The Young Karl Marx – In the mid-1800s, after decades of the scientific and economic march of the Industrial Revolution has created an age of both new prosperity and new problems, a 26-year-old writer, researcher and radical named Karl Marx embarks, with his wife Jenny, on the road to exile. In Paris in 1844 they meet young Friedrich Engels, the well-to-do son of a factory owner whose studies and research has exposed the poor wages and worse conditions of the new English working class who operate looms, printing presses and other engines of industry that enrich their owners while punishing laborers. The smooth and sophisticated–but equally revolutionary and radical–Engels brings his research, help and resources to provide Marx with the missing piece to the puzzle that composes his new vision of the world. Together, between censorship and police raids, riots and political upheavals, they will preside over the birth of the labor movement turning far-flung and unorganized idealists and dreamers into a united force with a common goal. The organizations they create and ideas they put forward will grow into the most complete philosophical and political transformation of the world since the Renaissance–started, against all expectations, by two brilliant, insolent and sharp-witted young men whose writings, works and ideas were embraced by revolutionaries even as they were corrupted by dictators. As director Raoul Peck himself puts it, “Before they’d even reached the age of thirty, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had undoubtedly started to change the world–for better or worse…”
Jojo Rabbit – Writer director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.
If Beale Street Could Talk (US) “Mesmerising adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel. “Every black person born in America was born on Beale Street” states the opening quotation from Baldwin. “A heart-stopping cinematic love story”, with themes of social-realist themes of prejudice.
A flawless tragicomic tale of two families from opposite social groups in Seoul, South Korea.
Richard E Grant in true-life comedic drama, balancing humour and pathos, with Melissa McCarthy as an author on the slide.
1962 Classic, seminal French new wave film by Francois Truffaut and set in 1912 in Paris.
Perhaps the most influential film, ushering in the “60 s” and full of style, inspiring films like Bonnie and Clyde an
1987 classic and cult film with lots of laughs about two out of work actors played by Paul McGann and Richard E Grant who decamp to the Lake District and stay with Uncle Monty, played by Richard Griffiths.
Rocketman – Musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.
Little Women – The story of four sisters, each determined to live life on her own terms.
MILITARY WIVES centers on a group of women from different backgrounds whose partners are away serving in Afghanistan. Faced with their loved ones’ absences, they come together to form the very first military wives choir, helping each other through some of life’s most difficult moments, and quickly find themselves on an international stage. Peter Cattaneo (THE FULL MONTY) directs Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan in this feel-good crowd-pleaser inspired by true events.
Harriet – The extraordinary tale of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, her escape from slavery, and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes.
Richard Jewell – An American security guard saves thousands of lives from a bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is vilified by the press who falsely report that he was a terrorist.
The Personal History of David Copperfield – (UK) It’s a mixture of David Copperfield and the story of Dicken’s own life. It could be a good opening film for the season. Very enjoyable. 94% on Rotten tomatoes.
Knives out – This is an entertaining whodunnit which may raise some laughs and follows the formulae of its genre. It scored 97% on Rotten Tomatoes – English /American cast
The Peanut Butter Falcon – Described as the charming indie update of Huckleberry Finn. This is a feel good , charming film which follows a young man with Down’s syndrome who escapes his care home to pursue his dream of meeting his favourite wrestler. Scored 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Farewell – Bittersweet Chinese family drama. According to Chinese custom, when a family member has a terminal illness the relatives are meant to keep the truth from them so they can enjoy their last days in blissful ignorance – in this case the protagonist’s grandmother. The film is described as a ‘softly observed comedy of familial errors” and scored 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Souvenir – memoir of a tortured 1980’s love affair, and described as ‘the best British film for a long time”, and scored 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Transit – As fascism spreads, German refugee Georg (Franz Rogowski) flees to Marseille and assumes the identity of the dead writer whose transit papers he is carrying. Living among refugees from around the world, Georg falls for Marie (Paula Beer), a mysterious woman searching for her husband–the man whose identity he has stolen. Adapted from Anna Segher’s 1942 novel, TRANSIT transposes the original story to the present, blurring periods to create a timeless exploration of the plight of displaced people. 94% rotten tomatoes.
Pain and Glory – (Spanish) The life story of the film director Pedro Almodovar (sort of). 97% rotten tomatoes
Sorry we Missed – Ken Loach’s drama about the trials and tribulations of zero hours contracts, being a delivery driver and trying to survive and support your family. I think it would be really good if we showed this one – very topical – look how dependent we are on delivery drivers now! Also we didn’t show I Daniel Blake because we thought that Ken Loach was going to come to Keynsham and that didn’t happen in the end. 88% Rotten tomatoes
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (France 15) – Apparently the main rival to Parasite on the World Cinema awards circuit. It involves an 18th Century painter and her fevered romance with a young noblewoman whom she is painting. The model’s mother is aiming to marry her off to a nobleman but instead model and painter embark on a secret affair.
Dark Waters (USA – 12 A) – A from- reality political thriller about a lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) going up against DuPont, the chemical giant, after a farmer discovers pollution on his land.
Waves – (USA ) Set in Florida it tells the story of an African American high school wrestler whose life spirals out of control after a shoulder injury. Apparently heart breaking ( but perhaps not for our audience looking for something cheerier!)
Rashomon – This landmark Japanese masterpiece is Akira Kurosawa’s cinematic examination of the subjective nature of truth. In feudal Japan, three men sheltering from a storm discuss an incident where a bandit raped a woman whose husband then somehow died. The film’s innovative narrative structure recounts that incident from four differing viewpoints.
It sounds violent but it isn’t really, it is more intriguing as the story is told from different points of view. 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
A promising young woman.
Wild Rose tells the complicated story of Rose-Lynn, a woman on a quest to become a country music star, while also grappling with the responsibilities of being recently released from prison and a young mother of two children.
A Hidden Life – Based on real events, A HIDDEN LIFE is the story of an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fanni and children that keeps his spirit alive.
Happy as Lazaro – Lazzaro is a naive and optimistic twenty-year-old farmer; Tancredi is instead a young man with a fervid imagination. Between the two it is born an unexpected friendship, that above all for Lazzaro turns out to be an important moment of growth. Over time, the two face many difficulties together, until Tancredi makes his tracks lose in the city, and Lazzaro sets out to search for him.
In Safe Hands