From 12 Sep
Kids Club Sat 10:30 £5
Now with a special introduction from Gethin Roberts, one of the people on whom the film is based. Gethin will provide a few insider comments before the 9:00 performances on Fri 19 and Sat 20 Sep.
It’s 1984 and the Miners’ Strike is causing great hardship, especially in one remote Welsh pit village. Despite some misgivings, a group of young gay activists led by bolshy Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) decide to raise money for the community but when they travel to the Valleys to deliver the funds it proves to be an education for both the visitors and the villagers.
Set in a period of great social unrest, the film is history/politics lite, leading, rather, on the people and the relationships. The all important context is delivered mainly through background news coverage. For people old enough to remember, this serves to remind; for those who don’t remember a strong labour movement and nationalised industry, it is quite an education!
In only his second film, noted theatre director Matthew Warchus (Matilda the Musical) expertly finesses knowing humour, indignation and sexual politics, while the ensemble performances (from the likes of Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine) are uniformly pitch-perfect. A thorough-going joy!
And for the epicurious among you, join us for gourmet popcorn tasting courtesy of Joe & Seph on Fri 12 Sep.
“An old-school spy thriller, Corbijn’s taut le Carré riff does its genre proud. Hoffman commands every second.” Total Film
When a half-Chechen, half-Russian, brutally tortured immigrant turns up in Hamburg’s Islamic community, laying claim to his father’s ill-gotten fortune, both German and US security agencies take a close interest: as the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man’s true identity – oppressed victim or destruction-bent extremist?
This is Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s last role, and it’s difficult not to see the spectre of death hanging over him in this part. He plays Gunter, heading up a minor local secret security office. He is a creature of the twilight, and Hoffman does more with a look and a sigh than many an actor with an outburst. His American counterpart – an adamantine performance from Robin Wright – influences proceedings from a distance, prepared to snatch first and ask questions later in opposition to Gunter’s softly, softly practise.
This is classic Le Carre territory; for Gunter read George Smiley and for Hoffman read Alec Guinness. The political context is brought up to date, but the cynical disillusionment with the world’s covert puppet masters remains the same. It’s a slow burn – smart, subtle and steadily absorbing – with all the same heft and quality of recent Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Except that this might, just, be better…
Kids Club, £5
The latest in the more than 80 screen adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ timeless tale of a boy raised by apes benefits hugely from the hand of celebrated German animator Reinhard Klooss (Animals United). Updated with a backstory of eco-disaster and the death of his parents in a helicopter crash, the young John Greystoke’s early years are fast-forwarded to his first meeting with feisty ecologist Jane Porter (Locke). She has been duped by the sinister CEO of Greystoke Corp into exploiting a mysterious energy source deep in his jungle home.