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.
01/06/2015 – 08:00 pm
Saffron Screen – Saffron Walden County High School, Audley End Road, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 4UH
A firm favourite on the art-house scene this year, Force Majeure is a study of human capability and selfishness. Written and directed by Swedish director Ruben Östlund, Force Majeure centres around one nuclear family as they vacation in the French Alps. Whilst skiing one day, the family find themselves face to face with a potential avalanche and are forced to confront their own mortality. During the chaos, one member of the family flees. When the crisis is averted the family must return to their normal lives with a resentful sense of betrayal and a rather unsettling awareness that they are all alone in this world.
03/06/2015 – 08:30 pm
Whirled Cinema – 259 Hardess Street Loughborough Junction SE24 0HN
Undoubtedly my favourite film of the 2015 award season, (followed closely by Ava DuVernay’s Selma), Whiplash is a master-class in editing and intensity. Its three Oscar wins included Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons and his villainous performance as an abusive and manipulative music teacher whose controversial methods push his students towards both madness and greatness. Whiplash is an electrifying thrill ride which will leave you spectacularly satisfied. A film about art, genius and sacrifice, Whiplash challenges our initial impressions of both student and teacher as both strive for artistic perfection in a chaotic whirlwind of fury, hatred, love and passion.
04/06/2015 – 07:30 pm
Hull Independent Cinema Project – Artlink Centre for Community Arts, 87 Princes Avenue, Hull, HU5 3QP United Kingdom
Known for his body-horror flicks of the 1980s, David Cronenberg is as iconic as they come. Yet his more contemporary movies have ventured into new territory. Maps to the Stars was one of last year’s most under-rated and, more importantly, under-screened movies in the UK. A commentary on Hollywood and the “glamorous”, competitive lifestyle that goes hand in hand with it, Maps to the Stars is an exploration into the ugliness and nastiness that lurks in L.A.’s celebrity world. It’s a bold, quirky commentary on a world that Cronenberg has never fitted into. He lurks on the outskirts with John Carpenter and Wes Craven…
04/06/2015 – 07:45 pm
The Dugdale Centre – Thomas Hardy House, London Road, EN2 6DS
On its release, The Guardian’s chief film critic Peter Bradshaw applauded the “deliberate naffness” of Potiche. This raucous French comedy comes from director François Ozon whose previous films are just as bizarre and chaotic; 8 Women being a personal favourite. Potiche is just dripping in “French-ness”. Here, the infamous Catherine Deneuve stars as a trophy wife who’s forced to take over the family business when her husband is taken hostage; romantic complexities and revelations soon become apparent. Next to the most famous French actress of all time stands the male equivalent; Gérard Depardieu plays the wife’s ex-lover in this glorious, polished stage adaptation.
06/06/2015 – 07:00 pm
St John the Evangelist Church – The Causeway, Langley Upper Green, Essex CB11 4RZ
Aardman’s animation is quintessentially British. Their greatest feats never seem to age but simply ripen through our nostalgia and fondness. Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run and most recently Shaun the Sheep Movie have all succeeded in pleasing both old and young audiences through their emotionally driven story lines, witty writing and well-judged comedy which often includes intelligent uses of parody references. Their most famous duo finally made it to the big screen ten years ago in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. A tribute to Universal monster movies and starring a range of British national treasures, this amusing family adventure movie is suitable for all and will warm everyone’s hearts.
Enjoy writing about film? Would you like to choose your top 5 for the week ahead? Get in touch.