also letting him go. Amoo briefly portrays the difficulty of this transition with hackies raised on both sides as Femi is thrust into a new life against his will and Yinka forced to command obedience despite having no true leg to stand on without earning it first. He ensures we recognize the mother and son as headstrong, their stubbornness leading to mistakes and also the precedent for their refusal to ever be contrite. With a flicker of the screen we eventually get transported to find Femi teetering on the edge of throwing every opportunity provided him away. It’s unsurprising considering the state of his relationship with Yinka. What choice has he been given but to rebel once he’s able to get out from under her thumb?
NO UK THEATRICAL RELEASE BEYOND SUNDANCE LONDON IS SCHEDULED AT PRESENT.
Femi (Sam Adewunmi) in The Last Tree
Femi (Sam Adewunmi) in The Last Tree 26
Femi (Sam Adewunmi) in The Last Tree.
Sundance London Poster
FILMFEST FOLLOWER EDINBURGH 19TH–30THJUNE 2019
OPENING NIGHT GALA BOYZ IN THE WOOD Directed by Ninian Doff Starring: Kate Dickie, Kevin Guthrie, Georgie Glen, Jonathan Aris Delirious, dark and outrageously funny. The film defies easy clarification, it’s a wild and offbeat journey into the Scottish islands that blends biting social comedy with a sprinkle of drugs and violence, delivering a cult film in the making.
FAMILY GALA UGLY DOLLS Directed by Kelly Asbury Starring: Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáie The much beloved toy phenomenon, Ugly Dolls hits the big screen with this fun-packed new animated musical adventure, featuring the acting and singing voices of a wonderful cast.
BEST OF BRITISH BAIT Directed by Mark Jenkin Starring: Edward Rowe, Mary Woodvine, Giles King A Cornish fisherman rails against tourism. A clash of the old worlds and the new. Martin Ward must deal with his brother Steven who uses their boat for tourist cruises, and the well-off Londoners who have bought his childhood home. The film is shot with an old Bolex camera in black & white 16mm.
BITTERSWEET – SYMPHONY Directed by Jamie Adams Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Jenniger Grey, Poppy Delevingne Hollywood meets Wales. Iris Evans, a woman whose Hollywood dreams are on the verge of coming true, but who finds herself caught up in various problems: her ex-boyfriend is causing trouble, her mother is on her deathbed and her hero, American icon, Eleanor Roberts (Jennifer Grey) has just arrived.
THE BLACK FOREST Directed by Ruth Platt Starring: Hattie Ladbury, Sprine Aleksander Mikic Amusingly familiar to anyone who’s headed abroad for child-friendly holidays with another family. A love letter to Europe. The film follows a pair of dysfunctional families spending a welcome summer break in deepest Germany.
LOVE TYPE D Directed by Sasha Collington Starring: Maeve Dermody, Rory Stroud, Tovah Feldshuh After being dumped for the 11th time in a row, 27 year-old Frankie concludes that she is a ‘loser in love’ genre that predisposes her to chronic rejection for the rest of her life. Frustrated by the lack of a cure, she sets out on a quest that involves tracking down all her previous boyfriends to try to change her romantic future.
MASTERS OF LOVE
Directed by Emily Harris Starring: Hannah Rae, Devrim Lingnau, Jessica Raine
Directed by Matt Roberts Starring: Ciaran Dowd, Sarah Ovens, Owen Roberts
Moody & atmospheric, a coming-of-age love story enveloped in mystery. Inspired by Sheridan Le Fanuis’s classic vampire novella. A beautifully mounted film.
Directional debut feature about a group of friends at different stages in their relationships, and none of them are convinced about what they are doing.
Directed by David McLean Starring: Colin Barry, Tara Lee, Sean Connor
Directed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Starring: Damon Idris, Kate Bekinsale, Gugu Mbatha-Raw A tough and powerful drama about childhood and about being left in the care of a British family by his Nigerian parents who hope it will provide him with a better future.
GWEN Directed by William McGregor Starring: Maxine Peake, Eleanor Worthington-Cox A directional debut feature set in late 19th century and about 17-year-old Gwen who lives on a small farm in an isolated Welsh community with her troubled mother and younger sister. A mesmerising story delving into Pagan rituals and haunting evil.
HURT BY PARADISE Directed by Greta Bellamacina Starring: Greta Bellamacina, Camilla Rutherford, Anna Brewster Woody Allen meets Frances Ha. A young mother trying to carve out a career as a poet in Modern-day London. Meanwhile, friend and neighbour, Stella, dreams of being an actor, but spends much of her time babysitting Celest’s son. A tale of friendship.
