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SHREWSBURY FILM
 
 

Season 3

Season 3 was our best "balanced" season to date. We started with a comedy, Welcome to the Sticks, which was our 2nd ever sell-out, and also included the harrowing Amour. In between we had a touch of whimsy from cult director Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom), lots of adorable children (Little Red Flowers, Kid with a Bike) as well as some classics (The Passenger, Zero de Conduite, Fires Were Started). A popular feature was Tess, where we served ice-creams from those trays we used to see years ago, in the auditorium during a mid-film interval.

 

Welcome to the Sticks

12A | France | 2008 | French
Comedy
Director: Dany Boon
Date Shown: Friday 13 September 2013

Although living a comfortable life in Salon-de-Provence, a charming town in the South of France, Julie has been feeling depressed for a while. To please her, Philippe Abrams, a post office administrator, her husband, tries to obtain a transfer to a seaside town, on the French Riviera, at any cost. The trouble is that he is caught red-handed while trying to scam an inspector. Philippe is immediately banished to the distant unheard of town of Bergues, in the Far North of France. Leaving his child and wife behind, the crucified man leaves for his frightening destination, a dreadfully cold place inhabited by hard-drinking, unemployed rednecks, speaking an incomprehensible dialect called Ch'ti. Philippe soon realizes that all these ideas were nothing but prejudices and that Bergues is not synonymous with hell...


The Return

12 | Russia | 2003 | Russian
Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Date Shown: Friday 27 September 2013

Two teenage Russian boys have their father return home suddenly after being absent for 12 years. The father takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake in the north of Russia that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions.


The Passenger

12 | Italy | 1975 | English, Spanish, German, French
Drama
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Date Shown: Friday 11 October 2013

A journalist researching a documentary in the Sahara Desert meets a gunrunner who dies suddenly. When the journalist notices that they have a similar appearance, he assumes the recently deceased's identity and accepts the consequences that it brings.


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Departures

12A | Japan | 2008 | Japanese
Drama
Director: Yojiro Takita
Date Shown: Friday 25 October 2013

Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled "Departures" thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a "Nokanshi" or "encoffineer," a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of "Nokanshi," acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.


Tess

12 | UK | 1979 | English
Drama, Romance
Director: Roman Polanski
Date Shown: Friday 8 November 2013

Wessex County, England during the Victorian era. Christian values dominate what are social mores. These mores and her interactions with two men play a large part in what happens in the young life of peasant girl, the shy, innocent, proper yet proud Tess Durbeyfield. The first of these men is Alec d'Urberville. After learning from a local historian that they are really descendants of the aristocratic d'Urberville family which has died out due to lack of male heirs, Tess' parents send her to a nearby mansion where they know some d'Urbervilles actually reside. This move is in order for the family to gain some benefit from their heritage. Upon her arrival at the mansion, Tess quickly learns that the family of Tess' "cousin" Alec are not true d'Urbervilles, but rather an opportunistic lot who bought the family name in order to improve their own standing in life. Tess is pulled between what she was sent to accomplish for her family against her general disdain for Alec, who will give her anything she wants in return for sexual favors. The second of these men is Angel Clare, the son of a parson and an apprentice farmer. Angel and Tess fall in love with each other. Tess has to decide if she will divulge to Angel her past relationship with Alec, which if she does may jeopardize their own relationship. But if she doesn't, Tess also has to figure out if the secret will haunt her and thus jeopardize their relationship in other ways.


In a Better World

15 | Denmark | 2010 | Danish, Swedish, English, Arabic
Drama
Director: Susanne Bier
Date Shown: Friday 22 November 2013

Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices between revenge and forgiveness. Anton and his wife Marianne, who have two young sons, are separated and struggling with the possibility of divorce. Their older, ten-year-old son Elias is being bullied at school, until he is defended by Christian, a new boy who has just moved from London with his father, Claus. Christian's mother recently lost her battle with cancer, and Christian is greatly troubled by her death. Elias and Christian quickly form a strong bond, but when Christian involves Elias in a dangerous act of revenge with potentially tragic consequences, their friendship is tested and lives are put in danger. Ultimately, it is their parents who are left to help them come to terms with the complexity of human emotions, pain and empathy.


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Il Divo

15 | Italy | 2008 | Italian, English
Biography, Drama
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Date Shown: Friday 6 December 2013

The story of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, who has served as Prime Minister of Italy seven times since the restoration of democracy in 1946.


Searching for Sugar Man

12A | Sweden | 2012 | English
Documentary, Biography, Music
Director: Malik Bendjelloul
Date Shown: Friday 20 December 2013

In the early 1970s, Sixto Rodriguez was a Detroit folksinger who had a short-lived recording career with only two well received but non-selling albums. Unknown to Rodriguez, his musical story continued in South Africa where he became a pop music icon and inspiration for generations. Long rumored there to be dead by suicide, a few fans in the 1990s decided to seek out the truth of their hero's fate. What follows is a bizarrely heartening story in which they found far more in their quest than they ever hoped, while a Detroit construction laborer discovered that his lost artistic dreams came true after all.


