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This Week in Film: From Washington to Nebraska.

This week’s picks are by film post-graduate and freelance film blogger/critic Hannah McHaffie who also works as a programme assistant for an arts and cultural organisation in Lancashire.


71

’71

11/05/2015 – 07:45 pm
TULLIE HOUSE MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY – Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Castle Street Carlisle CA3 8TP

This gripping game of cat and mouse is the cinematic directorial debut from French director Yann Demange whose career took off in British television. This begins as a story about a platoon posted to Belfast in an attempt to support the people living on some of the affected streets of Northern Ireland during The Troubles. 71’ quickly becomes the story of one individual and his struggle to survive on the very roads he has come to protect. At its heart, ’71 is about human nature and the importance of friendship in times of immense suffering and violence. Despite its deeply political backdrop, ’71 refuses to take sides or delve into the religious, political or social issues that defined The Troubles. Shot with precision and directed with conviction, ’71 is one of the most under-appreciated British action movies of 2014.


Nebraska

Nebraska

12/05/2015 – 07:45 pm
The Atkinson – The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB

Shot in black and white, with striking results, Nebraska is the latest Academy Award over-look from director Alexander Payne whose impressive ability to capture American alternative states of mind has been evident in Sideways, The Descendants and Election. His past work is satirical, smart and unapologetic. Nebraska is no different. Bruce Dern and June Squibb are delightful aging souls in this brash and blatant portrayal of Western American life. When a stubborn and slightly senile gentleman becomes convinced he’s won a large sum of money he begins a journey to Nebraska to collect his non-existent winnings. A film about family, friendship, resentment and the places that make us – Nebraska should be seen on the big screen to be fully appreciated.


mrsmith

Mr Smith Goes to Washington

13/05/2015 – 06:15 pm
Phoenix Leicester – Phoenix Leicester, 4 Midland Street Leicester LE1 1TG

Director Frank Capra has made some of the most influential and timeless films of the 1930s and 1940s. His initial box-office flop It’s A Wonderful Life has since become an American Christmas classic, thanks to television re-runs, and It Happened One Night featured the famous flash of Claudette Colbert’s calf. Capra was a commentator on the American man and his film’s documented social change in America through Hollywood fiction and drama. Mr Smith Goes to Washington does exactly that. Controversial on its release and political in content, it launched the career of James Stewart who would go on to become Hollywood’s every-man.


red-desert

Red Desert

14/05/2015 – 06:30 pm
LIVERPOOL SMALL CINEMA – LIVERPOOL SMALL CINEMA, 57-59 Victoria Street Liverpool L1 6DE

Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert is full of striking composition, dramatic uses of colour and vast industrial landscapes. Cinematography, performance and plot merge together in this hypnotic exploration of alienation in 1960s Italy. Monica Vitti’s performance is memorable as the troubled Giulianna, a woman trying to find her place in an industrialised Europe. Inner turmoil and self-doubt plague our protagonist as she wanders from each curious scene to the next. Antonioni’s first film in colour, Red Desert looks great on a big screen. Small Cinema’s screening of Red Desert is bound to be a rare and intriguing treat.


jirosushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

16/05/2015 – 04:00 pm
The Arch Cafe – The Arch Cafe, Mark Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JA

A documentary from 2011 about one man’s search for culinary perfection; celebrating human creativity, ambition and passion. Centred round 85 year-old sushi-master Jiro Ono, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a delightful documentary that is guaranteed to bring a smile. Director David Gelb also explores the generations that are following in Jiro’s footsteps. We meet the chef’s sons and are introduced to their own ambitions – to continue their father’s legacy. At its centre, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a celebration of heritage, commitment and family, documenting not only one man’s skills and vision but the passing of heritage from one generation to another.


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Blade Runner: The Final Cut will be screening at Saffron Screen on 15th May at 8pm. Adapted from Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Ridley Scott, Blade Runner remains one of the most influential American science fiction movies of the last 50 years. Philosophical, neon, vibrant and filled with synthesiser beauty, thanks to Vangelis’ score, Blade Runner in its best version has to be seen on the big screen.

The Duke of BurgundyHull Cinema Project13th May 7:30pm – Peter Strickland’s follow up to Berberian Sound Studio screened across the UK at the same time as Fifty Shades of Grey. By many it is viewed as the art-house version of the rather dull blockbuster sensation. This avant-garde exploration into the world of sadism and masochism is filled with sensual beauty and grace; a captivating experience.


Enjoy writing about film? Would you like to choose your top 5 for the week ahead? Get in touch.

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