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Autumn 2017 season

Tuesday 19 September at 8.00pm
The Handmaiden [Ah-ga-ssi]    South Korea 2016  |  144 mins  |  18
The Handmaiden Young pickpocket Sook-hee lands the position of handmaiden to wealthy but emotionally troubled Japanese heiress Lady Hideko, but is actually in league with a master con-man whose aim is to win Hideko's hand, then have her committed and disappear with her fortune. Loosely based on the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and transposed from London to 1930s Korea under Japanese occupation, The Handmaiden is the latest from Oldboy and Thirst director Park Chan-wook. A seductively directed, deliciously acted and gorgeously shot work, the film melds period drama with erotic thriller, with a dash of laugh-out-loud comedy and teeth-clenching horror.

Tuesday 26 September at 8.30pm
Uncertain    USA 2015  |  82 mins  
Uncertain In the tucked away, small town of Uncertain in Texas, three local men are looking for a more certain future: an ex-convict obsessed with a gigantic boar that he hunts in order to stay on the straight and narrow; a young idealist with big plans but few prospects who is looking for a bigger life; and an ageing fisherman learning to let go of his youthful ways and making peace with a fateful moment from thirty years ago. Visually striking, disarmingly funny and with a captivating cast of characters, Uncertain is the widely acclaimed feature debut of award-winning producers and directors Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands.

Tuesday 3 October at 8.30pm
After the Storm [Umi yori mo mada fukaku]    Japan 2016  |  117 mins  |  PG
After the Storm Author turned private detective Ryota struggles to make ends meet as he fritters away all the money he earns on gambling and is barely able to pay child support for his son. After his father dies, both he and his sister believe that the other is taking advantage of their mother, which only serves to fuel family tensions further. When a typhoon hits, trapping Ryota in his mother’s house with his estranged wife and son, he attempts to rebuild his relationship with his family. The latest and possibly most personal film yet from Japanese maestro Hirokazu Kore-eda (I Wish, Like Father, Like Son), After the Storm is a sensitive and powerful story of a family’s efforts to reconstruct broken family ties.

Tuesday 10 October at 8.30pm
Aquarius     Brazil / France 2016  |  146 mins  |  18
Aquarius 65-year-old widow Clara is the last resident of the Aquarius, a two-story building built in the 1940s in the upper-class, seaside Avenida Boa Viagem of Brazil. All the neighbouring apartments have been acquired by a company that has other plans for the plot, but having pledged to only leave her place upon her death, Clara finds herself in conflict with this corporation, a confrontation that proves mysterious, frightening and nerve-wracking. Sonia Braga delivers a tour-de-force performance as Dona Clara in critic-turned-director Kleber Mendonça Filho's second feature, a beautifully observed character study, a beguiling look at memory and the multi-layered complexities of family life.

Tuesday 17 October at 8.30pm
The Olive Tree [El olivo]    Spain / Germany 2016   |  100 mins  |  15
The Olive Tree Alma works on her family’s farm, and to make ends meet during a time of financial hardship, her father has been selling some of their most ancient olive trees to foreign buyers. For Alma’s grandfather, the loss of one particular, two thousand-year-old tree proved to be too much, and he has not uttered a word since and refuses to eat. Convinced that her grandfather’s recovery depends on the tree’s return, Alma sets off on a quixotic road trip across Europe to re-claim it from its new corporate owners. Written by Ken Loach’s regular screenwriter Paul Laverty and directed by internationally acclaimed director Icíar Bollaín, The Olive Tree is a heartfelt, moving and allegorical look at how the lives of ordinary people were impacted by the 2008 world financial crisis.

Tuesday 24 October at 8.30pm
The Levelling     UK 2016  |  83 mins  |  15
The Levelling

Following a tragedy involving her brother, strong-willed veterinarian Clover returns to the family farm of her childhood in flood-ravaged Somerset to confront her estranged father, Aubrey. Haunted by ill-remembered conflicts and unspoken regrets, the pair set out to heal their fractious yet still loving relationship. An arresting exploration of the sometimes complex relationship between a parent and their independently-minded adult offspring, this critically acclaimed debut feature from filmmaker Hope Dickson Leach makes evocative use of its countryside setting and features a pair of riveting performances by David Troughton as Aubrey and Game of Thrones’ Ellie Kendrick as Clover.

Tuesday 31 October at 8.30pm
The Love Witch     USA 2016  |  120 mins  |  15
The Love Witch

Beautiful young witch Elaine is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she creates spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. The spells work a little too well, however, leaving her with a string of hapless victims, and when she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved drives her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a gorgeous visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1960s, Anna Biller’s The Love Witch winningly blends high camp, retro fun and frothy imagery with a dark underbelly, and has proved a critical hit thanks to Biller’s stylish direction and a captivating performance from Samantha Robinson as Elaine.

