Cinema campaign talks the talk with screening of Slits movie

The David Lean Cinema Campaign has always been about doing a bit more than simply screening films, and they have often staged some intriguing and fascinating discussions around movies, too. Especially if campaign co-founder Adrian Winchester happened to have a connection with the band…

So, the packed March programme at the Clocktower’s arthouse cinema culminates with another documentary based in the mists of time (well, around 1978, actually), and the little-known story of The Slits.

Here To Be Heard, on March 29, will be followed by a Question & Answer session with director William Badgley and Tessa Pollitt, the band’s bassist.

This follows the cinema’s usual eclectic monthly mix of blockbusters and foreign-language movies, which in March includes All The Money In The World, the Ridley Scott’s troubled film about the kidnapping of Paul Getty in 1973.

Then there’s the already widely acclaimed The Post, about how some fearless journalists, backed by the woman proprietor, “hunkered down and searched for the truth”, as the Washington Post’s editor, Ben Bradlee, once said about defying threatening and bullying slime-ball politicians who were trying to cover-up their illegal activities. It even features a cameo appearance by… Walter Cronkite. All this in an age (just) before the suffix “-gate” got added to every scandal that moved.

And might Phantom Thread be Daniel Day-Lewis’s final screen role? Hard to know with any certainty, but you shouldn’t miss the chance to see it at the David Lean, where a pair of tickets can be booked significantly more cheaply than at the nearby multiplexes.

  • Unless otherwise stated, tickets for all screenings are £8.50. Concessions (Freedom Pass-holders, full-time students, claimants and disabled) £7. Rush tickets may also be available for under-25s.
  • Bookings can be made by clicking here

David Lean Cinema programme for March

All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated

2017 UK 125min. Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane
Robert Hardy, repeatedly, Richard Burton, Timothy West, Michael Gambon, John Lithgow and Simon Ward… all have been cast as Churchill on stage, TV or in movies. But Oldman, the skinny kid from New Cross, may rank as the unlikeliest actor to be given the part of the portly, cigar-chumping Old Harrovian scion of the Duke of Marlborough’s family. The critics, though, seem to be in agreement that Oldman gives a defining, Oscar-nominated performance as, as a line from the film has it, “he mobilises the English language”. You’ll never take a journey on the District line in quite the same way again.

Tue Mar 6 ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (15) (7.30pm)
2017 USA 132min. Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg

Kidnapped on a Rome evening in 1973, the fate of 16-year-old Paul Getty fascinated the world’s media and pushed his mother Gail (Williams) into the spotlight. His grandfather John Paul Getty may have had “all the money in the world”, yet refused to pay the ransom, forcing his adviser Fletcher (Wahlberg), Paul, Gail and the kidnappers towards a potentially deadly endgame. Famously reshot with 88-year-old Plummer replacing Kevin Spacey as the cold-blooded tycoon, this tense drama weighs up the relative value of money and family.

Thu Mar 8 THE POST (12A) (11am and 7.30pm)
International Women’s Day screening
2017 USA 116min. Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk

Spielberg’s thrilling drama centres on the Washington Post’s Katherine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper. Graham forms an alliance with editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they risk their careers, and compete with the New York Times, to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets spanning three decades and four US presidents. With Streep and Hanks surrounded by a highly acclaimed ensemble cast, accomplished performances abound in a 1970s tale with clear relevance for the present day.

Tue Mar 13 LOVELESS (15) (7.30pm)
2017 Russ/Fr/Ger/Bel 127min (subtitled). Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Stars: Maryana Spivak, Aleksey Rozin, Matvey Novikov

The director of Leviathan returns with a grim portrayal of life in modern Russia. A warring couple – living together only because of a housing shortage – are slow to realise that their son has run away. They resent the time taken from their new partners to deal with the disappearance, and the police are also uninterested. Only a group of volunteers goes looking for the boy – up and down endless apartment stairways, walking through the forests in hi-vis jackets, posting leaflets on bus stops, and searching abandoned houses – as the winter closes in and the snow gets heavier.

Thu March 15 PHANTOM THREAD (15)
2017 USA 130min. Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps

In 1950s London, distinguished couturier Reynolds Woodcock dresses socialites, movie stars and royalty with unique style and flair. He lives a carefully tailored life with women coming and going, until he is entranced by Alma, a young, headstrong woman, who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover – yet refuses to submit to his usually unbending will. Day-Lewis is enthralling in what may be his final screen role, complemented by an equally captivating Manville and newcomer Krieps.

Sat Mar 17 COCO (PG) (2.30pm)
2017 USA 105min. Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt

As the Day of the Dead draws near, young Miguel defies his family to enter a talent contest – but borrowing a guitar from the tomb of a local musical icon spirits him (and lovable stray dog Dante) into the afterlife, where the carnival is also in full swing! Can Miguel find a way back with the blessing of his late relatives – and even solve a family mystery? Pixar’s celebration of Mexican culture is a return to the heights of Inside Out and Wall-E – an unequivocally life-affirming, hilarious, moving and wondrously designed masterpiece.

Tue Mar 20 COCO (PG) (7.30pm)
As Mar 20 above.

Thu Mar 22 JOURNEY’S END (12A)
2017 UK 107min. Director: Saul Dibb
Stars: Paul Bettany, Sam Claflin, Asa Butterfield, Toby Jones

In March 1918, an army company take their posting on a front-line trench, knowing that a German attack is imminent. With supplies as low as the men’s morale, this is no place for new recruit Raleigh (Butterfield), who has requested a placement with Stanhope (Claflin), his sister’s fiancé, now much changed through war stresses and alcohol. Director Dibb (The Duchess) captures the dread-inducing claustrophobia of the trenches in this outstanding adaptation of RC Sherriff’s 1928 play.
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss.

Tue Mar 27 THE SHAPE OF WATER (15) (7.30pm)
2017 USA/Can 123min. Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon

It’s the Cold War era: America, 1962. A mute, isolated woman, named Elisa, works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government lab. When she and co-worker Zelda (Spencer) discover a classified experiment – a mysterious, scaled creature from South America – their lives are set to change forever, especially as their new friend’s fate lies in the hands of a malevolent government agent and marine biologist. Hawkins plays Elisa with delicate nuance, in del Toro’s spellbinding and romantic tale of the inexplicable.

Thu Mar 29 THE SHAPE OF WATER (15) (2.30pm)
As Mar 27 above.

plus Q&A (7pm)

2017 UK 86min. Director: William E. Badgley
Features: Viv Albertine, Ari Up, Tessa Pollitt, Palmolive, Don Letts
The Slits were an all-girl punk band. Their attitude and notoriety meant they were soon touring with The Clash and attracting national press interest. Musically far more adventurous than most of their peers, they pioneered “Punky Reggae”. This illuminating documentary tells their extraordinary story up to 2010, when singer Ari Up – who was determined to see a Slits film completed – died.
Followed by a Q&A with director William Badgley and bassist Tessa Pollitt.

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