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SHREWSBURY FILM
 
 

Season 5

Season 5 is our first season as "Shrewsbury Film" rather than "Shrewsbury Film Society". We're as sceptical as the next person as to the effect of a re-branding, but this season has had bumper audiences and more sell-outs than all our other screenings put together.

 

Wild Tales

15 | Argentina | 2014 | Spanish
Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Director: Damian Szifron
Date Shown: Friday 11 September 2015

Relatos Salvajes is a black comedy film divided in six segments. (1) "Pasternak": one model and a music critic in a plane find that they have a common acquaintance called Pasternak. Soon they discover that every passenger and crew on board know Pasternak. Cosmic coincidence? (2) "The Rats": a waitress of a diner recognizes her client as the loan shark that caused a tragedy in her family. The cook suggests mixing rat poison in his food, but she refuses. But the cook decides to proceed in her plan. When his son arrives, the waitress tries to fix the situation. (3) "The Strongest": Two drivers on a lone highway have an argument with tragic consequences. (4) "Little Bomb": The demolition engineer has his car towed by a truck for parking in a wrong place and he has an argument with the employee of the towing company. This event destroys his private and professional life, and he plots revenge against the corrupt towing company and the City Hall. (5) "The Proposal": The reckless hit-and-run son of a wealthy family hits and kills a pregnant woman. He wakes up his parents and his father calls the lawyer. They propose to pay the groundkeeper to take the blame. Soon the father discovers that he is victim of extortion of his lawyer and the detective in charge of the investigation. What will be his decision? (6) "Until Death Do Us Apart": During the wedding party, the wife discovers that her husband has cheated her with one of the guests and decides to payback.


Timbuktu

15 | Mali | 2015 | French, Arabic, Bambara, English, Songhay
Drama
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Date Shown: Friday 25 September 2015

Not far from the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu, proud cattle herder Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed aka Pino) lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), his daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed), and Issan (Mehdi Ag Mohamed), their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes abruptly.


Tulpan

12A | Kazahstan | 2008 | Kazakh, Russian
Comedy, Drama
Director: Sergei Dvortsevoy
Date Shown: Friday 9 October 2015

On the steppes of Kazakhstan, Asa lives in a yurt with his sister Samal, her husband Ondas, and their three children. Ondas is a herdsman, tough and strong. It's dry, dusty, and windy; too many lambs are stillborn. Against this backdrop, Asa, a dreamer who's slight of build and recently finished with a stint in the Russian Navy, tries to establish a life on the steppes. He, his friend Boni, and Ondas call on Tulpan, the only single girl in the area. The men talk to her parents while she listens out of sight. Her answer and Asa's later trips to talk to her form an arc of hope against the harsh land. Is this the place of Asa's dreams? What about the other lambs?


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Two Days, One Night

15 | Belgium | 2014 | French, Arabic, English
Drama
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Date Shown: Friday 23 October 2015

Sandra Bya, married with two children, has been off work from her job at Solwal on medical leave for depression. During her absence from work, her boss, M. Dumont, on the suggestion of her immediate supervisor, the shop foreman Jean-Marc, figures that her section of the company can function with sixteen people working full time with a bit of overtime instead of seventeen with no overtime, that seventeenth person being Sandra. Because of the global competition the company faces, Dumont decides the company can only finance the annual bonuses for those sixteen employees, which are EUR1,000 per person, or Sandra's job, leaving the decision to those sixteen. On a Friday near the end of her medical leave, Sandra learns of this situation from her friend and co-worker Juliette after the "show of hands" vote is held, the result a 13-3 decision for the bonuses over Sandra's job. Because Juliette knows Jean-Marc, who is determined to get rid of Sandra, influenced the vote by scare mongering through misinformation, Juliette and Sandra, at the end of the working day on Friday, are able to convince Dumont to hold another secret ballot on Monday morning, with Sandra needing a majority to keep her job, meaning nine votes. By Saturday morning, Sandra's supportive husband, Manu, convinces her that over the weekend she should speak to each and all of the thirteen who voted for the bonuses to get them to change their minds. The Byas not only need the income from Sandra's job but Manu believes the job is a symbol for Sandra of her own self worth, important now in her tenuous mental state. As Sandra reluctantly goes about this task, she finds that not only is she uncomfortable being in this somewhat confrontational situation, but that the people who voted against her have their own household conflicts over their own EUR1,000, which would keep some of them afloat financially. As the weekend progresses, Sandra will find if she is strong enough emotionally to deal with the situation.


Birdman

15 | USA | 2014 | English
Comedy, Drama
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Date Shown: Friday 6 November 2015

Actor Riggan Thomson is most famous for his movie role from over twenty years ago of the comic book superhero Birdman in the blockbuster movie of the same name and its two equally popular sequels. His association with the role took over his life, where Birdman is more renowned than 'Riggan Thomson' the actor. Now past middle age, Riggan is trying to establish himself as a true artist by writing, directing, starring in and co-producing with his best friend Jake what is his Broadway debut, an adaptation of Raymond Carver's story, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. He is staking his name, what little artistic reputation that comes with that name and his life savings on the project, and as such will do anything needed to make the play a success. As he and Jake go through the process of the previews toward opening night, Riggan runs into several issues: needing to find a replacement for the integral supporting male role the night before the first preview; hiring the talented Broadway name, Mike Shiner, for that role, Mike who ends up being difficult to work with and who may end up overshadowing Riggan in the play; having to deal potentially with a lawsuit based on one of his actions to ensure success; needing to be there for his daughter, Sam, who he has hired to be his production assistant and who has just come out of drug rehab; and pleasing the New York Times critic, Tabitha Dickinson, who wants to use any excuse to give the play a scathing review which in turn would close the show after the opening night performance. But Riggan's biggest problem may be his own insecurities, which are manifested by him constantly hearing what he believes to be the truth from the voice of his Birdman character, who he often battles both internally and externally.


