From Fri 17 May
Sundance Grand Jury Winner
“Tobias Lindholm’s superb [film] actually grows more chillingly subdued as its nightmare scenario unfolds.” Variety
“Danish director Tobias Lindholm spins an exacting drama out of a crisis on this deft, verite-style account of Somali piracy in the Indian ocean.” Xan Brooks, The Guardian 4*s
From the BAFTA winning writer Tobias Lindholm (Borgen, and Lexi-favourite, The Hunt) this is a visceral thriller that explores the extremes of experience and the ethics of putting a price on human life.
When a Danish freight ship is over-run by Somali pirates the CEO brings in a hijack specialist to advise, hoping to resolve the situation quickly. He is overwhelmed to learn that a quick offer of settlement would be seen as a show of weakness by the pirates, and that he must play a canny waiting game while people around him go to pieces. Filmed in an almost documentary style on a ship that was itself actually involved in a hijack, the story keeps a tight and intimate focus on the three main characters as the psychological tension ramps up…
This is fascinating, gripping and intelligent drama. Fans of Scandi drama will recognise Pilou Asbæk (the ship’s cook) and Soren Malling (the CEO of the shipping company) from Borgen and The Killing. Skip that sub-standard Arne Dahl on BBC4 at the moment; this is the real deal!
DocHouse presents, tickets £7/5
Winner of the Sundance 2013 Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary, UK Premiere
In her feature directorial debut, Kalyanee Mam, the cinematographer for the Academy Award–winning documentary Inside Job, explores the damage rapid development has wrought in her native Cambodia on both a human and environmental level. Rural communities, used to reaping the bounty of their mountainous jungles and lush rivers, have witnessed their forests being cleared, land becoming scarce and costly, and fishing stocks rapidly depleting. No longer able to provide for their families, and often accruing massive debt as a result, many Cambodians have been forced to leave their rural lives behind to seek employment in the industrial factories of Phnom Penh.
From the Huffington Post: ”The human face of globalization will not be found in protests or rallies. It is in the eyes of displaced women and men leaving centuries old agrarian systems. It is the painful, disempowering march from a sustaining, ecologically-balanced family-focused life of hard food-producing work to a dollar-obsessed global system of harder work and longer hours. Kalyanee Mam’s bold new documentary, A River Changes Course, shot in a breathtakingly beautiful, cinema-verite style, breaks new ground in presenting the lives of Cambodians marching from their ancient culture into a globalized economy.” More…
London’s only year-round festival of documentaries, DocHouse showcases international films in UK cinemas. Established for over ten years with events, masterclasses, screenings and education outreach, DocHouse works in close collaboration with leading international filmmakers, distributors, festivals and independent cinema partners, encouraging audience interest in the best international documentary.
Happy half-term! A treat for children and carers alike, all at £5.
My Neighbor Totoro is a heart warming, sentimental masterpiece that captures the simple grace of childhood. We have two versions showing: dubbed for our half-term matinees on May 24, 29 and 31: and sub-titled on Sun 26 May when it is showing with Grave of the Fireflies as a special 25th anniversary double feature.
This superbly animated children’s tale is directed by Hayao Miyazaki, one of Japan’s most beloved animators. The story follows Satsuke and Mei, two young girls who find that their new country home is in a mystical forest inhabited by a menagerie of mystical creatures called Totoros. They befriend O Totoro, the biggest and eldest Totoro, who is also the king of the forest. As their girls’ mother lies sick in the hospital, O Totoro brings the sisters on a magical adventure but also helps them to understand the realities of life.
Like most films released by Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, this family-oriented feature has a powerful ecological theme. The English-language version of this film wasn’t dubbed until many years later, explaining the presence of actors such as Dakota Fanning in the cast (who wasn’t even born until 1994).
With signature bravura soundtrack and staging to put Busby Berkley to shame, Luhrmann’s style is well met in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s brittle depiction of excess and vapidity during the Roaring Twenties. Arguably eclipsing Robert Redford’s portrayal in the 1974 version, Leonardo DiCaprio as the maverick millionaire Jay Gatsby is inspired casting. Add Carey Mulligan (An Education, Drive) as Daisy, Gatsby’s unobtainable love interest; Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty) as her philandering husband; and Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) as Nick Carraway, the impressionable writer who witnesses the destructive unravelling of a world, and you have the makings of a film as durable as the Fitzgerald original.
Just to remind you of why you may still want to (re)read the book: ”They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures, then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness…”
Swing Patrol’s Dixie Dinah‘s will be dancing up a storm, live, before Tue 4 June’s screening, at 21:00.
And in case all that frenzied frivolity gives you a thirst, we suggest award-winning micro-distilled* Sacred Gin or Vodka, double measure + tonic £6, or 2 glasses of Prosecco for £10.
* Distilled in Highgate, now drunk globally!
Backed by Disney, maverick fantasy-horror director Raimi (Spider-man) takes a typically offbeat tack in this telling of the other big story of Oz, that of how the wily wizard gained his position of influence before young Dorothy trotted into town.
Oscar (James Franco) is a rascally young magician – no better than he needs be – working in small-town Kansas when he’s accidentally transported to the magical kingdom of Oz. There he meets and is beguiled by Glinda (Michelle Williams), a good witch. She enlists his help in doing battle with the two bad witches (Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis) who are behind the many ills of the kingdom. Despite his doubtful wizardly powers Oscar reluctantly rises to the challenge, eventually redeeming himself in more senses than one. Full of all sorts of CGI wizardry, this is a razzle dazzle film to delight fans of the original as well as wide-eyed newcomers to the Emerald City.