Win films at The Rider screening!

There are too many films to screen so at every Clameur Du Cinéma screening we like to give away some movies that have a (maybe tenuous) connection to the film we are screening.

This month’s film is The Rider (2018), a drama in which the main cast are played by the people involved in the real life story that inspired it. One audience member will win a copy of I, Pierre Riviere, Having Slaughtered My Mother, My Sister And My Brother (1975). I,Pierre… is the true story of a man who murdered his family in 1835 as re-enacted by non-professional actors from the area in which the events took place. It’s a fascinating drama-documentary and is accompanied by Back To Normandy (2007), a documentary that catches up with the cast over 30 years later.

You can book tickets for The Rider here.

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November Screening: The Rider (2018)

7pm, Wednesday 28 November 2018.

Written and directed by Chloé Zhao, The Rider, based on the real experiences of it’s main cast, tells the story of a young cowboy’s search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America after a traumatic head injury.

“Movies that blend real life and fiction usually foreground the docu-style realism, using the poetry as grace notes or punctuation. Zhao privileges both, and in so doing creates a work of heartbreaking beauty.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

 

Suitable for ages 15+

Tickets: £6 – Book Here

Halloween Screening: “No Strings Attached”.

Join us for a Halloween double-bill of two brand new movies that hark back to the era of VHS.

One is a horror inflected tech-thriller and the other is a (fairy)tale of evil cults starring one of the most prolific actors currently working. Both films are from solid film-makers who are responsible for some of the most memorable genre films of recent years and both would look entirely at home on the shelf of a video rental store.

You’ll have fun and, if you pre-book, you’ll be entered into a draw for a 7 film Blumhouse blu-ray boxset.

Suitable for ages 18+

The screening takes place at 7pm on Wednesday 31 October. Tickets cost £8 and can be booked here.

I’m Restarting A Film Night!

So, we had a serious case of the gremlins. On 4th July we were all set to screen Beast (2017) and a technical issue got in the way. Quite a decent one, but thankfully people who want to watch movies are also extremely generous and gracious.

Here are the emails that were sent to all attendees…

Email 1

“First of all I would like to say thank you so much for supporting this event. It was great to see a room full of people that wanted to see something a bit different.

I would also like to apologise that the event didn’t happen. I appreciate that you have put time aside to attend, made arrangements for childcare and so on. We have figured out what the technical issue is and are determined to find a solution, although that might require a change of venue. As mentioned, I will shortly process refunds.

The next step is to reorganise, because the film is excellent and deserves to be enjoyed by an audience. Once I have new details I will be in touch. Some of you will have booked for Funny Cow (1 Aug) and Phantom of the Paradise (5 Sep) and, at present these screenings will be taking place, albeit maybe at an alternate venue.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.”

Email 2

“Good Morning

Here is an update regarding the Clameur Du Cinema film screenings;

Following the cancellation of the 4 July screening of Beast (2017), I am pleased to announce that the film will be screened at 7pm on Wednesday 18th July 2018.

Despite identifying the technical problem that led to the event being cancelled we are unable to resolve it and so the location of all screenings will be changed to the Frossard Theatre at Guernsey Museum, Candie. It is a shame to leave the Digital Greenhouse, I have held events there in the past and found it to be a brilliant location. If you are looking to hold a business, creative, media or tech related event I would urge you to contact the Greenhouse and find out how they might be able to accommodate you. You can find more information at www.digitalgreenhouse.gg

The move to Guernsey Museum means that changes have had to be made to our other planned screenings due to prior bookings. Apart from Beast, future screenings will now take place on the last Wednesday of the month rather than the first. Funny Cow will screen on 29 August and Phantom of the Paradise will screen on 26 September. If you have already booked for either of these screenings and cannot make the new dates please contact me for a full refund otherwise your booking will remain in place.

On the plus side, the Frossard Theatre has a larger capacity so there will be 20 more seats available at each screening and having the last Wednesday of the month as our screening slot means that there will be a film on Halloween!

I will shortly send out direct invites regard all our screenings. Please let me know if you wish to be removed from the mailing list. You can always find information about Clameur Du Cinema events at www.cdcgsy.com/screenings

Thank you for your support.”

…so, Beast will be screened, onwards and upwards.

I’m starting a film night!

So, I’ve booked a venue, sorted three films and licensing, and chosen a name. I’m starting a film night.

I’ve screened films before, and talk about them endlessly, but it’s time to actually create a regular film night and share all the new, odd and interesting films that don’t get a look in on Guernsey’s screens. The films are vital, but it’s the audiences that will make it a success and their engagement and enjoyment.

