Category Archives: Films

Our Next Film: The Nile Hilton Incident

Wednesday, 25 April 2018, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2017, Sweden/Denmark/Germany, 106 minutes, (NR) subtitled
Director – Tarik Saleh

Set against the backdrop of the Egyptian Revolution, this thriller features a police officer who investigates the murder of a woman. What initially seems to be a killing of a prostitute turns into a more complicated case involving the very elite of Egypt.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – The Nile Hilton Incident
Rotten Tomatoes – The Nile Hilton Incident

Film Club, Our Next Film: A Fantastic Woman

Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2017, Chile/Spain, 104 minutes, (R) subtitled
Director – Sebastian Lelio

Daniela Vega plays a transgender singer whose relationship with a much older man is brought abruptly to an end when he suffers a fatal aneurism. Instead of being treated with compassion she is faced with suspicion and contempt from the authorities and hostility from his family. An impressive exposition of courage and strength.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – A Fantastic Woman
Rotten Tomatoes – A Fantastic Woman

AUDIENCE REACTION:

  • 13 excellent
  • 11 very good
  • 2 good
  • 2 average
  • 1 poor

Giving an overall rating of 78%

COMMENTS:

  • Compassionate film about being transgender and prejudice – lovely voice
  • Brilliant, tragic, ugly, sordid, beautiful
  • A passionate and powerful resistance to prejudice
  • Fab film, nice venue, staff welcoming
  • Brilliant performance by Daniela Vega
  • Wonderful film and riveting performance by Daniela Vega. Stunning!
  • Parts moved me unbelievably other parts left me cold
  • An intriguing and moving film not as gripping as I had expected but I enjoyed the upbeat ending
  • A very powerful film  good music and use of lighting
  • Very engaging and sympathetic protagonist – put spotlight on prejudices and raised valuable questions
  • Performance was good, cinematography good , too long! Bored!
  • I wanted more from this film than I feel it ultimately delivered

Our Next Film: The Shape Of Water

Tuesday, 27 March 2018, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2017, USA, 119 minutes, (15)
Director – Guillermo del Toro

An other worldy fairy tale set against the backdrop of the Cold War era in America. In a hidden high security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in isolation. Her life changes forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a classified experiment.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – The Shape Of Water
Rotten Tomatoes – The Shape Of Water

AUDIENCE REACTION:

  • Excellent              31
  • Very Good          18
  • Good                     6
  • Average               3
  • Poor                      3

Giving an overall rating of 79%

COMMENTS:

  • Expensively made twaddle
  • Long and tedious.  Not really see the point…
  • Absolutely beautiful film
  • Interesting that the Russian spy becomes heroic
  • Not as amazing as Pans Labarinth but engaging adult fairy tale and quite beautiful imagery throughout– loved the homage to classic film
  • Beautifully done – took me through many emotions – a strange story but gorgeous despite the gory bits.
  • Really enjoyed it
  • Very well done – a real modern fairytale.
  • The grey selkie all over again.  Fab!
  • Deserving of the Oscar
  • A strange but good film
  • To my great surprise I loved it
  • Marvellous.  A great love story on many levels
  • Very enjoyable!  Very imaginative.  Very dramatic
  • Splash Noir!  Beautiful visual metaphoe and a classic Chekov’s gun
  • Seen and loved all his movies

Our Next Film: The Florida Project

Wednesday, 14 March 2018, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2017, USA, 111 minutes, (15)
Director – Sean Baker

Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Walt Disney World.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – The Florida Project
Rotten Tomatoes – The Florida Project

AUDIENCE REACTION:

The Florida Project failed to hit the mark for film club

  • Excellent              8
  • Very Good          12
  • Good                     8
  • Average               3
  • Poor                      9

Giving an overall rating of 54%

COMMENTS:

  • Interesting.  Excellent performances from the cast.  Very engaging
  • The divide
  • Very good but very depressing
  • Very well acted
  • In a word – ‘WOW!’
  • Not the ‘We are poor but make our own fun’ film I was expecting
  • Easy to judge the mother for bringing up her child as a friend, but , who knows what background she had that ill-prepared her for motherhood
  • Brilliant film about awful people living in the most awful country in the world
  • Hell of a message and very dull in parts.  Desperate film about desperate situation
  • Engaging from start to the staggering finish – surely destined to be a classic!  More of this please
  • Random story line.  All over the place.  Irrelevant end!
  • Hard to see what the point of this film was – and impossible to tell what they were talking about most of the time.
  • Confusing finale
  • Too long, bored at times, moving at end
  • Awful end

Our Next Film: The Death Of Stalin

Wednesday, 28 February 2018,  7:30 pm only

2017, France/UK, 106 minutes, (15)
Director – Armando Iannucci

A satirical take on the Soviet dictator’s last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – The Death Of Stalin
Rotten Tomatoes – The Death Of Stalin

AUDIENCE REACTION:

An intrepid audience braved the weather and turned up  to enjoy the latest Lannucci film – although it has to be said it was Siberian weather inside as well as outside last night – apologise from the Arts Centre – Theatre Genedlaethol were performing in the day and their 5 hour get-out necessitated the doors being open until after 6pm – the boilers just couldn’t manage to heat up the room is such a short time!

