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Screen Gems

Screen Gems is our monthly film club aimed at older folk, showing our week’s feature in good company and at a specially discounted price of £5.   Screen Gems offers an informal discussion group after the screening, with film notes provided.  And as always, the Lexi bar is open, serving teas, coffee, wines, beers, snacks and soft drinks.  Join us for fun, fans, and fabulous films!

Know someone who might want to join us for a matinee screening on the last Wednesday of every month?  Fancy coming along yourself?  Check out the latest news below…

Cinema Gems: Tracks

“However familiar the terrain, this is a vivid, heartbreaking and captivating character piece and travel movie in one, guided by an outstanding Wasikowska.” Empire

“It is an attractive, heartfelt work, and Wasikowska carries it with grace.” Guardian

John Curran (The Painted Veil, We Don’t Live Here Anymore) directs this true story of Robyn Davidson (MiaWasikowska), an inspiring young woman who in 1977 turned her back on society to make a solo trek across almost 2,000 miles of sprawling Australian desert. Accompanied by only her beloved black Labrador and four cranky camels, this was truly a remarkable journey.  Occasional support along the way is provided by a National Geographic cameraman and an Aboriginal elder who escorts Robyn through the burial grounds, but otherwise this is a beautifully told story of a journey on both inner and outer levels.  Relax into the infinite Australian landscapes and enjoy the trip…

 

Cinema Gems: The Past

Screen Gems – great film with guided discussion and good company – only £5

“It’s severity and cerebral force are beyond question. Director Asghar Farhadi confirms his place among cinema’s true grown-ups with a pressure cooker of a relationship drama.” The Guardian

Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning A Separation revisits the same territory of complex family relationships within repressive societies.  Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) travels from his home in Teheran to Paris to finalise his divorce from his long-estranged wife, Marie (Berenice Bejo, The Artist). Already living with a much younger new partner (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet) and his son, Marie appears to simply want a civilised closure.   As Ahmad is obliged to stay in their somewhat chaotic household, it’s soon obvious that this won’t be easy as one revelation leads to another – and each challenges the assumptions made before.

Beautifully written, sensitively directed, and powerfully acted,  this stands as another compelling testament to Asghar Farhadi’s gift for finely layered drama.  Prepare yourself for post-film debate!

 

Cinema Gems: Nebraska

The Lexi recommends. Screen Gems – great movies viewed in good company, with the opportunity for guided discussion afterwards. £5

“Elegant in its simplicity and poetic in its message, Nebraska adds another stirringly resonant chapter to Alexander Payne’s remarkable filmography.”  Rotten Tomatoes

Director Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) takes the helm for this black and white road trip drama starring Bruce Dern as a tempestuous Missouri father who’s convinced he’s won a million dollar magazine sweepstakes, and Will Forte as the son who grudgingly agrees to drive him to Nebraska to claim his winnings. Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach costar.

Cinema Gems: Jules et Jim (Re)

Screen Gems screening, £5

“Truffaut’s masterpiece is one of the best dissections of that uniquely French concept, menage a trois, with a definitive performance of Jeanne Moreau at the center; his love for the film medium is evident in every frame of this tragic yet giddy romance.”  (EmanuelLevy.com)  For many people this cornerstone of the French New Wave is Truffaut’s finest film; it is certainly his most enduring!

 

Blazing Saddles

Screen Gems, £5 including guided discussion and good company

Surely one of the funniest films ever made, Mel Brooks’ Western spoof.

Corrupt politician Hedley Lemar (Harvey Korman), intent on ruining a western town, appoints Bart (Cleavon Little), a run away slave, as sheriff. Bart intially has difficulty winning over the racist townspeople, but with help from an outlaw named Jim (Gene Wilder) and Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn), a show-girl, Bart sets out to win the hearts of the town and thwart Lemar’s evil plan

Twelve Angry Men

A Screen Gems screening, £5

“Not much action, lots of words, great cinema.” Film 4

“A strangely realistic thriller.” Time Out

“This is a film where tension comes from personality conflict, dialogue and body language, not action.” Roger Ebert

Sidney Lumet’s feature debut is a superbly written, dramatically effective courtroom thriller that rightfully stands as a modern classic.    Join us for good company, film notes and guided discussion afterwards.

 

Little Miss Sunshine

A Screen Gems screening, £5

What happens when you stuff a failed motivation speaker, his wife, the nation’s number one Proust scholar, an elderly potty-mouthed heroin addict, a teen who’s mute by choice, and a bespectacled little pageant hopeful into a mini VW bus for a three day road trip? You get this hilarious but moving satire about a dysfunctional family obsessed with winning. Credit must go to the ensemble cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin and the delightfully funny script by Michael Arndt, which first-time directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris handled pierfectly.  Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Great film, good company, programme notes and guided discussion after – that’s Screen Gems!

The Third Man

A Screen Gems screening, £5

This atmospheric thriller is one of the undisputed masterpieces of cinema and boasts iconic performances from Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, not to mention a script by Graham Greene and one of the most instantly recognisable soundtracks in cinema history!  Combine that with good company and guided discussion and you have the Screen Gems experience.


United 93

A Screen Gems Screening – £5

Bloody Sunday director Paul Greengrass marks the five-year anniversary on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States with this speculative meditation on the events that took place onboard the fourth hijacked plane, and the actions of the passengers who gave their lives to ensure the safety of others. Told in real time and acted out by a cast of unknowns who were provided with detailed studies of their real-life counterparts, United 93 attempts to reconstruct the airborne tragedy from the view of the ground and flight controllers, the passengers, and their nervous families awaiting word on the fate of their loved ones. As the terrified travelers and crew gradually become aware of the historical events taking place on the ground so far beneath them, the 90 minutes in which a random collection of strangers realized their fate and came together to confront an unthinkable threat are re-created.

With film notes and guided discussion afterwards.

On the Waterfront – Cinema Gems

A Screen Gems screening, £5

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American social realist drama about union violence and corruption among longshoremen.  In a career-defining role, Marlon Brando plays an ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman who struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. The film was festooned with honours, receiving 12 Oscar nominations and winning eight, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando), Best Supporting Actress for new-comer Eva Maria Saint, and Best Director for Elia Kazan. And not to forget the wonderful soundtrack, composed by Leonard Bernstein.

The Screen Gems screenings are led by the U3A, and provide a chance to share an interest in enduringly good film with like-minded people.  Programme notes are provided and afterwards there is guided discussion, with tea and coffee available from the bar.


Being There – Cinema Gems

Screen Gems, £5

A simple-minded gardener named Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. After a run in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of a woman (Eve) and her husband Ben, an influential but sickly businessman. Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes friend and confidante to Ben, and an unlikely political insider.

Join us for this U3A supported screening:  programme notes, guided discussion and good company at no extra charge!

 

Bicycle Thieves

A Screen Gems Screening, £5

A poor young father in postwar-ravaged Rome who finally finds work putting up Rita Hayworth posters around town, only to have his precious bicycle stolen the first day on the job.  This simple plot doesn’t do justice to this film, which formed one of the cornerstones of Italian Neo-Realist cinema.

Guided discussion and good company provided at no charge!