Tag Archives: foreign film

Our Next Film: Frantz

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

ONLINE BOOKING - Pontardawe Arts Centre

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

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 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: ‘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

Next Film: Men & Chicken

Wednesday, 9 November 2016, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

2015, Denmark, 104 minutes, (15)
Director – Anders Thomas Jensen


Riotous, bawdy and transgressive black comedy. Discovering their father isn’t really their father two brothers go in search of their biological parent. They discover a unique place – where bestiality is gleefully accepted, casual violence the norm and unusual passions are indulged – and start to uncover the mysteries of their origins. Not for the faint hearted.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – Men & Chicken (Mænd & høns)
Rotten Tomatoes – Men & Chicken (Mænd & høns)

Next Event: Silent Horror Shorts III

Wednesday, 26 October 2016, 7:30 pm


Commissioned by Abertoir, this collection of silent horror shorts celebrates the inventive and imaginative in early cinema with a selection of rarely seen films on the lighter side of horror and, forming the programme’s centrepiece, one of the truly dark but little known masterpieces of the avant-garde in silent cinema.

All the films will be introduced and accompanied on the piano by Paul Shallcross, presenting his own brand new scores.

Those Awful Hats

1909, USA, 3 minutes, (NR)
Director – D.W. Griffith


Possibly the earliest example of a public announcement film and from none other than the director later famous for Birth of a Nation, a film which features some very unexpected happenings in a cinema audience.

LINKS:
IMDb – Those Awful Hats

The Invisible Thief (Le voleur invisible)

1909, France, 5 minutes, (NR)
Director – Segundo de Chomón


The darker undertones of H. G. Wells’ story are transformed into a delightful skit on crime with Chomón’s camera techniques exploring every possibility of stop-motion and double exposure photography. This is the earliest recorded film to make use of the renowned author as source material.

LINKS:
IMDb – The Invisible Thief (Le voleur invisible)

An Over-Incubated Baby

1901, UK, 1 minutes, (NR)
Director – Robert W. Paul


Robert W. Paul was a pioneering engineer of movie cameras and a filmmaker with a keen eye for the fantastic and the bizarre. His films, such as this one and Undressing Extraordinary, are often cited as being some of the earliest manifestations of horror in film. A cautionary tale of what happens if you leave a baby cooking for too long…..

LINKS:
IMDb – An Over-Incubated Baby

The Man with a Rubber Head

1901, France, 3 minutes, (NR)
Director – Georges Méliès


The inventor of inventive cinema applies his teeming imagination to his own remarkably distensible skull.

LINKS:
IMDb – The Man with a Rubber Head

The Fall of the House of Usher

1928, USA, 13 minutes, (NR)
Director – James Sibley Watson & Melville Webber


This is unusual in being the work of a group of amateur filmakers with both financial and artistic clout. The use of prism photography suffuses the whole film with an eeriness and claustrophobia which lead inexorably to the truly horrific catharsis. In many ways the definitive cinematic version of the Edgar Allan Poe short story.

LINKS:
IMDb – The Fall of the House of Usher

There It Is

1928, USA, 22 minutes, (Unrated)
Director – Charley Bowers


One of the now almost forgotten comedians of the silent era Charley Bowers is both actor, animator and inventor in this film. A thinly veiled ghost-house story is the vehicle for some extraordinarily surreal humour, for elaborate sequences of stunning camera effects rarely if ever seen in silent comedy, and for an eye-boggling array of Heath-Robinson-like contraptions which continually thwart the efforts of the two detectives (Charley and his midget assistant) to apprehend the malevolent spirit in the Daffydil Sanatorium.