The New Girlfriend

15 | France | 2014 | French
Drama
Director: Francois Ozon
Date Shown: Friday 20 November 2015

A young woman makes a surprising discovery about the husband of her late best friend.


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Ida

15 | Poland | 2013 | Polish, Latin, French
Drama
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Date Shown: Friday 4 December 2015

Poland, 1962. Anna, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent, is a novice. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna about her Jewish roots. Both women start a journey not only to find their family's tragic story, but to see who they really are and where they belong. They question what they used to believe in.


Once

15 | Ireland | 2006 | English, Czech
Drama, Music, Romance
Director: John Carney
Date Shown: Friday 18 December 2015

An (unnamed) Guy is a Dublin guitarist/singer-songwriter who makes a living by fixing vacuum cleaners in his Dad's Hoover repair shop by day, and singing and playing for money on the Dublin streets by night. An (unnamed) Girl is a Czech who plays piano when she gets a chance, and does odd jobs by day and takes care of her mom and her daughter by night. Guy meets Girl, and they get to know each other as the Girl helps the Guy to put together a demo disc that he can take to London in hope of landing a music contract. During the same several day period, the Guy and the Girl work through their past loves, and reveal their budding love for one another, through their songs.


Human Capital

15 | Italy | 2013 | Italian, English
Drama
Director: Paolo Virz?
Date Shown: Friday 8 January 2016

Dino Ossola, a small-time real estate agent who dreams of bigger things ; Serena Ossola, his teenage daughter who dates a spoilt rich brat ; Carla Bruneschi, an actress who has given up her career to marry a wealthy businessman ; Massimiliano Giovanni Bernaschi, her husband, a powerful player ; Massimiliano Bernaschi, the troubled son of the Bernaschis' ; Roberta Ossola, a psychologist, Dino's second wife ; Donato Russomano, a brilliant drama teacher who is stuck on Carla ; Luca Ambrosini, a teenager frowned upon by others ; an anonymous cyclist... They are all shareholders of the human capital. Errr... all? Really?


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The Selfish Giant

15 | UK | 2013 | English
Drama
Director: Clio Barnard
Date Shown: Friday 22 January 2016

An official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about 13 year old Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Shaun Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighborhood, the two boys meet Kitten (Sean Gilder), a local scrap dealer. Wandering their town with just a horse and a cart, they begin collecting scrap metal for him. Swifty has a natural gift with horses while Arbor emulates Kitten - keen to impress him and make some money. However, Kitten favors Swifty, leaving Arbor feeling hurt and excluded, driving a wedge between the boys. As Arbor becomes increasingly greedy and exploitative, tensions build, leading to a tragic event that transforms them all.


Tokyo Story

U | Japan | 1953 | Japanese, English
Drama
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Date Shown: Friday 5 February 2016

An elderly couple journey to Tokyo to visit their children and are confronted by indifference, ingratitude and selfishness. When the parents are packed off to a resort by their impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality


Leviathan

15 | Russia | 2014 | Russian
Drama
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Date Shown: Friday 19 February 2016

On the outskirts of a small coastal town in the Barents Sea, where whales sometimes come to its bay, lives an ordinary family: Kolya (Aleksey Serebryakov), his wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and their teenage son Romka. The family is haunted by a local corrupted mayor (Roman Madyanov), who is trying to take away the land, a house and a small auto repair shop from Kolya. To save their homes Kolya calls his old Army friend in Moscow (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), who has now become an authoritative attorney. Together they decide to fight back and collect dirt on the mayor.


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Force Majeure

15 | Sweden | 2014 | Swedish, English, French, Norwegian
Comedy, Drama
Director: Ruben Ostlund
Date Shown: Friday 4 March 2016

A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life... The anticipated disaster failed to occur, and yet the family's world has been shaken to its core, a question mark hanging over their father in particular. Tomas and Ebba's marriage now hangs in the balance as Tomas struggles desperately to reclaim his role as family patriarch.


The Salt of the Earth

15 | Germany | 2015 | French, Portuguese, English
Documentary, Biography
Director: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders
Date Shown: Friday 18 March 2016

For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastiao Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet's beauty.


Black Coal, Thin Ice

15 | China | 2014 | Mandarin
Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director: Yi'nan Diao
Date Shown: Friday 1 April 2016

An ex cop and his ex partner decide to follow up on investigation of a series of murders that ended their careers and shamed them, when identical murders begin again.


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Abel

15 | Mexico | 2010 | Spanish
Comedy, Drama
Director: Diego Luna
Date Shown: Friday 15 April 2016

About a peculiar young boy who, as he blurs reality and fantasy, takes over the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence.