Buxton Opera House are kindly including our programme in their Cinema leaftlet so we have stopped printing our own.
Here is our diary – we update it as soon as new films are confirmed. You won’t find a more varied and interesting programme anywhere!
|Monday 9th December||Sorry We Missed You (15)||With I, Daniel Blake Ken Loach told of the difficulties a group of people had trying to meet the demands of the unemployed benefits system while retaining any dignity. Sorry We Missed You is something of a companion piece. Also set in Newcastle, this time Loach and his writer Paul Laverty turn their attention to the scandal of zero hours contracts. People aspire to improve their lives - but is it always possible? This is Loach at his best, unashamedly political and with a simple but powerful message. Prepare to be angered and moved.|
|Monday 16th December||The Farewell (PG)||The Farewell was the Audience Award winner at this year’s Sundance London Film Festival - and it’s easy to see why. Bill - a Chinese-American writer - learns that his grandmother has just months to live. She is thousands of miles away in China and Bill wants to see her once before she dies. Director Lulu Wang draws on personal experiences to tell this poignant story which also examines some of the cultural tensions between East and West.|
|Monday 6th January||Monos (15)||Alejandro Landes’ film is set somewhere in the mountains of South America - though his homeland of Colombia is clearly an influence. We are in the company of a young gang training to be paramilitaries. (Monos is Spanish for monkeys). It is a disturbing film that brings to mind Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now. The set-pieces are high on impact, sometimes mysterious and sometimes beautiful. After the training is over the band of fighters are ambushed and forced into action. Complete with a brilliant soundtrack Monos will stay with you.|
|Monday 13th January||Midnight Cowboy (18)||Another in Buxton Film’s occasional journeys into the archive. Midnight Cowboy is now 50 years old (recently re-released) and was the first Certificate X (remember them?) film to win the Best Film Oscar. Englishman John Schlesinger may have been the ideal director in this outsider’s portrait of New York. Joe Buck (Jon Voight) is a hustler from Texas who meets up with sickly conman Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman). An unlikely, but inevitably tragic, friendship begins. Voight and Hoffman are, by turns, compelling and appalling in a film that blazed a trail for many that followed.|
|Monday 20th January||The Street (15)||Hoxton Street is in Hackney, East London. You can see the City’s temples to finance capitalism just a mile away. The Street is down at heel and ripe for ‘redevelopment’. Zed Nelson’s absorbing and moving documentary traces some of the changes that take place between 2015-2018. His interviews with working class residents and shopkeepers who are being squeezed out are presented without commentary. At times ill-informed these are people for whom it is hard not to feel compassion. The invasive speculators and developers with their tower blocks and corrosive attitude are, on the other hand, contemptible. Set in London but of universal relevance.|
|Monday 27th January||Transit (12A)||Christian Petzold’s latest film takes a bold approach to argue a challenging proposition. It appears that the events we witness are contemporary but are also set in World War 2. This is not some time-travelling sci-fi gambit but an invitation to consider the ways in which European history may be repeating itself.
Georg is trying to escape Paris and France as German fascism is capturing the country. Based on Anna Seghers’ 1944 novel this screening takes place on Holocaust Memorial Day.
|Monday 3rd February||The Last Tree (15)||Shola Amoo’s new film picked-up two British Independent Film Awards for its actors last month. It is an absorbing and moving story based on Amoo’s own childhood.
Femi is a British-Nigerian boy brought up by a white foster mother in Lincolnshire. When he is 11 his birth mother takes him to live on an estate in south London. It is a story about isolation, identity, spirituality and masculinity. Sam Adewunmi, as Femi, delivers an assured debut.
|Monday 10th February||So Long My Son (12A)||With a 185-minute running time you might suppose that So Long, My Son was an endurance test but it is an absorbing drama set in late 20th century China. The government policy limiting parents to one child is well known in the West but the impact of the policy on individual families is less well appreciated. Wang Xiaoshuai’s film is a powerful and moving epic - a social and personal history. Winner of Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the Berlin Film Festival.
|Monday 17th February||Mr Jones (15)||James Norton stars in this new bio-pic set in 1933. Gareth Jones was a South Wales journalist. In 1933 he was in Germany covering Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor. He went on to the Ukraine and reported on the man-made mass starvation happening there. It is these events - the Holodomor - that the film covers. Jones was murdered in China, two years later, the day before his 30th birthday.|
|Monday 24th February||Roma (15)||Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical film is already recognised as one of the great films of the first decade of the 21st century. Gorgeously filmed in black and white and set in Mexico City in 1970/1971 events centre around a professional family and their housekeeper, Cleo. Much of what we witness is peculiar to the family but political protests on the city’s streets intrude. It is a study of a bourgeois family, but also examines how indigenous Mexicans have been oppressed. It is a film packed with unforgettable moments. If you caught Roma on Netflix, treat yourself by seeing it on the big screen.|
|Thursday 5th March||Little Joe||If you could buy a pretty houseplant that made you feel happy you would, wouldn’t you? Two plant breeders are working on just such a project. Alice (Emily Beecham) and Chris (Ben Whishaw) are ambitious and competitive and are keen to get the stunning crimson-flowered plant to the market place. But the plant, named Little Joe by Alice - after her son, may have other, unintended effects.|