Happy birthday, David Lean Cinema. And many happy returns


The drinks were on the Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign last week, as they celebrated five years since their return to the Clocktower’s arthouse venue.

Movie-goers enjoyed a free drink and nibbles before the screening of Can You Ever Forgive Me, for an anniversary marking the re-opening of the cinema after a public campaign, inspired by Ronnie Corbett and supported by Inside Croydon, which reversed another woeful council decision, to close the cinema in an ill-judged move intended to cut spending.

Years of hard work from the Campaign’s committee and volunteers has seen the David Lean restored, at least in part, to providing a real cinematic arts hub in the town centre, building up its regular audience and thriving with a series of special events and talks as well as a regular programme of films.

Tickets for May’s programme go on sale this Thursday, with among the movies on offer three beguiling features about other forms of art, with films which would not get much of a look-in at the local multiplex, but which are cherished by the David Lean Cinema audiences.

There’s Ralph Fiennes’ The White Crow, which dramatises the events around the Cold War defection from the Soviet Union of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, and there’s the moving portrayal of Vincent van Gogh by Willem Dafoe in At Eternity’s Gate.

And Jessie Buckley will wow the audience with her country singing in Wild Rose, though watch out for the latest scene-stealing performance from the ever-excellent Julie Walters.

  • Tickets for screenings are £7.50. Concessions (Freedom Pass-holders, full-time students, claimants and disabled) £6; Under-25s are £5.

David Lean Cinema programme for May

All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm, unless stated

Thu May 2 WHAT THEY HAD (15)
2018 USA 101min. Director: Elizabeth Chomko
Stars: Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster, Blythe Danner

Ruth, a beloved matriarch, is in the later stages of dementia and beginning to slip away. When her daughter, Bridget, receives a call to say that her mother has wandered off in the middle of the night, she must return to her childhood home to help her brother persuade their intransigent father to seek help for his ailing wife. It is time to move forward and make peace with the past – but none of them are ready. features an outstanding cast with performances to move cinema-goers to both laughter and tears.
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss

Tue May 7 US (15) (7.30pm)
2019 USA 116min. Director: Jordan Peele
Stars: Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss, Winston Duke

To find respite from their busy lives, the Wilsons take a trip to a family beach house to unwind with friends. When their youngest son Jason almost wanders off, his mother, Adelaide, has an increasing sense of foreboding – kindled by a traumatic experience from her childhood. As night descends, Adelaide’s worst fears come to life when four strangers turn up at the Wilsons’ doorstep… and they look just like them. The Get Out director’s chilling sophomore project stars Academy Award-winner Nyong’o and her Black Panther co-star, Duke.

2018 USA /Fr/UK/Switz/Ire 111min. Director: Julian Schnabel
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen

Artist and filmmaker Schnabel (The Diving Bell and The Butterfly) tackles the latter years of Vincent van Gogh, specifically his time in Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise where he struggled to portray the countryside and people around him while contending with the misunderstanding of his friends, including Paul Gaugain (Isaac) and the hostility of his neighbours. Oscar-nominated Dafoe is mesmerising as Vincent, and Schnabel brings his painter’s eye to the film, using filters and lens distortion at points to reflect the artist’s vision, as well as his disturbed psychological state.

Tue May 14 HAPPY AS LAZZARO (12A) (7.30pm)
2018 It 127min (Italian with subtitles). Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Stars: Adriano Tardiolo, Alba Rohrwacher, Sergi López

In an isolated valley with few traces of the modern world, a group of farmers eke out a living under the thumb of the local gentry. The simple and kindly Lazzaro helps to keep spirits high until the Marquise’s foolish son stages his own kidnapping, unleashing a chain of events with bizarre and miraculous results. Resolving Lazzaro’s destiny, Rohrwacher crafts an engrossing, richly populated and strikingly photographed fable.

Thu May 16 THE WHITE CROW (12A)
2019 UK/Fr 127min. Director: Ralph Fiennes
Stars: Oleg Ivenko, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Ralph Fiennes

In the early 1960s, the Cold War didn’t prevent the Soviet authorities from sending the renowned Kirov Ballet to Paris, to demonstrate their cultural refinement. This unleashed the electrifying talent of a young Rudolf Nureyev, but the freedom he experienced also caused him to question whether he could ever find fulfilment in Russia. Director Fiennes offers a balanced portrait of an inscrutable man – played by Ukrainian dancer Ivenko in an astonishing debut – in a true story that also becomes a gripping suspense thriller.
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss

Tue May 21 3 FACES (15) (7.30pm)
2018 Iran 100min (Persian with subtitles). Director: Jafar Panahi
Stars: Behnaz Jafari, Jafar Panahi, Marziyeh Rezaei

As in his acclaimed Taxi Tehran, director Panahi is behind the wheel and in front of the camera, blending fact and fiction to darkly comic effect. An actress friend has received a worrying video from a young girl desperate to attend drama school, and the pair drive into Iran’s conservative countryside to find out if she is safe. Far beyond their metropolitan bubble, they witness the precarious situation of these villagers – especially the local women – whose stultifying way of life has hardly changed for hundreds of years..

2018 USA/Fr 122min. Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: John C Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed

Charlie and Eli Sisters are bounty hunters for Oregon City’s commodore. Their latest mission is to track down a chemist headed for the California Gold Rush with a secret formula… In his first English language feature, Audiard (The Prophet, Rust And Bone) reveals a rich sense of humour amid the gunsmoke, stunning Western landscape, faultless period details, and majestic score by Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water, The Grand Budapest Hotel). Reilly is the pick of an excellent cast, as a sensitive man dealt a tough hand by fate.

Tue May 28 THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER (12A) (7.30pm)
2018 USA 96min. Director: Sara Colangelo
Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Gael García Bernal

Facing midlife crisis, Lisa is drifting as a teacher and failing to impress at the literature class she attends – until she passes off the poems of five-year-old pupil Jimmy as her own. Deciding the boy is a genius, she’s determined to nurture and mould his talent, whereas his father would rather give him a normal, happy childhood. Her attempts to get closer to Jimmy backfire, fuelling a dangerous obsession… Gyllenhaal’s superb performance is the driving force of a psychodrama that will leave you “mesmerised, unsettled” (The Observer).

Thu May 30 WILD ROSE (15)
2018 UK 100min. Director: Tom Harper
Stars: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo

Fresh out of prison, Rose-Lynn returns to her family in Glasgow, with her heart set on making the most of her talent as a country singer. A wealthy benefactor offers Rose-Lynn real hope of travelling to Nashville to fulfil her dream, at the risk of destroying her fragile relationship with her two young children. While Buckley’s acting is every bit as good as we’d expect from Beast and TV’s War and Peace, her sensational singing voice is the revelation at the heart of this witty and soulful drama.
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss

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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Art, Cinema, David Lean Cinema Campaign and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply