The David Lean Cinema, whose volunteers are not unfamiliar with the need for a bit of campaigning now and again, is asking its supporters to lend their signtures to a petition to save the Cinema Museum.
The Cinema Museum in Kennington was founded in 1986 by Ronald Grant and Martin Humphries, from their own private collection of cinema history and memorabilia. Its current building was once a workhouse, where Charlie Chaplin spent some time when a child.
The Museum has put out this appeal: “The Cinema Museum is still at risk and part of our campaign to ‘survive and thrive’ involves an online petition. Negotiations with the developers (who own the larger site upon which the Museum sits) are coming to a head and this is likely to be our last chance to show how many people care and how valuable the Museum is to society.
“It is likely we will be under pressure from the developers to shut down the petition very soon so we want to achieve as much as we can before then. The online petition takes a moment to sign.
“If signatories leave a ‘reason why’ when they sign, then we’ll try to get it into the book we are making about our Museum. Every signature counts, we really can do this! But we do need your help. Here is the online link.”
The David Lean Cinema in the Croydon Clocktower, of course, was re-opened as a result of citizen activism, and many of those campaigners are now volunteers, running the arthouse cinema’s monthly programme.
Tickets for November’s screenings are now on sale, with highlights expected to be Ad Astra, a truly remarkable performance from Renee Zellweger as Judy, and an important documentary about Motown.
- 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 November
All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm, unless stated
Tue Nov 5 AD ASTRA (12A)
2019 US 122min Dir: James Gray
Stars: Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler, Ruth Negga
Brad Pitt stars as astronaut Roy McBride in this science fiction adventure. Earth’s solar system is struck by mysterious and dangerous power surges, which have been connected to a lost project started by Roy’s father 16 years earlier. With the hopes of his father still being alive in outer space, Roy joins a rescue mission, uncovering bigger secrets in the process.
Thu Nov 7 DOWNTON ABBEY (PG)
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
Tue Nov 12 DOWNTON ABBEY (PG) 11am
As Nov 7 above.
Babes in Arms screening
Tue Nov 12 GOOD POSTURE (12A) 7.30pm
2019 USA 91min Dir: Dolly Wells
Stars: Grace Van Patten, Emily Mortimer, Ebon Moss-Bachr
Actress Dolly Wells’ directorial debut exposes introvert life in this engaging coming of age drama. Lillian, excellently played by Grace Van Patten, an “entitled oaf” is dumped by equally selfish Dad on Julia Price (Emily Mortimer), a successful writer. Hostilities commence at the first awkward meal, then they start communicating via tetchily witty notes. Established writers, satirically playing themselves at interview, punctuate the film; Zadie Smith and Jonathan Ames talk on Julia’s work and perfection while Martin Amis dismisses happiness.
Thu Nov 14 JUDY (12A)
2019 UK 118 min Dir: Rupert Goold
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Rufus Sewell
Strapped for cash and wanting to create a stable environment for her children, Judy Garland embarks on a trip to London to perform a series of sold-out concerts. Following the last year of her life, Judy depicts the realities of a celebrity past her prime. Based on Olivier-nominated play End of the Rainbow, Zellweger gives a heart-wrenching performance as the star.
*The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss
Tue Nov 19 HONEYLAND (12A) 7.30pm
2019 USA 90min (Turkish with English subtitles). Dir: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Stars: Hatidze Muratova, Nazife Muratova, Hussein Sam
Hatidze lives off the land, sustainably, as once did all of Europe – only in Macedonia, a land of mountains and lakes, she subsists with her beehives above the treeline within breathtaking scenery. Enter peace-shattering conflict in the shape of seasonal beehunters accompanied by large family, herd of cows and modern trappings and bent on extractive profiteering. Directors Kotevska and Stefanov took three years with two DSLR cameras, under extreme conditions, carefully crafting this engaging documentary about attitude clash towards natural resources.
Thu Nov 21 THE SOUVENIR (15)
2019 UK 120min. Dir: Joanna Hogg
Stars: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton
Acclaimed director Joanna Hogg’s mesmerising fourth film is a semi-autobiographical memoir of a toxic relationship that almost breaks a young woman starting out at film school. Tom Burke’s Anthony, the seductive quiet destroyer, is a strong screen presence. The Souvenir of the title is a painting from a bygone century and Hogg tackles her familiar themes of class, privilege and who has the accessibility to create art.
Tue Nov 26 ROJO (15) 7.30pm
2018 Arg 109min (Spanish with English subtitles). Dir: Benjamin Naishtat
Stars: Darío Grandinetti, Andrea Frigerio, Alfredo Castro
Set just before the military coup in Argentina and the “disappearances” that followed, Rojo concerns Claudio, a successful small town lawyer, who gets into an argument with a stranger in a restaurant. When the stranger later disappears, and a private investigator turns up to find out what has happened to him, Claudio and the rest of the town’s great and good come under suspicion. “A disarming allegory about middle-class society turning a blind eye to the excesses committed in the name of so-called peace and stability” (Sight & Sound).
Thu Nov 28 HITSVILLE: THE MAKING OF MOTOWN (12A)
2019 US 112min Dir: Benjamin Turner and Gabe Turner
Features: Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder
Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson joke and reminisce as they take us on the tour of the building that housed Motown Records (now a museum), which Gordy built into the iconic music brand of the 60s.
Surviving creative personnel talk about how the hit songs were created, and archive footage gives a feeling for the delight that these artists had in creating music that will never die. Surprising, informative, amusing, this film will put a smile on your face and have you dancing in the street.
Sat Nov 30 EVER LOOK AWAY (15) 1.30pm
2018 Ger 188min (German with subtitles). Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars: Tom Schilling, Sebastian Koch, Paula Beer
From the director of The Lives of Others, this sweeping drama follows a young German through the decades – from a childhood witnessing the Nazi regime, to troubled romance in post-war East Berlin, then escape to the West where he becomes an acclaimed painter. Loosely based on the life of Gerhard Richter, Never Look Away combines affecting storytelling with an incisive understanding of how artists and society develop together, and was nominated for the Foreign Language and Cinematography Academy Awards.
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