It’s Heroes, and heroines, and villains at the David Lean Cinema in November, as shown in the month’s programme, just released.
There’s Lance Armstrong, finally revealed as a drug-taking cheat rather than the cycling hero he and his backers would have had us all believe in The Program (though the starring role of the journalist who took credit for the Texan’s discovery might be a tad less heroic than Stephen Frear’s movie would have us believe), and then there’s the villainous Macbeth in the latest Michael Fassbender film, acclaimed by some as the best cinematic Shakespeare ever made.
There are other heroes along the way, such as Bob Hunter in the ecology documentary, How To Change The World, while the prequel to Heimat, Home From Home, will offer much to chew over – especially if attending the German-themed lunch in the Clocktower Cafe beforehand.
But there’s heroism aplenty in the David Lean Cinema’s final screening of the month, the star-studded Suffragette.
And therein lies one of the draw backs of having an “intimate” arts cinema: even with three screenings arranged for one day at the end of the month, seats for the Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep film were filing up as soon as they went on sale.
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- 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 November programme
All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated
Sun Nov 1 WINGS OF DESIRE (PG) (6.30pm)
1987 West Germany/France 128min (subtitled). Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Peter Falk
South Norwood Arts Festival screening. As part of the British Film Institute’s Love season, we present this classic romantic fantasy. Two angels move invisibly through the divided city of Berlin, watching and listening to the inhabitants; they cannot directly change events, but perhaps they can inspire hope. After an eternity of observing humanity, Damiel (Ganz) falls in love with a trapeze artist (Dommartin) and considers joining the earthly realm. “A beautiful film… Astonishing things happen” (Roger Ebert).
Tue Nov 3 ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (12A) (7.30pm)
2015 USA 105min. Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Stars: Thomas Mann, Rj Cyler, Olivia Cooke
When Nick’s mother orders him to befriend Rachel, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia, both teenagers are reluctant. It’s also a distraction from Nick and his co-worker Earl’s ingenious film parodies (Death in Tennis, A Sockwork Orange and many more). But, their friendship eventually takes root and Nick’s usual amiable cynicism cannot carry him through Rachel’s illness unscathed. Drolly amusing at first, heartbreaking at the last, this wonderful movie is original and deeply charming.
Thu Nov 5 THE SECOND MOTHER (15)
2015 Brazil 112min (subtitled). Director: Anna Muylaert
Stars: Regina Casé, Helena Albergaria, Michel Joelsas, Camila Márdila
In a hot São Paulo summer, Val is the housekeeper for a wealthy family, and has become a valuable support to their son – yet her willingness to care for others before herself is placed under scrutiny when her brash, passionate and politically conscious daughter Jessica comes to stay. Casé gives a superbly natural performance as Val, the central figure in two contrasting families, and this drama is “funny, beautifully acted, quietly ferocious… one of the best films of the year” (Evening Standard)
Tue Nov 10 HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD (15) (7.30pm)
2015 Canada/UK 110min. Director: Jerry Rothwell
Featuring: Bill Darnell, David Garrick, Bobbi Hunter
A documentary based on the writings of Greenpeace founding father Bob Hunter, which are brought to life by an engaging collage of beautiful animation, candid interviews and previously unseen archive footage. The story is loosely structured for politically engaged viewers to take up their mantle. A nostalgic yet non-polemical portrait of the 1970s dawn of the ecological movement, when Hunter and his Rainbow Warrior crew really did change the world.
Thu Nov 12 MIA MADRE (15)
2015 Italy/France 106min (subtitled). Director: Nanni Moretti
Stars: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Guilia Lazzarini
Margherita (Buy) is a film director, making a worthy feature on industrial relations. She has two distractions: the serious illness of her mother, and the craziness of her film’s American star. While Turturro is hilarious as the past-his-best thesp, this is mostly a film about family, as Margherita explores her relationships with her brother (Moretti himself), daughter, estranged husband and mother. “Funny in its own gentle, understated way, but also very moving” (The Independent)
Sat Nov 14 HOME FROM HOME (15) (1.30pm)
2013 Germany/France 231min plus intermission (subtitled)
Director: Edgar Reitz
Stars: Jan Dieter Schneider, Antonia Bill, Maximilian Scheidt, Marita Breuer
Reitz is one of cinema’s great chroniclers: his three Heimat film cycles were fascinating explorations of life in a 20th-century German village. Home from Home – a stand-alone prequel – visits this village in the 19th century, as a blacksmith’s son dreams of escaping to the promised land of Brazil. “Reitz’s genius is knowing exactly what detail to select… a rich fresco of historical insight and immersive drama” (Time Out). The Clocktower Café will serve a special German lunch option beforehand.
Tue Nov 17 THEEB (15) (7.30pm)
2014 UAE/UK/Jordan/Qatar 100min (subtitled). Director: Naji Abu Nowar
Stars: Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat, Jack Fox
Arabia, 1916. A desert tribe are visited by an inscrutable English officer and his guide. As the Bedouin hospitality code obliges them to offer help, the chief’s middle son joins the next leg of their dangerous journey – but his adoring little brother Theeb (“Wolf”) follows behind. Thus begins a nail-biting adventure in which Theeb must survive in the bandit-ridden, ruggedly beautiful desert landscape. “Magnificently shot… rivetingly lean and resonant” (The Guardian)
Thu Nov 19 MACBETH (15)
2015 UK/France/USA 113min. Director: Justin Kurzel
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, Sean Harris, David Thewlis
What impels Lord and Lady Macbeth on to their tragic path? In Kurzel’s powerful new interpretation, he is damaged by war, and they are left numb and searching for purpose after the death of their only child. The poetry of Shakespeare’s pared-back text is equalled by the bleak landscapes and battle scenes, intensely evoking 11th-century Scotland. Cotillard possesses delicate, magnetic power, while Fassbender’s portrayal is laced with sorrow. *The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for people with hearing loss.
Tue Nov 24 THE PROGRAM (15) (7.30pm)
2015 UK/France 103min. Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd, Guillaume Canet
Lance Armstrong (Foster) was a promising young cyclist before his testicular cancer diagnosis; he returned from treatment to dominate the sport for a decade. Journalist David Walsh (O’Dowd) tailed Armstrong for 13 years, providing critical evidence of the American’s systematic doping programme. As a skilled dramatiser of true stories (The Queen, Philomena), Frears vividly portrays Walsh’s quest for the truth in the face of Armstrong’s shameless determination to maintain his position at the top of the sport.
Thu Nov 26 SUFFRAGETTE (12A) (11am, 2.30pm & 7.30pm)
2015 UK/France 106min. Director: Sarah Gavron
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Romola Garai, Anne-Marie Duff
The suffragette cause of the early 1900s rallied women from all backgrounds to gain the vote and secure wider rights. Suffragette shows the movement through the eyes of Maud (Mulligan), a factory worker inspired by other campaigners including Emmeline Pankhurst (Streep), to take more radical action, against the wishes of her husband (Whishaw) and the male-dominated establishment. This much-anticipated drama opened the London Film Festival and arguably boasts the all-star cast of the year.
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