  • Excellent 24
  • Very good 7
  • Good 9
  • Average 1

Giving an overall rating of 82.9%

COMMENTS:

  • Laugh out loud and somewhat uncomfortably funny given the very brutal events portrayed
  • Glad I have seen it.  Fancy not recognising Simon Russell Beale   Some great lives.  However a bit of me agrees with critics  – it is no laughing matter.  Good film though.
  • It’s so surprising that we can laugh about such tragic events but yet we did.  So black and we laughed so much.
  • A very humorous look at life of the time of secret Russia – good acting
  • Superb.  Second time I’ve seen it.  Thank you
  • At times laugh out loud funny, though some of it was a bit tasteless.  General interesting and enjoyable
  • Light and dark – a highly amusing take on an ugly period in history
  • Very enjoyable but freezing cold
  • Wonderful film   horosho spasibo

Our Next Film: Loving Vincent

Tuesday, 13 February 2018, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2017, UK/Poland, 94 minutes, (12)
Director – Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman

Using 65,000 oil painted frames – the first fully painted feature film in the world. Traditionally the famously troubled artist’s death is viewed as suicide. But Loving Vincent delves into the ambiguities of his life and last days.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – Loving Vincent
Rotten Tomatoes – Loving Vincent

AUDIENCE REACTION:

A very popular choice with Loving Vincent and a huge response with 68 slips returned – and a load of walk ups!  Everyone happy.

  • Good             3
  • Very good    7
  • Excellent      58

Giving an overall rating of 95.2%

Could be up for Ponty Award!

COMMENTS:

  • It was just as well that this film’s speculative detective-mystery ‘plot’ — which  I found not only difficult to follow but didn’t even say very much about Vincent the man — was largely irrelevant, since it was the astonishing technical achievement of the production that led me finally to give it a rating of ‘Very Good’. (That said, I do generally prefer to be able to gaze long at paintings, including those by Van Gogh!)
  • Nit-picking department: all the locals in Auvers-sur-Oise (a village 20 miles from Paris) spoke with vaguely Lancashire accents, which might have been an eccentric choice but at least showed consistency (the marked exception of the Irish boatman apart!). What was totally improbable, however, was that Armand (the yellow-coated ‘detective’) and his postman Dad, both of whom were born and raised just outside Arles should speak so differently: Armand sounding like a Sahf London wide-boy, while his father was yet another Irishman.   
  • Inspirational.  What a clever concept
  • Very innovative
  • Lovely experience and I had lunch in the café.  When’s the next one
  • Stunning
  • Masterpiece.  Just like his art.  As moving as gazing at his many works
  • An amazing achievement and totally beautiful
  • Brilliant, outstanding and very moving.  This is the first time I have written a comment
  • I was intrigued by the concept of the painted film.  I felt it did well to sorting the ambiguity of his death as it is an often untold story.  Very good art and moving scenes – I cried.
  • Unable to take my eyes of the screen.  Every single moment was worth pausing over.  Changed my appreciation of both painting and film
  • What a banquet of colour.   Thank you for putting this film on  it the most beautiful film I’ve seen in years.   Bravo!
  • Fantastic film.  Diolch
  • Beautiful art!  Absolutely amazing.  So well portrayed.  So moving.  A real masterpiece to appreciate.  So tragic.  A must see!!
  • Clever and uplifting.  Van Goch’s paintings from the inside out.
  • Once can see why it tool so long to film.  Excellent content and artistic impressions
  • Marvellous.  Thank you  Dreamy5
  • Unique
  • Quite nice to look at, but was the narrative that strong?
  • Brilliant film.  So glad you put it on.  We came from Swansea to see it.  Thanks
  • Amazing, mesmerising, beautiful.  I loved the way the paintings rippled and all the detail.
  • Thought provoking.  Excellent portrayal of the artist.  Thanks
  • I had problems with the dialogue quality.  Fortunately I have read most of Van Gogh’s letters.
  • Beautiful – visually difficult to get used to at first but when I settled to it , it became easy to watch
  • Absolutely fabulous.  The work that went into the cartoon was exceptional.  Wish all cartoons were done in this style instead of CGI
  • Been waiting to see it for ages.  I will watch it without the sound next time so my brain can absorb the visuals
  • Made me nostalgic for his work

Our Next Film: The killing Of A Sacred Deer

Thursday, 1 February 2018, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2017, UK/Ireland, 121 minutes, (15)
Director – Yorgos Lanthimos

Steven (Colin Farrell) a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behaviour of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister. Also starring Nicole Kidman.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Rotten Tomatoes – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

AUDIENCE REACTION:

Well this one certainly split the audience!

