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Summer 2014 Mini-Season

The nice thing about mini-seasons is that we don't feel the same obligation to give members (who pay for a whole season) films that they want to see. If we put on something they don't want to see outside of the main season, then we haven't diluted the main season's package.

When we planned the programme for this mini-season, there was no underlying theme for the chosen films, just 5 great films. The main driver was actually the (financial) success of our main season. As we were in the black (even after taking a small hit on the Conflicts season), we could afford to show films on the big screen on merit rather than with a view to attendances.

A good example was Volver. You'd expect most members to have some Almodovar in their DVD collection at home, so may feel a bit cheated if they paid for this as part of the main season. However, those who forked out the £5 for a ticket were treated to some magnificent shots on the big screen, that just wouldn't be the same at home (viz. the opening scene and Penelope Cruz doing the washing up!). Volver was also memorable as it was the first film that was introduced by a member via video link.

 

Five Broken Cameras

15 | Palestine | 2011 | Hebrew, Arabic
Documentary
Director: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi
Date Shown: Friday 9 May 2014

When his fourth son, Gibreel, is born, Emad, a Palestinian villager, gets his first camera. In his village, Bil'in, a separation barrier is being built and the villagers start to resist this decision. For more than five years, Emad films the struggle, which is led by two of his best friends, alongside filming how Gibreel grows. Very soon it affects his family and his own life. Daily arrests and night raids scare his family; his friends, brothers and himself are either shot or arrested. One camera after another is shot at or smashed. Each of the 5 cameras tells part of his story.


Caesar Must Die

12 | Italy | 2012 | Italian
Drama
Director: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Date Shown: Friday 23 May 2014

In Rebibbia Prison in Italy, its inmate theatre program puts on a well received production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The film goes back several months earlier as the coordinators announces the play as the program's production of the year. With that project set, we see its creation as the cast is auditioned and selected for this artistic challenge. As they rehearse, the prisoners, many of whom are long termers and lifers for serious crimes, find that the classic play has both a striking resonance and contrast to their confined lives.


Volver

15 | Spain | 2006 | Spanish
Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Date Shown: Friday 6 June 2014

Raimunda, her daughter Paula and her sister Sole travel from Madrid to the windy and superstitious village of Alcanfor de las Infantas to visit the grave of their mother Irene, who died years ago in a fire with her husband. Then they visit Irene's sister Paula, an old senile aunt that raised Raimunda after the death of her parents that insists to tell them that Irene is alive and living with her; later, they go to the house of her neighbor and friend Agustina, who gives a support to Paula. They return to Madrid, and after a hard day of work, Raimunda meets her daughter completely distraught at the bus stop waiting for her. When they arrive home, Paula tells her mother that she killed her unemployed father Paco, who was completely drunk and tried to rape her. While Raimunda hides his body, Sole calls her to tell that their beloved aunt Paula has died. The next morning, Sole travels alone to the funeral, and when she returns to Madrid, she finds her mother hidden in the trunk of her car. She brings Irene to her apartment, where secrets from the past are disclosed.


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Eat Drink Man Woman

PG | Taiwan | 1994 | Mandarin, French
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director: Ang Lee
Date Shown: Friday 27 June 2014

Senior Master Chef Chu lives in a large house in Taipei with his three unmarried daughters, Jia-Jen, a chemistry teacher converted to Christianity, Jia-Chien, an airline executive, and Jia-Ning, a student who also works in a fast food restaurant. Life in the house revolves around the ritual of an elaborate dinner each Sunday, and the love lives of all the family members.


Julie & Julia

12A | USA | 2009 | English, French
Biography, Drama, Romance
Director: Nora Ephron
Date Shown: Saturday 28 June 2014

Julia Child and Julie Powell - both of whom wrote memoirs - find their lives intertwined. Though separated by time and space, both women are at loose ends.. until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.