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YOUR .................. BEST FILM OF 2017?


















.................. BEST FILM OF 2017?

















Meet the Crew




06 January 38 February 60 March 70 April 86 May 92 June 98 July 102 August 106 September 108 October 114 November 118 December

17 A Monster Calls 25 La La Land 49 Loving 104 Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets 116 Justice League

68 80 96 112 120



Event Cinema


Beauty And The Beast Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 The Mummy Blade Runner 2049 Star Wars: Episode VIII

FOCUS ON 33 Lion 65 Power Rangers 75 The Handmaiden 90 Alien: Covenant 100 War For The Planet Of The Apes


03 3






I’m happy to see the back of 2016. Not only did we lose one of the UK’s finest actors, Alan Rickman (who starred in the greatest Christmas movie of all time*); Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, merely a day later; but we said goodbye to another charismatic performer who, more than once, lit up the big screen - my personal hero, David Bowie. 2016 was an interesting cinematic year, for me, too. It began very well. ‘THE VVITCH’ proved that there is still room for originality in the world of the horror movie and ‘ROOM’ successfully adapted Emma Donoghue’s difficult novel and brought the acting talents of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay to the public’s gaze. Summer seemed to pass me by. Autumn bought the 40th anniversary re-release, in glorious 4K, of ‘THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH’ (so I got my Bowie-fix) as well as Paul Schrader’s ‘DOG EAT DOG’, a wonderful mess of a film - anchored by bravura performances from Willem Dafoe and Nicolas Cage. My year finished on a high with ‘ARRIVAL’, a powerful drama (I refuse to refer to it as sci-fi, despite it’s premise, this is all about humanity) with a stunning revelation near its finale. So what of 2017? Ever since Ryan Gosling won me over in ‘DRIVE’ I’ve been a follower, so I’m looking forward to ‘LA LA LAND’ (Damien Chazelle’s previous film ‘WHIPLASH’ was a personal favourite of 2014) which sees Ryan swap ‘routes’ for ‘routines’ (pleased with that one!). Ryan also stars in the much-anticipated ‘BLADERUNNER 2049’** (which sees Harrison Ford reprise the role of Deckard). And as a huge comic-book fan, Manga especially, the live adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s sci-fi classic ‘GHOST IN THE SHELL’ is another must-see.





Anyways, I better wrap things up, you’ve got a lot to read this month! So roll cameras...

* I figure some of you may like to know what I think is the greatest Christmas movie of all time it’s ‘Die Hard’ of course! Yep, John McClane’s first outing may not be that festive but it’s set at the Yuletide and has the best use of Xmas sticky tape ever! ** Directed by Denis Villeneuve, who made ‘Arrival’, so the signs are very promising indeed!

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Happy New Year! And what a fantastic year 2017 is going to be for cinema. The cheers and the chimes of Big Ben have barely faded before we’re off and running with some big, big films, including the wonderful family feature, A Monster Calls, and Martin Scorsese’s epic Silence. Later in the month, there are the sure-to-be Oscar contenders, La La Land, Manchester By The Sea, Lion & Jackie, featuring an astonishing performance from Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy. There’s the delightful animation Sing, plus the return of some favourites including Vin Diesel as Xander Cage, Warren Beatty both directing and acting in Rules Don’t Apply and, rounding off the month, the eagerly-anticipated T2: Trainspotting, reuniting director Danny Boyle with the original cast. So, what are we waiting for – let’s get viewing… (note: dates correct at time of publication but all are subject to change. Please check for latest release dates)

Assassin’s creed


A Monster Calls

1st January

1st January

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender)experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day. Directed by Justin Kurzel and also starring Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Michael K. Williams.

A visually spectacular drama from acclaimed director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible), based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel. 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith. Also featuring Liam Neeson who stars in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting monster of the title, and Sigourney Weaver as the maternal grandmother.





1st January

Martin Scorsese’s epic tale of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. The culmination of the celebrated director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life.

Endless Poetry 6th January

In the effervesence of the Chilean capital, Santiago, during the 1940s and 50s, twenty-year-old “Alejandrito” Jodorowsk decides to become a poet, despite his parents’ objections. He is introduced into the court of the artistic and intellectual bohemia of the period and meets Enrique Lihn, Stella Diaz, Nicanor Parra, and many other young emerging and anonymous poets who will become the masters of modern Latin American literature. Immersed in this world of poetic experimentation, he lives alongside them in ways that few before them ever dared: sensually, authentically, crazily. A fantasy tale adapted from the final chapter of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s autobiography, The Dance of Reality. MOVIE TIME: SFF




The Bye Bye Man 13th January

People commit unthinkable acts every day. Time and again, we grapple to understand what drives a person to do such terrible things. But what if all of the questions we’re asking are wrong? What if the source of all evil is not a matter of what…but who? From the producer of The Strangers and  Oculus  comes THE BYE BYE MAN, a chilling horror-thriller that exposes the evil behind the most unspeakable acts committed by man. When three college friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, they discover that there is only one way to avoid his curse: don’t think it, don’t say it. But once the Bye Bye Man gets inside your head, he

Manchester By The Sea

takes control. Is there a way to survive his possession? Starring Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway & Douglas Smith.

La La Land 13th January

The story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. See feature p16

13th January

In the acclaimed new drama from writer-director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me, Margaret), Casey Affleck stars as Lee, a man whose spare existence is suddenly ruptured when the death of his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) forces him to return to the hometown he abandoned years before. Rocked by contact with his estranged ex-wife (Michelle Williams) and the revelation that Joe has made him guardian of his teenage son (Lucas Hedges), Lee is forced to face up to painful memories and new-found levels of responsibility as he reconnects with his family. 8



Underworld: Blood Wars

13th January

The next instalment in the blockbuster franchise follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Irreplaceable 13th January

All the people in this countryside area, can count on Jean-Pierre, the doctor who auscultates them, heals and reassures them day and night, 7 days a week. Now Jean-Pierre is sick, so he sees Natalie, a young doctor, coming from the hospital to assist him. But will she adapt to this new life and be able to replace the man that believed to be irreplaceable? Starring François Cluzet, Marianne Denicourt, Christophe Odent.

Live By Night 13th January

Ben Affleck writes, directs and stars in this dramatic crime thriller, based on the award-winning best-seller by Dennis Lehane.

What you put out into this world will always come back to you, but it never comes back how you predict. Taking fatherly advice is not in Joe Coughlin’s nature. Instead, the WWI vet is a self-proclaimed anti-establishment outlaw, despite being the son of the Boston Police Deputy Superintendent. Joe’s not all bad, though; in fact, he’s not really bad enough for the life he’s chosen. Unlike the gangsters he refuses to work for, he has a sense of justice and an open heart, and both work against him, leaving him vulnerable time and again—in business and in love. Driven by a need to right the wrongs committed against him and those close to him, Joe heads down a risky path that goes against his upbringing and his own moral code. Leaving the cold Boston winter behind, he and his reckless crew turn up the heat in Tampa. And while revenge may taste sweeter than the molasses that infuses every drop of illegal rum he runs, Joe will learn that it comes at a price. Also starring Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning & Sienna Miller. MOVIE TIME: SFF





20th January

Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of Kilometers across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.Starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar. See feature p32

The Young Offenders 13th January

Inspired by the true story of Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure in 2007, The Young Offenders is a comedy road movie about best friends Conor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley), two inner-city teenagers from Cork who dress the same, act the same, and even have 10


the same bum-fluff mustaches. Jock is a legendary bike thief who plays a daily game of cat-and-mouse with the bike-theft-obsessed Garda Sergeant Healy (Dominic MacHale). When a drug-trafficking boat capsizes off the coast of West Cork and 61 bales of cocaine, each worth 7 million euro, are seized, word gets out that there is a bale missing. The boys steal two bikes and go on a road trip hoping to find a missing bale which they can sell so as to escape their troubled home lives... but Sergeant Healy is in hot pursuit.


xXx: Return of Xander Cage


19th January

be a gangster.” So begins Martin Scorsese’s modern classic, the story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) who in the mid-1950s was taken under the wing of local New York Italian-American mobster Paul “Paulie” Cicero (Paul Sorvino) and his associates, the enigmatic James “Jimmy the Gent” Conway (Robert de Niro) and aggressive hothead Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). Reissued as part of the BFI’s Martin Scorsese season, Goodfellas is a guaranteed five-star night out, now in 4K.

Jackie 20th January

The good, the extreme, and the completely insane... this is xXx. Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson). Nina Dobrev, Ruby Rose, Toni Collette, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone also star.



20th January

Director Pablo Larrain’s (Neruda, Tony Manero) first English-language film is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well. The cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt and Richard E. Grant.

“As far back as I could remember, I always wanted to MOVIE TIME: SFF





20th January

Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs with SPLIT, an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Cameraperson 27th January

What does it mean to film another person? How does it affect the person - and what does it do to the one who films? A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage captured over the twenty-five-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. 




Denial 27th January

Based on the acclaimed book Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, Director Mick Jackson’s DENIAL recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt’s (Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Timothy

Hacksaw Ridge

Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, in cases of libel, the burden of proof is on the defendant, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team, led by Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson), to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred.

27th January

Directed by Mel Gibson, this is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Also starring Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths & Vince Vaughn. MOVIE TIME: SFF




Sing 27th January

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, family animation SING stars Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theatre that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist—okay, maybe a bit of a scoundrel—who loves his theatre above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. Five lead contestants emerge: A mouse (Seth MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a

timid teenage elephant (Tori Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Reese Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla (Taron Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Scarlett Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. Featuring more than 85 hit songs, SING is written and directed by Garth Jennings (Son of Rambow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

The White King 27th January

Djata (Lorenzo Allchurch) is a care-free 12-year-old growing up in a brutal dictatorship shut off from the outside world. When the government imprisons his father, Peter (Ross Partridge), and Djata and his mother Hannah (Agyness Deyn) are labeled traitors, the boy will not rest until he sees his father again.




Danny Says – The Life And Times Of Danny Field 28th January

Danny Says is a documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and “culture” of the late 20th century: working for the Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins and managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones. Danny Says follows Fields from Phi Beta Kappa whiz-kid, to Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond.

T2: Trainspotting

First there was an opportunity......then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same.Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home.They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle).

27th January

Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance. Director Danny Boyle reunites the original cast.





A MONSTER CALLS “Stories are the wildest things of all.” - The Monster

Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, The Orphanage), A MONSTER CALLS is a visually spectacular and stunningly emotional drama based on the award-winning novel. The screenplay adaptation is by the book’s author, Patrick Ness. Mr. Ness wrote the novel from an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd. 12-year-old Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is about to escape into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales. He is dealing with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness, which has necessitated Conor’s spending

time with his less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver). His daily existence at his UK school is one of academic disinterest and bullying by classmates. As Conor’s father (Toby Kebbell) has resettled thousands of miles away in the US, the boy yearns for guidance. He unexpectedly summons a most unlikely ally, who bursts forth with terrifying grandeur from an ancient towering yew tree and the powerful earth below it: a 40-foot-high colossus of a creature (portrayed in performance-capture and voiceover by Liam Neeson)




who appears at Conor’s bedroom window @12:07 one night – and at that time on nights thereafter. The Monster has stories to tell, and he insists that Conor hear them and powerfully visualize them. Conor’s fear gives way to feistiness and then to looking within; for, The Monster demands that once the tales are told it will be time for Conor to tell his own story in return. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth. A MONSTER CALLS began with the book ‘A Monster Calls’, first published in 2011. Sergio Sánchez, a voracious reader, and also the screenwriter of The Orphanage and The Impossible, was so entranced by the novel that he gave it to those award-winning films’ director, his friend J.A. Bayona. Upon reading the book, Bayona recognized at once “themes I’d touched on in The Orphanage and The Impossible: characters finding themselves in a very intense situation, with death on the horizon. “I saw this as a powerful and important story to tell as a movie – an adventure that anyone can relate to.” Millions of readers agree. The novel, written by Patrick Ness, based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, has been published in almost 40 languages. ‘A



Monster Calls’ won many prestigious prizes worldwide, including the distinguished Carnegie Medal and, for illustrator Jim Kay, the Kate Greenaway Medal. Bayona marvels, “It became beloved, and iconic – and I wanted to do it justice.” Belén Atienza, Bayona’s producer on his earlier movies and an executive producer on the multi-Oscarwinning Pan’s Labyrinth, took to the book as well. “Belén and I both felt passionate about it,” states the director, adding that he “knew it would be an even bigger challenge than The Impossible.” Atienza muses, “Like all good books that deal with a big subject, in the end you find that it’s truly been speaking to you about a lot of different things. One of the key themes is how we process grief and the loss of loved ones. That’s what strikes you in a very direct way when you first read the book, but reading it again you can realize the author is exploring how fantasy is part of us as human beings – and the power it can give us to help deal with life. The story had originated with another author, Siobhan Dowd. She succumbed to cancer soon after starting it. Ness reflects, “Siobhan wrote magnificent books, ones that teenagers deeply responded to; ‘A Monster Calls’ was to have been her fifth. She had an opening; 1,000

JAN UARY words; an idea for a structure; and a few characters.”

interpret the novel, bringing it ‘round to his own territory.”

Initially hesitant when approached by the late author’s editor and asked to adopt the idea, Ness eventually took on the responsibility. His attachment to the story only grew, and he wanted to ensure that the conversations it encouraged would continue. As such, he wrote a very faithful screenplay adaptation. He explains, “To me, this is a story about fear of loss. I was really trying above all things to find the truth of how Conor felt; to not lie about it, not sugarcoat it, not sentimentalize it… to really feel how it hurts, because it surely does.”

The director notes, “I was also inspired to think about why it is we tell stories, and I began to read up on works of mythology from experts such as Joseph Campbell.”

The producer and director sensed that the story could work as a film – without ever losing the emotional core. Atienza notes, “Bayona is someone who listens to his emotions. He found a lot of himself in this kid, how Conor accesses fantasy in this difficult point in his life. “Since, in his films, Bayona likes to speak to audiences through a combination of different genres, this was perfect material for him. He began to see how he might

Bayona and Ness began meeting in Barcelona. “Bayona spoke of how A MONSTER CALLS could for him complete a trilogy about mothers and sons,” remembers the author. “I could see that he was the ideal storyteller for this tale. One thing I like about him, which is probably the most important thing in all of my own writing, is that he takes the feelings of a child seriously. He sees the child as a human being, not as a human being in waiting but as someone who truly lives and experiences and feels pain, joy, fear, trust issues, and happiness.” Bayona feels that “the book speaks about death in a direct and darker way. For the film, I wanted to transcend what we know is coming – the death of Conor’s mother – and be able to fuse the boy’s need to draw with the MOVIE TIME: SFF



strength of legacy. There is light at the end of the story, resulting from the idea that art heals. Patrick’s screenplay has added themes while still being faithful to the novel; in making the movie, there are some elements of the book that we have taken further.” As the project moved forward, it proved difficult to find the right young actor to portray Conor. Atienza notes, “Conor is in practically every scene of the movie. So we ended up looking at close to 1,000 boys.” Ness was “worried about how we would ever find somebody who could carry the entire emotional weight of the film, who could take the entire journey of the story.” Late in the casting process, Lewis MacDougall was brought to the production’s attention; he had only just finished filming his first movie, Pan. Ness was shown MacDougall’s audition video and saw that “he was such a find, so true and so focused. You could read everything on that face.” The project began to attract an impressive adult cast to support the young actor. “Once I read the script, they had me,” says Toby Kebbell, who signed on as Conor’s father. “I had a very emotional response to it. I was thinking about it for days after; even when we’re lucky enough to have parents, we all have things we didn’t understand about growing up.”