Read the Cine Outsider review

Tuesday 7 November at 8.30pm
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [Hymyilevä mies]     Finland | Sweden | Germany 2016  |  92 mins  |  12
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki In 1962 Finland, boxer Olli Mäki lands a shot at the World Featherweight title. Greatly talented and equally modest, Olli finds that his small town life is transformed when he's swept into national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country. But he becomes primarily focussed on winning the heart of his new girlfriend, Raija. Evocatively shot on 16mm monochrome stock and winner of the coveted Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes, director Juho Kuosmanen’s second feature is a winningly low-key melding of boxing biopic and entrancing love story.

Tuesday 14 November at 8.30pm
My Life as a Courgette [Ma vie de Courgette]     Switzerland / France 2016  |  66 mins  |  PG
My Life as a Courgette

After the death of his mother, nine-year-old Icare (nicknamed “Courgette”) is taken to a foster home to live with other children his own age. Here he quickly makes some new friends, and with their help learns to love and trust those around him, in the process developing new family ties. Nominated for both a Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, My Life as a Courgette is a moving, uplifting and captivatingly executed stop-motion animation from director Claude Barras and Girlhood writer Céline Sciama, one that packs more creativity and emotional truth into its 66 minute running time than you’ll find in most films of twice its length.

Tuesday 21 November at 8.30pm
The Ghoul     UK 2016  |  85 mins  |  15
The Ghoul

Homicide detective Chris is called to London to investigate a strange double murder in which both victims appear to have continued moving towards their assailant despite multiple gunshots to the face and chest. On a hunch, and with the help of an old colleague – and former girlfriend – Chris goes undercover as a patient to investigate the suspect’s psychotherapist, the mysterious Alexander Morland, who seems to have a taste for the occult. The first feature from actor turned writer-director Gareth Tunley, The Ghoul is an intense, unsettling and mind-bending psychological thriller that is being hailed as one of the year’s most auspicious debuts.

Tuesday 28 November at 8.30pm
By the Time it Gets Dark [Dao khanong]     Thailand / France / Qatar / Netherlands 2016  |  105 mins  |  12A

A number of lives are loosely and delicately connected – an actor and an actress, a young waitress who drifts from job to job, a filmmaker researching the 1976 Thammasat University massacre, and her interviewee, an older woman whose life was transformed by this event. This poetic second feature from Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong is a fascinating meditation on memory, politics, truth and fiction, one that plays non-linear games with story and reality in a manner that echoes the work of fellow Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It’s a challenging, complex but visually striking and rewarding work of thoughtful, experimental character study.

Tuesday 5 December at 8.30pm
Daughters of the Dust     UK / USA 1991  |  112 mins
Daughters of the Dust

In 1902, the islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia were home to Gullah people, descendants of slaves who retained strong connections to African cultural traditions. Julie Dash's low-budget 1991 feature debut explores the lives and spiritual conflicts of three generations of a single family as they consider the consequences of migrating to the mainland. The culmination of several years of work for its talented director, Daughters of the Dust is a mesmerising, poetic and thematically ambitious first film whose welcome revival was enabled in part by its influence on Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade.

Tuesday 12 December at 8.30pm
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer     Israel / USA 2016  |  118 mins   |  15
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Norman Oppenheimer lives a lonely life in the margins of New York City power and money, and strives to be everyone’s friend. His incessant networking leads him nowhere until he ends up befriending a young but charismatic politician, Micha Eshel, at a low point in his life. Three years later, the politician becomes the Prime Minister of Israel and Norman sees this as an opportunity to make his biggest deal ever. The latest film from director Joseph Cedar is an emotio nally truthful and involving tragi-comedy with engaging surreal touches, and features a caoptivating central performance from Richard Gere, and a belter of a supporting cast that includes Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Tuesday 19 December at 8.30pm
Bayou Maharajah     USA 2013  |  90 mins   
Bayou Maharajah

The documentary feature debut from director Lily Keber, Bayou Maharajah is a mesmerising portrait of the life, times and music of revered and influential piano legend James Booker, whom fellow music maestro Dr. John once described as “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” An entrancing blend of archive footage and interviews with the likes of Harry Connick Jr., Hugh Laurie, Douglas Brinkley and Cosimo Matassa, the film takes an enthralling look at Booker’s colourful life and career, and has been acclaimed as one of the best ever documentaries on the New Orleans music scene.