Tag Archives: drama

Our Next Film: The killing Of A Sacred Deer

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

ONLINE BOOKING - Pontardawe Arts Centre

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: The Party

AUDIENCE REACTION: The Party

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.

Audience Reaction: Sweet Bean (An)

AUDIENCE REACTION: Sweet Bean (An)

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: 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

Our Next Film: The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge)

Thursday, 26 October 2017, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2016, France | Belgium | Japan, 80 minutes, (PG)
Director – Michael Dudok de Wit


A man is shipwrecked on a deserted island. He is desperate to escape until one day he meets a strange, giant red turtle and begins a friendship that will change his life. Exquisite wordless animation from Studio Ghibli.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge)
Rotten Tomatoes – The Red Turtle (La tortue rouge)

AUDIENCE SOCRE: 79%

Votes as follows

Excellent 21
Very Good 13
Good 6
Average 1
Poor 2

COMMENTS:

  • A simple story realised with such beauty and an emotive and heart-wrenching score
  • Was a bit long but I liked the crabs
  • A sweet tale – almost believed in the cartoons
  • Really enjoyed the Welsh short films – Turtle – confused – will have to think about it
  • Too many adverts
  • Haunting music and a charming tale with reminiscences of ‘Castaway’ and ‘Water Babies’ excellent animation
  • Don’t recommend
  • Simplicity at its best  beautiful wordless film  the 3 shorts were also outstanding – excellent evening
  • Beautiful gentle and absorbing.  Very pleased my wife made me watch it
  • Moving, mysterious and magical
  • Beautiful images – but hopeless storyline
  • Beautiful animation (of course) loved the music.  Another excellent choice
  • Wonderful animation and story- a beautiful film – enjoyed the short films too
  • Absolutely enchanting – lots of tears shed
  • The grainy, lush animation style is so lovely to rest your eyes on!   What a heart warming and lovely story about mankind/womankind and nature.  Than you for showing this
  • The short films were brilliant
  • Gorgeous, detailed and captivating

Audience Reaction: Maudie

Maudie certainly seemed to please

Excellent 40
Very Good 11
Average 1

Giving an overall rating of 93.27% – is that high enough for the Ponty Awards??

Comments as follows

  • It hit the spot
  • Charming, poignant, sad.  Excellent acting and fabulous cinematography
  • What gives some people the inner strength to find joy in life – no matter what is thrown at them?
  • Brilliant acting, beautiful photography, moving story
  • Really enjoyed this film  made me think of how material the world is and to enjoy and value the simpler things in life
  • Slow but very moving.  The characters were well sketched and the story was very heartwarming
  • A beautiful film.  Great performances from Hawkins and Hawke
  • More like this please.  Lovely film. ‘Shape of Water’ next
  • Like most modern transatlantic films would have benefitted from subtitles – couldn’t follow most of the dialogue
  • Excellent acting though sadly it reminded me of Eddie Redmayne as Steven Hawkins and the transexual.  Thematically like Manchester by the Sea.  Communication and the development of relationships with few words – very moving
  • A gentle romantic view of what was probably a far harsher reality
  • Desperately sad but uplifting.  Great scenery
  • Excellent film.  Lovely cuppa too
  • Charming and artistic – life as art
  • A tender tale where six and eight make one
  • This is one of the best films I have seen in a long time.  Will recommend it to friends and family
  • It made me cry
  • Sensitive and beautiful
  • Remarkable film – will live long in the memory
  • delightful

Audience Reaction: ‘I, Daniel Blake’

A new record, 97.53% for the first film of the season, ‘I, Daniel Blake

COMMENTS BELOW

  • Excellent social commentary – perhaps slightly one sided – not all job centre staff are hostile
  • Very well made. They could have gone over the top but this was just right and exactly as it is in real life as I have witnessed
  • Heart-breaking and extremely moving. Sadly very true
  • Brilliant – thought provoking
  • Should be compulsory viewing for everyone – especially MPs
  • Very down to earth, true to life which is a pity
  • Where is empathy in our society?
  • Excellent film having been affected by these issues ourselves
  • A moving expose of our so called caring society. We’re all in this together? I think not.
  • Hard hitting and absolutely real and true
  • Completely changed my views on the benefits system – harrowing film
  • This is not fiction – it UK now – our shame
  • Brilliant as only Ken Loach can do. So sad, such an indictment of Britain today
  • British film making at ist best an intelligent and deeply moving protralay of the realities of modern Britain beyond the bullshit of sound-bite politicians. Remarkable.
  • One less statistic for the government to worry about.
  • Awesome but a sad indictment of our society
  • Full frustration – I wonder how I would do in similar circumstance
  • Very moving. The single mum reminded me of me moving into a home with my child struggling. Really felt for the characters. Made the injustice of the benefits system really clear
  • It’s a heart-breaking yet heart-warming film, and it challenges ones assumptions about the state supporting attitude to its citizens
  • As powerful a film as you would expect from Ken Loach – just wish I could have understood all the dialogue – perhaps I should see the subtitled French version next!
  • Incredible – everyone should see it – distraught
  • Shows the lethal consequences of lack of respect
  • Dickens in modern dress – oh brave new world
  • Tragic
  • Too close to the truth – well acted
  • Personal truth heart-wrenching film – ken loach’s best film – truthful to the core – time for a revolution
  • I cant stop crying and I feel angry – I do not understand how the system works
  • Absolutely wonderful, powerful, profound, looking-glass into real life for many citizens of our society. Should be compulsory viewing for everyone

Audience Reaction: ‘Truman’

The audience gave Truman a score of 90%

Comments as follows

  • We enjoyed this film very much.  Poignant, touching, funny and amusing.
  • A roller coaster of emotions – joys and griefs – poor Truman seemed almost incidental – the perfect, quiet companion animal
  • A very brave, sad film,  guitar music was very emotive
  • Really emotional and very truthful about men (and women’s) relationships  excellent film.  One of the best this season
  • Heart-warming.  Brilliant acting
  • I found the son’s choice to go to a concert with his girlfriend rather than spend time with his dying father rather unbelievable and the relationships were all rather shallow – in the circumstances I would expect more sincerity
  • Too emotional to comment
  • Moving and accurate picture of men’s relationships.  Use of dog clever!
  • A gentle stroll through a man’s last days told with gentle aplomb and some touching moments
  • Well told well acted  could have ben over sentimental but was moving
  • Lovely soundtrack  extremely moving  captivating acting
  • Sorry ! thought the ethics were awful