Academy Award nominated-actress Sigourney Weaver was sought for the role of Conor’s maternal grandmother. “I’m a huge admirer of Bayona’s earlier films; I found them so powerful,” she reveals. “I read Patrick’s script and found it to be a haunting and moving story. I felt at once that I would be in good hands with this director who could find the balance between the reality of the situation and the fantasy world that Conor escapes into. “In both the book and the script, there is a great deal of respect for children; what they experience, what they feel, what they fear. The story doesn’t pull its punches, but it is also filled with love.” Weaver had a clear idea of how to approach her character, and “A Monster Calls marks my first grandmother role,” she muses. “In the book and in the script, Conor says she doesn’t really look like a grandmother, so that was a wonderful place for me to start! “The grandmother in the book is rather scary. I liked the challenge of playing someone who isn’t so sympathetic, trying to find the humanity. But at the same time, her point of view is relevant. Conor doesn’t really like how different she is from his mother, with all her rules. She is very controlling; being a mother myself, I’ve been accused of this, so I’m on the grandmother’s side and I feel the grandmother is completely right all the time…”

JAN UARY Perhaps most significantly, Weaver took note of how “the situation takes a toll on my character. What this story shows is how it feels to be losing a member of the family – in her case, her only child – to an illness. Ultimately, her and Conor’s relationship grows during the course of the film.” Also crucial to the family dynamic was finding the right actress to portray Weaver’s character’s daughter, who is MacDougall’s character’s mother. When Bayona saw Felicity Jones in her breakout role in Like Crazy – as her Academy Award-nominated portrayal in The Theory of Everything had not yet been screened – he knew he had found the actress to play the role. “I could see in Felicity’s screen presence and her acting skills the light that she would bring into this character,” he notes. Atienza clarifies, “Conor’s mom had him when she was 18, and gave up her dreams of becoming an artist. So this mother and son are close in age and therefore have a special connection, a bond of friendship. Our casting Felicity puts that front and centre right away.”

Jones took her character to heart. She states, “Lizzie is a vibrant, active woman who has never stopped loving art. In her home, there are arts and crafts that reveal her creative spirit. She has loved being a mother to Conor, although she’s a little unconventional. “The fact that she’s a single parent – because the relationship with Conor’s father has ended – makes the story more powerful because she has formed such an incredible bond with her only child. What’s so difficult for Lizzie and Conor is admitting to each other that she is going to die.” With the grandmother taking more of an active role in her daughter and grandson’s life, Jones reached out to Weaver for extra insight into their characters’ dynamic. She offers, “Sigourney and I were very keen to find the nuance in the daughter/mother relationship. In many ways, Lizzie is a bit of a rebel. She had Conor when she was young. She’s impulsive, and that has sometimes been difficult for her mother. There’s a tiny bit of friction between them. MOVIE TIME: SFF



“So what Lizzie wants for Conor is for him to live independently once she is gone; she says to him, ‘Don’t be defined by anyone else.’ She hopes that he will be free, because in many ways Lizzie herself has not been. She’s never quite been able to find her freedom independently from her mother, so she wants that for her son more than anything; there is enormous love between this mother and daughter, but like any family relationship it has been complicated.” In one poignant scene, mother and son curl up together to watch the 1933 King Kong. The latter classic provided the A Monster Calls filmmakers with a touchstone for how to approach their Monster. For, as Atienza notes, “It would have been much easier – and, these days, expected – to get that completely computer-generated. We got a fine CG team together, but our feeling is that moviegoers are getting a bit tired of purely CG effects. It feels that much more powerful when you have tangible physicality; that adds warmth and soul to an intimidating creature.” So it was that a practical version of the Monster was built. Bayona comments, “This was another way we allied ourselves with King Kong; the giant paw that grabs Conor out of his bedroom, the massive foot he 22


touches, the huge head outside his window – they are all real, including handcrafting work. “There is nothing that can’t be done now in visual effects, so I believe it engages audiences more when you go back to how things were done in the first generations of moviemaking. It means more and better interaction for the actors, too.” The animatronic on-set Monster and his moving parts were tasked for special make-up effects creations by Pan’s Labyrinth Academy Award winners Montse Ribé and David Martí with their company DDT. Over a three-month period, over 30 artists and four hydraulics specialists created head and shoulders, arms and hands, and feet. Martí reveals, “There are hydraulics in the neck so that the head could move – and be operated by one person from behind, using a kind of steering wheel. First the head was sculpted and then we made a mold, copied it and painted it. The head, shoulders, foot, arms, and branches are basically all foam. We had to carve, burn, shape, paint, and provide texture to make all the parts of the Monster look tree-like. The challenge we set for ourselves was, make it look real but with very basic materials.”

JAN UARY Bayona elaborates, “We did about 200 drawings of the Monster. The more we had something that looked like fantasy, the less interesting it was for me. Ultimately, we returned to something close to Jim Kay’s iconic drawings in the book.” Atienza adds, “Those drawings by Jim not only inspired the design of the Monster but also encouraged us to personally involve him in the development process, doing some of the preliminary drawings and concept art for the film.” Ness reveals, “The Monster harks back to an English legend called ‘The Green Man.’ He’s sort of the landscape personified, rising up to tell stories. He comes from, and is, a great big, powerful force.” “The Monster also represents that part of your personality which you haven’t yet come to terms with,” adds Bayona. As an actor utterly distinct in personality, voice, and stature, Liam Neeson was everyone’s first choice to portray the Monster, in both voiceover and performancecapture. The Academy Award-nominated actor was drawn to the story immediately, seeing it as “a fable about the complexity of our emotions, and navigating that complexity as we grow up.” To provide geographical and environmental context for both the Monster and Conor’s family, the filmmakers took as a signpost a description in the second tale the

Monster tells: One hundred and fifty years ago this country had become a place of industry. Factories grew up on the landscape like weeds... So it was that unit production manager Margarita Huguet came to comb the north of England, once the engine of the industrial revolution. She looked for key dramatic locations, including the hill where the yew tree would stand near an ancient church and cemetery. Atienza recalls, “Some of the pictures Huguet sent us were from the countryside close to Manchester – absolutely beautiful, with green fields and windy landscapes, cottages and their stone facades, and at the same time echoes of an industrial era in the forms of abandoned factories, huge chimneys, and red brick buildings. We thought this region was very beautiful, and just right for the story and the family’s history.” As A Monster Calls is a deeply felt story, J. A. Bayona applied any number of techniques to make sure that his actors remained in touch with their characters’ emotions. On most days, indelible movie music could be heard on the set in order to evoke a mood; Ennio Morricone and Jerry Goldsmith scores were among the director’s favorites on this shoot. He allowed the camera to keep rolling through multiple takes, without the interruption of a clapperboard or shouts of “Action!” or “Cut!” Felicity Jones says, “Having someone shout ‘Action!’ just as you are about to do a crying scene doesn’t always put you in the best frame of mind. That’s only one way in which Bayona makes it possible for you to find the emotional depth of the scene and your character. “You’re not thinking, ‘Where’s the camera?’ You’re not thinking outside of yourself; you become more and more inside the character, which is what he is trying to achieve with you. It’s a very special experience, working with him.” A MONSTER CALLS is out now in cinemas across the country. MOVIE TIME: SFF







A glorious musical love letter to LA, romance and the golden age of cinema.

Boy meets girl meets the up-ending aspirations of the city of stars – and they all break out of the conventions of everyday life as LA LA LAND takes off on an exuberant song-and-dance journey through a life-changing love affair between a jazz pianist and a hopeful actress. At once an ode to the glamour and emotion of cinema classics, a love letter to the Los Angeles of unabated dreams, and a distinctly modern romance, the film reunites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, bringing them together with rising writer/director Damien Chazelle (the Oscar®-winning Whiplash.) The film begins as everything begins in L.A.: on the freeway. This is where Sebastian (Gosling) meets Mia (Stone), with a disdainful honk in a traffic jam that mirrors all too well the gridlock they’re each navigating in their lives. Both are focused on the kind of near-impossible hopes that are the lifeblood of the city: Sebastian trying to get people to care about traditional jazz in the 21st Century, Mia aiming to nail just one uninterrupted audition. But neither expects that their fateful encounter will lead them to take leaps they never could alone. The leaps they both make, towards each other and, conflictingly, into their grandest artistic dreams, creates its own quintessentially cinematic world of rapture in LA LA LAND – one that with light, colour, sound, music and words takes a trip directly into the ecstasies of the happiness we chase… and the heartache of the passions we never get over.

Says Chazelle: “To me, it was important to make a movie about dreamers, about two people who have these giant dreams that drive them, that bring them together, but also tear them apart.” LA LA LAND itself began with a crazy dream. Chazelle wanted to see if he could make a film that channels the magic and energy of the most poignantly romantic French and American musicals of filmmaking’s Golden Age … into our more complicated and jaded age. Says Chazelle: “With La La Land, I wanted to do a love story and I also wanted to create a musical like the musicals that entranced me as a kid, but updated into something very modern. I wanted to explore how you use color, sets, costumes and all these very expressionistic elements of Old School movie making to tell a story that takes place in our times.” Chazelle was also uniquely inspired by the films of Jacques Demy, the French New Wave director who broke the hyper-serious 1960s mold with intoxicating, candy-coloured musicals such as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort and A Room In Town. “Demy’s probably the single biggest influence not just on this movie but on everything I’ve done or wanted to do. There’s no more formative movie for me than Umbrellas Of Cherbourg. That’s a profound love that I’ve had,” Chazelle says.




Chazelle became struck by the idea of fusing some of his favorite elements from musicals of the 40s, 50s and 60s – the continuous musical score, the eye-popping colours, the mood-driven energy – with his favorite city: Los Angeles, which becomes as much a romantic character in LA LA LAND as the film’s two lovers. Los Angeles has been many things on films – a searing noir backdrop, a lush bikini paradise, a city high on the fumes of ambition. But Chazelle set out to explore Los Angeles as Muse, a constantly in-motion canvas of fateful encounters, endless traffic, but also endless striving as everyone chases their own private, unrealized dreams, at times futilely, sometimes transformationally. “LA LA LAND is about a city that is very epic and unto itself – it’s a wide-screen city,” observes Chazelle. So I thought it would be great to shoot it in wide-screen, to make it as a big and spectacular to me as a classic 26


Hollywood musical.” Chazelle’s Los Angeles is also a city of unseen yearning – an LA of hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs, heart-numbing audition waiting rooms, way-stop apartments, and studio coffee shops where the famous and aspirational collide; as well as an LA where parties, planetariums and even parking spots can bust out of the mundane and expected to become a kinetic dreamscape rife with musical mirth. “LA LA LAND is absolutely a love letter to the city,” says producer Marc Platt. “The way the film mixes two people leading very hip, modern lives with all these iconic Hollywood locales is unique. You get a feeling both of the romantic fantasy of the city and its grounding in real lives.” Ryan Gosling/Seb’s Story

JAN UARY The jazz pianist Sebastian has a near-miss with the greatest love of his life. A defiantly retro jazz diehard who doesn’t believe in compromising his convictions for anyone or anything, at first he brushes off Mia as just another person who will never comprehend him or the gravity of his dreams – but that does not go as planned. Taking the role is Academy Award® nominee Ryan Gosling in perhaps his most unexpected departure to date. Ever since his breakout in Half Nelson and through such films as Lars and The Real Girl, The Ides of March, Blue Valentine, Drive and The Big Short, Gosling has been known for a range of volatile emotions. But could he combine that with the soft-shoe charms of a musical’s leading man? The filmmakers were convinced. Platt had previously worked with Gosling on Drive and knew he was capable of more than audiences have seen. “There’s something about Ryan,” he muses. “First and foremost, he’s a marvelous actor and I think he can do anything in terms of a role, be it drama, comedy, violence, sweetness, charm, singing, piano playing or dancing. But there’s a quality to Ryan that is timeless – and that befits this movie and character. The role also demanded an actor with the initiative to devote

himself to intensive preparation, and I knew Ryan is that guy.” As it turned out, Gosling had his own long-held affection for movie musicals that came into play the minute he came aboard. Says Gosling: “I was really intrigued by the fact that Damien wanted to make a film in the style of that Fred and Ginger and Gene Kelly eras, because those are the musicals that move me. The fact that he wanted this film to have that kind of aesthetic and spirit of playfulness was fantastic because it was also a secret wish of mine to make a film like that.” An equal magnet for Gosling was the intrigue of playing a man who worships with his very being an artform that seems to be dying on the vine of a ruthlessly fast-changing pop culture. “Sebastian has dedicated his life to being a great jazz pianist, but in his mind the world around him is saying those days are over. His heroes were born 70 years ago, and in this day and age, a great piano player playing real jazz is destined to work in bars where people don’t even stop their conversations to listen to you,” Gosling notes. “So how much do you compromise to be the artist you want to be?”




The line between principled dedication and making yourself irrelevant is a fuzzy one, Gosling acknowledges. “I think Sebastian is struggling with the difference between being a purist and being a snob,” he remarks. “Ultimately, he faces a question lots of creative people are faced with at some point in life: do I keep pursuing this work that actually nourishes me or to do I have to accept that this is just a job and I have to pay my bills?” That equation gets flipped in new ways when Sebastian meets Mia. Almost instantly, he sees her fate as more promising – and he wants to support her dreams. “I think it’s easier for him to get on board with Mia’s dream than it is with his own,” Gosling observes. “He just thinks Mia needs to create her own opportunities and stop waiting for people to give her permission to do what she loves to do.” Much as Gosling could relate to the character, his



work was seriously cut out for him as he prepared to take on the role of a consummate jazz pianist -- body and soul. He dove into months and months of jazz piano lessons, not to mention learning to dance with a modern sense of suave. Gosling took on the task with the energy of a man possessed – in part because it was a kind of dream-fulfillment in its own right. “Piano is something I always wished I had the time to learn so here I had this great opportunity to sit in front of a piano for three months and just play – and I took advantage of it. It was really one of the most fulfilling preproduction periods I’ve ever had,” he says. Emma Stone, who previously paired with Gosling on the hit comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love and appeared with him in Gangster Squad, had no trouble responding organically to the funny, charismatic and torn man Gosling found within Sebastian. Stone summa-

JAN UARY rizes: “Ryan brought so much to this role: he learned to play the piano stunningly well and he’s been a great dance partner. But the thing that I was most surprised by is how funny he is in this role. I mean I’ve always known that Ryan is funny but he’s really, really funny in this movie. He’s kind of got it all going on as Sebastian.” Emma Stone/Mia’s Aim The aspiring actress Mia seems to be caught in an endless loop from her barista job to dead-end auditions when she finds herself repeatedly bumping into the same ill-mannered pianist in a convertible – who breaks the spell. Playing Mia is Academy Award® nominee Emma Stone, whose roles have ranged from Superbad and Easy A to The Help and Birdman. Stone faced a oneof-a-kind challenge with the role – playing a character who has to be at once anchored in very real goals and feelings, while also able to erupt into musical fantasia at a moment’s notice, combining the two seamlessly. It helped that Stone has not only explored the depths of dramatic roles, but also has the skills of a Broadway veteran who recently starred as Sally Bowles in the revival of Cabaret. Mia’s yearning for something beyond the ordinary hit home with the actress. “Mia is driven by something that maybe she doesn’t completely understand,” says Stone. “She wants to be an artist in a city of so many people who seem to be just like her. She feels that there’s something special inside her but she doesn’t quite know what it is. I could relate to her being an actress and going on auditions but even more so, there was something so exciting about taking her into this musical world where you can suddenly spin down the street or burst into song. That was a wonderful challenge.” John Legend’s First Major Screen Role

Joining the cast of LA LA LAND in his first major film role is ten-time GRAMMY® winner and Academy Award® winning singer-songwriter John Legend who portrays Keith, the musician who enlists Sebastian to join his rapidly rising band, The Messengers, and takes him far away from Mia. Legend also cowrote the song “Start A Fire,” which rockets the Messengers to fame in the film. Producer Fred Berger says at first casting Legend was sheer fantasy. “This film always kind of existed in a dream world, so we dreamed of who we could get for the role, but then it happened,” the producer muses. “Even from an availability standpoint, with John’s commitments it was hard to imagine he’d be able to do it. But he did and he entered into the mix with incredible excitement and passion. He fit so well into the ethos of the film because he’s the nicest, most hardworking guy, and very down to earth.” Berger adds: “From a musical standpoint, we knew he would be amazing. But from an acting standpoint, he had to hold his own with Ryan -- and he blew us away with his natural talent. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of him on screen, and not only singing.” Legend jumped at the chance to explore something new. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to transition into doing more acting in a role that feels pretty familiar to what I already do for a living, which is make music,” Legend says. “I was drawn to the idea of playing a musician in a film directed by such a talented director and with such great co-stars.” For Legend, the chance to work one-on-one with Ryan Gosling was a thrill. “Ryan is one of the best actors working right now, so I came into it with real humility -- and Ryan was so helpful and supportive of me. He really encouraged me to feel ‘OK I can do this.’” Writing “Start A Fire” furthered Legend’s understanding of the characters. “What’s fun is that we get to see the song morph as Sebastian and Keith figure out MOVIE TIME: SFF



what kind of music they want to make,” says Legend. “It presents Sebastian with the quandary of how ‘pop’ he’s willing to get, and how far he’s willing to go from the music that he feels moved to play.” With Legend cast, an exciting young ensemble rounded out the supporting actors. They include: Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina), Jessica Rothe (Parallels), Callie Hernandez (Blair Witch), Finn Wittrock (Unbroken) and Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married). Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons also came aboard, reuniting with his Whiplash director as Sebastian’s boss. The Centre of La La Land: Lyrics and Melody At the heart of LA LA LAND are the film’s original songs which flow through the story just as monologues, dialogues and ensemble conversations would. To forge the lyrics to go with composer Justin Hurwitz’s music, Chazelle and Hurwitz worked leading theatrical 30


composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, whose productions include Dear Evan Hansen, A Christmas Story, Dogfight, James and the Giant Peach and Edge. This would be their first chance to create a fullscale lyrical book for the screen. Pasek and Paul were compelled by the challenges of entering the border zones between reality and romantic fantasy. “It was a balance because we wanted to capture the real toughness of trying to make it in LA, but also to capture that joy of two people finally getting the chance to live out their dreams,” Paul explains. “It wasn’t easy. There were a lot of drafts and a lot of take-out food.” Another challenge was weaving the personas of Sebastian and Mia into their songs. “Sebastian is a bit offbeat and counterculture, so that was a fun challenge, whereas Mia is more earnest,” says Paul. The songs for LA LA LAND then inspired a series of

JAN UARY supercharged production numbers that are woven effortlessly into the fabric of the story. Damien Chazelle envisioned these numbers as echoing that wit, imagination and narrative freedom associated with Mid Century movie musicals – but bringing an energy and pace that speaks to audiences raised on iPhones and YouTube.

how we wanted the audience to feel really emotionally invested and immersed in our numbers,” Moore says. “We wanted the feeling that Sebastian and Mia are real people who, just for a moment, transcend the confines of everyday life.”

