Amy Winehouse and Orson Welles are highlighted on screen

Amy, which charts the life and tragic death of Amy Winehouse, a little-seen Falstaffian tale starring and directed by Orson Welles,a modern-day take on the Old West and the first ever feature film shot in Lesotho being shown in the week of its release are among the gems on show at the David Lean Cinema next month – all together with an extra screening of the in-demand Mr Holmes.

Amy Winehouse: documentary recounts story of a great lyricist

Amy Winehouse: documentary recounts story of a great lyricist

Asif Kapadia’s documentary uses family video and archive footaage as well as more than 100 interviews to tell the deeply moving story of the immensely talented Winehouse, a one-time attendee of Croydon’s BRIT School.

The film has been widely acclaimed, not least by record producer Mark Ronson, who worked with the winger-songwriter on her seminal Back to Black album.

“You see the lyrics on the screen, you remember how amazing they were, even the lyrics from before I worked with her, like ‘Stronger than Me’,” Ronson said.

The film, Ronson said, is “a bit like hanging out with an old friend again”.

That giant of the silver screen, Orson Welles, was born in 1915, and while his Citizen Kane is widely regarded as a masterpiece of the movies, Welles himself, who died 30 years ago, believed that the less-regarded and little-seen Chimes at Midnight was his greatest cinematic work.

Based on five Shakespeare plays and with Welles playing the larger-than-life character of Sir John Falstaff alongside John Gielgud, Margaret Rutherford and Jeanne Moreau, the 1965-made Chimes at Midnight gets a long-overdue aiting on August 15 thanks to the David Lean Cinema.

The variety on show in August is demonstrated by two more of the screenings: Slow West is, “A work of rare purity, directness and concision”, according to the Evening Standard, which also features the always watchable Michael Fassbender; while the last movie of the month, The Forgotten Kingdom, is being screened in the first week of its release – another breakthrough for the Save the David Lean Campaign.

  • Plans for the first Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign annual meeting are nearly complete. The organisers say, “Details will be announced soon but you may wish to note the evening of Tuesday September 15 in your diary.”

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 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated

Look of SilenceTue Aug 4 THE LOOK OF SILENCE (15) (7.30pm)
2014 Denmark/Finland/Indonesia/Norway/UK 103min (subtitled). Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Through Oppenheimer’s work filming perpetrators of the Indonesian political atrocities of 1965-1966 – the subject of BAFTA winner The Act of Killing – a family discovers how their son was murdered.

The youngest brother is determined to break the spell of silence and fear under which the survivors live, and so confronts the men responsible for his brother’s murder; something unimaginable in a country where killers remain in power. Oppenheimer’s empathy for the survivors is matched by a “visually beautiful” style, and the result is “stunning, unmissable” (The Guardian).

Thu Aug 6  MR HOLMES (PG) 2015
UK/USA 104min. Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada, Milo Parker
Well into his 90s and long retired from detective work, Sherlock Holmes keeps bees on the Sussex coast, alone but for his housekeeper and her son. As he tries to write his memoirs – a riposte to Watson’s exaggerated tales – Holmes battles his failing memory to reflect on an unsolved case. With its novel perspective on a familiar, much-loved subject, Mr Holmes is a rich and poignant character study.

Tue Aug 11 MR HOLMES (PG) 2015 (2.30pm)
UK/USA 104 mins Director: Bill Condon
This screening will be subtitled for people with hearing loss.

Tue Aug 11 SLOW WEST (15) (7.30pm)
2015 UK/ New Zealand 84min. Director: John Maclean
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorius
Scotland, 1870: Jay Cavendish (Smit-McPhee), the son of a nobleman, is in love with Rose (Pistorius), a crofter’s daughter. When a tragedy causes Rose and her father to flee far west to Colorado, Jay resolves to follow her. He’s helped through this strange environment by Silas (Fassbender), a hard-bitten former bounty hunter. Slow West captures both the natural beauty of the Old West and the unexpected and bizarre twists of fate awaiting those who tried to make their fortune or start a new life there. “A work of rare purity, directness and concision” (Evening Standard).

Thu Aug 13 LONDON ROAD (15)
2015 UK 91min. Director: Rufus Norris
Stars: Olivia Colman, Kate Fleetwood, Tom Hardy
In 2006, an Ipswich street became the centre of unwanted media attention following the murder of several prostitutes. After the killer’s trial, the media retreated, but local residents rallied to rebuild their community. The words of these residents formed the text of Alecky Blythe’s remarkable musical play, which Norris first directed with great success at the National Theatre. London Road features excellent performances, inventive staging and considerable humour, always balanced by respect for the victims at the heart of the story.

Chimes at MidnightSat Aug 15 FALSTAFF: CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (PG) (2.30pm)
1965 France/ Spain/Switzerland 113min. Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford, John Gielgud
Re-released as part of the Orson Welles centenary, Chimes at Midnight is the story of Sir John Falstaff, threading together parts of five Shakespeare plays. Welles is in his element as the roguish knight, leading Prince Hal into a life of carousing and crime until a rebellion calls them both to Henry IV’s service, while Gielgud is magnificently grand as the austere king. With its bewitching combination of the Bard’s wit and pathos, it’s understandable that Welles considered this little-seen gem his greatest work.

Tue Aug 18 THE WONDERS (15) (7.30pm)
The Wonders2014 Italy/Switzerland/Germany 110min (subtitled). Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Stars: Alba Rohrwacher, Maria Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck
A family in Tuscany make a quiet but contented living from beekeeping. The eldest daughter, winningly played by Lungu, shows a natural ability with the bees, and thus a close relationship with her reclusive father, but persuading him that they should compete for a reality TV competition will disrupt their rural idyll.

“Coaxing nuanced performances from her young actors, Rohrwacher creates an intimate portrait, alive to its young characters’ feelings” (Sight and Sound).

The winner of the 2014 Grand Jury prize at Cannes.

Thu Aug 20 AMY (15)
UK 128min. Director: Asif Kapadia
Featuring: Amy Winehouse, Yasiin Bey, Tony Bennett
Amy Winehouse’s decline from bright-eyed prodigy to death from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27 was both a human tragedy and the consequence of a burgeoning cult of celebrity obsession. Combining more than 100 interviews with footage from every stage of Winehouse’s career, Kapadia – director of the acclaimed Senna – charts how the pressures of stardom were accentuated by troubled relationships, ever-present media attention and her immersion in the Camden social scene. “A moving tribute to a brilliant, witty, vivacious young woman gone far too soon” (The Telegraph).

Tue Aug 25 SECOND COMING (15) (7.30pm)
2015 UK 105min. Director: Debbie Tucker Green
Stars: Nadine Marshall, Idris Elba, Kai Francis Lewis
A London couple have grown apart after failing to conceive a second child – so when wife Jackie (Marshall) falls pregnant, she and husband Mike (Elba) struggle to understand and cope with this apparent miracle. Combining naturalistic dialogue with a dreamy texture and occasional, intense visions, Green paints an intimate portrait of an ordinary family facing an extraordinary situation, while Elba and Marshall have been praised in equal measure.

the forgotten kingdomThu Aug 27 THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM (12A)
2013 USA/South Africa/Lesotho 96min (subtitled). Director: Andrew Mudge
Stars: Zenzo Ngqobe, Nozipho Nkelemba, Lebohang Ntsane
Growing up in Johannesburg, Joseph (Ngqobe) has almost forgotten his early childhood in the mountain uplands of Lesotho. Returning to his homeland to bury his father, he rediscovers its beauty and hardships, forms a connection with schoolteacher Dineo (Nkelemba) and confronts his own identity. The first feature film to be shot in Lesotho, The Forgotten Kingdom is “a moving, magical tale of identity” (Hollywood Reporter) that we’re delighted to present during in its first week of release.

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