Cinema shudders to silence that never sounded so terrifying

OWEN HETHERSAY previews next month’s screenings at the David Lean

Next month’s programme of movies at the David Lean Cinema in the Croydon Clocktower offers a broad range for all tastes and interests, from the highly anticipated A Quiet Place, to the tongue-twister that is The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society, to another screening where the Dalai Lama and Joanna Lumley are together on the cast list.

A Quiet Place is a chilling horror, and the feature film directing debut of actor John Kransinki, best known for his role as Jim Halbert in the US-version of the sitcom The Office. Starring alongside him is wife Emily Blunt, plus Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Cade Woodward.

A review by Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian said, “Silence never sounded so terrifying.”

The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society is set in 1946, where a London-based, struggling writer (played by Lily James) receives letters from a Guernsey resident telling of life on the island during the Nazi occupation in World War II. Intrigued, James sets off to the Channel Islands where she discovers “the war is not over for them”. Directed by Four Weddings And A Funeral’s Mike Newell, it features an impressive cast; Empire rated this 3/5.

And that’s not the only big screen visit to the Channel Islands from the David Lean in June, either, as Beast, starring Jessie Buckley and set on Jersey, comes highly recommended for the directing debut of Michael Pearce, who has been compared to Hitchcock and Roeg for his gripping use of suspense and twisted psychological depth.

Lean on Peter has been described as “a twist on modern day living from city streets to the western isolation”. Directed by Andrew Haigh, it focuses on the life of teenager Charley (Charlie Plummer) who lives with his mostly absent father (Travis Fimmel) working at the local racetrack. Critics have labelled the movie as “frustrating at times to watch but designed in such a way that the boy’s loneliness will haunt long afterward” (Variety).

And the Dalai Lama?

He makes his movie debut “co-starring” with Absolutely Fabulous Lumley in a documentary filmed on his last visit to Britain, Road To Peace, which is being shown on June 21 as part of the Croydon Festival of Peace, with a Question and Answer session after the movie with director Leon Stuparich.

  • 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 June

All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated

Tue Jun 5 A QUIET PLACE (15) (7.30pm)
2018 USA 90min (partially subtitled). Dir: John Krasinski
Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds
A young family tiptoe around an abandoned drugstore, taking essential supplies for their self-sufficient lifestyle. A newspaper headline declares: “It’s SOUND”. As they head back to the country, the smallest child sets off a noisy toy and is pounced upon by something terrible… This unique, highly suspenseful film captures the fear of a family who seem to be among the last remnants of human civilisation, while also displaying their ingenuity and togetherness… A horror movie masterpiece – just don’t bring popcorn with you.

Thu Jun 7 LEAN ON PETE (15)
2017 UK 121min. Dir: Andrew Haigh
Stars: Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny
A teenaged boy (Plummer) gets casual work in a circuit of downmarket racetracks helping a racehorse trainer (Buscemi) and his part-time jockey (Sevigny). When a horse named Lean on Pete has lost once too often, boy and beast head off together, across the beautiful Oregon and Wyoming back country – desert, mountains and sage-brush, studded with small towns, truck stops, and isolated ranches. In his first American feature, Haigh (45 Years) is “a truly great writer and director, working near the top of his game” (
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss.

Sat Jun 9 REDOUBTABLE (15) (2.30pm)
2017 Fr 107min (subtitled). Dir: Michel Hazanavicius
Stars: Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Bérénice Bejo
As 1967 and 1968 unfold, “les evenements” bring a general strike and riots to the streets of Paris, while revolution is debated at the Sorbonne. Newly-wed film director Jean Luc Godard supports the students and workers – which means renouncing his previously feted movies, and embracing radical new ways of film-making. Somewhere along the way, his good humour turns to dogmatic sourness, and domestic tensions rise – but Hazanavicius (The Artist) and his sparkling cast make this tragicomedy a spritely summer pleasure throughout!

Tue June 12 THOROUGHBREDS (15) (7.30pm)
2017 USA 92min. Dir: Cory Finley
Stars: Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin
This contemporary noir offers a razor-sharp twist on the “poor little rich girl” genre. Teenager Amanda (Brit Cooke, unnervingly good) doesn’t feel any emotion, and is a locally notorious therapy outpatient after a veterinary misadventure. She and pampered Lily become unlikely friends, and Lily has a family problem to solve… Writer-director Finley is an outstanding talent, backed up by memorable editing, sound and score – and both comic relief and pathos from Yelchin in one of the final roles of his tragically short career.