To that end, he collaborated closely with choreog-

its. And I was really giddy about that. But then came the point of thinking, ‘oh my God, how are we going to do this?’” she laughs. “You realize that to create something magical you’re going to have to take some crazy leaps and really stand on the top of some cliffs and go for it.”

rapher Mandy Moore, a two-time Emmy Award winner, renown for her groundbreaking work turning dance into suspenseful reality television on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Moore, who has designed numbers for the concert and theatrical stage as well as music videos, also choreographed David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook. ®

“My initial conversations with Damien were about

But the challenge went beyond that. Moore goes on: “I knew Damien wanted to shoot it old-style. No ed-

Photos: Dale Robinette LA LA LAND opens in UK cinemas on Friday, 13th January, 2017








Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home. Adapted from the memoir “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley, LION is directed by Emmy Award nominated Garth Davis (Top of the Lake) from a screenplay by Luke Davies (Candy, Life). Starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and David Wenham, with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Deepti Naval, and introducing Sunny Pawar. When See-Saw Film’s Emile Sherman and Iain Canning first heard the true story of Saroo Brierley’s journey to find his childhood home and birth mother, they immediately sensed that it could make an extraordinarily powerful feature film. “It’s one of those stories where it is virtually impossible not to move people when you talk to them about it. It’s an incredible story that gives everyone tingles up their spine. It taps into something primal in us as human beings - the need to find home and the need to know who you are,” producer Sherman says. Canning and Sherman approached Garth Davis to direct the film while at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 for the world premiere of their television series Top of the Lake, co-directed by Garth, with Jane Campion, who also co-wrote the series. “We followed our instincts. We felt Garth - although he hadn’t yet made a feature film - was exactly the right director for the film. He’s incredibly cinematic and can create real visual scope. At the same time he’s just brilliant with actors. He creates such intimacy in his work

and we wanted to make sure this felt raw and real,” Sherman says. “This is a film about family, about those deep bonds that never go away, that underpin our lives. Garth feels those bonds. He is a director who is not afraid of emotions. He embraces the emotion but does it in a way that is real and fresh and edgy. He also has a spiritual side - there is a sense of fate in this film. It’s about destiny and hope and we knew that Garth would bring out those resonances in a way that another director might not have been so finely tuned to do.” Producer Angie Fielder from Aquarius Films was invited to join the producing team. She says: “You couldn’t make Saroo’s story up, it’s so extraordinary. It has all of the stuff of great cinema - it has adventure and peril, it traverses continents, it travels across time. And his journey is deeply, deeply emotional. What also makes it incredibly cinematic is that the story is so ultimately satisfying. After years of being without his biological family and years of searching he actually, amazingly, like a needle in a haystack, found his way home.” Determined to honour the truth of the story, Davis travelled to India while developing the film where he spent time in Kolkata (Calcutta) and also in Saroo’s childhood home village. Davis was there in the village when Saroo’s birth mother Kamla and adoptive mother Sue met for the very first time. Some of the filming of LION took place in the village and Saroo’s family were welcome MOVIE TIME: SFF




visitors to set on several occasions. “It was important for me to just walk in Saroo’s reality as much as possible and so I literally retraced his steps as best as I could. I walked around his village by myself and imagined being a little boy growing up in that area. I sat on a bench at the Burhanpur train station where he woke up alone, and then on to Kolkata and the main train station, Howrah, where the full force of the story really hit me. I have my own kids and to imagine a five year old alone there, unable to speak the language - that’s when I knew this was going to be a really powerful film.” Screenwriter Luke Davies made his own journey to India. Canning and Sherman had previously worked with him on Anton Corbijn’s Life and also on the filmed adaption of Davies’ novel Candy. Davis and Davies collaborated closely and intensely, experimenting with ideas, including the film’s structure. Would it be told in flashback or as a linear narrative?



How do you honour the truth of the story but tell it in a way that is satisfying for a cinematic audience? Sherman says: “The more traditional structure would have been to start with Saroo in Australia, for it to be the story of a western man who suddenly has memories of the past, and to cut back and forth as he searches for home. We battled long and hard with the structure and ultimately decided to go for a more epic one - letting the audience fully experience young Saroo’s life in India upfront. Starting with his family life, through the moment he steps onto the wrong train, onto his life on the streets of Kolkata, we are with young Saroo as his story unfolds. The enormous power of this experience is then felt throughout the Australian section, and we can then fully appreciate his emotional pull back to his birth mother. One of the great challenges of the film was to find an Indian boy to play Saroo as a five-year-old. Fielder says that the Indian production team worked closely with schools and parents in several large Indian cities in their search for the right boys for the roles. They screen tested

JAN UARY thousands of children and each child who was considered to have acting potential was filmed and the tests sent back to Australia. Davis, Fielder, Australian casting director Kirsty McGregor and dramaturg Miranda Harcourt then travelled to India to work with the shortlisted children, including Sunny Pawar who was chosen to play Saroo.

Production began in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta) in January 2015. Dev Patel, who plays the adult Saroo, arrived early in the shoot to film the scenes of reunion with Saroo’s birth

“I just kept coming back to Sunny.” Says Davis. “ I would put a camera lens on him and he just felt like the boy I had been feeling. I needed a boy who in his natural state could give me 80% of the performance, someone with a look behind his eyes, a history, a quality that’s beautiful to look at...and Sunny had that in spades. He could just sit in a room with the cameras on him and those of us watching would get lost in his story, in his face. At the same time there was something darker, something interesting going on.”

Sherman says: “We knew we had to cast a Western actor of Indian heritage rather than an actor from India, to ensure the accent was correct. Saroo himself is very much an Australian man. We always had Dev in mind. He just blew us away in his screen test. He’s a wonderful actor, but he’s also so likeable, so warm and so much fun. We knew we were in the hands of an actor who’d be able to take the audience on a very emotional journey. Dev really embraced that and exceeded all of our extremely high expectations.”

Producer Angie Fielder says: “Sunny went from being a young boy who had no idea about acting to a total pro who understood everything about what he was doing and was completely in control of his performance.”

To better look like the real Saroo Brierley, who is tall and strong after a lifetime in the Australian outdoors, Patel embarked on a punishing weight and food regime, to add bulk and muscle. He also worked with a dialect coach to perfect the notoriously difficult Australian accent.

mother. Dev campaigned hard to win the role, convincing Garth Davis and the producers that cinema audiences had yet to see the range he was capable of.





Patel confirms that he chased the role. He says he’d never read a script so enchanting: “It encapsulates triumph. It’s such a hopeful story about this kid’s will to survive and to find his family again. What particularly drew me to the role was that it is a very contemporary character, and also that the story has complex family dynamics it’s a beautiful role.” Iain Canning and Angie Fielder recall meeting Saroo Brierley and their first impressions of him. Fielder says: “When you meet Saroo you get a sense of how he managed to survive on the streets of Kolkata as a five year old. There is something about him as a person that is very resilient and industrious and confident. At the same time he’s a quintessential Aussie guy with a larrikin sense of humour.” Canning says: “I was very taken by how family orientated he is, both with his Australian family and with his birth family in India. At the time he was genuinely surprised that his journey had captured the public’s 36


imagination and had also captured the imagination of Google.” Having heard the vital role Google Earth played in Saroo’s search for home, the company had invited him to speak at an international conference where he met the company’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt. Google assisted the producers throughout filming, ensuring authenticity of the scenes in which Saroo searches for his Indian birthplace using Google Earth. After meeting the real Sue Brierley at her home in Hobart, Tasmania, the southern island state of Australia, Davis knew he wanted Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actress Nicole Kidman to play her. “I was spending a lot of time with Sue and one day, while she was talking to me, it just dropped into my head ‘that’s Nicole Kidman’. Serendipitously, as we were going off casting around the world we had a note saying that Nicole had managed to get her hands on the script, had read it, and was very keen to talk.

JAN UARY “I met Nicole in New York and we just talked and cried and talked and cried... she knew everything about Sue in the way that I knew it. It just felt great. I just loved working with Nicole and being around her. She’s super professional, super prepared. She’d ask me really, really smart questions along the way. She’s a very hard working actress. But most of all I really enjoyed how brave she was. She’s kind of wild to watch, kind of method and just really commits to the character. And then she was just really lovely on set, down to speaking to the neighbours who were peering over the fence watching us filming. She is very inclusive and very loving - and also brilliant.” Rooney Mara was recommended for the role of Lucy, who becomes Saroo’s girlfriend after they meet as students at an international hospitality college, by Executive Producer Harvey Weinstein. “Lucy is critical to the story. She’s everything that Saroo wants in his present. But his journey pulls him away from her as he becomes more and more isolated by his search for home and by the past. Lucy of course wants to support and help him but his journey becomes all consuming and incredibly isolating. This pull between the present - his love for Lucy - and the past - his memories and pull to his birth mother - is at the centre of Saroo’s drama. Rooney brings huge tenderness to the role and the scenes of Saroo and Lucy meeting and falling in love are so alive and touching,” Sherman says. Saroo’s Australian dad is played by David Wenham, who starred, with Elisabeth Moss, in See-Saw Films’ Top of the Lake television series, which was co-directed by Davis with Jane Campion. Sherman says: “When casting we were thinking ‘what human being would you want to have as your father if you were adopted and arrived in Australia?’ And we just couldn’t go past David Wenham; he represents everything that we knew our little Saroo would want. He is absolute safe harbour, he’s funny and he’s kind.”

The first six weeks of filming of LION took place India - in Kolkata, Bengal, and the central state of Madya Pradesh - with Garth casting several highly experienced Indian actors in key roles. They include one of the country’s biggest films stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as well as Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Deepti Naval, each highly regarded for their work in India’s parallel cinema scene. The Indian shoot was physically demanding, with the cast and filmmakers battling the crowds and pollution of Kolkata, and the dust and heat of Indore in western India. The shoot was ambitious, with the story demanding that filming take place in the crowded main train station in Kolkata, on the bridge that connects the east and west of the city, and alongside the Hugli river - a tributary of the Ganges - where the production had to ferry cast and equipment through the teeming, narrow alleyways of the flower market, on the eve of a major festival. Davis talks about the ‘mapping’ of Saroo’s story for an audience: “A lot of thought went into how to get across clearly the steps Saroo needs to take to find home. What his memories are, how to represent them, what the audience knows at each point. All so that the audience can be with Saroo on his journey, discovering home with Saroo. That needed to be very carefully worked out. “I hope to watch the film it looks effortless, but a lot of thought has gone into the engineering of how the visual storytelling helps the layers of the story.” Sherman believes the creative team has well and truly made a film that delivers on the promise of the story: “This is a film I am very proud of. It’s an incredible story about mothers, and the primal urge to find home. I hope audiences have the same spine tingling experience that Iain and I did when we first heard the story.” LION opens in UK cinemas on Friday, 13th January, 2017 MOVIE TIME: SFF




Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

3rd February

3rd February

Starring Matthew McConaughey. Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Edgar Ramírez (Che) and directed by Stephen Gaghan (Syriana), GOLD is the story of Kenny Wells (McConaughey), a modernday prospector, hustler, and dreamer, desperate for a lucky break. Left with few options, Wells teams up with an equally luckless geologist to execute a grandiose, last-ditch effort: to find gold deep in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia.

Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.


3rd February

From acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, LOVING celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since. See feature p48





3rd February

The film is set 13 years after the events of the first chapters of the cult horror franchise. Julia (Matilda Lutz) becomes worried about her boyfriend Holt (Alex Roe) when he explores the dark urban legend of a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after viewing. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: There is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before... RINGS is directed by F. Javier Gutierrez and also stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Johnny Galecki, Laura Wiggins, Aimee Teegarden & Bonnie Morgan.

Toni Erdmann 3rd February

Winfried (Peter Simonischek) doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly studentless music teacher decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It’s an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an

important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The geographical change doesn’t help the two to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks. Even worse are his little jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to return home to Germany. Enter ashy Toni Erdmann, Winfried’s smooth-talking alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and even weirder fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ professional life, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried is bolder and doesn’t hold back, but Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become, and in all the madness, Ines slowly begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve a place in her life after all. Directed by Maren Ade.




Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

10th February

Two-time Academy Award® winner Ang Lee brings his extraordinary vision to the widely-acclaimed, bestselling novel. The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s perceptions. The film also stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, with Vin Diesel, and Steve Martin. Lee used new technology, shooting at an ultra-high frame rate for the first time in film history, to create an immersive digital experience helping him dramatize war in a way never seen before.

20th Century Women

Fifty Shades Darker

10th February

10th February

The story of three remarkable women, each from a different era of the 20th century, coming together to help teach a teenage boy about life and love, sex and freedom, men and women. Set in Santa Barbara in the summer of 1979, filled with punkrock verve, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN takes a humorous and heartfelt look at how we figure out who we are. Written and directed by acclaimed writer and director Mike Mills (Beginners, Thumbsucker), and starring 4-time Academy Award® Nominee Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right, American Beauty), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Greenberg) and Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Super 8).

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015’s blockbuster film that grossed more



FEBRUARY than $560 million globally, the new instalment arrives for Valentine’s Day and invites you to slip into something a shade darker.When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.Also returning from Fifty Shades of Grey are Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Ehle, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Victor Rasuk, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini, who are joined for the first time by Oscar® winner Kim Basinger, Hugh Dancy, Bella Heathcote and Eric Johnson. Directed by James Foley.

Prevenge 10th February

Alice Lowe (Sightseers) is a triple threat as the writer, director and star of this pitch-black comedy about a pregnant woman whose unborn child psychically spurs her on to murder.

The Space Between Us 10th February

LoveTrue 10th February

This genre-bending documentary brings director & cinematographer Alma Har’el’s signature poetic imagery and fascination with performance in nonfiction to three complimentary stories that seek to demystify the fantasy of true love. Using an atmospheric blend of follow-along footage, artful camerawork, and scenes depicting the past, present, and future of her subjects, Har’el follows three complicated, real-life relationships as they unfold in distinct corners of the country. Alaskans Blake and Joel pursue a promising romance, in spite of physical limitations and her stripping career. In Hawaii, free spirit Coconut Willie discovers another side of true love after realizing his son is not biologically his own. And singer/songwriter Victory philosophizes on faith and faithfulness as she and her siblings perform in the streets of New York City accompanied by their father John, who was abruptly separated from his wife. Set to a hypnotizing score by Flying Lotus and executive produced by Shia LaBeouf, three revelatory stories emerge about a deeper definition of love.

