Ballet, Bridget and I, Daniel Blake on offer in November

As the winter nights draw in, so the David Lean Cinema programme becomes a touch more reflective on the history of the cinema, and Croydon. There’s strong women, as actors and as characters, throughout the Clocktower’s arthouse cinema’s November programme.

It begins with an archive film from 60 years ago of the Bolshoi Ballet’s first post-war visit to Britain, filmed in the town centre’s Davis Theatre, and continues with a documentary on Ingrid Bergman and a screening of one of her finest performances, in Hitchcock’s Notorious.

There’s modern box office successes, too, with  The Girl On The Train, starring Emily Blunt, in a suspense thriller which surely owes much to Hitchcock, and of course there’s the latest Bridget Jones.

The cinema’s usual eclecticism is also reflected in the screening of Sam Neil’s latest movie, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, and a relatively rare opportunity to view a Ken Loach movie in a theatre, with his latest, already award-winning I, Daniel Blake – a brilliant insight into encounters with the Department of Work and Pensions or other petty officialdom in our post-truth, re-Thatchered Britain.

David Lean Cinema programme November 2016

All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated

bolshoi-balletWed Nov 2 THE BOLSHOI BALLET (U) (7.30pm)
1957 UK 95min. Director: Paul Czinner
Featuring: Galina Ulanova, Raissa Struchkova, Nikolai Fadeyechev
60th anniversary screening. When the Bolshoi Ballet first visited the West in 1956, their only UK performances were at the Royal Opera House and Croydon’s large, elegant Davis Theatre. Half of this British feature was shot at the Davis in the early hours of November 2, following their second performance. Multiple 35mm cameras, shooting in recently developed Kodak Eastmancolor, showcase the Bolshoi’s artistry and especially Ulanova, considered the greatest Giselle of her time. The film — a good but unrestored print — will be introduced by local historian Carole Roberts. We sincerely thank the sponsors of this screening: Croydon U3A and Peter Francis.

bridget_joness_baby_posterThu Nov 3 BRIDGET JONES’S BABY (15)
2016 Ireland/UK/France/USA 125min. Director: Sharon Maguire
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Patrick Dempsey, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson
Breaking up with Mark Darcy (Firth) leaves Bridget (Zellweger) over 40 and single again. Feeling that she has everything under control, Jones decides to focus on her career as a top news producer. Suddenly, her love life comes back from the dead when she meets Jack (Dempsey), a dashing American. Things couldn’t be better, until Bridget discovers that she is pregnant. Now, the befuddled mum-to-be must figure out who’s the father. “Witty, playful… a bundle of joy” (Radio Times).

Tue Nov 8 HELL OR HIGH WATER (15) (7.30pm)
2016 USA 102min. Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham
Two men in ski masks rob a small branch of a Texan bank. They are brothers (Foster, Pine) trying to keep their late mother’s farm out of the clutches of the same bank. Seeking to figure out their next move are another odd couple: an old-school cop (Bridges) and his long-suffering Native American/Mexican partner (Birmingham). Expertly combining frantic action, wisecracking humour and family drama, Hell or High Water also shows how ruthless modern capitalism is wreaking havoc upon the small-town West.

ingrid-bergmanThu Nov 10 INGRID BERGMAN IN HER OWN WORDS (PG)
2015 Sweden 114min (part-subtitled). Director: Stig Björkman
Features: Ingrid Bergman, Roberto Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini, Alicia Vikander
A fascinating insight into the life and times of Ingrid Bergman, pictured right, her stardom, and the toll it imposed. The film follows Bergman’s largely successful Hollywood career in the 1940s, her trip to Italy with realist director Robert Rossellini, and her return to respectability in the 1950s. It dives deep into the life of this beautiful and endlessly determined actress, indulging in a rich archive of Bergman’s life with photos, home movies and letters on display. Her allure seeps through the entire film, revealing “a woman who was able to subtly combine the noble and the carnal” (critic Roger Ebert).

hunt-for-the-wilderpeopleTue Nov 15 November HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (12A)
2016 New Zealand 101min. Director: Taika Waititi
Stars: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata
Eleven-year-old Ricky — rebellious and hip-hop loving — starts life anew in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly settles into his new foster home with his loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac.

However, after tragedy strikes, his place here is threatened and both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. Here, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family, in this rousing adventure-comedy.

Thu Nov 17 NOTORIOUS (U)
1946 USA 101 mins. Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Along with Casablanca, this is the film that assures Ingrid Bergman’s immortality. Set in the Rio of 1946, she plays Alicia Huberman, a woman whose notorious reputation encourages US agent Devlin (Grant) to recruit her to infiltrate the spy ring led by Sebastian (Rains). Bergman is perfectly cast, while Hitchcock’s writing and direction are at their best. The plot is ingenious, the script smartly sidesteps Hays Code restrictions, and the precisely choreographed visuals ratchet up the tension.

Tue Nov 22 I, DANIEL BLAKE (15)
2016 UK/France/Belgium 100min. Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Sharon Percy
Recovering from a major heart attack, a carpenter in the North East struggles to negotiate the bureaucracy of the welfare system, and crosses paths with a single mother who has been moved 300 miles from her London homeless hostel. Loach’s heartfelt and often funny drama, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, is a “blunt, dignified and brutally moving” (The Guardian) depiction of the human cost behind contemporary Britain’s “skiver and striver” rhetoric.

* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss.

girl-on-a-trainThu Nov 24 THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (15) (11am & 7.30pm)
2016 USA 112min. Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett
Recently divorced Rachel (Blunt) spends her daily commute to New York fantasising about the seemingly perfect couple she sees in her former house. But as her train passes by one morning, she observes something disturbing that fills her with rage.

She becomes entangled in a missing persons case that promises to change the lives of everyone involved. This mystery thriller drama is based on Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel.

Tue Nov 29 BURN BURN BURN (15) (7.30pm)
2015 UK 106min. Director: Chanya Button
Stars: Laura Carmichael, Chloe Pirrie, Jack Farthing, Alison Steadman
Dan (Poldark’s Farthing) has died too young, and left his good friends Seph and Alex a series of hilarious, painfully frank video messages. Not so much a back-seat driver as wedged into the glove compartment, Dan orders them to drive around Britain, to scatter his ashes in places dear to his heart. This daring, female-centric road movie — a 2015 London Film Festival audience favourite — is supported by great British comic talent, yet the excellent Pirrie and Carmichael (a long way from Lady Edith in Downton Abbey) are the true driving forces of a crackling, life-affirming voyage of self-discovery.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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One Response to Ballet, Bridget and I, Daniel Blake on offer in November

  1. farmersboy says:

    I, Daniel Blake is excellent, no belly laughs but brilliantly and accurately observed. My only thought is that showing it a month after release (by which time anyone likely to care will have seen it as Ken Loach has put out 100s of free screenings) won’t draw a crowd. But if you only watch films at David Lean go and watch this

    Liked by 1 person

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