Category Archives: Film

ON THE GROUND SCOTLAND – CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS

Do you want to develop the audience of your community cinema and raise your profile? Interested in how to find and build relationships with partners that could help take your cinema to the next level?

Join Cinema For All online on Sunday 31 October 11am-1:30pm for our first On the Ground Scotland event, as we explore community cinema collaborations and the creative ways that groups have worked together. You will also gain top tips and inspiration for starting your own creative partnerships, that help one another flourish.

Collaborating with other organisations and community cinemas can be a great way to reach new audiences, raise the profile of your cinema, or even share the workload of a more ambitious idea. But where do you go to find the right group to partner with, and how do you make sure that you both get what you need out of working together?

REGISTER HERE FOR FREE

The online event features a masterclass session, led by Abi and Ellie from the Cinema For All team, along with an interactive panel discussion featuring inspiring speakers from community cinemas in Scotland who have created a range of brilliant events through collaboration.

Attendees will also have access to a preview screening of Oliver Sacks: His Own Life courtesy of our friends at Altitude.

Programme for event:

  • 11:00 – Welcome and introductions: A chance to connect with your fellow community cinemas
  • 11:15 – Creative Collaborations panel: Hear from other Scottish community cinemas as they share their experience in the power of working together to achieve amazing screenings or try something new. This is also your chance to ask questions and gain insight from your peers.
  • 12:15 – Break
  • 12:25 – Creative Collaborations masterclass: A 45 minute masterclass with Abi and Ellie from Cinema For All exploring the benefits of partnerships, with practical tips and inspiration.
  • 13:20 – Wrap up and final thoughts.

This workshop will take place on Zoom and will be BSL interpreted and captioned.

Please note, you do not have to be based in Scotland to attend and there is no limit to the number of group members, so please feel free to invite the rest of your team. We look forward to seeing you there!

This session is part of Cinema For All’s BFI-funded support scheme, On the Ground, connecting emerging or existing community cinemas from across the region to share skills, knowledge and expertise.  Any questions please get in touch with Ellie at ellie@cinemaforall.org.uk.

Supported by the BFI,  awarding funds from the National Lottery.

Dear White People

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE EARLY WINDOW

A satirical, hip and pointedly funny film, Dear White People follows four black people at a predominantly white Ivy League University and the culture war that breaks out between the host of a controversial radio show “Dear White People” and the university’s humour magazine when they organise a black-face Halloween party. The debut feature film by writer/director Justin Simien, Dear White People premiered to substantial acclaim at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award. Simien has been described as a Spike Lee for the new generation and his film serves as both a vital and illuminating commentary on race relations and casually upends the stereotypical portrayal of black people on screen we are usually faced with.

Dear White People

Dear White People’s release woes have bought into focus the struggle to get stories about and by black people into cinemas – the journey to UK exhibition has been a long and arduous one, until the New Black Film Collective jumped in to take on the role of distributor for the first time. Though its theatrical release is limited, Dear White People is a film that deserves to be more widely seen and is likely to be embraced by the community cinema sector, which has a long history of supporting diverse titles and important stories.

Cinema For All is proud to be able to offer Dear White People for DVD bookings now.

With thanks to the New Black Film Collective.

Book the film!

Amy

AMY COMING TO CINEMA FOR ALL!

Asif Kapadia’s Amy has been praised by critics as a sensitive and perceptive examination of the circumstances surrounding the singer’s extraordinarily public life, folding back the layers of tabloid hyperbole to take a level and human look at the woman at the centre of it all. The story of Amy Winehouse’s incredible career is one of mountainous peaks of commercial and critical acclaim – and devastating chasms of heartbreak and excess. Impressing and moving commentators since premiering in June, Peter Bradshaw called the film ‘a tragic masterpiece’.

Kapadia’s Senna cemented the director’s reputation as a documentarian committed to clarity and even-handedness, and Amy is another example of his transparent and comprehensive style. Forgoing a typical talking-head approach, Kapadia’s film consists entirely of footage from Winehouse’s life and audio interviews with those closest to her. Ranging from broadcast and awards film to the most intimate and touching moments, a real life behind the media speculation and stage persona is revealed. It is this level of access and Kapadia’s determination to avoid sensation that makes Amy such a remarkable account of a life lived in the spotlight.

Drawing on the experiences and views of both the singer herself and the people she was surrounded by, the emotional punch of Amy is undeniable. Perhaps it is hindsight that lends her story the tenor of a tragedy – a sense of inevitability that hangs heavy over her early successes – but even with Kapadia’s unbiased presentation of the facts the gaggles of industry movers and players, friends and even family members emerge as portents of her undoing. Her father Mitch and husband Blake Fielder-Civil were both raked over the coals by a media in full hue and cry following her death, and in Amy both emerge as troubling figures: an absentee father who reappeared following her commercial success and famously advised her against entering rehab, and a similarly itinerant husband who drew Winehouse into crack and heroin use. These depictions have caused controversy – Mitch Winehouse, who was persuaded to cooperate with the director by his admiration for Kapadia’s Senna, has spoken out publicly about his portrayal.

