More absurdity coming to Croydon – this time on film

The film-makers assured everyone that it really was Michael Fassbender under the Frank Sidebottom mask in Frank.

Michael Fassbender as FrankRegulars at screenings at the David Lean Cinema will be able to form their own opinions next month, when the acclaimed, absurd and more than a little weird, film is among the movies on offer in the Clock Tower’s purpose-built arthouse cinema.

Frank has been described as “surreally comic”.

The roots of Frank lie in a newspaper article by Jon Ronson detailing his time as keyboard player in Frank Sidebottom’s Oh Blimey Big Band. As with The Men Who Stare at Goats, another movie which was generated by a Ronson article, the real-life reportage provided the springboard for a screenplay (co-written with Peter Straughan), although the producers have stressed that “this is not the Frank Sidebottom story”.

Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal (“Stop saying your facial expressions out loud. It’s extremely annoying”) are definitely in the film – you can actually see them.

The David Lean August season begins with the utterly brilliant, and visually stunning, The Grand Budapest Hotel on August 7, with other screenings throughout the month at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursdays – the Emma Thompson-Pierce Brosnan Rom-Com The Love Punch gets a matinee airing on Saturday, August 16.

Online booking is easy via the David Lean Cinema Campaign’s TicketSource page. To be added to the Campaign’s membership list, please email

  • Tickets for all screenings are £7.50. Concessions (Freedom Pass-holders, full time students, claimants and disabled) £6. Bookings can be made  via TicketSource 

David Lean Cinema August programme

All films are at 2.30pm and 7.30 pm unless stated

2014 USA / Germany / UK 100min Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Tony Revelori. A wonderfully absurd comedy, with Anderson’s passion for dazzling design and bizarre characters reaching fever pitch. The adventures of hotel concierge M Gustave (Fiennes – devilishly charming and deliriously camp), fleeing the murderous family of a favourite guest, may be the funniest thing you see all year. “’Eloquent, offbeat and charming, The Grand Budapest Hotel is Anderson’s most accomplished film to date.” (Concrete Playground). The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for people with a hearing loss.

2013 JAPAN 126min (dubbed) Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinki, Emily Blunt. The final film by master animator Miyazaki (Spirited Away) is a “breathtaking” (Guardian), “magnificent” (Telegraph) fictionalised biography of Jiro Horikoshi; an idealistic aviation designer amidst a turbulent period of Japanese history.

Sat Aug 16 (2.30pm only) THE LOVE PUNCH (12A)
2013 FRANCE 94min Director: Joel Hopkins

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie. A light-hearted, zany comedy for the summer holiday: a recently divorced couple (Thompson, Brosnan) must reunite to overcome the theft of their nest egg… by stealing a priceless diamond on the French Riviera. “A fun, feel-good romantic caper.” (Film Journal International)

2013 USA / ITALY / BELGIUM 98min (subtitled) Director: Roberto Minervini

Featuring: Sara Carlson, Colby Trichell, LeeAnne Carlson. The different lives of two working-class teenagers in rural Texas are gently contrasted in this moving, luminously filmed and rarely screened documentary, which we have sourced from the distributors of David Lean favourite Winter Nomads. While Colby is a free-spirited rodeo kid, Sara grows up on a farm and begins to question the deeply conservative values of her undoubtedly loving mother LeeAnne. Both screenings are in English with subtitles (due to the strong Texan accents).

Thu Aug 28 FRANK (15)
2014 UK / IRELAND 95min Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson. Would you join a band led by a genius (Fassbender) who constantly wears a papier mache head? Jon (Gleeson) enters this eccentric world, in a fascinating comedy-drama loosely inspired by cult indie artist Frank Sidebottom. “A weird, wonderful movie that dances to a different beat.” (The Guardian)


Coming to Croydon

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