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Summer 2015 Mini-Season

It is a bit odd calling this a "mini-season" when you consider that it had 15 films, just one shy of the main seasons. This didn't stop us from offering an even more diverse selection of films than we offer in the main season, and yet again , we must thank the BFI Film Audience Network, via the Film Hub North West Central. Without their support, the scope and the number of films would have been unachievable.
 

The Rocket

12 | Laos | 2013 | Lao
Drama
Director: Kim Mordaunt
Date Shown: Wednesday 8 April 2015

A boy who is believed to bring bad luck to everyone around him leads his family and two new friends through Laos to find a new home. After a calamity-filled journey through a land scarred by the legacy of war, to prove he's not bad luck he builds a giant rocket to enter the most exciting and dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival.


Nostalgia for the Light

E | Chile | 2010 | Spanish, English
Documentary, Drama
Director: Patricio Guzm
Date Shown: Wednesday 15 April 2015

In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life. Nearby, a group of women sift through the sand searching for body parts of loved ones, dumped unceremoniously by Pinochet's regime.


Offside

PG | Iran | 2006 | Persian
Comedy, Drama, Sport
Director: Jafar Panahi
Date Shown: Wednesday 29 April 2015

A group of Iranian girls who attempts to enter Tehran's Azadi Stadium dressed as boys in order to watch a big football match but some get caught and arrested. After the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran, women are not allowed to enter the stadiums.

A quietly intelligent and humorous alternative look at football - The Guardian


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Ulysses' Gaze

PG | Greece | 1995 | English, Greek, Bulgarian, Albanian, Serbian, Romanian, Kurdish
Drama, War
Director: Theodoros Angelopoulos
Date Shown: Friday 8 May 2015

A, a Greek filmmaker living in exile in the United States, returns to his native Ptolemas to attend a special screening of one of his extremely controversial films. But A's real interest lies elsewhere - the mythical reels of the very first film shot by the Manakia brothers, who, at the dawn of the age of cinema, tirelessly criss-crossed the Balkans and, without regard for national and ethnic strife, recorded the region's history and customs. Did these primitive, never-developed images really exist? If so, where are they?
"Why A? It's an alphabetical choice. Every filmmaker remembers the first time he looked through the viewfinder of a camera. It is a moment that is not so much the discovery of cinema--but the discovery of the world. But there comes a moment when the filmmaker begins to doubt his own capacity to see things, when he no longer knows if his gaze is right and innocent." -Theo Angelopoulos


Omar

15 | Palestine | 2013 | Arabic, Hebrew
Drama, Thriller
Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Date Shown: Friday 15 May 2015

Omar (Adam Bakri) is a Palestinian baker who routinely climbs over the separation wall to meet up with his girl Nadja (Leem Lubany). By night, he's either a freedom fighter or a terrorist - you decide - ready to risk his life to strike at the Israeli military with his childhood friends Tarek (Eyad Hourani) and Amjad (Samer Bisharat). Arrested after the killing of an Israeli soldier and tricked into an admission of guilt by association, he agrees to work as an informant. So begins a dangerous game - is he playing his Israeli handler (Waleed F. Zuaiter) or will he really betray his cause? And who can he trust on either side?

has the intimacy of a romance and the moral complexity of a le Carre story - The Guardian


Beasts of the Southern Wild

12 | USA | 2012 | English
Drama, Fantasy
Director: Benh Zeitlin
Date Shown: Wednesday 20 May 2015

Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in the Bathtub, a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink's tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he's no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack, temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink's health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.

really exhilarating - The Guardian


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Letter from an Unknown Woman

U | USA | 1948 | English
Drama, Romance
Director: Max Ophuls
Date Shown: Friday 29 May 2015

In Vienna, about 1900, a dashing man arrives at his flat, instructing his manservant that he will leave before morning: the man is Stefan Brand, formerly a concert pianist, planning to leave Vienna to avoid a duel. His servant gives him a letter from an unknown woman, which he reads. In flashbacks we see the lifelong passion of Lisa Berndle for him: first as a girl who was his neighbor; next as a young woman who, in secret, has his child; then as a mature woman who meets him again and abandons husband and son to be with him. Each time he does not remember who she is or that they have ever met. By morning, he has finished the letter, and her husband awaits satisfaction.