As can be expected, much of Amy is harrowing and profoundly sad – another example of the media’s voracious appetite to consume the vulnerabilities of those in the limelight and the disturbing tendency of public opinion to prurience and pursuit. But these lessons remain edifying, even if they seem hard to learn – and Kapadia’s documentary is a valuable reminder of the human cost of this hunger.

Like other recent documentaries focused on unique and seemingly doomed musicians such as Brett Morgan’s depiction of Kurt Cobain in Montage of Heck and Jeff Feurezig’s The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Kapadia’s film attempts to draw in closer to the reality of its subject’s life whilst recounting a remarkable talent. It is in the meeting of those two factors that Amy finds its particularly affecting heft. Songs that were poignant during her life and crushingly sad following her death are imbued with a haunting resonance when viewed through the events leading up to her demise; Kapadia’s skilful and exacting approach to laying out a complete story and his accomplishment in crafting compelling narratives combine to make a heartbreaking eulogy and tribute to one of the 21st century’s most fascinating performers.

Composed with the tautness of a thriller and the compassion of a sincere attempt to understand an individual swathed in mythology and the judgements of others, Amy’s messages go beyond the simple examination of the life of a star to ask us to question our appetites for, and entitlements to, the inner lives of those who entertain us. Arriving in UK cinemas on 3 July we are thrilled that we are able to offer this fantastic film to Cinema For All members from 14 August.

 

Heartbeats

The films of Xavier Dolan

In a celebration of the young Quebocois auteur, whose fifth film Mommy arrives in cinemas this week, we take a look at Xavier Dolan’s intriguing back catalogue, all of which are available from the Cinema For All Booking Scheme.

Tom at the Farm

Dolan, who turns 26 this week, is already at work on his sixth feature, continuing an extraordinarily prolific streak of work in the last few years. Dolan rarely solely directs his films, often starring in, producing, writing, editing and even designing the costumes. Dolan’s films are transgressive, unique and bold works of cinema that offer much for the film society audience to discover.

I Killed My Mother

Dolan’s debut (which premiered to an 8 minute standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival) centres on a mother-son relationship – though of a very different sort than that in Mommy. Made when Dolan was just 19, I Killed My Mother is partly autobiographical and explores the deteriorating relationship between Hubert and his mother Chantale. Dolan has said he felt the need to make the film before he was 20 to keep alive the adolescent angst that inspired the film. Hubert is 16 – a young gay man on the cusp of breaking away from his mother, though doing so remains a painful experience. The film is suffused with the miseries of teenage angst – Hubert makes a confessional series of video diaries about his withering relationship, the self-indulgent, self-important nature of them captures the preciousness of youth. Dolan’s closeness to the film’s subject gives the film a raw and honest validity.

Heartbeats

Dolan is unafraid to wear his influences on his sleeve. Heartbeats owes more than a little to the Nouvelle Vague, as well as the romances of Wong Kar Wai.

Heartbeats presents an unconsummated love triangle: best friends Francis (Dolan) and Marie both fall for the same man, Nicolas, whom they meet at a party. Nicolas becomes friends with them both and over the course of a summer Francis and Marie vie for the affections of Nicolas until things reach a head on a holiday to Nicolas’s family’s estate. Nicolas himself is either oblivious to the effects he is having, or enjoys it, and by giving in to neither of their advances, or even by making his sexual orientation clear, he allows the battle to continue.
Heartbeats is a  stylised update of Jules et Jim complete with surreal fantasy secrets and a bag of cinematic tricks that show Dolan experimenting with filmmaking in a new way.

Laurence Anyways

Laurence Anyways

Set over ten years this is an exploration of love on a  grand scale. Laurence Anyways starts with Laurence telling Frederique, Laurence’s girlfriend of many years, that he wants to transition from a man to a woman. Frederique’s initial reaction is of sadness and she does not believe she can still love Laurence as a woman. Over the course of the following decade their relationship fluctuates, they initially get back together, drift apart, lose touch and reconnect. Throughout all of this Laurence finds her way as a woman seeking acceptance and the chance to live as she has always wanted to.

Tom at the Farm

Tom at the Farm is a wild and unnerving Hitchcockian thriller, complete with a Bernard Hermann-esque score and a very unusual family. Dolan plays the eponymous Tom, whose boyfriend Guillaume has recently died. Tom heads to Guillaume’s family farm for the funeral but discovers that the family don’t know who he is, and Guillaume’s mother is furious that his (non-existent) girlfriend has not arrived for the funeral. Only Francis, the intimidating older brother, has any notion of who Tom really is and over the course of, first days, then weeks, brings Tom under his control.

Although Tom’s presence is both unexpected and unexplained, Guillaume’s mother welcomes him wholeheartedly and insists he stays. Whether out of a feeling of obligation, or out of loneliness Tom finds himself unable to leave the farm even as life on the farm becomes increasingly dangerous and sinister.
Tom at the Farm is a superb thriller, mysterious, uncomfortable and deeply strange, and proves Dolan’s talents can break into new genres.