So here we go…

The night is called Clameur Du Cinéma and won’t be as pretentious as it sounds. It takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at Guernsey’s Digital Greenhouse (a great interactive venue) starting on 4 July 2018 with Beast (2017). I’ve also booked Funny Cow (2017) and Phantom of the Paradise (1974). Tickets can be booked here.

Here goes, wish me luck…

Wynter

Desert Warriors and The Problem with Dune (1984).

I’ve seen Dune more times than I really should have.  I’ve gone through phases with it and in 2013 I wrote the following…

“Although not perfect (what film is?) it’s a great big, weird and ballsy piece of sci-fi.  What really feels right is the savage nature of the world in which it’s set both in terms of the political / societal set up and hardness of the dessert planet Arrakis.  Everything in this film is life and death.  Highly Recommended.”

Having finally seen it with an audience, on a screen larger than my TV, I’ve got to admit that it’s a bad movie.  I’ve ended up here because my mind connected a shot of Alia, the young sister of the main character, with Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

Untitled

It’s hard to believe that the reference isn’t intentional, that Lynch isn’t invoking Lean.  Both stories feature outsiders leading desert warriors in military campaigns that are linked to larger political games.  The Middle Eastern influences in Dune are front and centre and so is the importance of a precious natural resource.  When O’Toole’s Lawrence dances, it’s because he’s infatuated with his robes and his shadow is his partner, he can’t help but check his reflection in his dagger.  Alia is similarly lost in herself and that’s why the shot is so striking, it’s the one moment in Dune in which a character isn’t pushing the plot forward or saddled with overly obvious inner monologue.   The two texts touch for one moment.  The big difference is that Lawrence… has subtext (voiced perfectly in that scene) and is alive, Dune is dead because it has none.

 

Their Finest (2017)

Their Finest is now available to buy / rent and I’d solidly recommend it.  It tells the story of a young woman (Gemma Arterton) who is employed to write realistic women’s dialogue (‘slop’ as it’s called in the film) in WWII propaganda reels and starts writing a feature film, based on the experience of two young women, about the evacuation of Dunkirk.

What I liked about the film was that, and this is no claim of documentary realism, it feels like the behind the scenes view of a Powell and Pressburger film… or at least as one would dream it to be.  And that’s the key, the heart and the message are in the right place.  It’s a film that knows the importance of myth and hope.  It’s funny and heartbreaking, there’s love, a bit with a dog and Bill Nighy is on top form doing his best Bill Nighy impression.

Highly Recommended.

Atomic Blonde (2017)

Watching Atomic Blonde I suddenly notice that I’m following the shot rather than the action.  The shot, a prolonged single(ish)-take fight scene, is impressively staged but I’ve lost the drama within it because it isn’t captivating.  The problem is that the central MacGuffin, a list (sigh), is duplicated in function and form with no real sense of priority, deadline or consequence.  No amount of 80’s pop music, neon, face smashing or ‘and Toby Jones’ can hide that.

On a positive note, Charlize Theron outclasses the film she’s in and McAvoy hints at a more interesting Heart of Darkness tale buried under the surface.  Also, the opening ten minutes have a great comic book feel but, alas, the film is intent on not being its own thing and jettisons this in favour of uncomfortably sitting somewhere between John and Jason, unable to mesh the two together.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

I walked out of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets grinning from ear to ear and giggling like a child.  Luc Besson’s adaptation of the Valerian and Laureline comic books is a breath of fresh air after what seems like an eternity of drab fantasy comic book cinema.  This doesn’t feel recycled or ponderous, it feels like a comic book brought to life with tonnes of imagination and wit.

It sometimes feels a bit too much, it’s so packed with ideas that I’m wondering what I missed and I think watching it in 3D was maybe one layer too many.  There’s also a problem with length (a regular gripe this summer) and the charm of witnessing a comic serial unfold is lessened slightly by one long segment that side-tracks proceedings and ‘damsels’ Laureline just once too often.  Which is a real pity because the central pairing of Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne brings a weird offbeat energy to proceedings that feels much more equitable than similar films.

Slight misgivings aside, it’s still a wonderful film.  It’s brash and fun in the same way as Besson’s The Fifth Element.  I can fully see why other people might dislike or even actively hate it, it’s ‘peak Besson’ and that’s a dangerous place for film makers (Mann and Malick both need to step back from the edge) but, for me, it hit all the right notes.

Highly Recommended.