Cinema campaigners re-open Arts Bar for 2017 screenings

david-lean-bannerThe David Lean Cinema enjoyed a 16 per cent increase in ticket sales in 2016, its second full year since Croydon’s arthouse cinema in the Clocktower complex re-opened with a programme selected and managed by a group of volunteers.

The cinema goes in to 2017 offering a re-opened Arts Café Bar service for evening screenings (opening at 6.30pm on screening nights), which again will be volunteer-run, after changes in the council’s operation agreement with outside contractors saw charges soar to unsustainable levels.

With more screenings in 2016 and more cinema-goers, more than 9,000 customers saw movies at the David Lean Cinema in the past 12 months, with a record 1,086 helping tto fill the 60-seater auditorium last March.

“This meant more work for our greatly valued volunteers, but thankfully our objectives are shared by many of the community we seek to serve, prompting an encouraging rise in volunteer recruitment,” Adrian Winchester, the chair of the Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign, said. “We now have more than 60 volunteers, in addition to a committee of 12 that mostly also serves as box office volunteers, projectionists, etc.”

Tickets for the cinema’s February programme have now gone on sale, including screenings of a couple of recently released Hollywood blockbusters, such as Tom Hanks in Sully, Martin Scorsese’s Silence, and the latest Oliver North movie, Snowden.

David Lean Cinema programme February 2017

All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated

2016 USA 96min. Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
Based on the story of Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. As witnessed around this world, Sully’s “Miracle on the Hudson” saved the lives of 155 passengers. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public for his feat of skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and career. A thrilling and suspenseful portrait of real events, with a wonderfully understated performance by Hanks.

snowdenTue Feb 7 SNOWDEN (15) (7.30pm)
2016 France/Germany/USA 134min. Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Rhys Ifans, Tom Wilkinson
Determined to serve his country post-9/11 despite an Army medical discharge, Edward Snowden proves to be a highly talented CIA recruit. Put to work protecting the US through electronic communications networks, the initially enthusiastic and politically conservative Snowden gradually becomes disquieted at the extent of America’s surveillance of its own population. As Snowden’s concerns mount, Stone drives the narrative forward with increasing urgency, creating “the most important and galvanising political drama by an American filmmaker in years” (Variety), with Gordon-Levitt leading a very impressive ensemble cast.

2016 USA 89 mins. Director: Roger Ross Williams
Features: Owen Suskind, Ron Suskind
Owen is 23, has a network of family and friends, and is about to graduate from a college for autistic young people – a great achievement after a childhood in which he became totally uncommunicative. While the unflagging support of a patient, loving family has been vital, Owen also found that Disney cartoons could unlock an understanding of the world and his own emotions. This impressive, heartwarming documentary celebrates both Disney and Owen’s own animated visions, yet is also aware of their limitations and the challenges he still faces.

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

Tue Feb 14 A MONSTER CALLS (12A) (2.30pm)
2016 Spain/USA/UK/Can 108min. Director: JA Bayona
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, Liam Neeson
Conor is a young boy failing to cope with the fact that his mother is dying of cancer. Bullied at school, and with little sympathy from his brusque, icy grandmother, Conor relies on his imagination to survive, confessing his deepest fears to the tree-shaped monster he has sketched in his notepad. His torment mysteriously awakens an unlikely ally in the ancient yew tree, just beyond his bedroom window. As Conor, MacDougall is remarkable in his first leading role, while Neeson delivers compelling vocal and motion capture performances as the monster.

the-eagle-huntress-posterTue Feb 14 THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (U) (7.30pm)
2016 UK/Mongolia/USA 87 mins (subtitled). Director: Otto Bell
Features: Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Rys Nurgaiv. Narrated by Daisy Ridley
For centuries, the Kazakh nomads of the Altai Mountains have trained golden eagles to catch the animals they need for food and fur. It’s a tradition handed down from father to son. Now, 13-year-old Aisholpan, the daughter of a national champion, demands to learn the secrets of eagle hunting for herself. Strong, determined, devoted to her father and also one of the girls, she is faced with great challenges and the scepticism of the older generation. Filmed in the stunning Mongolian countryside, this is one of the most inspirational documentaries you’ll ever see.

Thu Feb 16 THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (U) (11am)

As Feb 14 above.

Thu Feb 16 A MONSTER CALLS (12A) (7.30pm)

As Feb 14 above.

Tue Feb 21 THE PASS (15) (7.30pm)
LGBT History Month Screening
2016 UK 88 mins. Director: Ben A. Williams
Stars: Russell Tovey, Arinzé Kene, Lisa McGrillis
Two young footballers share a room on the eve of the most important match of their careers so far. Restless, they can’t sleep and joke and banter around, until one kisses the other… Adapted by John Donnelly from his play, the film then follows their lives and careers for the following five and 10 years, showing how one small moment can have a huge impact in one’s life. A great performance by Tovey (The History Boys, Him & Her, Being Human) leads a small but confident cast in Williams’s well-directed first feature film.

Thu Feb 23 SILENCE (15) (2.30pm and 7pm)
2016 Mexico/Taiwan/USA 161min (partially subtitled). Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
In 17th century Japan, Christians are hunted down and persecuted unless they renounce their faith. Despite this grave danger, two Portuguese Jesuit missionaries (Driver and Garfield) travel to Japan in search of their missing colleague (Neeson). Through the harrowing trials that they witness and experience, Scorsese raises questions of faith, doubt and morality with “passionate ferocity” (Financial Times).

2016 USA 137min. Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Stars: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges
Lee (Affleck) is a brooding, taciturn loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. The death of his beloved older brother saddles him with the unexpected responsibility of raising his nephew Patrick. Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, forcing him to confront an unspeakable past tragedy which separated him from the local community and his then-wife. The third feature by You Can Count On Me director Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea boasts masterly performances from Affleck and Williams.

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