November/December Film Events
We’ve got the low-down on all things film that are going on in the next few weeks and we’ve got an eclectic mix to tempt you into the cinemas in the run up to the festive season….
French Film Festival UK
Running up until the 7th December is the French Film Festival UK. An exciting opportunity to sample a taste of some continental cinema, films include:
The Princess of Montpensier (18)
Directed by Bertrand Tavenier, this historical drama is set in the 16th century during the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. Melanie Thierry plays a spirited young woman, forced to enter into a loveless marriage, thus forsaking her true love. Set against a backdrop of tension and violence, this evocative film is the most recent offering from the In the Electric Mist director.
Little Nicholas (U)
Based on the comic books of Jean-Jacques Sempé and René Goscinny, this film is a great introduction to foreign cinema for the whole family. Directed by Laurent Tirard, Nicholas, a mischievous boy in 1950s France is knocked for six when he hears his parents are expecting another child. Worried he’ll be abandoned in the forest like Tom Thumb, Nicholas and his group of friends try to stop his parents before it’s too late!
Making Plans for Léna (15)
This drama is brought to you by writer/director Christophe Honoré (Inside Paris, Love Songs) and tells the story of Léna, an unemployed single mother finds herself thrown in at the deep end when she goes to stay with her judgmental family, who are all too keen to be giving out unwanted advice. A moving and realistic portrayal of a fiercely independent and inspiring female character.
The French Film festival UK is touring now, and will be showing a huge range of the best in French cinema in London, Warwick and various locations in Scotland over the next two weeks.
Rediscovering Frank Capra
BFI Southbank, London SE1
The British Film Institute will celebrating the acclaimed Hollywood creative force that was Frank Capra in a season running from the 23rd November to the 30th December. There is a mammoth range of films to choose from so all tastes should be catered for. Some notable titles include:
Mr Deeds Goes to Town – a moral tale of Longfellow Deeds, the country boy who inherits a fortune and gives his money to the poor. An ultimately uplifting tale of selflessness and goodness, starring Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur and Raymond Walburn.
Lady for a Day – described as “A funny, beautifully acted urban fairytale”, this tells of an apple seller, transformed into a grand lady for one day by a bunch of loveable rogues. Starring May Robson, Warren William and Guy Kibbee.
It’s a Wonderful Life – it’s Christmas time and a suicidal man (played beautifully by James Stewart) meets a guardian angel who takes him on a retrospective tour of all the good things that have happened in his life in order to steer him away from peril. Hailed as the greatest Christmas film ever, DO NOT miss the opportunity to go and see this festive film on the big screen!
The Prince Charles Cinema
You are being offered the chance to attend a screening of cult comedy classic Airplane! To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie, on the 9th December The Prince Charles cinema will be showing the film AND hosting a Q&A with writer/director/producers the Zucker brothers. This comedy disaster movie, which stars Leslie Nielsen and Robert Hays, charts the calamitous plane trip of Ted Striker. Despite his fear of planes Striker boards a jumbo jet in order to win back his flight attendant ex-girlfriend. Nielsen’s side-splitting portrayal of the on-board doctor was his defining comic role and a host of other hilarious characters ensure that this will be one hilarious night out at the pictures. Get your tickets soon!
The Prince Charles are also offering a great little deal for all you film fanatics that might be finding yourselves a little strapped for cash as the festive season approaches. Their Willy Wonka inspired ‘Golden Tickets’ run weekly and if you’re quick off the mark you can snap up a cinema ticket for just a quid! Just check the website regularly for announcements of new films and times. Next up is 80’s flight-school action romance Top Gun! Yay!
Against the Odds
University of Westminster, London NW1
To celebrate 50 years of filming in independent Africa, Against the Odds is a conference being held in association with the London African Film Festival and BAFTA. A commemoration of the new wave of cinema that finally gave many Africans a platform to share their stories of oppression and social conditions, this conference will be screening several short films including Pumzi, a 20 minute sci-fi film set 35 years after World War 3 in a futuristic Africa.
Also present will be keynote speaker Professor Ferid Boughedir, a Tunisian filmmaker and historian of African Cinema. This 2 day event promises to be an eye opening insight into the role that film has played in Africa’s history and culture. With Nigeria’s own ‘Nollywood’ now surpassing Hollywood to become the second biggest distributor of films worldwide, (behind Bollywood) Africa’s rapidly growing film industry is something that simply should not be ignored.
So there you have it, a veritable smorgasbord of entertainment ideas that should cater for even the most obscure tastes! Enjoy!