In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after take-off that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet - never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) - an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa (Britt Robertson). When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars - from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team... Peter Chelsom (Hector and the Search for Happiness, Serendipity, Hear My Song) directs and also stars. MOVIE TIME: SFF



Taxi Driver


10th February

Isolated ex-marine Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) applies for a job as a taxi driver, hoping that the nocturnal working pattern will alleviate the effects of his insomnia and distract him from his gnawing depression. But ferrying passengers through the seedy underbelly of night-time New York City only compounds Bickle’s psychological dislocation from the world around him. His nightshifts in the cab are spent resenting those he sees, while his waking daytime hours are wasted away in adult movie theatres. After entering into a troubled relationship with a political campaigner and embarking on a fraught mission to save a teenager from the world of prostitution, Bickle’s sense of place and purpose steadily warps. He withdraws into himself, hordes illegal firearms and begins a regimen of intense physical training in preparation for a misguided vigilante assault on the evils of society. Marking 40 years since its original release, Martin Scorsese’s classic receives a timely re-issue into cinemas.

The Lego Batman Movie


10th February

Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson, adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film stars Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sidney. An AfricanAmerican father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life.

10th February

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made The Lego Movie a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. Starring Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Zach Galifianakis. 42



The Great Wall (3D)

17th February

Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), THE GREAT WALL tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world›s most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. THE GREAT WALL also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.

The Founder 17th February

Directed by John Lee Hancock, THE FOUNDER is a drama that tells the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He manoeuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire. MOVIE TIME: SFF



Hidden Figures 17th February

He’s back. In this next chapter following the 2014 hit, legendary hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. Also starring Common, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane and directed by Chad Stahelski.

Multiple Maniacs


17th February

The incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae)—brilliant AfricanAmerican women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanised the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. Directed by Ted Melfi.

John Wick: Chapter 2 17th February

John Waters’ gloriously grotesque, unavailable-fordecades second feature comes to theatres at long last, replete with all manner of depravity, from robbery to murder to one of cinema’s most memorably blasphemous moments. Made on a shoestring budget in Baltimore, with Waters taking on nearly every technical task, this gleeful mockery of the peace-and-love ethos of its era features the Cavalcade of Perversion, a travelling show put on by a troupe of misfits whose shocking proclivities are topped only by those of their leader: the glammerthan-glam, larger-than-life Divine, who’s out for blood after discovering her lover’s affair. Starring Waters’ beloved regular cast, the Dreamlanders (including David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Edith Massey and Cookie Mueller), MULTIPLE MANIACS is an anarchist masterwork from an artist who has doggedly tested the limits of taste for decades.

Best 24th February

He was football’s first rock and roll star – a handsome, charismatic Belfast boy who could thrill and excite the crowds with every turn of the ball. But George Best was also the lead in his own Shakespearean tragedy, a flawed genius, brought down by drink, temptation and depression. In this 30 for 30 documentary jointly 44


FEBRUARY presented by ESPN Films, the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen, director Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough) recounts the tale of this beloved but be-devilled superstar with riveting, evocative footage and testimony by those who knew him at his best—and worst. There’s a lot of ground to cover in Best’s short life—from his electrifying debut with Manchester United at the tender age of 17, through the glory years that United won the 1968 European Cup, his adventures in the North American Soccer League, not to mention his time spent romancing the world’s most beautiful, intoxicating women. But Gordon tells Best’s story with a skill worthy of the man himself. The film draws you into the drama that surrounded Best and makes you understand just why an estimated quarter of a million people lined the route of his funeral cortege to mourn his tragic passing.

A Cure For Wellness

God Particle 24th February

The third instalment of the Cloverfield franchise. A shocking discovery forces a team of astronauts aboard a space station to fight for survival while their reality has been altered. Cast includes Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu MbathaRaw, Daniel Bruhl, Chris O’Dowd, Ziyi Zhang & David Oyelowo. Directed by Julius Onah and produced by J. J. Abrams.

17th February

An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure. From Gore Verbinski, the visionary director of The Ring, comes the new psychological thriller, A CURE FOR WELLNESS. Starring Jason Isaacs, Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth and Adrian Schiller. MOVIE TIME: SFF



It’s Only The End Of The World


24th February

17th February

After 12 years of absence, Louis (Gaspard Ulliel), a writer, goes back to his hometown, planning on announcing his upcoming death to his family. As resentment soon rewrites the course of the afternoon, fits and feuds unfold, fuelled by loneliness and doubt, while all attempts of empathy are sabotaged by people’s incapacity to listen and love. Also stars Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel & Nathalie Baye, directed by Xavier Dolan..

Miss Sloane 24th February

In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win. But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price. Directed by Shakespeare in Love’s John Madden, this drama-thriller also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, John Lithgow and Mark Strong.



A timeless story of human connection and selfdiscovery, MOONLIGHT chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighbourhood of Miami. At once a vital portrait of contemporary African American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship, and love, MOONLIGHT is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths. Anchored by extraordinary performances from a tremendous ensemble cast, writer-director Barry Jenkins’s staggering, singular vision is profoundly moving in its portrayal of the moments, people, and unknowable forces that shape our lives and make us who we are. Starring Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp & Duan Sanderson.


Patriots Day

24th February

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Peter Berg, PATRIOTS DAY is an account of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the everyday heroes who inspired the world in the extraordinary hours that followed. In the aftermath of an unspeakable act of terror, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again.  Weaving together the stories of Special Agent Richard Deslauriers (Kevin Bacon), Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) and nurse Carol Saunders (Michelle Monaghan) this visceral and unflinching chronicle captures the suspense of the most sophisticated manhunt in law enforcement history and the strength of the people of Boston.

Sweet Dreams

The Student

24th February

28th February

Massimo’s (Valerio Mastandrea) idyllic childhood was shattered by the mysterious death of his mother. As he prepares to sell his parents’ apartment, he is haunted by his traumatic past. Compassionate doctor Elisa (Bérénice Bejo) could help tormented Massimo open up and confront his childhood wounds…

Contemporary Russia. A high school student becomes convinced that the world has been lost to evil, and begins to challenge the morals and beliefs of the adults around him.








Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga), an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married. Directed by Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special, Mud, Take Shelter). “Why didn’t I know about this before?” This is a common refrain heard when discovering human rights breakthroughs from decades past - and the love story of Richard and Mildred Loving has paved the way for many more since. Richard and Mildred’s history is now told anew by acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols in LOVING. “I was struck by the simplicity of their beautiful love story,” says the filmmaker. Richard, who was white, and Mildred, who was African-American and Native-American, were an ordinary couple from Central Point, Virginia. They decided to marry and start a family. Yet, at that time in Virginia, what they did was against the law and they were arrested soon after getting married. As the plaintiffs in Loving v. Virginia, they were catalysts for the Supreme Court decision that abolished anti-miscegenation laws - or, laws against interracial marriage - in the United States. In establishing marriage as a fundamental right, Loving v. Virginia is still frequently cited in court cases today, including in challenges to gay marriage bans. But the Lovings were not activists; they merely reasonably expected that their fully legal marriage in Washington D.C. would suffice for them to live peacefully in their hometown of Central Point. Initially, they made no appeal after they were arrested for violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws, and agreed to a plea bargain that effectively banished them from their home state.

When the Lovings finally sought legal aid in 1963, their sole aim was to be able to get back to - and live in their - home. It was only in 1965, at the urging of their attorneys Bernard Cohen and Philip Hirschkop, that the couple agreed to go public with their story and talk to the press. After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in their favour in June 1967, the Lovings went back to their everyday lives and to raising their three children in Central Point, and rarely gave interviews. In 2008, the surviving member of the couple, Mildred, passed away. Reading about Mildred, documentary filmmaker Nancy Buirski was moved by the Lovings’ unshakable devotion to one another - and by the contemporary relevance of their case. Buirski decided to make a documentary feature about Richard and Mildred Loving. Her research led her to television news producer Hope Ryden, who had spent hours filming the Lovings at home in 1965 and then returned in 1967 for ABCTV to profile them on the eve of the ruling. That footage and other archival resources, including luminous photos by Life Magazine photographer Grey Villet, were utilized by Buirski in writing, producing, and directing ‘The Loving Story’. The documentary played at festivals in 2011 before being shown on HBO on Valentine’s Day, 2012. It won a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award, among other honours, and captivated audiences and critics alike with its depiction of a committed and courageous couple who, above all else, were very much in love. MOVIE TIME: SFF



One of those captivated viewers was Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth, who was already aware of the documentary; Buirski had been in contact with Firth regarding a feature version of the story after learning from Firth’s wife Livia of his interest in American politics and social history. By 2009, Buirski and Firth were brainstorming a narrative structure and began working on a screenplay. In January 2011, Firth called Buirski to tell her that he was teaming with Ged Doherty to launch a production company, Raindog Films and that as a first project, he had brought up to Doherty a narrative feature version of The Loving Story. Buirski remembers, “Colin had just won the Golden Globe Award for The King’s Speech but I was the one who was overjoyed!” Buirski remembers. Doherty remarks, “Colin was very taken with the simplicity of the story, with how this ordinary couple made a huge difference in the lives of other couples.” 50


The next step was to find a writer and director. When the three producers saw Jeff Nichols’ Mud at a specially arranged screening in 2012, they sensed that the filmmaker’s cinematic sensibility and intuitive depictions of Southern men and women would be ideal for the film they wanted to make. “The love between two people was what impacted me emotionally,” Nichols affirms. “Out of that grows the other importance of the story, which is the Supreme Court decision. I believe that any time we can be reminded of the elegance and the simple beauty of love, it’s a good thing.” The tenor of life in the Lovings’ rural hometown, Central Point, further resonated powerfully with Nichols. A remote agricultural community tucked into the hills of Virginia’s Caroline County, Central Point was a racially mixed town of sharecroppers and laborers. Poverty was

FEBRUARY the common denominator; African-Americans, whites, and Native-Americans had mixed freely for generations. Residents would help one another without hesitation. Nichols envisioned a feature that followed Richard and Mildred Loving as they weathered the uncertainty of the years 1958 to 1967, rather than one that recorded their march into the history books. He remarks, “There’s no doubt that the court case could fill a whole film in itself. But I didn’t want it to overtake the love story, which is what I wanted to make - especially having not made one before, although Mud dealt with unrequited love rather than a legal tale.” Nichols sought to convey “tension in the film, yet keep it very quiet; firebombs aren’t exploding, things aren’t burning. They’re in a maelstrom, yet they’re also in a small region going about their everyday lives. Loving does not give the depiction of the South that audiences might expect.” Co-producer Sarah Green realised that Nichols had absorbed the Lovings’ viewpoint: namely, that they hadn’t set out to change history. She offers, “Their thinking was, ‘How do we live our lives where we need to be, where we belong?’ In many films I’ve done, characters are trying to find where they belong. Here, it was two people who knew where they belong. What Jeff explores with Loving is not their having to find it, but their yearning to get back to it because they’ve been wrenched away.” Nichols adds, “They weren’t martyrs, and didn’t want to be. They weren’t symbols, and didn’t want to be. They were two people in love who wanted to be with each other and their family.” While Nichols and Green would make another movie, Midnight Special, first, they got an unexpectedly early jump on LOVING casting in the fall of 2013 during a business trip to Los Angeles. Although they weren’t ready to start reading actors, casting agent Francine Maisler urged them to meet with Ruth Negga, a Lon-

don-based actress who would be in town. Negga had been deeply affected by The Loving Story. She explains, “I thought the documentary was brilliant and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of Richard and Mildred before. I was completely fascinated, not only because Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights case, but also because theirs is the most beautiful love story. Their story just stayed with me. All Mildred wanted was to be able to be married to the man she loved. Not every hero has a loud voice. “Jeff’s script tells the story of two people in love, not two activists - even though they did change the course of American legal history. I feel that all of his films are about everyday people.” Once she had gotten the script pages, the actress holed up in her L.A. hotel room for three days to prepare, trying to channel Mildred as best she could. She reports, “I watched the documentary over and over again and worked on those scenes from the script like I had never worked on anything before. I felt such an affinity with Mildred and I couldn’t imagine not playing the part.” Nichols reminds, “We’ve worked with Francine Maisler on several movies now, so we took her advice to meet with this actress whom we didn’t know. “In walks Ruth Negga and she’s smaller and more compact than Mildred Loving, who was nicknamed ‘stringbean.’ I thought, ‘Well!’ But then Ruth started on a scene, and it was extraordinary; she was able to manifest everything that we knew about Mildred from the documentary footage. This was in no way an imitation; for Sarah and me it was like, ‘This is Mildred.’ “By the time we made the movie two years later, Ruth had become Mildred even more so; she had absorbed Mildred’s nature and would give it back to the camera.” It was not long after cameras rolled on Midnight Special that Nichols sensed that he had found his Richard Loving. In collaborating for the first time with award-winning Australian actor/filmmaker Joel Edgerton, a strong MOVIE TIME: SFF



working relationship had developed straight away. Then, one day on the set, Nichols noticed something: “Joel is pretty tall and we’d given him a kind of buzzcut for Midnight Special. I thought, ‘He kind of looks like Richard Loving’.” When Nichols discussed the potential new project with Edgerton, the actor remembers being struck by “what it would be like for you to be told that because you married the person that you loved you now had to go to prison, or you had to be exiled and live away from everybody that you knew? “Jeff does not try to draw attention to his filmmaking. With Loving, he takes a very subtle approach to the drama of the Lovings’ situation, but within that subtlety is something urgent that speaks to everyone.” Nichols realized that Edgerton could handle Richard’s Southern accent - and something more. The writer/director remarks, “Joel has an amazing facility with accents, which involves specific vocal mechanics. “But what’s really interesting about Joel as an actor is that he can access the emotions which play out on his face; this was crucial for Loving because Richard says very little but has deep reserves of feeling. Joel was able to manifest that in the countenance, the way Richard carried himself. His intelligence and talent made him the actor to portray a man who is very much of his time and place.” Edgerton would ultimately research his portrayal of Richard by watching him as much as if not more than listening to him; Richard was rarely captured speaking. “He was clearly quite shy of being in front of the camera,” Edgerton observes. “One of the challenges I faced in playing him was that Richard could easily come across as someone who isn’t very intelligent, and I believe he in fact was. “Who was he? He was a bricklayer, a very physical guy, and not so much a cerebral person. I think what 52


was an adjustment for him in dealing with the situation they found themselves in was trying to wrap his head around legal arguments and ways of doing things that his instinct was telling him were wrong.” In 1963, there is a turning point for the Lovings. Four years into their forced relocation in Washington, D.C., the family of five is short on space and money, and desperately missing their families back in Central Point. Mildred takes action, writing a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and asking for his help. Negga muses, “Over the course of time, Mildred discovers that she does have a steel thread in her. She might be innocent, but she’s not naive. “She becomes more confident in her own opinion and realizes that it’s up to her to take control of the situation - and to not be intimidated by authority.” To that end, one of the more difficult roles to cast was that of Sheriff R. Garnett Brooks, who arrests the Lovings in the middle of the night in their home. Nichols didn’t see Brooks as the bad guy of the story or even as a nemesis to the couple, noting that the lawman’s beliefs about race and marriage were commonplace. “I see Sheriff Brooks as being part of the equation,” Nichols remarks. “Having grown up in Arkansas, I have family members that are racists. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I understand how these attitudes are perpetuated, and that everyone sets, or has set, their own point of view. “Brooks was quoted as saying ‘a robin’s a robin, a sparrow is a sparrow,’ and he believed that. It was important that Brooks not be played as the slack-jawed and mean Southern sheriff stereotype.” For the role, Joel Edgerton suggested Marton Csokas, a versatile actor whose authoritative physicality and height matched up with those of the real-life Brooks. After meeting Csokas, Nichols was intrigued by his perspective on the part. He remembers, “Marton saw Sheriff Brooks as seeing himself as an adult dealing with

FEBRUARY wayward children. They were born and raised in a part of the South that didn’t necessarily see the lines between colour, and his stance was, God put those lines there.” Taking the part, Csokas pored over published records and spoke to family members. He comments, “From the home perspective, here was a husband and father who was a hardworking, loyal, strict human being who loved his family and animals, and was a stickler for the law. The statements Sheriff Brooks makes are indicative of the status quo and what people believed. That was the law at the time. So he was doing his job to the nth degree, which is important to quantify.” LOVING began production in the fall of 2015. In a further emphasis on authenticity in recounting the Lovings’ story, the movie was made on location in Virginia. To Nichols, the Virginia countryside that he and Stone were lensing in widescreen was a revelation: the landscape itself could convey emotional importance in ways words could not. He reveals, “So much of the story resides in Mildred and in her defining relationships to home and to this place. She was very much of the earth.”