Barbara

12 | Germany | 2012 | German
Drama
Director: Christian Petzold
Date Shown: Monday 1 June 2015

In 1980s East Germany, Barbara is a Berlin doctor banished to a country medical clinic for applying for an exit visa. Deeply unhappy with her reassignment and fearful of her co-workers as possible Stasi informants, Barbara stays aloof, especially from the good natured clinic head, Andre. Instead, Barbara snatches moments with her lover as she secretly prepares to defect one day. Despite her plans, Barbara learns more about her life that puts her desires and the people around her in a new light. With her changing perspective, Barbara finds herself facing a painful moral dilemma that forces her to choose what she values.

a cool thriller-turned-melodrama - British Film Institute


Nashville

15 | USA | 1975 | English
Drama, Music
Director: Robert Altman
Date Shown: Friday 12 June 2015

This movie tells the intersecting stories of various people connected to the music business in Nashville. Barbara Jean is the reigning queen of Nashville but is near collapse. Linnea and Delbert Reese have a shaky marriage and 2 deaf children. Opal is a British journalist touring the area. These and other stories come together in a dramatic climax.


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BAFTA Shorts 2015

15 | UK | 2015 | English
Animation, Comedy, Drama
Director: Various
Date Shown: Wednesday 17 June 2015

A collection of eight the best short films of the year, made by first-time directors, covering a variety of subjects, as selected by BAFTA. They mix live action and animation, drama and fun.

This is an incredible set of minimovies that leaves most multiplex flicks in the dust - Londonist


Like Water For Chocolate

15 | Mexico | 1992 | Spanish, English
Drama, Romance
Director: Alfonso Arau
Date Shown: Friday 26 June 2015

This movie is about how life used to be in Mexico. It is a love story between Pedro and Tita, and why they coudn't get married because Tita's mother wanted her oldest daughter to get married first, and have Tita to stay and take care of her. It shows how marriage was imposed on those times, and how a love between two people can change everything. This picture set a new epoch in Mexican movies all over the world.


Mostly Martha

15 | Germany | 2001 | German, Italian
Comedy, Romance, Drama
Director: Sandra Nettelbeck
Date Shown: Saturday 27 June 2015

In a German restaurant, Chef Martha Klein is the undisputed supreme ruler of the kitchen staff and woe to any customer who would dare criticize her cooking. Her life is firmly centered around cooking which takes on a obsessive level with stubborn single mindedness. Even when she is ordered to take therapy, she still constantly talks about her work and the iron clad control she relishes in her task. All that changes when her sister dies in a car accident, leaving her 8 year old daughter, Lina. Martha takes her niece in and while making enquiries for her estranged father, she struggles to care for this stubbornly headstrong child. Meanwhile at work, a new chef named Mario is hired on and Martha feels threatened by this unorthodox intruder. The pressures of both her private and work life combine to create a situation that will fundamentally call her attitudes and life choices into question while these interlopers into her life begin to profoundly change it.


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The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

15 | Philippines | 2005 | Filipino, Tagalog, English
Comedy, Drama
Director: Auraeus Solito
Date Shown: Monday 29 June 2015

Can a 12-year old lad who wishes he were a girl navigate the mean streets of Manila? Maxi cooks, cleans, and sews for his father and older brothers who are petty criminals. He's sweet, clever and hardworking, at ease with being gay, pinning a flower in his hair, swinging his hips when he walks, vamping with friends. He's seen adults hug and kiss and he's watched romantic movies, so on the verge of puberty, he develops a crush on Victor, a kindly young cop. Maxi's heart and loyalties are on a collision course: Victor is investigating crimes that lead him to Maxi's family. In the land of the morning, is there a place for this child of the sun returning?


Keltoum's Daughter

12 | France | 2001 | French, Arabic
Drama
Director: Mehdi Charef
Date Shown: Wednesday 15 July 2015

An extraordinary story of a young woman raised in Switzerland who travels back to Algeria, her birthplace, to meet and kill her natural mother, who abandoned her shortly after birth. Along the way, she is exposed to the brutality of desert life and, in particular, the abuses that men heap upon women in fundamentalist, third world countries. Birth, death and life in general, have little meaning as people struggle for survival. The scenery is stark but at the same time beautiful and the faces of the characters that she meet are marvelous. The film was made in Tunisia, as it does not cast a particularly good light on Algerian men and probably could not have gotten permission to be filmed in Algeria where Sharia is the law of the land.


Pauline at the Beach

15 | France | 1983 | French
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director: Eric Rohmer
Date Shown: Wednesday 29 July 2015

Fifteen year old Pauline and her older cousin, model-shaped Marion, go to the emptying Atlantic coast for an autumn holiday. Marion ignores the approaches of a surfer and falls for Henri, a hedonist who is only interested in a sexual adventure and drops her soon. Pauline's little romance with a young man (Sylvain) is also spoiled by Henri.

a film of devastating irony and deep compassion - Chicago Reader


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