The Kid with a Bike

12A | Belgium | 2011 | French
Drama
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Date Shown: Friday 10 January 2014

At about 11, the stubborn and impulsive Cyril seems on his way to delinquency: he has no mother, his father wants a new life without him, so he's in a foster institution. He searches for his father, wanting him and his bike. Through the intersession of Samantha, a hairdresser Cyril happens upon, he gets his bike back, and she offers to take him into her home on weekends. He remains aloof from her and gets involved with a young crook. Is Cyril intent on driving Samantha away - and what then?


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Little Red Flowers

12A | China | 2006 | Mandarin
Comedy, Drama
Director: Yuan Zhang
Date Shown: Friday 24 January 2014

Qiang is a four-year-old little rebel, possessed of a pair of luminous eyes and a precociously indomitable will. His father deposits him at a well-appointed residential kindergarten in post-1949 Beijing, since his parents are often away. Life at the kindergarten appears rich and colourful, made up of a variety of cheerfully sunny rituals and games meant to train these children to be good members of society. But it's not so easy for Qiang to adapt to this kind of carefully organized, minutely scrutinized collective life. A fierce individualist in miniature, he tries but fails to conform to the model his teachers enforce. Yet he still craves the reward that the other students win: the little red flowers awarded each day as tokens for good behaviour. But Qiang doesn't win any flowers: he can't yet dress himself, and doesn't play together with the other kids. He even dares to talk back to the strict Teacher Li and Principal Kong when they try to impose some discipline on him. Gradually, his charisma and bravado start to win over his classmates: their stealthy little rebellions gain steam when he succeeds in convincing everyone that Teacher Li is a child-eating monster in disguise. When their attempt to capture her is thwarted, Qiang's resistance develops a more disturbing dimension, and he is forcibly ostracized from his companions. Will he succumb to the adult-enforced conformity around him, or will he insist on growing up his own way, by his own rules?


Amour

12A | France | 2012 | French, English
Drama, Romance
Director: Michael Haneke
Date Shown: Friday 7 February 2014

Georges and Anne are a couple of retired music teachers enjoying life in their eighties. However, Anne suddenly has a stroke at breakfast and their lives are never the same. That incident begins Anne's harrowingly steep physical and mental decline as Georges attempts to care for her at home as she wishes. Even as the fruits of their lives and career remain bright, the couple's hopes for some dignity prove a dispiriting struggle even as their daughter enters the conflict. In the end, George, with his love fighting against his own weariness and diminished future on top of Anne's, is driven to make some critical decisions for them both.


Moonrise Kingdom

12A | USA | 2012 | English
Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Director: Wes Anderson
Date Shown: Friday 21 February 2014

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, as a young boy and girl fall in love they are moved to run away together. Various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down -- which might not be such a bad thing.


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Fires Were Started

U | UK | 1943 | English
Drama, War
Director: Humphrey Jennings
Date Shown: Friday 7 March 2014

A new man joins the civilian firefighters at a London unit during the Second World War. He meets his fellow firemen and firewomen, manages to enjoy some leisure time with them, and then goes on his first mission with the crew as it attempts to save an explosives warehouse on Trinidad Street near the London docks.


Zero de Conduite

PG | France | 1933 | French
Short, Comedy, Drama
Director: Jean Vigo
Date Shown: Friday 7 March 2014

After the holidays, Caussat and Bruel are going back to the boarding school, where their life is sad, dull, as all prisoner's ones. But there is plot setting up for a revolt...


Lore

15 | Germany | 2012 | German, English
Drama, Romance, Thriller
Director: Cate Shortland
Date Shown: Friday 21 March 2014

As the Allies sweep across Germany, Lore leads her siblings on a journey that exposes them to the truth of their parents' beliefs. An encounter with a mysterious refugee forces Lore to rely on a person she has always been taught to hate.


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The Hunt

15 | Denmark | 2012 | Danish, English, Polish
Drama
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Date Shown: Friday 4 April 2014

Lucas is a Kindergarten teacher who takes great care of his students. Unfortunately for him, young Klara has a run-away imagination and concocts a lie about her teacher. Before Lucas is even able to understand the consequences, he has become the outcast of the town. The hunt is on to prove his innocence before it's taken from him for good.


A Late Quartet

15 | USA | 2012 | English
Drama, Music
Director: Yaron Zilberman
Date Shown: Friday 25 April 2014

After a classical string quartet's 25 years of success, Peter, the cellist and oldest member, decides that he must retire when he learns he has Parkinson's Disease. For the others, that announcement proves a catalyst for letting their hidden resentments come to the surface while the married members' daughter has disruptive desires of her own. All this threatens to tear the group apart even as they are famous for playing Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14, opus 131, a piece that is played non-stop no matter how life interferes.