Filming in the actual locations where events occurred contributed to the realism of LOVING; the cast and crew experienced daily epiphanies while following in the Lovings’ footsteps. Production designer Chad Keith was relieved to find that many of the public locations in Bowling Green were still intact and could be shown onscreen. He admits, “I wasn’t expecting the courthouse to still be in operation, but it is, and the jail where Mildred and Richard were locked up is still there as well. “It was extraordinary to find ourselves setting up to film on the very same streets you see in photos and footage of the Lovings. I hope we captured a lot of moments between Joel and Ruth that Richard and Mildred lived.” Edgerton concurs, saying, “You never know if chemistry is going to happen, but Ruth and I quickly became very comfortable together on-set. Jeff’s script is so beautifully written. This is a story that gets into your heart and touches deep wells of feeling. It was so special for us to be able to express layers of emotion without words.” LOVING is in UK cinemas from Friday, 03rd February, 2017



MARCH 2017

Certain Women

3rd March

CERTAIN WOMEN drops us into a handful of intersecting lives across Montana. A lawyer (Laura Dern) tries to defuse a hostage situation and calm her disgruntled client (Jared Harris), who feels slighted by a workers’ compensation settlement. A married couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros) breaks ground on a new home but exposes marital fissures when they try to persuade an elderly man to sell his stockpile of sandstone. A ranch hand (Lily Gladstone) forms an attachment to a young lawyer (Kristen Stewart), who inadvertently finds herself teaching a twice-weekly adult education class, four hours from her home. Directed by Kelly Reichardt.

Fist Fight 3rd March

Ice Cube and Charlie Day star as high school teachers prepared to solve their differences the hard way in the comedy FIST FIGHT, directed by Richie Keen (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). On the last day of the year, mild-mannered high school English teacher Andy Campbell (Day) is trying his best to keep it together amidst senior pranks, a dysfunctional administration and budget cuts that put jobs on the line. 54


But things go from bad to worse when he accidentally crosses his much tougher and deeply feared colleague, Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), who challenges Campbell to an old-fashioned throw down after school. News of the fight spreads like wildfire and ends up becoming the very thing this school, and Campbell, needed. FIST FIGHT also stars Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”), Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street), Dean Norris (“Breaking Bad”), Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”), Dennis Haysbert (“The Unit”), JoAnna Garcia Swisher (“The Astronaut Wives Club”).


Logan (3D) 3rd March

dumped by the best man via text - decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend’s wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the ‘random’ table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets (but not before sending something nice off the registry). As everyone’s secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the denizens of Table 19. Friendships - and even a little romance - can happen under the most unlikely circumstances.

Trespass Against Us 3rd March

Set in the future, Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) must cope with the loss of the X-Men when a corporation led by Nathaniel Essex is destroying the world, leaving it to destruction, with Logan’s healing abilities slowly fading away and Xavier’s Alzheimer’s forcing him to forget. Logan must defeat Nathaniel Essex with the help of a young girl named Laura Kinney (Dafne Keen), a female clone of Wolverine

Table 19 3 March rd

Torn between loyalty to his father and hope for his children, a man struggles to reassess his criminal life. Three generations of the Cutler family live as notorious outlaws among some of the wealthiest lands in Britain. They spend their time hunting, raiding large estates and tormenting the police. In the midst of it all, Chad (Michael Fassbender) finds himself torn between respect for his father (Brendan Gleeson) and a desire for a better life for his children. The law is cracking down on his clan, and the decision might not be his to make... Music for the film is an original score from The Chemical Brothers.

Viceroy’s House 3rd March

In 1947, Lord Mountbatten assumes the post of last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people, living upstairs at the house which was the home of British rulers, whilst 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants lived downstairs. Directed by Gurinder Chadha and starring Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon & Hugh Bonneville. Ex-maid of honour Eloise (Anna Kendrick) - having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously MOVIE TIME: SFF


MARCH 2017

Rules Don’t Apply 10th March

home with the help of Priscilla (Pauline Collins), a repressed English housewife stuck in a bad marriage. Pooling their limited resources, they hit the road together by coach, ferry, car and foot in a race to get to the funeral on time, becoming entangled in a love triangle with a reclusive French millionaire (Franco Nero) along the way. On this unforgettable journey, they find true friendship in one another - and have the time of their lives.

Age Of Shadows 10th March

It’s Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes’ #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes’ behaviour intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed. Directed by Warren Beatty, the all-star cast also includes: Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Haley Bennett, Candice Bergen, Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, Steve Coogan, Taissa Farmiga, Ed Harris, Megan Hilty, Oliver Platt & Martin Sheen.

The Time Of Their Lives 10th March

Determined to gatecrash her ex-lover’s funeral on glamorous French hideaway Ile-de-Re, former Hollywood siren Helen (Joan Collins) escapes her London retirement 56


Set in the late 1920s, THE AGE OF SHADOWS follows the cat-and-mouse game that unfolds between a group of resistance fighters trying to bring in explosives from Shanghai to destroy key Japanese facilities in Seoul, and Japanese agents trying to stop them. A talented Koreanborn Japanese police officer, who was previously in the independence movement himself, is thrown into a dilemma between the demands of his reality and the instinct to support a greater cause.

Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? 10th March

Documentary. At the age of 21 Saar Maoz arrived in the UK after being kicked out of his religious Kibbutz. Following the highs and lows that accompanied his newfound freedom Saar discovered an alternative family with The London Gay Men’s Chorus. After 19 years, Saar has reached out to his conservative Israeli family in an attempt at reconciliation. Now his parents are coming to visit… WHO’S GONNA LOVE ME NOW? celebrates the triumph of love over hate, of understanding over ignorance and the melding of cultures who traditionally view each other as extreme. This isn’t Saar Moaz’s singular journey, it is a monumental trek undertaken by his entire family.


Kong: Skull Island

10th March

KONG: SKULL ISLAND reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. 

Alone In Berlin 10 March th

Based on the international best-seller by Hans Fallada (Every Man Dies Alone), ALONE IN BERLIN shines the light on two ordinary German people who made an extraordinary impact. Berlin, 1940. Working class couple Otto and Anna Quangel (Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson) receive the news that their only son has been killed on the battlefield. Already disillusioned with The Führer and The Fatherland, the loss of their son

proves the tipping point and Otto begins a campaign of civil disobedience, writing messages on postcards that urge fellow Germans to resist the Nazi regime. Anna soon partners with Otto and together they covertly distribute hundreds of postcards, left in stairwells and mailboxes across the city. At the head of the Gestapo force trying to track down the dissenters is Escherich (Daniel Brühl) who faces enormous pressure to find, stop and bring the traitors to justice. Acting alone in their unique attempt to turn the tide on German support for the Third Reich, this unassuming couple’s sacrifice became an important element of the German Resistance. MOVIE TIME: SFF


MARCH 2017


10th March

Documentary. Blessed with astonishing power and poise, Sergei Polunin took the dance world by storm and became the Royal ballet’s youngest ever principal. At the peak of his success, aged 25, he walked away, driven to the brink of self-destruction by stardom - his talent more a burden than a gift. Here is an unprecedented look into the life of a complex young man who has made ballet go viral. Urban rebel, iconoclast, airborne angel, Sergei is transforming the shape of ballet as we know it. But virtuosity comes with a high price. How can you be free to be yourself when you are ballet’s ‘hottest property’?


The Chamber 10th March

A claustrophobic survival thriller set beneath the Yellow Sea off the coast of North Korea where the pilot of a small submersible craft and a three man Special Ops team on a secret recovery mission become trapped underwater in a fight for survival.

The Love Witch 10th March

10th March

Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game-a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control. Directed by Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers).

Jawbone 10th March

The story of a former youth boxing champion. Jimmy McCabe (Johnny Harris) is a man in search of hope but looking in all the wrong places. When he hits rock bottom he turns to his childhood boxing club and the only family he has left: gym owner Bill (Ray


Winstone), cornerman Eddie (Michael Smiley) and promoter Joe (Ian McShane). Back in training, years after anyone thought he was a contender, he will risk his life to stand tall and to regain his place in the world.


Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1970s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

Get Out 17th March

When a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, he becomes ensnared in a more sinister real reason for the invitation. Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, Girls), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating,

MARC H she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods). At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behaviour as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined. Written and directed by Jordan Peele.

Beauty and The Beast


17th March

entire future. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter. Directed by Cristian Mungiu.

Personal Shopper 17th March

Olivier Assayas, the internationally-acclaimed director of Clouds of Sils Maria and Summer Hours, returns with this ethereal and mysterious ghost story starring Kristen Stewart as a high-fashion personal shopper to the stars who is also a spiritual medium. Grieving the recent death of her twin brother, she haunts his Paris home, determined to make contact with him.

Sarkar 3 17th March

Live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.

The third film in Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar trilogy, which chronicles the exploits of a powerful political figure.

The Olive Tree 17th March

See feature p68

Graduation 17th March

Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni) (49), a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus) with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding - Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams - a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her

From Goya Award Winner and internationally acclaimed director Icíar Bollaín (Even the Rain, Take My Eyes), The Olive Tree follows a wilful and spirited young woman named Alma who embarks on a journey from the East coast of Spain to Germany in order to retrieve an ancient olive tree precious to her ailing grandfather. With the help of a variety of friends & new acquaintances, she pulls everyone she encounters into her plan with unexpected consequences for all involved. The powerful feature film which stars Anna Castillo, Javier Gutiérrez and Pep Ambròs was written by Paul Laverty, winner of the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival for Sweet Sixteen.   MOVIE TIME: SFF


MARCH 2017

Power Rangers

24th March

Saban’s POWER RANGERS follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers. Starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks. See feature p64

Aquarius 24th March

Clara (Sonia Braga), a 65-year-old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story building, built in the 1940s, in the upperclass, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. All the neighbouring apartments have already been acquired by a company which has other plans for that plot. Clara has pledged to only leave her place upon her death, and will engage in a cold war of sorts with the company. This tension both disturbs Clara and gives her that edge on her daily routine. It also gets her thinking about her loved ones, her past and her future. 60



The Eyes of My Mother 24th March

Francisca (Kika Magalhaes) has been unfazed by death from an early age. Her mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, imbued her with a thorough understanding of anatomy and the end of life. But when tragedy shatters her family’s idyllic existence in the countryside, the deep trauma she experiences awakens some unique curiosities. As Francisca grows up, the effects of her troubled past gradually build and her desire to connect with the world around her takes a distinctly dark form.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

The Sense of an Ending 24th March

A man becomes haunted by his past and is presented with a mysterious legacy that causes him to re-think his current situation in life. Starring Michelle Dockery, Emily Mortimer, and Jim Broadbent, THE SENSE OF AN ENDING is based on the novel by Julian Barnes, and directed by Ritesh Batra.

24th March

The young Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) runs the alleyways of Londonium with his crew, not knowing his royal lineage until he grabs Excalibur. Instantly confronted by the sword’s influence, Arthur is forced to make up his mind. He joins the rebellion and a shadowy young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to understand the magic weapon, deal with his demons and unite the people to defeat the dictator Vortigern (Jude Law), the man who murdered his parents and stole his crown to become king. Directed by Guy Ritichie. MOVIE TIME: SFF


MARCH 2017

A Quiet Passion

Ghost in the Shell

31st March

31st March

The story of 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson is brought to vivid life, in a remarkably sensitive biopic by director Terence Davies, exploring her early days as a young schoolgirl, through to her later years as a recluse. Now recognised as a genius that penned some of the most important verses in American literature, the poet was virtually unknown in her lifetime, leaving behind a legacy of stunning, astute work that still resonates deeply today. Featuring a curated selection of her poems in voiceover, A Quiet Passion details every facet of Dickinson’s character: her wit, her humour and the intimate, closeknit relationship she had with her family. Cynthia Nixon commands a superb performance in the title role, while Davies’ elegant direction allows the audience to connect with the hopes, dreams and disappointments of one of the greatest poets of all time.

Free Fire 31st March


Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi anime, GHOST IN THE SHELL follows the Major (Scarlett Johansson), a special ops, one-of-a-kind humancyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology. Also starring Takeshi Kitano. Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman).

Man Down 31st March

1978 – Boston, Massachusetts. Justine has brokered a meeting between two Irishmen and a gang selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired, a heart stopping game of survival ensues.Written by screenwriter Amy Jump & the film’s director, Ben Wheatley, FREE FIRE stars Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor, Babou Ceesay, Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley and Noah Taylor. 62


When a U.S. Marine returns home from Afghanistan,he finds that the place he once called home is no better than the battlefields he fought on overseas. Accompanied by his best friend, he searches desperately for the whereabouts of his estranged son and wife. In their search, the two intercept a man carrying vital information about his family. Starring Kate Mara, Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman and Shia LaBeouf.


The Salesman 31st March

Forced to leave their collapsing house, Ranaa (Taraneh Alidoosti) and Emad (Shahab Hosseini) , an Iranian couple who happen to be performers rehearsing for Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” rent a new apartment from one of their fellow performers. Unaware of the fact that the previous tenant had been a woman of ill repute having many clients, they settle down. By a nasty turn of events one of the clients pays a visit to the apartment one night while Ranaa is alone at home taking a bath and the aftermath turns the peaceful life of the couple upside down. Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi (A Separation).

Smurfs: The Lost Village 31st March

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history! Featuring the voices of Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Danny Pudi with Mandy Patinkin.








Saban’s Power Rangers follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers. Directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac), Saban’s Power Rangers stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, featuring Bill Hader, with Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks. In 1984, while on business in Japan, producer Haim Saban found himself mesmerised by a popular live-action television show called “Super Sentai.” “I was watching these five kids in Spandex fighting rubber monsters and I fell in love with it,” he recalls. Saban tracked down the show’s owners and secured the rights worldwide outside of Asia. When the show premiered in 1993, it became the most- watched children’s television program in the U.S. More than that, it became a cultural phenomenon around the globe. “It was one of the first multi-ethnic superhero shows and, also, one of the first to feature superhero girls,” says Saban. “It really struck a chord and ever since, it has been on air

longtime devotees as well as newcomers to the franchise. “When it first launched, the series developed a massive global following which has continued to grow and become multi- generational over the past 23 years,” comments Saban producer Brian Casentini. “We love our fans as much as they love the franchise so we made sure that, as we developed the film’s script, we stayed true to the original Mighty Morphin Ranger characters, but added additional layers of dimension to each of them.” The film’s director, Dean Israelite, grew up watching “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” in South Africa. “It became a phenomenon there, just as it did all around the world,” he says. “What I remember most is how empowered the show made you feel. When it emerged that this project was going to re- imagine the show, I

in more than 150 countries.” Now a new feature film based on the show, Saban’s Power Rangers, re-envisions the Power Rangers as five ordinary high-school teens who discover they have acquired unique super powers and must join forces to save the world. Given the Power Rangers’ huge and ardent fan base, the filmmakers knew they needed to deliver a film that would satisfy MOVIE TIME: SFF




was very excited. I knew if I could tap into the feeling of the original it would be an incredible adventure.” Remaining true to the spirit of the television series has been fundamental to every decision made by the production team, says Israelite. “We are here because of the fans who have sustained the series for over 23 years. It’s imperative that they come out of this movie feeling like we have taken what they love — and we love — about the series and brought it to life in a contemporary way while respecting the mythology.” To play the iconic Power Ranger roles, the filmmakers assembled a diverse ensemble of emerging young stars who share many characteristics with their characters, and their predecessors in the roles, says the director. “The cast embodies the spirit of the original Rangers and who they were,” he observes. “Australian actor Dacre Montgomery, who plays the Red Ranger, is such a



conscientious, focused guy in real life. It’s amazing. He is a born leader. Before any of the actors knew each other, he was the one making sure they were all coordinating because they were from all around the world.” British actress and singer Naomi Scott plays Kimberly, the Pink Ranger. “She is a leader in the group in her own right and she’s such a studied actor with an incredible craft that she brings a depth and humanity to the character that I think will be exciting for the audience,” says Israelite. “What I’m proud of is that this isn’t a movie where the female lead is there to serve the male lead. She is wounded and complex and goes on her own important journey in the film.” American R. J. Cycler, who plays Billy the Blue Ranger, brings to the role a distinct personality and acting skill set, according to the director. “He brings his own spin to every moment in the script. Most importantly his unique brand of humor and heart is infectious.”

