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Autumn 2016 season

Tuesday 20 September at 8pm
Son of Saul [Saul fia]    Hungary 2015  |  107 mins  |  15
Son of Saul In a Nazi concentration camp during WW2, Hungarian Jew Saul has stayed alive by working as a Sonderkommando, an inmate who assists the Nazis in their extermination programme. When he discovers what he believes is the body of his son, he becomes determined to give him a proper burial, while his fellow prisoners start plotting rebellion. Just when it seemed there was nothing new that a film drama could say about the Holocaust, László Nemes’s astonishing debut feature arrives as a corrective. A compellingly intimate and impeccably directed work, it is both harrowing and respectful, and boasts a superb central performance from Géza Röhrig as Saul.

Tuesday 27 September at 8pm
Anomalisa    USA 2015  |  90 mins  |  15
Anomalisa Jaded motivational speaker Michael is in Cincinnati to give a talk at a customer service conference. To him, everyone else looks and sounds the same. Then he meets Lisa, with whom he instantly develops a strong connection, and the two embark on a tentative affair. The latest work from Being John Malkovich writer and Synecdoche, New York director Charlie Kaufman is a profound, funny and deeply moving meditation on the human condition, rendered entirely as stop-motion animation and brought vividly to life by a cast that includes David Thewlis as Michael, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lisa, and the versatile Tom Noonan as everybody else.

Tuesday 4 October at 8pm
Fire at Sea [Fuocoammare]    Italy / France 2016  |  114 mins  |  12A
Fire at Sea The lives of a number of inhabitants of the Italian island of Lampedusa – with particular focus on 12-year-old Samuele – are contrasted with the perilous journeys undertaken by the migrants who flee there regularly from Libya, over 15,000 of whom have died in the attempt. Director Gianfranco Rosi – whose previous documentaries include Room 164 and Sacro GRA – spent a year on Lampedusa, getting to know its people and documenting both the fate of the refugees and the impact their transitional arrival is having on this relatively small community. A perceptive, eye-opening and sometimes harrowing look at a crisis that continues to be misrepresented for often nefarious political ends.

Tuesday 11 October at 8pm
The Club [El Club]     Chile 2015  |  98 mins  |  18
The Club In a small seaside town on the Chilean coast, four priests share an isolated house and pass their time in largely mundane ways, all under the watchful eye of Sister Monica. The house, it turns out, is one of many owned by the Catholic Church to which priests who have been caught committing crimes that would bring the church into disrepute are sent to live in a kind of earthbound purgatory. The latest film from Chilean master Pablo Larraín – whose previous work includes Tony Manero and No – is a compelling and discomforting character study laced with black humour, and a telling critique of a scandal that rocked faith worldwide in the Church and its representatives. Cine Outsider review and interview with director Pablo Larraín.

Tuesday 18 October at 8pm
Cemetery of Splendour [Rak ti Khon Kaen]     
Thailand / UK / Germany / France / Malaysia / South Korea / Mexico / USA / Norway  /  118 mins  |  15
Cemetery of Splendour At a makeshift hospital in Thailand, disabled volunteer Jen, with help from medium Keng, tries to read the dreams of a number of soldiers afflicted by a mysterious sleeping sickness. In the process she forms an almost motherly bond with one of the soldiers, Itt, whom she seems to be able to periodically revive. The latest work from respected and consistently adventurous Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul – he of Syndromes and a Century and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – is a gently paced and intermittently surreal meditation on the state of the nation and the interchangeability of reality and dreams.

Tuesday 25 October at 8pm
The Pearl Button [Nie yin niang]     Chile / France / Spain / Switzerland 2015  |  82 mins  |  12A
The Pearl Button

Following up his 2011 documentary Nostalgia for the Light, acclaimed Chilean director Patricio Guzmán continues his quest to examine and expose the crimes of General Augusto Pinochet. This is interwoven with a portrait of the indigenous tribes of the Patagonian archipelago, five of which were wiped out during the country's colonisation by Spain. A compelling and revealing examination of Chile's refusal to face up to the dark deeds of its past and seeming inability to use its natural and human resources for the collective good.