2018 USA/UK 124min. Dir: Mike Newell
Stars: Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Glen Powell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtney, Penelope Wilton
London, 1946. Writer Juliet (James) receives a letter from a member of a literary club started in Nazi-occupied Guernsey. Her curiosity piqued, Juliet visits the island and meets the eccentric members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. As the secrets from their wartime past unfold, Juliet’s growing attachment to the island, the book club – and one of its members in particular – will change the course of her life forever.

Tue Jun 19 MAKALA (U) (7.30pm)
Croydon Festival of Peace screening
2017 France 96min (subtitled). Dir: Emmanuel Gras
Features: Kabwita Kasongo, Lydie Kasongo
Kabwita Kasongo supports his young family in the Democratic Republic of Congo by producing charcoal (makala in Swahili) and selling it in a nearest town. We see him produce the charcoal and then make the slow and perilous journey with the “crop” precariously balanced on an ancient bicycle. He plans to make enough money to buy the materials to extend his family home. Malaka is the first documentary to win the Cannes Critic’s Week Grand Prize. “Emmanuel Gras’s film is beautiful and poetic, something it achieves without condescension” (The Times).

Wed Jun 20 REDOUBTABLE (15) (7.30pm) 
2017 Fr 107min (subtitled). Dir: Michel Hazanavicius
Stars: Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Bérénice Bejo
As Jun 9 above.

Thu Jun 21 ROAD TO PEACE (U)
Croydon Festival of Peace screenings. Plus Q&A 
2012 UK 65min. Dir: Leon Stuparich
Features: The Dalai Lama, Joanna Lumley
Filmed during the Dalai Lama’s last UK visit before he stepped down as the exiled Leader of Tibet, this film captures his sense of humour, integrity and extraordinary ability to connect with people on a personal level. The Nobel Peace Prize-winner offers a
radical vision of how we can create lasting peace within ourselves and on a global level.
With intimate behind-the-scenes access and a candid personal interview, this film is as close to a flesh-and-blood encounter with the Dalai Lama as you can get.
Followed by a live Q&A with the director, Leon Stuparich.

Tue Jun 26 FUNNY COW (15) (7.30pm)
Croydon Comedy Festival screening
2017 UK 102min. Dir: Adrian Shergold
Stars: Maxine Peake, Paddy Considine, Stephen Graham

With a “funny bone for a back bone”, a survivor of domestic abuse finds strength in performing and rises to stardom through the harsh environment of the Northern working men’s clubs. Peake delivers a wonderful synergy of tragedy and comedy, with strong support from Alun Armstrong and decent cameos from John Bishop, Corinne Bailey Rae and Vic Reeves together with a beautiful score by Richard Hawley. Despite its comedic billing, this is often a painful, angry film – but also an empowering British movie.

2018 USA/UK 124min. Director: Mike Newell
As Jun 14 above.
*The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss.

Thu June 28 BEAST (15) (7.30pm)
2017 UK 107min. Dir: Michael Pearce
Stars: Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James
Constrained by the strict rules of her domineering mother, a troubled woman seizes the opportunity for freedom and rebellion presented by the arrival of a stranger to her island community, even as suspicion mounts amid a string of murders. Buckley (War and Peace; The Woman in White) moves from TV to film stardom with “a terrific central performance” (The Telegraph), while impressive debutant Pearce has been compared to Hitchcock and Roeg for his gripping use of suspense and twisted psychological depth – Jersey has never seemed more wild!

Thu Jul 5 ON CHESIL BEACH (15)
2017 UK 110min. Dir: Dominic Cooke
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Anne-Marie Duff, Emily Watson
First-time director Cooke does true justice to Ian McEwan’s adaptation of his own novella, telling the story of a young couple’s first evening as a married couple, and the disastrous consequences of their inability to form a true bond. Ronan and Howle portray the lovers with subtlety and understatement, backed up by a stellar cast in supporting roles. Beautifully filmed in Oxford, London and on the stark landscape of the beach itself, this is a subtle meditation on confused expectations and lost opportunities.
*The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss.

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