MARC H Becky G, who plays Trini the Yellow Ranger, hails from Southern California. “She has her own philosophies on life, much as the original character did. She may be as quiet as the original Trini was, but beneath it all she’s fierce. She has an incredibly strong presence in everything she does. “Then we’ve got Ludi Lin, who plays Zack, the Black Ranger,” Israelite continues. “Ludi has had an adventurous life; he can tell you where he’s lived in the world and the sort of mischief he’s gotten himself into and out of. He personifies the wild spirit that Zack had and should have. There’s never an emotional challenge or a physical stunt that Ludi will back away from and I think that courage embodies the original character perfectly.” In addition to the exhilarating superhero action elements and the infectious camaraderie of the Power Rangers, the film spotlights interpersonal issues that teens grapple with and that everyone can relate to, says producer

Marty Bowen. “Not everyone is captain of the football team, or student council or ‘most likely to succeed’ or ‘most beautiful.’ The rest of us don’t fit into those categories, we have challenges, we have issues with our parents, with our friends, and sometimes we feel alienated. So, while the film focuses on the fun of a group of high-school kids being superheroes with their friends, we also wanted to counterbalance that with some of the realities of being a teenager today. I think that is what gives this film real humanity.” At its core though, Saban’s Power Rangers is a thrilling adventure, says Israelite. “We go on a fantastic odyssey with these kids, which allows them to come of age in ways that are meaningful and profound. But they also have a lot of fun and so will the audience.” POWER RANGERS arrives in UK cinemas Friday, 24th March, 2017




Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a live-action retelling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aidede-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; sixtime Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts. Directed by Oscar® winner Bill Condon from a screenplay by TBD based on the 1991 animated film, the film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman with eight-time 68


Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is in UK cinemas Friday, 17th March, 2017

Did you know…


• Ryan Gosling was offered the role of the Beast but turned it down to star in LA LA LAND; Emma Watson was offered the female lead in LA LA LAND, but turned it down to star in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

“I think that [what] the creative team has so brilliantly done is they’ve embraced it so fully that the scale and scope of those numbers is unlike anything modern Hollywood really gets a chance to do anymore. You’re going to see songs come to life in Technicolor magic, in a way that I think like big studio films, once upon a time, used to do, but have sort of not done for a long period of time and I think it’s going to be really amazing thing for audiences to see again.” - Josh Gad (Le Fou), in an interview with CinemaBlend, May 2016

• Director Bill Condon chose his final cast based on how well they could sing “Hakuna Matata” from THE LION KING at their auditions. • The first teaser trailer for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the most viewed ever, with over 127m checking it out in its first 24 hours of release, beating the previous record of 88m, set by STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. • Ewan McGregor had to wear a motion capture suit to perform Lumiere’s dances, but was so embarrassed to do so that he couldn’t dance properly unless it was just him and the film crew in the room. He says he also struggled with Lumiere’s accent (despite his own wife being French) and thinks he sounds more Mexican than French.





The Boss Baby 7th April

friend Natasha who has gone missing without warning. As he delves deeper into the case, Tommy’s journey to uncover the truth leads him into the hidden layers of modern London, unlocking shocking secrets about past loves, friendships and family.

Going in Style 7th April

DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ THE BOSS BABY, a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7-yea- old named Tim. With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, THE BOSS BABY is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages. Directed by Tom McGrath & written by Michael McCullers (based on the awardwinning picture book by Marla Frazee) Starring Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Patton Oswalt & Miles Bakshi.

A reboot of the 1979 movie that was directed by Martin Brest and featured George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. Three seniors, who are living social security check to check and even reduced to eating dog food at times, decide they have had enough. So, they plan to rob a bank...problem is, they don’t even know how to handle a gun! A social commentary on growing old in America and what we are sometimes driven to, due to circumstances. Directed by Zach Braff and starring Joey King, Christopher Lloyd, Morgan Freeman, AnnMarget, Michael Caine and Matt Dillon.

Neruda 7th April

City of Tiny Lights 7th April

A crime thriller and a unique portrait of contemporary London. Award-winning director Pete Travis brings us a private eye who stumbles upon a case that will lead him to revisit his past. Tommy Akhtar (Riz Ahmed) – cricket fan, devoted son and deadbeat private eye – is just emerging from another hangover when his next case walks through the door. Hooker Melody (Cush Jumbo) wants him to find her 70


An inspector hunts down Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his home country in the late 1940s for joining the Communist Party.

APRIL Directed by Pablo Larrain and starring Gael Garcia Bernal.

Expect plenty of snorts, giggles and jumping up and down in muddy puddles!

Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience


7th April

Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) is a young boy born with a facial deformity who has been in and out of hospitals for years. With the help of his mother, Isabel (Julia Roberts) and his father, Nate (Owen Wilson), he tries to fit in at a new school and show everyone that he is just an ordinary kid. He strives to teach others that beauty is not just on the outside. Directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Steve Conrad, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio.

Peppa Pig and friends return to the Big Screen this April in PEPPA PIG MY FIRST CINEMA EXPERIENCE. Join Peppa for 1 hour of fun in an exciting cinema experience for Peppa fans. Featuring 9 Brand New Episodes including a visit to London, an Australian Holiday and a trip to the Zoo. Each of the new episodes will be connected with neverbefore-seen live action on-screen entertainment so little ones can sing, dance and play with Peppa, George and their new friend Daisy, in her colourful new world.

Fast & Furious 8

7th April

14th April

When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before. MOVIE TIME: SFF




The Handmaiden 14th April

who after arriving in Hollywood, befriends an amnesiac woman (Laura Harring) and tries to help her recover her memory. The film establishes these characters but then proceeds to subvert any certainty about them, instead offering a swirling atmosphere of increasing surrealism.A story about Hollywood - what it is and how it operates, its powers of myth, illusion and delusion these ideas and many others swarm out of this cryptic, seductive and disruptive film: a monumental classic by one of the masters of contemporary cinema.

A Dog’s Purpose 21st April

From Park Chan-wook, the celebrated director of Oldboy, Lady Vengeance and Stoker, comes a ravishing new crime drama. Park presents a gripping and sensual tale of two women—a young Japanese lady living on a secluded estate and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but is secretly plotting with a conman to defraud her of a large inheritance. Inspired by the novel Fingersmith by British author Sarah Waters, THE HANDMAIDEN borrows the most dynamic elements of its source material and combines it with Park Chan-wook’s singular vision to create an unforgettable viewing experience. See feature p74

Mulholland Drive


Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A DOG’S PURPOSE, from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Dear John, The 100-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. Britt Robertson and Dennis Quaid also star.

14th April

Consistently hailed the best film of the 21st century, David Lynch’s quintessential neo-noir is now available in a new 4K digital transfer, the restoration of which was supervised by Lynch himself. Naomi Watts (Birdman,  Funny Games) gives a career-making performance as aspiring actress Betty, 72


Clash 21st April

Set entirely in an 8m police truck, a number of detainees from different political and social backgrounds are brought together by their inevitable fate, during the turmoil that followed the ousting of former president

APRIL Morsi from power. A French-Egyptian co-production, directed by Mohamed Diab.

Their Finest 21st April

can help her put her own troubled past behind her. But Tessa’s jealousy soon takes a pathological turn until she will stop at nothing to turn Julia’s dream into her ultimate nightmare.

The Transfiguration 21st April

In contemporary New York, a bullied teenager (Eric Ruffin) is plagued by an apparent need to drink human blood — an instinct he fulfills without much trouble, leaving a modest trail of corpses in his wake, even as he forms a tentative bond with a lonely young neighbour. The debut feature from Brooklyn-born writerdirector Michael O’Shea.

In the days after The Blitz in World War II, The Ministry Of Information recruits copywriter Catrin (Gemma Arterton) to work on scripts and give their propaganda films a feminine touch. As she immerses herself in the job, and one particular film about Dunkirk, her confidence grows and she wins the respect of her colleagues – and one aging movie star who will only discuss his lines with her. Directed by Lone Scherfig and also starring Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Richard E Grant, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy and Helen McCrory.

To Have And To Hold 21st April

Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl) is barely coping with the end of her marriage when her ex-husband, David (Geoff Stults), becomes happily engaged to Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson)—not only bringing Julia into the home they once shared but also into the life of their daughter, Lilly (Isabella Rice). Trying to settle into her new role as a wife and a stepmother, Julia believes she has finally met the man of her dreams, the man who

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D) 28st April

Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. See feature p80








Interview with director Park Chan-wook

From Park Chan-wook, the celebrated director of Oldboy, Lady Vegeance and Stoker, comes a ravishing new crime drama. Park presents a gripping and sensual tale of two women - a young Japanese Lady living on a secluded estate, and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but is secretly plotting with a conman to defraud her of a large inheritance. Inspired by the novel Fingersmith by British author Sarah Waters, THE HANDMAIDEN borrows the most dynamic elements of its source material and combines it with Park Chan-wook’s singular vision to create an unforgettable viewing experience. Tell us about how you chose this project as your next film. It was the same as what happened with Oldboy.

Producer Syd Lim came across the source material first, showed it to me and asked, “What do you think?” I’m sure it was the same with other readers, but when I read the novel, the end of Part One caught be completely by surprise, but not only that, I fell in love with the author’s very detailed and vivid writing. More than anything, I chose this story because the two women at the center of the story felt so alive. One is a person with a dark past, and one is a person living in a desperate present, but both exude a very strong sense of individuality and charm. Why did you decide to move the setting from Victorian England to the Colonial Era of the 1930s, as opposed to another time in Korean history?





There were practical reasons. When thinking about such plot elements as a society where there’s still the separate class of the nobility, where the occupation of the handmaiden exists, where there’s a character who collects rare items, etc., it seemed the only reasonable option. That was an era in which some traditional elements remained, but modernity was just beginning to take hold.

they must take their shoes off, and when they walk through the Western-style wing they must put them back on again. The personality of the home is an important element. Hideko’s room is located in a Western-style wing, so she sleeps in a bed and lives the life of a Western lady. In contrast, the maid’s room next door is in the Japanese style, where Sookee lives in an ‘oshiire’ a kind of a closet for storing bedclothes.

All of your previous films have featured striking production design, but THE HANDMAIDEN in particular is outstanding in this regard. Can you explain your intention and concept in terms of the art direction?

The most important space in terms of production design is the library. The exterior is traditional Japanese architecture, and inside there is a Western-style library. Inside the library there is also a section with tatami mats, which during readings get made up like a Japanese garden with white pebbles, stones and water. Japanese gardens are meant to reproduce the world in miniature -- mountains and rivers, lakes and forests -- so Kouzuki’s act of moving it inside is akin to creating a new world inside his own kingdom.

The house is an important space. Kim Hae-sook says in the beginning, “Not even in Japan can you find a home that combines Western and Japanese styles. It reflects Master Kouzuki’s admiration for Japan and England.” So when characters enter the Japanese-style quarters 76


APRIL Let me ask about the camera movement. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film in which the camera moves through space like it does in THE HANDMAIDEN.

the perspective of each character in a more pronounced way. In the end we couldn’t make it work financially, but I think the camera movement functions as a kind of replacement for the effect I wanted.

The house in this film is large, and there are only a few characters in this big, empty space. In addition, there are multiple scenes which we see from Sookee’s perspective in Part One, and then from Hideko’s

Can you tell us about your decision to use an anamorphic lens? I heard the production designer had to make the set wider to accommodate the lens.

perspective in Part Two. Throughout this, there is a sort of “game of glances” in which someone is looking at someone else, or ignoring someone, or suspecting another’s gaze. There were times when this dynamic was best expressed in close-ups, and other times when the moving camera was more effective. Actually, at the beginning I planned to shoot this film in 3D. Usually it’s science fiction or action films that use 3D, but I thought using it for this kind of quiet drama would be interesting. The 3D would have emphasized

Before shooting I spent a lot of time discussing the anamorphic lens with the cinematographer. It’s one of the luxuries we could accommodate while shooting with a digital camera. I still feel that film is superior to digital, and if I could have my choice, I’d prefer to shoot on film. But one of the things we could do while shooting on digital was to afford the use of an anamorphic lens. I have a special affection for films shot with old anamorphic lenses, plus my cinematographer had an interest in combining an old-style lens with a new digital





camera. The look that it creates is quite unique, and it seemed appropriate to the period setting of the film. Before shooting, you gave music CDs to the cast and crew. What was your intention with that? It wasn’t that I planned to use the music in the film, but rather I wanted the actors and crew to be able to feel what the atmosphere of the completed film would be like as they made their preparations. There are the drawings in the storyboard, but since music is also effective in creating a mood, I prepared three CDs worth of music and gave it to them. Tell us about the process of casting Kim Tae-ri. I definitely wanted to use a new, unknown actress, so we prepared a large-scale audition. I met a lot of great young actresses with potential, after which process it became clear to us that Kim Tae-ri was our Sookee. She



has a unique look about her, and when she speaks, she has real backbone. I had a very similar feeling when I first met Gang Hye-jung [the actress in Oldboy]. She is a person who expresses her own strong point of view. I’m curious if there were times on the set with actor Ha Jung-woo when, without any specific instruction, he produced some unexpected expression or gesture that impressed you. In my films, what I want is always quite particular. I’m not the kind of director to just hand an actor the script and say, “You figure it out.” Compared to some other directors, I give actors a very narrow space to work in, but there are times when very talented actors express themselves within that narrow space so well that it really surprises me. That’s the kind of acting I hope for, and with Ha Jung-woo there were quite a few times that happened.

APRIL In a previous interview you commented that the films of yours that contained humour have all done well. What about for THE HANDMAIDEN? The humour in this film comes from the fact that the characters are hiding their true identities and acting. There are many scenes where they’re hiding their feelings, and thinking something different from what they’re saying. Even if the audience doesn’t burst out laughing in the theater, I think viewers will be able to

enjoy this sort of humor throughout the film. How would you describe THE HANDMAIDEN, in a few words? It’s a thriller movie, a story about swindlers, a dramatic story with several unexpected twists, and more than anything else, a romance. THE HANDMAIDEN opens in UK cinemas Friday, 14th April, 2017




Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Jonathan Schwartz, Victoria Alonso, Nik Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by James Gunn. Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 blasts into UK cinemas on Friday, 28th April, 2017 80


Did you know… * Director James Gunn and producer Kevin Feige had wanted David Bowie to make a cameo appearance before his death in January 2016. * The poster for the film is a parody of the Ramones album cover, Rocket to Russia. * Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula, will NOT be shaving her head this time round. * Groot is back, with Vin Diesel lending motion capture, as well as his voice.

Quote: “When I first pitched Ego as Quill’s father, I THOUGHT we owned the character. After I had worked out a very elaborate story with Ego the Living Planet as a very important part of the Marvel cosmic universe, I learned that we actually didn’t own the character. I had no back up plan, and it would be nearly impossible to just drop another character in. Thank God Fox came to us and wanted to make a trade (for ‘Deadpool’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead).” - Director James Gunn, on discovering Marvel didn’t own the rights to a key character who was crucial to the Guardians’ plot.





Just a few of the thrilling shows, concerts and exhibitions you can experience on the big screen this coming year… JANUARY


Sherlock: The Final Problem (15)

NT Live: Saint Joan (12A)

BBC Worldwide and Hartswood Films are thrilled to bring Sherlock back to the big screen for a special Series Four Finale on Sunday 15th January.   

Gemma Arterton is Joan of Arc, in ‘Saint Joan’ broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse.

There will also be exclusive extra content only being shown in cinemas: one of the show’s most loved characters reviews their journey in the series so far, and gives intimate insight into their role. Emmy


actors, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, return to cinemas as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson in this feature length special that caps off the highlyanticipated Series Four. Don’t miss your chance to see the Series Four Finale larger than life and on the big screen. The finale Sherlock episode ‘The Final Problem’ will be shown on BBC1 at the same time. The additional character content will be exclusive to cinemas. 



Bernard Shaw’s classic play follows the life and trial of a young country girl who declares a bloody mission to drive the English from France. As one of the first Protestants and nationalists, she threatens the very fabric of the feudal society and the Catholic Church across Europe. Josie Rourke (Coriolanus, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) directs this electrifying production.



Exhibition On Screen: I, Claude Monet

The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty 2017 – Live

Using letters and other private writings ‘I, Claude Monet’ reveals new insight into the man who not only painted the picture that gave birth to impressionism but who was perhaps the most influential and successful painter of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Despite this, and perhaps because of it, Monet’s life is a gripping tale about a man who, behind his sundazzled canvases, suffered from feelings of depression, loneliness, even suicide.  Then, as his art developed and his love of gardening led to the glories of his garden at Giverney, his letters reveal his humour, insight and love of life. Shot on location in Paris, London, Normandy and Venice ‘I, Claude Monet’ is a cinematic immersion into some of the most loved and iconic scenes in Western Art. 

