front page about us archive contact us
Winter 2013 season

Tuesday 8th January at 8pm
Queen of Versailles     USA | Netherlands | UK | Denmark 2012  |  100 mins  |  PG
74-year-old David Siegel and his 43-year-old beauty-queen wife Jackie have an opulent dream, to build their own 90,000 square-foot Palace of Versailles in Orlando, Florida, a $100 million construction that will have thirty bathrooms, as well as its own tennis courts, spa and ballroom. And it's a dream that David, as one of America's wealthiest men, is well on the way to realising when the economic collapse of 2008 sees his financial stability take a catastrophic dive.What doubtless began as a straight documentary on the lifestyle of the obscenely rich, is transformed by fate (and unfortunately good timing) into a fascinating and surprisingly touching portrait of the collapse of the American dream.

Tuesday 15th January at 8pm
Elena    Russia 2011  |  109 mins  |  12A
Elena and wealthy Vladimir married late in life, each with a grown-up child from a previous marriage. Elena regularly provides financial help to her lazy, unemployed son Sergey and his wife and two children, but when Vladimir suffers a heart attack, he is briefly reunited with his estranged daughter Katerina and announces that he will now be leaving all of his money to her. Fearful of how this will impact on her grandchildren's future, Elena sets into motion a plan to ensure their financial security. The latest film from Andrei Zvyagintsev, the brilliant director of The Return and The Banishment, is a compellingly performed and handled meditation on morality, class and gender roles in post-Soviet Russia.

Tuesday 22nd January at 8pm
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry     USA 2012  |  91 mins  |  15
In the space of a few short years,Ai Weiwei has become China's most celebrated contemporary artist and equally famous as a dissident social critic. Shortly before he came to international prominence, American freelance journalist Alison Klayman set out to document the man and his work. She turned out to be in the right place at the right time, being on-hand with a camera during some of Weiwei's most notable moral (and occasionally physical) clashes with the Chinese government and his discovery of Twitter as weapon of vocal dissent.The result is an intimate and revealing portrait of one of modern art's most enigmatic and provocative practitioners, and the continuing power of art to provoke and to challenge the status quo.

Tuesday 29th January at 8pm
About Elly [Darbareye Elly]     Iran | France 2009  |  119 mins  |  12A
In modern-day Iran, a group of university friends head off for a weekend at the Caspian Sea.They are led by the matriarchal Sepideh, who has also invited her young daughter's teacher – the eponymous Elly – to join them on the trip. But behind this act of apparent kindness lies an ulterior motive to set Elly up with one of Sepideh's friends; a seemingly innocuous plan that has a devastating effect on all concerned.Although screened at festivals in 2009,Asghar Farhadi's impeccably crafted drama has finally hit UK cinemas following the acclaim and Oscar win for his 2011 A Separation. In many ways About Elly is its dramatic equal, the early warmth and energy giving way to a second half ruled by tension and emotional turmoil.

Tuesday 5th February at 8pm
My Brother the Devil     UK 2012  |  111 mins  |  15
The son of Egyptian parents now living in London, the sensitive Mo idolizes his older brother Rashid, who has made a name for himself as a drug dealing hard man. Rashid believes his brother is destined for better things and does his best to steer him away from a life of crime. But when their friend is murdered, both are forced to re-evaluate their lives and make decisions that challenge the strength of their bond.At a time when British street-gang dramas seem to be two-a-penny, writer- director Sally El Hosaini's remarkable debut feature shows there's plenty of life in the genre yet. My Brother the Devil is an exciting and original take on familiar themes, one whose pace, intelligence and gripping performances won El Hosaini the Best British Newcomer award at the 2012 London Film Festival.

Tuesday 12th February at 8pm
Keyhole     Canada 2011  |  94 mins
On a dark and stormy night, 40s gang leader Ulysses Pick returns after an extended absence to his large and ever-expanding family home.The house is full of locked doors and barriers, through which Ulysses must make his way in order to be reunited with the members of his family, a journey that is peppered with pitfalls and strange encounters.The latest film from Canadian art-house favourite Guy Maddin (Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary; Brand Upon the Brain!) is a heavily noir-influenced dream-within-a-dream, one whose surrealistic elements, beautifully realised monochome cinematography and non-specific supernatural overtones make this a challenging but ultimately rewarding alternative to standard linear mainstream fare.