LINKS:
IMDb – There It Is

AUDIENCE SCORE:  95.71%

And the comments as follows

  • Magical.  Perfect piano.  Timeless and delightful.  I felt delighted, amused and entertained
  • Another wonderful selection of silent era films
  • Loved the piano accompaniment
  • Fabulous
  • A rare treat excellently delivered.  Will be back next year.  Paul’s enthusiasm makes the evening
  • A real treat to see the films and to hear Paul play along in just magic
  • Very enjoyable.  Never knew that there were such interesting early films.  Excellently presented
  • Brilliant as usual
  • As always very entertaining, and also informative.  Music is inspired.  Paul is obviously very passionate about what he does
  • Charming, quirky and uniquely entertaining
  • The music suited the films very well.  Very entertaining
  • An atmospheric session of cinematic treats.  Live piano music extremely effective.
  • Entertaining Shallcross’s music great and his selection of knowledge of the films is rare
  • Erudite, informative and entertaining introductions.  Please let us have more of the genius that is Paul Shallcross
  • I really enjoyed the evening.  Info, films and music were fantastic.  I’m going home to read some Poe
  • Quirky as ever and very entertaining
  • Wonderfully entertaining and well presented
  • Very informative and some hilarious moments
  • Wonderful glimpse at history, and the music and talk were fantastic.  As a film novice and first timer at film club I was very impressed and will definitely be returning
  • Both educational and entertaining.  A most enjoyable evening
  • Really enjoyed The Fall of the House of Usher.  Inspirationally shot
  • Fabulous.  Great music, entertaining presentation, educational and interesting and fun.

Rescheduled: ‘Mustang’, tonight….

We can’t show ‘Daughter’ as the distributor has sadly ceased trading. Instead we are showing ‘Mustang’.

SCREENING TUESDAY 27th September!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016, 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

2015, Turkey, 94 minutes, (15)
Director – Deniz Gamze Erguven


Set in Turkey a sensitive and powerful portrait of sisterhood and sexuality. Five sisters are spotted playing innocently with boys The supposed debauchery causes their uncle to escalate his plans to marry them off – classes in housework and cooking replace school. The sisters fight back against the limits imposed on them.

TRAILER:

LINKS:
IMDb – Mustang
Rotten Tomatoes – Mustang

AUDIENCE SCORE – 86.11%

COMMENTS:

  • Beautifully filmed brilliantly acted very harrowing story – highlighting what’s happening to young girls in so many countries
  • Mixed feelings. Hard to watch at times
  • Excellent drama, beautifully told with some great scenes and an uplifting ending. Really enjoyed it.
  • Blimey!
  • Gripping – old values suffocating modern young Turkish women – a contempary theme not yet resolved
  • A well told tale of young girls growing up in a Muslim country!
  • Very watchable but sadly disturbing film. Plaudits for the editing.
  • Brilliant film but a sad indictment of the way women are treated in vast swathes of the world
  • Thought provoking. Tradition eh!
  • Pointless. Puerile. Bad direction
  • So very sad that women are treated like this
  • Sadly how many millions of girls does this apply to in the world…
  • Very powerful touching film. Really enjoyed but sad. Beautiful film
  • Very moving film. Beautifully filmed. Felt for each character
  • A very powerful and moving film!
  • Story excellently told, good cinematography. Believable portrayals throughout

Audience Reaction: ‘Dheepan’

The audience gave ‘Dheepan‘ a score of 80%

Here are their comments:

  • Out of the frying pan into the fire  Very good acting by all
  • Fine film spoilt by the shooting spree at the end
  • Was the ending intended to represent the life they were expecting – in stark contrast to the one they found themselves living?
  • An incredibly well acted reminder of reality in some part of Europe and the world
  • Moving, dark and disturbing.  Not a  pleasing viewing but necessary perhaps.  Ending didn’t fit
  • Dirty Harry at the end???   Hard work.  Don’t think I like film
  • Acting outstanding.  Totally believable.  Quality film
  • Multi layered, excellent acting and the tears behind the smiles
  • Wow!  Why did we have lighting stands on the stage obscuring the film?
  • Another thought provoking film.  Life is difficult

Audience Reaction: ‘Rams’

The audience gave ‘Rams‘ a score of 80.45%

And their comments were as follows:

  • Just love the pace and observations, the honest depiction of real life. One of the most powerful stories of redemption I have ever watched.  Thank you.
  • Beautifully filmed, deeply sad, just carried along by bits of humour.  Loved the beards and jumpers
  • Slow slow slow  sheep!!!
  • Who would have thought inaction could have been so gripping?  Well the storm was far from inactive!  Obsession or passion?  Perhaps the same.  Great visuals.  Sound psychology
  • Thomas Hardy type tale in the icy northern hemisphere – beautifully shot and very glad no sheep seemed to be harmed
  • Loved the story of two brothers, one common goal for the sheep.  Heart wrenching, felt for them when the sheep had to die.  Humour in parts.  Ending of the film, my conclusion is they all died – sheep, dog and brothers but on the hand all lived happily ever after.  Loved the bleakness of the scenery and how the whole film captivated you
  • Moving portrayal of relationship between brothers and impact of a disease like scrapie
  • Brilliant, evocative and so atmospheric
  • A good film spoiled by the lack of an ending
  • Realistic, superb acting
  • Powerful albeit bleak.   How much it takes to reunite two brothers after 40 years
  • Fascinating; felt like the first part of a two parter.  Felt real, want to go to Iceland
  • It takes sibling rivalry to its extremes  very moving experience
  • Like the dog and sheep    very moving
  • Very interesting story – excellent photography, slow pace added to the atmosphere – lovely music – sad end – message??? Life’s too short – keep talking!
  • A not so simple tale of two brothers told simply
  • Good dramatic cinematography.  A nice story but was it a happy ending!????
  • Showed how tough life is outside the cities and towns of Iceland.  Very sad film but enjoyed
  • Did they run out of money or film?
  • I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be a drama or a comedy.  However I did enjoy it.  The ending was quite abrupt though

Audience Reaction: ‘A Second Chance’

The Pontardawe audience gave the film ‘A Second Chance‘ a score of 83.33 %

Their comments were:

  • Difficult to watch at times but a rewarding watch – good acting.  Brave story line
  • Excellent story
  • Was it a psychological exploration of grief or a thriller?  Good either way.  a little too much use of beautiful yet stark Scandi landscapes
  • Very dramatic – excellent acting – would have made a good TV series
  • Interesting film – what a twist
  • For the first half hour I thought I was going to hat eit … vbut then so many surprises in store.  Trouble is, I can never talk about the plot to anyone who hasn’t yet seen it!
  • Very interesting story, well told – twist at the end was very clever
  • Brilliant – so many twists and turns – beautiful photography, excellent acting – what he did was wrong but understandable – Happy ending
  • Very believable acting, beautifully shot, emotionally gripping tale
  • Emotional film.   A bit far fetched in what a senior Police Officer did but guess we all act differently in stressful situations.  A twist in the story, didn’t expect that, but all turned out good in the end.  Guess his actions saved the baby and mother’s life.  Recommended
  • Very moving
  • A good cast was wasted in a hopelessly unbelievable plot.  Totally implausible from start to finish, and a major disappointment.

Audience Reation: ‘Theeb’

The Pontardawe audience gave ‘Theeb‘ a score of 90%
 
Here are their comments:
 
  • Thanks for screening this film yesterday. It had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t believe the way in which Theeb grew up before our eyes in what (I can only imagine) was a short space in time.
  • Wonderful scenery (not that I would want to live there, mind). Excellent acting from the young lead actor. One of those films where you can never guess what is going to happen next – v. enjoyable twists and turns. For once a Film Club that I didn’t feel that was too long.
  • A remarkable achievement.
  • Enthralling if somewhat grim. Fantastic desert scenery.
  • Filming of the highest order – Brilliant.
  • Beautiful, thought provoking, poetic film. My kind of film. Loved it.
  • Beautifully shot. The clash between the old and new world.
  • Excellent plot. Good cast especially the boy Theeb. ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’!
  • Very interesting film. Arresting!
  • Beautiful and savage – beautifully slow paced.
  • For most of its length it was very gripping and interesting. It slowed down towards the end, but overall it was excellent.
  • Beautifully shot, excellent child actor – a moody slow-burner.
  • Great cinematography – wonderful use of scenery + sense of place.
  • Visually & aurally stunning. So much from the point of view of the child who spoke little.
  • Haunting music, lovely scenery, thought provoking.