Cine Outsider review and interview with director Patricio Guzmán

Tuesday 1 November at 8pm
Our Little Sister [Umimachi Diary]    Japan 2015  |  128 mins  |  PG
Our Little Sister

Three sisters - Sachi, Yoshino and Chika - live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father - absent from the family home for the last 15 years - dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings... Three Sisters is the latest film from highly respected Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda, whose previous works include After Life, Still Walking, I Wish and Like Father, Like Son.

Tuesday 8 November at 8pm
Suburra     Italy / France 2015  |  130 mins  |  18
Suburra The year is 2011 and Italy is teetering on the brink of economic collapse. In the chaos that is running headlong through Rome's business community, the criminality surrounding a lucrative property deal looks set to unravel, affecting everyone from a corrupt politician to a local gang boss and even the Mafia. A consistently gripping and multi-layered second feature from Stefano Sollima, whose TV directing credits include Gomorra and Romanzo Criminale, Suburra is an intense, richly atmospheric and uncompromisingly tough crime drama that, like Gomorra before it, is soon to be developed and expanded into a TV serial.

Tuesday 15 November at 8pm
Court     India 2014  |  116 mins  |  PG
Court In modern day India, unassuming, 65-year-old teacher, activist and folk singer Narayan Kambal is arrested at a political rally and charged with inciting the suicide of a sewage worker. The charge is absurd and politically motivated, but in spite of his age and the efforts of human rights lawyer Vinay Vora, Kambal finds himself the victim of an archaic and imbalanced system that is riddled with ways of denying him real justice. A fascinating but ultimately sobering work, director Chaitanya Tamhane's debut feature is an intelligent, humane and quietly compelling critique of both an outmoded legal system and the social inequalities of Indian society.

Tuesday 22 November at 8pm
Behemoth [Bei xi mo shou]    China / France 2015  |  95 mins
Behemoth Documentary filmmaker Liang Zhao – whose previous works include Crime and Punishment, Petition and Together – directs this documentary about Inner Mongolia's coal mines and iron works. The film focuses on how China's growing industrialism and productivity has altered the environmental and social landscape of the surrounding regions. A remarkable and observational work that was described by CineVue thus: "an impressionistic poem of a film centred on coal. Behemoth is a stunning and moving denunciation of the situation in Inner Mongolia, where the mining industry is permanently changing the landscape."

Tuesday 29 November at 8pm
April and the Extraordinary World [Avril et le monde truqué]     France / Belgium / Canada 2015  |  105 mins  |  PG
April and the Extraordinary World In an alternative reality 1941 France, the long-term disappearance of all of the greatest scholars and scientists has trapped the world in the steam age. As the fight for combustible resources fuels intercontinental war, teenager Avril – aided by her grandfather, a young rogue and her talking cat Darwin – goes in search of her missing parents. In the inventive tradition of Belville Rendez-Vous, Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci's delightful steampunk animation is an entertaining and often comical treat, and a nicely pitched and topical social commentary. Showing as part of the French Film Festival UK 2016.

Tuesday 6 December at 8pm
Men & Chicken [Mænd & høns]     Denmark / Germany 2015  |  104 mins  |  15
Men & Chicken When brothers Gabriel and Elais they set off in search of their biological father, they find him in the shape of a 100-year-old genetic scientist who lives in a sanitorium on a sparsely populated island with their oddball half-bothers, who may hold the key to the mystery of their background. The first film in ten years from Danish writer-director Anders Thomas Jensen is a bizarre, taste-busting and gloriously funny black comedy that provides choice offbeat roles for a number of famous faces from Danish and even international film and television, including David Dencik, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Søren Malling, Nicolas Bro and TV's Hannibal himself, Mads Mikkelsen.

Tuesday 13 December at 8pm
Truman     Spain / Argentina 2015  |  108 mins  |  15
Truman Tomás, a Spaniard who has emigrated to Canada, returns to his homeland for a surprise four-day visit to his childhood friend Julián. But Julián is in the later stages of terminal cancer and is currently putting his affairs in order, which includes finding a new home for his dog Truman. What may sound like a set-up for a grimly downbeat, six-hankie weepie is actually a warm, life-affirming and blackly humorous celebration of the bonds of friendship. An excellent, thoughtful screenplay by Tomàs Aragay and director Cesc Gay is bought wonderfully to life by a pair of excellent performances from old hands Javier Càmara and Ricardo Darin as Tomás and Julián.