A perennial delight and a much-loved classic, ‘The Royal Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty’ combines the best of classical ballet, with all its charms and virtuosity, splendid music and talented dancers. First choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s great musical score by Marius Petipa in Russia in 1890, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ has wonderful ensembles, solos including the Rose Adage as Princess Aurora meets her suitors, and of course the concluding celebratory dances for the happy union of prince and princess.  The Royal Ballet’s landmark staging was revived for the Company’s 75th anniversary celebrations in 2006. The designs by Oliver Messell, one of the greatest stage designers of the 20th century, were restored and updated for this production by Peter Farmer making this Sleeping Beauty a spectacle like no other.





Just a few of the thrilling shows, concerts and exhibitions you can experience on the big screen this coming year… MARCH


Madama Butterfly 2017 - Live Cast members: Ermonela Jaho, Marcelo Puente, Scott Hendricks, Elizabeth DeShong Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ is one of the most popular of all operas, with ravishing music and a heartbreaking story of a loving geisha deserted by a callous American husband.  Much-loved soprano Ermonela Jaho sings the title role for the first time at Covent Garden, in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s stunningly beautiful production of ‘ROH: Madama Butterfly’. The exotic imagery of the Nagasaki setting is drawn from 19th-century Western artists’ romanticized views of Japan.  Puccini’s music brings alive the birdsong of the morning, the ritual of a wedding and the seduction by naval officer B.F. Pinkerton (sung by exciting young tenor Marcelo Puente) of his young, innocent bride. 





Met Opera: La Traviata 2017

RSC Live: Julius Caesar 2017 (12A)

Cast members Sonya Yoncheva, Michael Fabiano, Thomas Hampson ‘La Traviata’ sees a courtesan exhausted by life at the court fall for a suitor and move to the country. When the suitor’s father interferes the relationship falls apart. As the young woman’s illness worsens the couple must share their love for each other before its too late. Sonya Yoncheva sings one of opera’s most beloved heroines, the tragic courtesan Violetta in Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’, considered a pinnacle of the soprano repertoire.

Caesar returns from war, all-conquering, but mutiny is rumbling through the corridors of power. The Rome season in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre opens with the ‘Julius Caesar’ and the politics of spin and betrayal turning to violence. Following his sell-out productions of Tom MortonSmith’s ‘Oppenheimer’ (2014) and James Fenton’s adaptation of ‘Don Quixote’ (2016), Season Director Angus Jackson steers the thrilling action as the race to claim the empire spirals out of control. 

Sung in Italian with English subtitles. Check your local press and online for screening dates.



MAY 2017

Harmonium 5th May

From the director of Au Revoir L’Ete and Hospitalité, Koji Fukada’s HARMONIUM is an off-kilter take on that most venerable of Japanese genres — the family drama, which screened to great acclaim at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Un Certain Regard Jury prize. In this slow-burn Japanese thriller Toshio invites an old acquaintance, Yasaka (just released from prison) to come and live with his family. Toshio lives above the small workshop that he owns with his wife, Akie, and their daughter, Hotaru. It is not clear why Toshio offers Yasaka a job; it doesn’t seem to be out of friendship or goodwill. Akie and Hotaru are wary of the new lodger, but with his persistent charm and goodwill, Yasaka befriends Toshio’s wife Akié and as Yasaka starts teaching their daughter Hotaru to play the harmonium, the family’s fragile domestic bliss is forever altered. Director Kôji Fukada is a master of incremental development, drawing the audience into the unfolding outcome.

Keep Watching 5th May

A family imprisoned by intruders is forced to play a terrifying game of “Kill, Or Be Killed”. As the night unfolds, the game’s mysterious rules become clear, and the family realizes their nightmare is being streamed live to riveted viewers all over the world, who are compelled to KEEP WATCHING...not knowing if what they’re seeing is real, or staged. Chandler Riggs and Bella Thorne star.



12th May

42-year-old Manhattan native Isaac Davis (Woody Allen) has a job he hates, a 17-year-old girlfriend he doesn’t love, and a lesbian ex-wife who’s writing 86


a tell-all book about their marriage. Living vicariously through the protagonist of his debut novel, but struggling to find personal or professional fulfilment of his own, Isaac quits his job as a television writer and begins a relationship with his best friend’s mistress, setting him off on a neurosis-riddled journey of self-discovery and self-sabotage.

Mindhorn 5th May

Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) is a has-been British TV actor who used to be famous in the late 1980’s for playing the titular and charismatic lead role in the Isle of Man detective show Mindhorn, a character with a Robotic eye that can literally “see the truth”. Unfortunately, after becoming a little too pompous and arrogant, Richard ends up insulting both the Isle of Man and his fellow cast members on the Wogan chatshow, including his on-screen and real life love interest Patricia DeVille, (Effie Davies) his Stuntman, (Simon Farnaby) and bit-part costar Peter Easterman (Steve Coogan). He decides to leave to try and make it big in Hollywood, but 25 years later and he’s balding in a flat in North London and has recently been replaced for an orthopaedic sock advert by John Nettles, much to his chagrin. He is even more jealous that Easterman now fronts a long running spin-off show which has far eclipsed the success of Mindhorn. Richard has an unexpected opportunity to reignite his career though ...

My Life As A Courgette 5th May

Director Claude Barras uses gorgeous stopmotion animation to tackle difficult subject matter in this delicately told story about a young boy sent to a group home after the death of his alcoholic mother, who finds comfort, acceptance and hope with his equally troubled new companions.


The Zoo Keeper’s Wife

5th May

A real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are stunned – and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.


12th May

New comedy version of the classic 80s television series follows devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) as he butts heads with a brash new recruit (Zac Efron). Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay. Directed by Seth Gordon, the cast also includes Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Priyanka Chopra, Jon Bass and Ilfenesh Hadera. MOVIE TIME: SFF


MAY 2017

Berlin Syndrome

Captain Underpants

12th May

26th May

While holidaying in Berlin, Australian photojournalist, Clare (Teresa Palmer) meets Andi (Max Riemelt), a charismatic local man and there is an instant attraction between them. A night of passion ensues. But what initially appears to be the start of a romance suddenly takes an unexpected and sinister turn when Clare wakes the following morning to discover Andi has left for work and locked her in his apartment. An easy mistake to make, of course, except Andi has no intention of letting her go again. Ever.

From Dreamworks comes the story of two mischievous kids who hypnotize their mean high school principal and turn him into their comic book creation, the kindhearted and elastic-banded Captain Underpants. Directed by David Soren and featuring the voice talents of Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Kristen Schaal and Ed Helms.

Alien: Covenant

19th May

Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. See feature p90




Annabelle 2

26th May

Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle. David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) directs and the cast includes Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson, Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto.

I Am Not Madame Bovary 26th May

A café proprietor spends a decade petitioning the Chinese legal system after being swindled by her exhusband, in this caustically comic contemporary fable from superstar director Feng Xiaogang (Aftershock).

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge 26th May

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE. The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced. MOVIE TIME: SFF




Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.



Starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demiรกn Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England & Benjamin Rigby Watch the trailer ALIEN: COVENANT lands in cinemas Friday, 19th May, 2017



* Director Ridley Scott has said that ALIEN: COVENANT is the second in a trilogy (that began with Prometheus in 2012), which will take place closer to and build up to the original film.

“They’re going to go to the planet where the engineers came from, and come across the evolving creature that they had made. Why did they make it? Why would they make such a terrifying beast? It felt biomechanoid, it felt like a weapon. And so the movie will explain that, and reintroduce the alien back into it.” - Ridley Scott talks to The Wrap (Dec 2015) about going back to the alien roots.

* Scott wasn’t a fan of 1992’s Alien 3. The new trilogy is a “sequel substitution” to address this. * The title of the latest film was originally “ALIEN: PARADISE LOST”. * Michael Fassbender, who returns not only as android David in the film but as multiple androids, has let slip that a new type of alien creature will appear, known on set as a ‘neomorph’.



JUNE 2017

Wonder Woman (3D) 2nd June

Gal Gadot stars as the Amazon princess who leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world’s greatest heroes.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

The Divergent Series: Ascendant

2nd June

9th June

Greg convinces his family to take a road trip to attend his great grandmother’s 90th birthday as a cover for what he really wants: to attend a nearby gamer convention. Unsurprisingly, things do not go according to plan and Heffley family antics ensue.

The story continues as Tris and Four fight to end the Bureau of Genetic Welfare’s authoritarian reign over the United States.

Cast: Jason Ian Drucker, Charlie Wright, Owen Asztalos, Tom Everett Scott and Alicia Silverstone. 92


Starring Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Theo James.


The Mummy 9th June

Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy. See feature p96

My Cousin Rachel 9th June

A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms. Directed by Roger Michell and starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, MY COUSIN RACHEL is based on the classic best-selling novel, of the same name, by Daphne Du Maurier.



JUNE 2017

Gifted 16th June

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the

Transformers: The Last Knight

seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.


23rd June

Optimus Prime finds his home planet, Cybertron, now a dead planet, which he comes to find he was responsible for killing. He finds a way to bring the planet back to life, but in order to do so he needs to find an artifact, and that artifact is on Earth. Michael Bay returns to direct a cast that includes: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, John Goodman, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson and Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime 94



From The Land Of The Moon 23rd June

Gabrielle (Marion Cotillard) comes from a small village in the South of France, at a time when her dream of true love is considered scandalous, and even a sign of insanity. Her parents marry her to José (Alex Brendemühl), an honest and loving Spanish farm worker who they think will make a respectable woman of her. Despite José’s devotion to her, Gabrielle vows that she will never love José and lives like a prisoner bound by the constraints of conventional post-World War II society until the day she is sent away to a cure in the

Despicable Me 3

Alps to heal her kidney stones. There she meets André Sauvage (Louis Garrel), a dashing injured veteran of the Indochinese War, who rekindles the passion buried inside her. She promises they will run away together, and André seems to share her desire. Will anyone dare rob her of her right to follow her dreams?

The House 30th June

Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler and Michaela Watkins star in a comedy about a dad who convinces his friends to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife spend their daughter’s college fund.


30th June

The further the adventures of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters—Margo, Edith and Agnes—and the Minions. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, featuring the voice talents of Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker. MOVIE TIME: SFF



“Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters…”* Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolfman could soon be raised from the dead as Universal Studios resurrect their iconic movie monsters from the golden age of Hollywood, dust off the cobwebs with a 21st century update, and begin a cunning masterplan that will see the creatures populate a new shared cinematic universe of horror. First out of the crypt, in June 2017, is THE MUMMY, starring Tom Cruise. More faithful to the 1932 version, starring Boris Karloff (who also gave us cinema’s most famous & recognisable portrayal of the Frankenstein monster), than the 1999 Brendan Fraser



helmer, this is less low-key gothic and more big budget thrills. The trailer shows a sarcophagus being loaded onto a military plane, which soon runs into trouble when a flock of birds smash into the windscreen, ripping the vehicle apart and catapulting Cruise into oblivion – only to wake up on a mortuary table. Meanwhile, there is a long-but-no-longer-dead Egyptian Princess (Sofia Boutella, Kingsman: The Secret Service) causing havoc on the streets of London. Director-producer Alex Kurtzman (Fringe, Alias, Now You See Me, the Amazing Spider-Man 2), told IGN: “It was only Sofia from the moment I saw Kingsman, which I f*****g loved. What blew me away was the performance that she gave without a single line of dialogue. I think she doesn’t have a single line of dialogue. I knew the Mummy was easily going to be the hardest character to cast in the movie, like, hands down. You’re one molecule off in that casting and it’s just going to blow up. It’s not going to work. And I then found out about her, what an amazing dancer she is, her physicality. Right off the bat, boom.”

The film also introduces us to Dr Henry Jekyll, played by Russell Crowe, a member of a shadowy group known as ‘Prodigium’ and, it seems, the kingpin of this new monster universe.

Mckellen and Brendan Fraser. Brendan Fraser starred in the nineties/noughties Mummy movies franchise. THE MUMMY is in cinemas from Friday, 9th June, 2017.

Other films currently in production for Universal include The Invisible Man, starring Johnny Depp, and – it’s rumoured – Javier Bardem in Frankenstein. *Universal’s tag line to introduce the new monster universe is taken from the 1935 film ‘Bride of Frankenstein’. It was also the title of a 1998 biopic of the film’s troubled director, James Whale, starring Ian MOVIE TIME: SFF




Spider-Man: Homecoming


7th July

Young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero. The All-star cast includes Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton and Marisa Tomei.

Cars 3 14th July

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

War for The Planet Of The Apes


14th July

A nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) become embroiled in a battle with an army of humans. Also starring Woody Harrelson, Judy Greer and Steve Zahn with Matt Reeves directing. See feature p100




Dunkirk 21st July

Christopher Nolan’s epic take on the miraculous evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France, between May 27- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II. Starring Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Brannagh, with One Direction’s Harry Styles making his feature film acting debut.

The Dark Tower 28th July

Gunslinger Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) roams an Old West-like landscape in search of the dark tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world. Katheryn Winnick and Matthew McConoughey (as the ‘Man in Black’) also star in this action fantasy adventure from director Nikolaj Arcel.





In WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.



Also starring Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, Aleks Paunovic, Ty Olsson, Sara Canning and Max Lloyd-Jones. Directed by Matt Reeves. Did You Know… • The working title of WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES was ‘Hidden Fortress’. • According to director Matt Reeves, the name of the group of rebelling humans are the Alpha & Omega, a reference to the bomb the mutants worshiped in

Beneath the Planet of the Apes. The logo on their helments and flag matches the original logo on the bomb. (source: imdb) • The Planet Of The Apes film franchise began in 1968, with nine movies in all, and a successful 1970s TV series. QUOTE

“It might be three films, It could be four. It could be five. Who knows? But the journey will continue. It might not necessarily be summarized or completely fulfilled in this next one. The point being, eventually we know that we’re going to end up back at ‘The Planet of the Apes,’ but whether it’s this film or not, I don’t know.”

in the first film was very much about his rise from humble beginnings to being a revolutionary. The second movie was about having to rise to the challenge of being a great leader in the most difficult of times. This is going to be the story that is going to cement his status as a seminal figure in ape history, and sort of leads to an almost biblical status.” - Director Matt Reeves on the evolution of Caesar WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (3D) is in UK cinemas from Friday, 14th July, 2017.

- Andy Serkis, ruminates with MTV, as to whether or not this will be the final film of the franchise

“I sort of described it where M O V I E T I M E : S F F 101


The Emoji Movie: Express Yourself (3D) 4th August

glazer). Together, they embark on an epic “appventure” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.

Baby Driver 11th August

Hilarious animation that unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favourite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression - except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana

After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail. Edgar Wright directs Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey and John Hamm in this new action thriller.

CHiPs 11th August

The reboot of beloved 1970s television series’ continues with Dax Shepard both directing and starring in a new big screen version of the adventures of two California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers, Frank

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

4th August

Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline, visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner- blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him. Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. The eclectic cast also includes Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Rihanna, Rutger Hauer, Mathieu Kassovitz and Kris Wu. See feature p104 102


AUGUS T ‘Ponch’ Poncherello (Michael Pena) and Jon Baker (Shepard) as they make their rounds on the freeways of Los Angeles. The action-filled comedy-drama also stars Jessica McNamee, Adam Brody, Ryan Hansen, Vincent D’Onofrio and Kristen Bell.

cast featuring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman.

The Coldest City

The true story of Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), a TWA pilot who is recruited by the CIA to help counter the emerging communist threat in Central America. Seal’s role in this major CIA covert operation led in turn to his involvement with the Medellin cartel, which ultimately embarrassed the Reagan White House after the Iran-Contra scandal became public. Directed by Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Swingers) and also starring Sarah Wright and Domhnall Gleeson.

11th August

Thriller about an undercover MI6 agent who is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. Renowned Hollywood stunts co-ordinator, David Leitch (who is currently scheduled to helm the upcoming Deadpool 2) directs Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones, John Goodman and Eddie Marsan.

The Son of Bigfoot

American Made 25th August

Borg/McEnroe 25th August

11th August

Teenage outsider Adam sets out on an epic and daring quest to uncover the mystery behind his long-lost dad, only to find out that he is none other than the legendary Bigfoot! He has been hiding deep in the forest for years to protect himself and his family from HairCo., a giant corporation eager to run scientific experiments with his special DNA. As father and son start making up for lost time after the boy’s initial disbelief, Adam soon discovers that he too is gifted with superpowers beyond his imagination. But little do they know, HairCo. is on their tail as Adam’s traces have led them to Bigfoot!

