Demand for Downton prompts early sales at David Lean

What would the present-day inhabitants of Downtown Abbey do if told to expect a royal visit? Check whether Prince Andrew was on the guest list?

In the imaginings of (Lord) Julian Fellowes, there’s no such concern for the Granchesters in 1927, as his highly successful television serial transfers to the big screen.

The movie version premieres in cinemas in a fortnight and the David Lean Cinema will be showing it in November, but such is the clamour of demand for tickets in the Clocktowers arthouse cinema, tickets for its screenings go on sale this Thursday, together with their whole October programme.

That includes movies for Black History Month, and the annual Halloween offering, which this time round gets its shock value from… alligators.

There’s an opportunity to see Mrs Lowry & Son – Timothy Spall seems to be cornering the market in portrayals of English painters – and two other thought-provoking dramas, The Chambermaid and The Goldfinch (based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel), before the less-demanding study of Edwardian class and manners, Downtown, gets its run-out.

  • 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 October

All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm, unless stated

Tue Oct 1 BAIT (15) (7.30pm)
2019 UK 89min. Dir: Mark Jenkin
Stars: Edward Rowe, Mary Woodvine, Giles King
A traditional Cornish fishing village is morphing into a trinket shop as elite second-homers move in. Fisherman Martin (Rowe) responds initially with a humorous twinkle but ugly tensions are mounting.

Writer/director Jenkin’s cinematographic style is part of Bait’s considerable appeal – grainy, flawed 16mm black and white Kodak film is a perfect visual fit with the elemental world it favours, and runs alongside a soundtrack resounding with the bang and clatter of working life. Compelling social realism.

Thu Oct 3 MRS LOWRY & SON (PG)
2019 UK 93min. Dir: Adrian Noble
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Spall, Wendy Morgan
Balancing his passion for painting with the everyday life of a Salford rent collector, LS Lowry may be on the brink of success, with a letter from London and the promise of a gallery show… yet he lives with his bedridden mother, who is immune to the charms of his factory and street scenes, sapping his confidence. Former RSC artistic director Noble keeps the focus on his two masterful lead actors, who bring life to the complex mother-son relationship.

Wed Oct 9 INNA DE YARD (12A) (7.30pm)
Black History Month screening
2019 Fr 99min. Dir: Peter Webber
Features: Ken Boothe, Kiddus I, Winston McAnuff
This joyous film sees Jamaican reggae veterans take stock of their lives and legacies. As the infectious soundtrack plays without interruption, close-up performance footage is mingled with stories of the trials faced by the musicians through their lives and careers, the troubles blighting Jamaica’s past and present, and the island’s stunning scenery. As the story progresses, younger people join these sublime performers on stage to take their inheritance forward.

Thu Oct 10 A FAITHFUL MAN (15)
2018 Fr 75min (French with subtitles). Dir: Louis Garrel
Stars: Louis Garrel, Laetitia Casta, Lily-Rose Depp
All’s fair in love and war in a little corner of Paris. Marianne ditches Abel for his friend Paul, who dies suddenly eight years later. The two seem set for a reunion, but Paul’s younger sister Eve sets her sights on Abel, who she has loved since childhood. Our perspectives, and sympathies, switch between the three lovers as the intrigue builds in this “charming, surprising, extremely winning” (Evening Standard) comic romance.

Tue Oct 15 HAIL SATAN? (15) (7.30pm)
2019 USA 95min. Director: Penny Lane
In light-hearted yet thought-provoking documentary Hail Satan?, director Penny Lane questions the stereotypes of the 1980s that have made their way into the American psyche. Causing terror and mindlessly worshipping evil are actions from a bygone era; today, the Satanic Temple is much more concerned with enacting social and political change. Members of the Temple prove to be witty and eloquent, adding humour to some serious and topical discussions.

Thu Oct 17 PAIN AND GLORY (15)
2019 Sp 113min (Spanish with subtitles). Dir: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Penelope Cruz
Almodóvar joins the list of European auteurs (Fellini, Truffaut) who fictionalise the life of the film director. His hero (Banderas) hasn’t made a film in years, but has enough wealth to live comfortably and fight his physical and mental torments with drugs. A meeting with the star of his early masterpiece starts his creative juices flowing again, as does the memory of his mother (a wonderful cameo by Cruz) and of an early erotic encounter. “Pain And Glory leaves you with a sweet sadness.” (The Guardian)

Tue Oct 22 THE CHAMBERMAID (15) (7.30pm)
2018 Mex/USA 102min (Spanish with subtitles). Dir: Lila Avilés
Stars: Gabriela Cartol, Teresa Sánchez, Agustina Quinzi
Attracting inevitable comparisons with the Oscar-winning Roma, Avilés’ debut feature boasts a stunning performance from Cartol as Eve, a worker at a posh Mexico City hotel, through whose eyes we see the oblivious, often ridiculous guests who variously exploit and ignore her. Her quiet desire to pull herself up from her humdrum existence provides the emotional spine to this quirky, haunting piece with an uncompromising political subtext.

Thu Oct 24 THE GOLDFINCH (15) (2.30pm & 7pm)
2019 USA/UK 149min. Dir: John Crowley
Stars: Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Nicole Kidman
Based on Donna Tartt’s novel, The Goldfinch is a tale of grief, redemption and art. Theo, 13, loses his mother in a bomb attack at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a trauma that propels him into a troubled life of crime. Elgort (Baby Driver) excels as a damaged young man desperately holding on to the only evidence of unconditional love he still has.
* Note the earlier than usual evening start time, due to the film’s length
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss

Tue Oct 29 (7.30pm) and Thu Oct 31 (2.30pm) THE LAST TREE (15)
Black History Month screening
2019 UK 98min. Dir: Shola Amoo
Stars: Nicholas Pinnock, Denise Black, Gbemisola Ikumelo
Femi is a young boy of Nigerian descent growing up with his foster mother in idyllic rural Lincolnshire. Things change abruptly when his birth mother Yinka comes to reclaim him, moving them into a claustrophobic flat in South London. The teenage Femi becomes estranged from his mother, and falls under the influence of the local ‘bad boy’ Mace, while trying to keep his own identity. Amoo uses imaginative camerawork and fine performances from his cast to show the cultural confusion of a young man with three different homes, none of which are really his own.

Thu Oct 31 CRAWL (18) (7.30pm)
Halloween screening
2019 USA 87min. Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark
Produced by Sam Raimi (creator of the Evil Dead series), Crawl delivers exactly what it promises: an entertaining break from the mundane, with “a reptilian bite in its nods to the tradition of underwater monster flicks” (Roger Ebert). College swimmer Haley (Kaya Scodelario) attempts to find her father in the midst of an intense hurricane, but encounters another problem: large (and hungry) alligators.

2019 UK 122min. Dir: Michael Engler
Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith
Writer Julian Fellowes moves from TV to the big screen to continue the story of the Crawley family. The year is 1927, and the Great Depression is looming. Belts are being tightened, as they ready themselves to play host to none other than King George V and Queen Mary, along with their domestic entourage.
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss

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