Young Dave is determined not to get a ‘real job’. He starts out running discos and, after a run-in with a local gangster, raises his ambitions to booking major bands.
THE SOUVENIR Directed by Joanna Hogg Starring: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton A young filmmaker knocked off her creative path when she falls for the wrong man in a bleak 1980s London.
STRANGE BUT TRUE Directed by Rowen Athale Starring: Amy Ryan, Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley A twisting and turning noir thriller. Melissa finds herself pregnant five years after the death of her boyfriend, Ronnie. She confronts Ronnie’s family with the idea the child could have been his.
YESTERDAY Directed by Danny Boyle Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran A musical comedy about a struggling singersongwriter who has an accident during a mysterious global blackout and wakes to a world where The Beatles never existed. All at the risk of losing his childhood best, Elle, he knows what he must do.
AMERICAN DREAMS THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE
Directed by Riley Stearns Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Potts
Directed by Robert Budreau Starring: Ethan Hawke, Naomi Rapace, Mark Strong
A film which punctures any macho leanings about a nervous accountant who turns to Karate and the teachings of ‘the enigmatic Sensei after being beaten up by a biker gang.
A self-styled outlaw holds people hostage at a Stockholm Bank. Lars Nystrom, dons a wig and a cowboy hat, pulls out a machine gun and enters a Stockholm Bank in 1973. Taking hostages, he demands his friend Gunnar be released from prison, plus a cool $million and a getaway car. During negotiations, Bianca starts to fall in love with him.
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT Directed by Hannah Pearl Starring: Judith Light, Manny Patinkin, Hannah Pearl Utt Two-grown-up sisters deal with a surprise. They live with their theatrical father above a less-than successful theatre. A film with a real sense of heart.
THE DEAD DON’T DIE Directed by Jim Jarmusch Starring: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton Three police officers and a samurai-swordwielding Scottish mortician find themselves on the front line and must unite to defeat a Zombie hers who have risen from their graves.
ODE TO JOY
Directed by Nick Hamm Starring: Lee Page, Jason Sudeikus, Judy Greer John DeLorean is struggling with the ambitious gull-wing car company when he meets new neighbour Jim Hoffman who has escaped a drug-running charge by turning informant. John sees a way out to make quick money by trafficking cocaine.
Directed by Jason Winer Starring: Martin Freeman, Morena Baecarin, Jake Lacy
GO BACK TO CHINA Directed by Emily Ting Starring: Anna Akana, Richard Ng, Lynn Chen
Charlie suffers from cataplexy, a symptom of narcolepsy, that cause him to collapse when he has strong emotions such as sadness, anger andâ€Śhappiness. He has mastered thinking non-happy thoughts, but when he meets Francesca, things change. He thinks he can be around Francesca because she makes him happy.
SKIN Directed by Guy Nattiv Starring: Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, David Henshal.
A spoiled Chinese-American heads back to China to work in her fatherâ€™s Toy Factory, About a neo-Nazi raised by a family of after her father withdraws her Trust Fund. white supremacists. When he meets Julie, a An engaging comedy. world-weary single mother and her three I SEE YOU children, he realises he could be a better man.
Directed by Adam Randall Starring: Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Owen Teague
A ten-year-old boy goes missing in the woods and Detective Greg Harper and his partner, Spitzky are assigned to investigate. AT home, Harper tries to come to terms with the fact his wife, Jackie had an affair, while their teenage son struggles with his anger.
JUSTINE Directed by Stephanie Turner Starring: Glynn Turman, Daisy Prescott Lisa Wade, a single mother must move in with her father-in-law after the death of her husband. Lisa takes a job caring for Justine, a young but opinionated girl with spina bifida.
LIBERTE: A CALL TO SPY
THE SOUND OF SILENCE Directed by Michael Tyburski Starring: Peter Sarsgaard, Rashida Jones, Tony Revolori A house tuner who visits every home which suffers from noise pollution.
THEM THAT FOLLOW Directed by Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage Starring: Olivia Coleman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert A grim drama about a group that believes women should be subservient to men; that sees God as more important than medicine.
THE VAST OF NIGHT
Directed by Andrew Patterson Directed by Lydia Dean Pilchat Starring: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer Starring: Sarah Miegan Thomas, 1950s. New Mexico. Stana Katric, Radhika Apta, Linus Roache A late-night Radio Presenter and a switchboard operator begin to suspect that Women are recruited as spies against the something very strange may be happening in Nazis. A story of a real-life sisterhood their small town. of spies and the dangerous work the did as try to stop Hitler
THE FEATURES OF AGNES VARDA BY AGNES
THE BEACHES OF AGNES
Directed by Agnes Varda Featuring Agnes Varda
Directed by Agnes Varda Featuring Jacques Demy, Alain Resnais, Jean Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Harrison Ford, Jim Morrison, Gerard Depardieu, Agnes Varda
A characteristically inventive and intriguing documentary framed around an onstage in-person event with Agnes Varda that is crammed full of insights into Through a wonderful array of images, of making up some of her seminal films and sounds, living tableaux, interviews and includes many interesting and beautifully art insights, Varda takes the viewer from articulated anecdotes, reminiscences, her childhood home in Brussels to her 80th interviews and clips from her work. It is birthday in Paris, via extracts from her both illuminating and immensely enjoyable, films and views of her friends, her late and a tribute to the beauty and power of husband, Jacques Demy, her collaborators cinema as well as the unique imagination and her children. and enigmatic charm of this singularly wonderful director.
ONE SINGS, THE OTHER DOESN’T
CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 Directed by Agnes Varda Starring: Corinne Marchant, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray Agnes Varda’s second feature skilfully captures Paris at the height of the 1960s. Expertly presented in real time about a singer whose life is in turmoil as she waits for a test result from a Biopsy. Cleo readies herself to see her doctor, she meets several friends and strangers, and grapples with the idea of her own mortality.
JACQUOT DE NANTES Directed by Agnes Varda Starring: Philippe Maron, Edouard Joubeaud, Laurent Monnier A tribute from one lover to another. A project that started out as a collaboration but became an homage of saying farewell. A filmed chronicle of Agnes Varda’s partner Jacques Demy’s childhood memoirs, Jacques is a look at how the influences of youth steer creative spirit. Demy dies in October 1990, when production was nearing an end, and the result is a genre -busting melange of documentary, family album, essay, memoir and elegy.
Directed by Agnes Varda Starring: Valerie Mairesse, Therese Liotard, Robert Dadies The intertwined lives of two women brought together. Pomme and Suzanne meet when Pomme helps her gedt an abortion after a third pregnancy which she cannot afford. They lose contact and meet again 10 years later when Pomme has become an unconventional singer. Suzanne, a serious community worker. Despite their differences, they remain friends, and affirm their different identities.
VAGABOND Directed by Agnes Varda Starring: Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Meeil, Stephane Freist The last weeks of rebellious and nihilistic vagrant Mona. The film embeds Mona’s fate in the region’s landscapes and customs.
DOCUMENTARIES THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING Directed by Tom Donahue Featuring: Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Taraji P. Henson, Reese Witherspoon and Cate Blanchett An astute look at how to redress Hollywood’s gender imbalance
MARIANNE & LEONARD – WORDS OF LOVE Directed by Nick Broomfield
WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE Kael Directed by Rob Garner A fascinating examination of the life and work of one of the most influential film critics of all time. Features interviews with Quentin Tarantino, David O Russell, John Boorman, David Lean. Interspersed with clips from some of the many films she reviewed.
The story behind Leonard Cohen’s love affair with Marianne Ihlen
FOCUS ON SPAIN LOVE BEATS Directed by Roberto Bucso Starring: Gonzalo Fernandez, Charlotte Vega, Pepo Llopsis. An unashamedly feel-good romance with music in its heart and soul. Edu, a young musician living in London, takes a rare trip home to Valencia to attend his brother’s’ wedding. Soon, village life draws him back in familiar fears and desires and they take hold. Will he finally break the ties that bind and continue with his musical dream, or will the powerful nostalgia for home proved too much?
CLOSING NIGHT GALA MRS LOWERY & SON Directed by Adrian Noble Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Spall, Wendy Morgan This beautiful, intimate and amusing story of the brittle but vital relationship between L.S. Lowery, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, and his bedridden, unhappy and controlling mother.
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A Magazine for Discerning Cinemagoers and Filmmakers. In this Months edition: June is the time for Sundance London, We have 6 reviews of fil...
Published on Jun 2, 2019
A Magazine for Discerning Cinemagoers and Filmmakers. In this Months edition: June is the time for Sundance London, We have 6 reviews of fil...