The Hitman’s Bodyguard 18th August

Action-comedy from Patrick Hughes (Expendables 3) about the world’s top bodyguard who gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time. Terrific

Award-winning Danish director Janus Metz brings to the screen the story of one of the world’s greatest icons Björn Borg and his biggest rival, the young and talented John McEnroe - and their legendary duel during the 1980 Wimbledon tournament. The film stars Sverrir Gudnason as Borg and Shia LaBeouf as his tennis court rival John McEnroe. Playing Borg’s trainer, the legendary Lennart Bergelin, Stellan Skarsgård returns for a major part in a Swedish film for the first time in almost a decade. M O V I E T I M E : S F F 103


Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline - visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the



breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an everexpanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Alpha’s seventeen million inhabitants have converged over time- uniting their talents, technology and resources for the betterment of all. Unfortunately, not everyone on Alpha shares in these same objectives; in fact, unseen forces are at work, placing our race in great danger. Also starring Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock and Kris Wu.

Did You Know… * Luc Besson has wanted to make a film adaption of ‘Valerian and Laureline’ for over 10 years. It’s very much his pet project. * Which is why he chose to make the film in English, with English speaking actors, rather than French, to make sure the film reached as wide an audience as possible.

And let’s be so super complicated, with aliens and robots and all this, but to make it look easy like a dance. You watch the thing, and it’s fluid and funny and wild. It’s not deep and complicated. It’s ultra sophisticated to do, but it looks easy.” - Director Luc Besson, talking to VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is in UK cinemas from Friday, 4th August, 2017.

* The reason it took so long to make was because most of the characters are aliens and the technology just wasn’t there yet. It wasn’t until ‘Avatar’ got made that Besson felt they were finally ready. QUOTE “Let’s try to do everything, before someone tells me its impossible. Let’s have the imagination go to the limit.

M O V I E T I M E : S F F 105


It 8th September

In the Town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one, leaving behind torn body parts/remains. In

Animal Crackers

a place known as ‘The Barrens’, a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with a clown called Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard). Bill Denborough (Jaeden Lieberher, Midnight Special) has a personal vendetta with the clown. 27 years after their last encounter with Pennywise, the ‘Losers Club’ has regrouped from their successful lives and businesses because IT has returned and kids are disappearing again. The only problem is that they have all forgotten what occurred that summer. It’s up to The Losers Club to regain their memories, to think of the key to killing Pennywise, and to stay alive long enough to end his tyranny but to also realise what brought them together in the first place. Horror thriller based on the story by Stephen King.

15th September

A family must use a magical box of Animal Crackers to save a run-down circus from being taken over by their evil uncle Horatio P. Huntington. Animated comedy featuring the voice talents of Ian McKellen, Emily Blunt, Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Fierstein, Danny DeVito, Raven-Symone and Patrick Warburton. 106


Granite Mountain 22nd September

A drama based on the elite crew of men who battled a wildfire in Prescott, Arizona in June 2013 that claimed the lives of 19 of their members. Starring Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges.

Flatliners 29th September

Medical students begin to explore the realm of near death experiences, hoping for insights. Each has their

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

heart stopped and is revived. They begin having flashes of walking nightmares from their childhood, reflecting sins they committed or had committed against them. The experiences continue to intensify, and they begin to be physically beaten by their visions as they try and go deeper into the death experience to find a cure. A sequel to the 1990 movie, rather than a remake, Kiefer Sutherland returns as Nelson, now a university professor, and is joined by new cast members Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, Charlotte McKinney, Ellen Page, Kiersey Clemons and James Norton. Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo (2009)) directs.

29th September

More super-spy fun from Matthew Vaughn. When an attack on the Kingsman headquarters takes place and a new villain rises, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) are forced to work together with the American agency Statesman to save the world. Colin Firth returns as Harry Hart, along with Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Vinnie Jones and ‌umm‌ Elton John! M O V I E T I M E : S F F 107


Blade Runner 2049

6th October

The much-anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi BLADE RUNNER, the big screen adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’ Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. The film also stars Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Barkhad Abdi, Lennie James, Mackenzie Davis, and Sylvia Hoeks See feature p112

The Little Vampire


13 October th

Animation based on the characters from the bestselling novels by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg, tells the story of Rudolph (Rasmus Hardiker), a thirteen-yearold vampire, whose clan is threatened by a notorious vampire hunter. He meets Tony (Amy Saville), a 108


mortal of the same age, who is fascinated by old castles, graveyards and - vampires. Tony helps Rudolph in an action and humour packed battle against their adversaries, together they save Rudolph’s family and become friends. Also featuring the voice talents of Tim Piggott-Smith and Miriam Margolyes.

OC T OBER .Friday

the 13th

13th October

Another reboot for the legendary hockey-mask wearing, mass murdering Jason Voorhees, in what promises to be a fresh take on the favourite slasher franchise. Directed by Breck Eisner (The Last Witch Hunter, The Crazies).


13th October

Six young ninjas Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Zane and Nia are tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. By night, they’re gifted warriors, using their skills and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy: high school. Giving voice to the characters are Olivia Munn, Dave Franco, Jackie Chan, Justin Theroux and Michael Pena. M O V I E T I M E : S F F 109


The Snowman


13th October

20th October

British crime drama starring Michael Fassbender as Detective Harry Hole who investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman. Also starring Rebecca Ferguson, Chloe Sevigny, J.K. Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones and James D’Arcy.

The Commuter 20th October

Michael is an insurance salesman is on his daily commute home, when it quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger, Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy. One that carries life and death stakes for himself and his fellow passengers. Cast includes Liam Neeson, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Neill and Elizabeth McGovern. In the director’s chair is Neeson’s regular collaborator, Jaume Collet-Sera (Unknown, Non-Stop, Run All Night, as well as Orphan and The Shallows).




When catastrophic climate change endangers Earth’s very survival, world governments unite and create the Dutch Boy Program: a world wide net of satellites, surrounding the planet, that are armed with geoengineering technologies designed to stave off the natural disasters. After successfully protecting the planet for two years, something is starting to go wrong. Two estranged brothers are tasked with solving the program’s malfunction before a worldwide Geostorm can engulf the planet. Starring Katheryn Winnick, Ed Harris, Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish and Andy Garcia.

The Mountain Between Us 20th October

When their flight is delayed due to weather conditions, a woman engaged to be married and a busy surgeon take a charter flight to get home. When their plane crashes in a snowy wilderness, the two must work together to survive. Adapted from the novel of the same name, the film stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, with Hany AbuAssad (Paradise Now, Omar, The Idol) directing.

My Little Pony 20th October

When a dark force threatens ponyville and the Mane 6, they go on a journey to the end of equestria to save their beloved home and they meet new friends and dangerous challenges along the way. Featuring the voice talents of Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Pena, Tara Strong, Taye Diggs, Sia and Ashleigh Ball.


Saw: Legacy 13th October

The return (as far as we know to date!) of Tobin Bell as Jigsaw.

The War With Grandpa 20 October th

Upset that he has to share the room he loves with his grandfather, Peter decides to declare war in an attempt to get it back. Based on Robert Kimmel Smith’s award-winning children’s novel, the comedy features Robert De Niro, Eugene Levy and Christopher Walken. Tim Hill, who brought us the Spongebob movies, directs.

Thor: Ragnarok 27th October

At the time of going to press, not a lot is known about the plot of the latest cinema outing for Thor, but we do know it features Planet Hulk, and that in Norse mythology ‘Ragnarok’ refers to a series of future events, including a great battle, foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures. Hmmm, interesting… The film is directed by Taika Waititi with a screenplay by Stephany Folsom, and stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban and Mark Ruffalo. M O V I E T I M E : S F F 111


Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

a haunting soundtrack from Vangelis, and one of the most memorable soliloquies in movie history, as dying renegade replicant, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), in the presence of Deckard, speaks of all the things he has seen in his ‘life’, and how all those memories will be gone forever, now that it is “time – to die”

Deckard, of course, was the main character in Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi noir, BLADE RUNNER, the big screen adaption of Philip K. Dick’s classic novel ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’, a movie that gave us a now iconic, eerie, atmospheric neon dystopia, full of flying cars, high rise buildings and giant TV screens;

With both Ford and Scott (who serves as producer and story developer) on board, plus some of the hottest new talent in the shape of Gosling and director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Enemy, Prisoner), BLADE



RUNNER 2049 is one of the most eagerly anticipated sequels ever. In December, 2016, it was confirmed

that in America the film would carry a ‘R’ for ‘Restricted’ certificate, reassuring fans that it had lost none of the edginess and dark tone of the original. Villeneuve told Screen Daily: “My producers are finding it fun to remind me that it will be one of the most expensive R-rated independent feature films ever made,” as he admitted the pressure was on to show such a film could still be big box office. Scott has always remained committed to the idea of a sequel, with Hampton Francher, the screenwriter of the first, along for the ride. It was his script that persuaded Harrison Ford to reprise his role, much to the delight of the fans – one of which is his co-star. Gosling recently told Entertainment Weekly: “They say never meet your heroes… But the addendum to that is: unless they’re Harrison Ford.” Meanwhile, Villeneuve brings with him some of his own favourite long-time collaborators – cinematographer Roger Deakins, who also worked on No Country

For Old Men, and Icelandic composer Johann

Johannsson, who was Oscar nominated for his soundtrack for Sicario. But the big question is will we finally learn if Deckard is himself a replicant or, in line with the first film, will it leave us wanting to know more? Find out on Friday, 6th October, 2017, when BLADE RUNNER 2049 opens in UK cinemas.

M O V I E T I M E : S F F 113


Insidious: Chapter 4 3rd November

Little is currently known about the plot of the latest

Paddington 2

instalment of the hit horror franchise, but returning writer, Leigh Whannell, in an interview with ‘We Got This Covered’ earlier in 2016, expressed an interest in exploring the timeline between the third film and the first films, which would mean when Elise (Lin Shaye) is practicing her profession again, but before she came into contact with the Lambert family. The cast list also lends a few hints with Hana Hayes appearing as teenage Elise, and Ava Kolker as a young Elise. Angus Sampson and Spencer Locke also star, with new director Adam Robitel, who first caught everyone’s attention with the found footage horror The Taking of Deborah Logan for Bryan Singer’s production company. Original director James Wan produces.

10th November

Paddington (voiced once again by Ben Whishaw) is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent) antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins return as Mr & Mrs Brown, joined by an all-star cast, including Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Peter Capaldi, Julie Walters and Imelda Staunton. 114



Red Sparrow 10th November

A young Russian intelligence officer is assigned to seduce a first-tour CIA agent who handles the CIA’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young officers, collide in a charged atmosphere of trade-craft, deception and inevitably forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but of others as well. The thriller is based on the novel by Jason Matthews, with Francis Lawrence directing (his first since directing the final three Hunger Games movies). Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons and Matthias Schoenaerts.

Christmas sentiment. But as the lodge’s festive traditions provide the Christmas Stephanie never had growing up with her distant father, Stephanie finds herself enjoying every minute. To complicate her professional duties even further, the combative feelings she felt toward Brady (Jesse Hutch) turn into romantic ones. With Stephanie’s newfound Christmas spirit and unexpected holiday romance, she begins to question Falcon’s overhaul. As her Christmas Eve deadline approaches, she’s faced with a decision: should she transform the lodge into a new winter hot spot or embrace tradition and let it snow?

Murder On The Orient Express 24th November

Justice League 17th November

Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), to face an even greater enemy. See feature p116

Let It Snow 24th November

Renowned Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Brannagh) investigates the murder of a wealthy American traveling on the Orient Express, the most famous train in the world. Besides taking on the role of Agatha Christie’s most iconic character, Brannagh also directs, with a cast that includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer,Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Michael Pena and Derek Jacobi.

A self-defined Grinch, Stephanie (Candace Cameron Bure) begins her stay at Snow Valley Lodge immune to M O V I E T I M E : S F F 115


Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly

to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes – Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) - it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. With story & direction from Zack Snyder, other characters to look out for are Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielson), leader of the Amazons and mother of Wonder Woman; Mera (Amber Heard), wife to Aquaman and queen of Atlantis, and Nuidis Volko (Willem Dafoe), chief scientific advisor of Atlantis and one of Aquaman’s greatest allies. On hand giving their loyal support to our superheroes are Lois Lane (Amy Adams), Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons), Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), as the newly formed league take on a formidable foe – Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), the uncle of the infamous Darkseid, one of DC Comics greatest villains. JUSTICE LEAGUE storms into cinemas on Friday, 17th November, 2017



Did You Know… * Steppenwolf isn’t the only villain in the film – Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) also returns. * Mad Max director George Miller was set to direct his version of the movie as far back as 2007 and had even cast the roles, including Armie Hammer as Batman, Adam Brody as The Flash, and rapper Common as Green Lantern. It was shelved during production. * Gal Gadot practiced Kung Fu, kick boxing, sword fight, jiu jitsu and capoeira to get in shape for her

role as the Amazonian warrior princess. * Zack Snyder was inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954), the film on which The Magnificent Seven is based. Quote: “There’s pretty much an argument between him and Batman as to who is the leader.” - Superman actor Henry Cavill lets slip to ‘Total Film’ magazine that he and the caped crusader will go head-to-head in deciding who will take command of the League.

M O V I E T I M E : S F F 117





8th December

Animation. Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colourful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Star Wars: Episode VIII


15th December

The Star


15th December

Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey (Daisy Ridley) continues her epic journey with Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in the next chapter of the saga. See feature p120



Animation about a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill.

DEC EMBER One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a loveable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.


The plot is still under wraps but the studio has told us to ‘get ready for a merry pitch-mas!’

Jumanji 29th December


22nd December

Ferdinand, a little bull, prefers sitting quietly under a cork tree just smelling the flowers versus jumping around, snorting, and butting heads with other bulls. As Ferdinand grows big and strong, his temperament remains mellow, but one day five men come to choose the “biggest, fastest, roughest bull” for the bullfights in Madrid and Ferdinand is mistakenly chosen. Family animation featuring the voice talents of Russell Peters, Diego Luna, Donald Sutherland, Chris O’Dowd, Paul Feig and Samantha Morton.

Pitch Perfect 3 22nd December

The Bellas are back, including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Britanny Snow and Hailee Steinfeld, but no Elizabeth Banks directing this time. The baton has been passed to Step Up: All In’s Trish Sie.

In a brand new Jumanji adventure, the tables are turned as four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji’s world pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. To survive, they’ll play as characters from the game: meek Spencer becomes a brave explorer (Dwayne Johnson); hulky jock Fridge becomes a tiny genius (Kevin Hart); It-girl Bethany becomes a bookworm professor (Jack Black); and unathletic Martha becomes an Amazonian warrior (Karen Gillan). To beat the game and return to the real world with their lives, they’ll have to start seeing things in an entirely different way.

M O V I E T I M E : S F F 119



As we go to press, there’s still nearly a whole twelve months before we find out what happens next for Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac), but we do know that the new film will break with tradition and begin immediately where the last one ended – with Rey coming face-to-face with the hooded Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The plot of the film is still firmly under wraps, with the studio choosing to focus all attention on ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY in the build-up and release of the film in December 2016. A wise move, as the film nipped in during the final hours of the year and stole the title of ‘The Year’s Biggest Movie’ from right 120


under the nose of its previous holder, Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them, and has clearly left film fans hungry for more, with STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII topping Fandango’s annual ‘most eagerly anticipated’ list for the coming year. And it’s a big year for Star Wars, marking the 40th Anniversary since we first visited a galaxy far, far away. We don’t know what the folks at Disney and Lucasfilm have up their jedi sleeves, but rumours are rife, from a newly restored 4K version of the original Star Wars: A New Hope (or even the full trilogy), to special variant covers from Marvel Comics (who publish the official canon Star Wars serials) all year long, but we do

believe that the marketing ball for Episode VIII will start rolling with the big Star Wars celebrations that kick off in April stateside. J.J. Abrams moves into an executive producer role, making way for Rian Johnson to take on both directing and screenwriting duties. You may not know the name – yet – but he is the man behind the brilliant, high-school set film noir Brick (2005) and the time-bending thriller,

Looper (2013), as well as episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’. The force is in good hands! Of course, the new film will be especially poignant following the sad loss of our beloved Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher. One of the most iconic characters in film and a strong, powerful role model for women the world over, she had completed all her scenes for the movie and it will be, we’re sure, a fitting tribute for someone who was truly loved by millions. The cast also includes Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Benicio Del Toro, Warwick Davis,

Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Tim Rose, Laura Dern, Peter Mayhew, Billie Lourd, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels & Jimmy Vee STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII will be in UK cinemas from Friday, 15th December, 2017 Did you know… Tom Hardy is rumoured to be playing a Stormtrooper.

M O V I E T I M E : S F F 121

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SFF Movie Time Magazine January 2017  
SFF Movie Time Magazine January 2017