Excellent      9
Very Good   4
Good             9
Average        6
Poor               1

Giving an overall rating of 62%

COMMENTS:

  • Totally weird
  • That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back
  • Didn’t think I would like it after ‘Lobster’ but I did, so either I’m sick or tired
  • Reminded me of David Lynch, Kubrick and Michael Haneke in the way it was so unsettling and challenging to watch.  Great cinematography and score.  Provocative narrative.
  • Not as good as ‘Lobster’ but I still enjoyed.  The photography shots were good.  Acting very wooden but that was their characters.  Missing the link to the title of the film and the film itself.
  • In one word- hysterical.  Also remarkable cinema, so appalling and funny
  • Unusual macabre, zany music and camera angles – odd with no laughs
  • Does it mean something?  Is it a metaphor?  Is it telling of the limitations of medicine?  From the outset the relationships were peculiar.  It is Stephen’s self- destructive phantasy?  No idea!  The music/sounds were unsettling and unpleasant.  The final classical piece of music was sublime
  • Quite derivative in its score, pacing and style.  I think it wants to be understood on a metaphorical level.  From the outset the family seem odd and unaffectionate.   On the surface they have all they need materially but they’re soulless.  A metaphor for the death of the ‘American Dream’??
  • Good acting but what the hell???   What was it all about?
  • The filming was good – sound and music good but acting was wooden and hard to have any feeling for any of the characters.
  • A gripping film right until the end.  Moving performance by Martin.  But why do people have to eat so noisily in the cinema!

Our Next Film: I Am Not a Witch

Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2017, UK/France, 93 minutes, (15) subtitled
Director – Tungano Nyoni

From the Welsh/Zambian director a tale of a 9 year old orphan girl who is identified as a witch by her local community and is forced to choose between life in a travelling witch camp or being transformed into a goat.

A pulsingly odd and strikingly original debut’, The Guardian

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – I Am Not A Witch
Rotten Tomatoes – I Am Not A Witch

AUDIENCE REACTION:

Oh dear, a rather mixed reception for ‘I am Not a Witch’ resulted in an overall score of just 52.69%

The voting was as follows:

Excellent  3
Very Good 13
Good 15
Average 5
Poor  3

COMMENTS:

  • Witch or goat?  I suspect watching a goat for an hour and a half might have been slightly more interesting!
  • A seriously weird film — but, having said that, one containing many seriously funny moments. A sort of “satire meets magical realism”. A few shots were over-long, I thought, but there was some fine acting, especially from the 8-year-old (?) lead.
  • Left many questions but shone a fine light on societal acceptance of abuse
  • Arresting scenery and great use of music and scenery
  • I like slow paced films but this I must say was too much.  But some interesting shots
  • Very interesting and unusual film but astonishing at the same time.  Very good photography
  • Weird but interesting
  • A fascinating blend of ancient and modern culture. Beautifully photographed
  • Perplexing and interesting
  • Sadly subtitles and cataracts don’t go
  • Excellent
  • Too many questions unanswered but fascinating
  • A sinister reminder that superstition and child abuse are still problematic in Africa – well acted and always menacing
  • Which witch was which?  A sad tale of corruption and child abuse in dark Africa
  • Directing and editing unprofessional.  Boring.   Tradition interestingly frightening.  Does it still go on?  Was the poor child killed because she didn’t bring the rain?  Were all the other ‘witches’ turned into goats at the end?
  • One to ponder on
  • I suspect there is more to this film that meets the eye and that the film maker has a back story we would benefit from hearing.

Our Next Film: The Party

Wednesday, 3 January 2018, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2017, UK, 71 minutes, (15)
Director – Sally Potter


A political comedy wrapped around a tragedy about a dinner party gone very wrong.  Featuring a spectacular cast including Kristin Scott Thomas, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Timothy Spall and Patricia Clarkson.    A savage satire on the middle-class, exploring the deeper truths behind seemingly liberal convictions with insight and a killer wit.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – The Party
Rotten Tomatoes – The Party

AUDIENCE REACTION:

We have 60 members at present but an average of 27 turn up to each film.

40 members turned out for this film – and  generally a well received reception for the first film of the season.