Tuesday 19th February at 8pm
The Snows of Kilimanjaro [Les neiges du Kilimandjaro]     France 2011  |  107 mins  |  15
Michel, a dockside middle-manager and union official who is approaching retirement age, is happily married to Marie-Claire. But their future plans are upset when Michel agrees to take voluntary redundancy and the pair fall victim to a domestic robbery, prompting them to re-examine the direction their lives have taken. Have they lost touch with their roots and become too middle-class, too focussed on comfort? Inspired by the Victor Hugo poem, How Good Are the Poor?, the latest film from busy French director Robert Guédiguian (The Army of Crime) is a warm and ultimately uplifting story with two excellent central performances from Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Ariane Ascaride.

Tuesday 26th February at 8pm
Barbara     Germany 2012  |  105 mins  |  12A
In 1980s East Germany, Berlin-based doctor Barbara Wolff applies to emigrate to the West to join her lover Jörg, and is promptly reposted to a small rural hospital. Initially regarded as arrogant by her new workmates, her impeccable bedside manner soon wins them over, but as Jörg makes plans for her eventual escape, Barbara begins to wonder if her easy-going and good-looking new boss André is actually a Stasi operative sent to observe her. Yella director Christian Petzold is reunited with lead actress Nina Hoss in this quietly compelling and grippingly performed examination of life in 1980s East Germany, one told from an unusual and revealing perspective.

Tuesday 5th March at 8pm
The Master     USA 2012  |  137 mins  |  15
Naval veteran Freddie Quell returns from WW2 suffering from post- traumatic stress disorder and is unable to re-adjust to civilian life, then one night encounters Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of a philosophical movement known as The Cause. In his emotionally damaged state, Freddie becomes captivated by the man his followers call 'The Master' – could this a match made in heaven or a personal catastrophe just waiting to happen? Following the worldwide acclaim of his magisterial drama There Will Be Blood, director Paul Thomas Anderson turns his attention to the thorny subject of American religious cults, in a meditative and consistently gripping work, aided by superb performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.

Tuesday 12th March at 8pm
5 Broken Cameras     Occupied Palestinian Territory | Israel | France | Netherlands 2011  |  94 mins  |  15
Emad Burnat, a Palestinian resident of the small village of Bil'in, was given his first camera by a friend in 2005 when his fourth son was born, an event that coincided with the arrival of the first Israeli settlers and the first stage of the building of the West Bank barrier. Burnat began to document what was unfolding around him, continuing over the course of the five years that followed, replacing each broken camera with others that he either bought or borrowed.The resulting footage was edited by Jewish-Israeli filmmaker (and credited co-director) Guy Davidi, and makes for arresting, eye-opening and sometimes startling viewing, an intimate and personal document of a conflict that sadly still shows no sign of being resolved.

Tuesday 19th March at 8pm
Berberian Sound Studio     UK 2012  |  92 mins  |  15
In the 1970s, reserved but respected British sound engineer Gilderoy, a nature documentary specialist, is hired by an Italian director to work on his latest film, The Equestrian Vortex.To Gilderoy's surprise, the project turns out to be a graphic horror movie, and though initially made welcome, he becomes increasingly troubled by the nature of his work and concerned that life seems to be imitating art. One of the international festival hits of 2012, director Peter Strickland's moody, atmospheric and increasingly sinister thriller uses sound as its principle weapon, aligning us with Gilderoy and his fear at what he believes is unfolding around him. Not one for the nervous, the film benefits greatly from an excellent central performance from Toby Jones.

Tuesday 26th March at 8pm
Amour     Austria | France | Germany 2012   |  127 mins  |  12A
Octogenarian couple Georges and Anne live a culturally rich and rewarding life, but when Anne suffers a series of strokes and begins to exhibit the first signs of dementia, their lifelong love faces its most challenging test.The latest film from Michael Haneke, director of such diverse but confrontational works as Funny Games, The Piano Teacher and The White Ribbon, is an emotionally devastating story of the destructive nature of ageing and power of love, told with warmth and humanity and unflinching honesty.Winner of the Palme D'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, the film boasts two astonishing central performances from veteran actors Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, and in a telling support role, Isabelle Huppert as the couple's daughter Eva.