10 March - 8.15pm
Wings of Desire (12)
(Der Himmel über Berlin)
(Wim Wenders, DE 1987, 122mins, Subtitled)
A revitalizing film—thoughtful, probing, and a celebration of human life through the eyes of angelic beings who struggle to understand it. As we watch people's lives from these angels' puzzled and troubled viewpoint, we learn to appreciate humanity not only for its moments of joy, but for its moments of sorrow and pain. Shot in Berlin before the wall came down, it poignantly captures a certain period in Berlin’s life. The angels in Wings of Desire serve as a metaphor for human awakening, and never has a film enticed us with such joy for life. Cinema was made for films like this.
7th April - 8.15pm
(Roberto Rossellini, IT 1946 , 120mins, Subtitled)
A technically brilliant feature, and a deeply moving tribute to those who suffered in war, with the cinematography by Otello Martelli creating shots as heart-rending as the performances. For those who hate dictated plots, sloppy clichés, and all the other disappointments found in too much 21st century movie-making. Admired by Scorsese.
21st April - 8.15pm
(Terry Gilliam, UK 1985, 136mins)
Sufficiently well-known, but the imaginative design does deserve the spaciousness of the big screen. Undeniably a brilliant and original dystopia, at once hysterically funny and even more hysterically threatening.
12th May - 8.15pm
A Short Film About Love (15)
(Krótki film o milosci)
(Krzysztof Kieslowski, PL 1988, 82mins, Subtitled)
An expanded, feature-length re-working of ‘Decalogue VI: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery’ from Krzysztof Kieslowski's magnum opus television project, ‘Decalogue.’ ‘A Short Film About Love’ is a sublime and provocative exploration on the nature of desire, connection, and intimacy.
9th June - 8.15pm
Cache (Hidden) (15)
(Michael Haneke, FR 2005, 118mins, Subtitled)
Three times Cannes winner, this is possibly Michael Haneke’s best work to date, a powerful, provocative look at guilt, trust, responsibility and paranoia, played with unnerving suspense by its stellar cast. Georges (Daniel Auteuil) is outstanding as a Parisian who finds himself the target of an anonymous stalker sending video tapes of his house as seen from across the street. As the tapes become more personal, Georges suspects he might know the culprit yet refuses to reveal his suspicions to his wife, excellently played by Juliet Binoche.
23rd June - 8.15pm
The Magic Flute (U)
(Ingmar Bergman, Sweden 1975, 135mins, Subtitled)
Hailed by many as the finest screen version of an opera, Bergman's Magic Flute is guaranteed to hold our attention. The finest Nordic singers of the time contribute to this fabulous production. Bergman was an accomplished organist and musician, as well as filmmaker, and here, with the aid of cinematographer Sven Nykvist’s beautiful images, he brings to the screen one of the world’s best-loved operas. Bergman wanted to evoke the original 1791 production of The Magic Flute, and originally planned to shoot his version at the beautiful eighteenth-century court theatre in Drottingholm Palace. As the surviving period sets and stage machinery at Drottingholm were too fragile, he moved the production into the studios of the Swedish Film Institute, where Henny Noremark and her team painstakingly recreated this historic theatre down to the very last detail.
7th July - 8.15pm
(Jean-Luc Godard, FR 1967, 90mins, Subtitled)
The deliberately hostile and difficult Weekend is a New Wave masterpiece. The famous10-minute traffic-jam sequence is a single uninterrupted tracking shot so freighted with metaphor, cinematic devices, allegory, political ideology, foreshadowing, and mise-en-scene that an entire film study class could probably be based on this one sequence alone. This is a film steeped in very real social upheaval, and is an apocalyptic foreshadowing of the student riots that swept across France in May of 1968, soon after Weekend was finished. Godard as an artist claimed that cinema had used itself up, consumed itself entirely as an artistic medium, and had nothing relevant left to say; hence his famous end credits for Weekend, pronouncing not only the film’s conclusion, but the death of cinema itself.
11th August - 8.15pm
(Derek Jarman, UK 1986, 92mins)
Caravaggio is Jarman's most ambitious, popular, and acclaimed film. It re-imagines the volatile life of the sixteenth-century artist, whose sublime paintings both draw on and transcend the seamy underworld of his time. Jarman — an important painter as well as filmmaker — sees more than a little of himself in his subject, as well as aspects of modern life in the mean streets of the Renaissance. If you are new to Jarman's films, Caravaggio makes an ideal introduction, since it's typical in terms of style and theme, is one of his greatest works, and features an engrossing plot.
25th August - 8.15pm
The Tempest (15)
(Derek Jarman, UK 1979, 95mins)
Underground auteur Derek Jarman's version of Shakespeare's final and greatest comedy focuses on the story's sexual dynamics. Jarman is a director who was able to make a film look luscious on a very small budget. The Tempest is no exception. Filmed on location in the cavernous Stoneleigh Abbey, the film's richly textured sets and warm, earthy cinematography could fool one into believing that this was a much more expensive production. Finally, the film's concluding scene, an over-the-top musical production number that (with a few conservative alterations) could have been lifted from an MGM musical, is a wonderfully goofy and life-affirming way to cap this unconventionally intelligent comedy.