The votes were as follows:

Excellent  26
Very Good  12
Good 5
Average 2
Poor 2

Which gave an overall rating of 80.85%

COMMENTS:

  • A very surprising watch.  Effective ending.  Interesting camera work – every line on skin visible.  Characters generally unlikeable!!
  • What a party.  What a riot
  • The music was very good.  This film would have made a good play
  • Very drole – amusing and quirky characterisation.  Well supported by the musical choices.  A classy little comedy
  • Timothy Spall was wonderful
  • Is it true than when you scratch beneath the surface of urbane liberalism all you find is egocentricity?
  • Awesome – a great start to the season
  • What happens when the liberal elite is stressed
  • Despite a great cast I’m afraid it didn’t quite work for me
  • Excellent tragi-farcical comedy of manners
  • Parts I liked but I wasn’t entirely convinced!  Not sure the black and white added anything
  • Good fun film to start the season
  • Not for me
  • Funny poignant and well paced.  Would make a great stage play
  • Such a brilliant performance of actors – I loved it
  • Funniest and cleverest film I’ve seen in a long time    more Potter
  • Interested.  Acting excellent.  Script and characterisation poor
  • Acting was better than the script
  • Amusing, tense, unexpected moments, not only the ending.  Excellent dialogue at times.  Actors all excellent
  • A film worth watching for its black comedy, good acting and funny dialogue
  • Very funny, witty and eccentric
  • The antithesis of Ken Loach’s film style – self-indulgent, stagey and self-conscious – utterly irritating.  It’s one redeeming feature – it was short!
  • A rather dull tale of dysfunctional bourgeoisie
  • Loved it.  Extremely well acted.  The camera shots were a joy to watch, a good whole hearted funny (in a dark way) film.

Our Next Film: Sweet Bean

Tuesday, 19 December 2017, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2015, Japan | France | Germany, 113 minutes, (PG)
Director – Naomi Kawase


Struggling street food vendor Sentaro finds himself confronted with Tokue, an odd but sympathetic elderly lady looking for work. When he reluctantly accepts its not long before Tokue proves to have an extraordinary fit when it comes to making ‘an’ the sweet red bean paste filling used in his dorayakis – which starts a relationship that is about much more than just street food.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – Sweet Bean (An)
Rotten Tomatoes – Sweet Bean (An)

AUDIENCE REACTION:

A huge turn out for members for our last film of the season (39 out of 91 members)– the only film which had higher attendance this year was Manchester by the Sea.

Votes as follows:

14 Excellent
18 very good
7 good
1 average

Which gives an overall rating of 78.12%

COMMENTS:

  • Peter Bradshaw may have thought the film sentimental and slightly preposterous but I rather liked it
  • Gentle and touching insight into Japanese culture but just a bit too slow
  • Evocative, sensitive, and delicate.   Like cherry blossom and bean paste I guess.   Not sentimental but sad
  • Beautiful, still and poignant.  Very moving description of loneliness and people overcoming damaged lives
  • A lovely film on so many levels, culture and the role of people of all ages.  Great
  • An emotional spiritual film about life.  Slow but I enjoyed,  guess you have to be in a melancholy mood to watch.  Well acted, real tears, a very reflective film.
  • Touching, charming film
  • I was a bit sceptical at first but the film became compelling and I enjoyed it
  • Moving story  very strong message about the influence of rumours
  • I was quite surprised by this – not what I was expecting from the trailer
  • They all had their problems but blossomed together
  • A sweet tale – great that the main character was an elderly, disabled, marginalised woman who was the source of the sweetness
  • Beautiful – the perfect antidote to Hollywood
  • Very touching, lovely film but sad

Our Next Film: Frantz

Thursday, 30 November 2017, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2016, France | Germany, 113 minutes, (12A)
Director – François Ozon


A stylish black and white film set in the aftermath of WWI. When a young German woman grieving for the death of her fiancé meets a mysterious Frenchman who visits the grave to lay flowers.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – Frantz
Rotten Tomatoes – Frantz

AUDIENCE SOCRE: 87.96%

Votes as follows:

Excellent  16
Very Good 9
Good 2

COMMENTS:

  • I’ve not been so affected since first reading Birdsong regarding the First World War.  Acting by all leads very very good.   Narrative line about responsibility profound.
  • Beautifully filmed and lovely music
  • Love, loss, self sacrifice – it was just deliciously emotional
  • Finding a way to continue to live after loss and pain
  • Strong statement made by parents against war
  • Extremely moving and believable story.  Totally gripping
  • Rather too many improbabilities in the story line, but an interesting film with some very nice photography
  • Really touching
  • A beautiful and moving examination of the lies we tell ourselves and others
  • Brilliant thought provoking film
  • WAR and PEACE  both painful and complicated.  Black and white gave it the ‘old movie’ feel
  • The futility of war!  Excellent acting and good music
  • Not sure of the ending
  • Beautiful film with some good plot twists.  Very moving
  • Sad but lovely – loved the music – sad times
  • Powerful emotional film – very special and lasting