New year, new films

God's Pocket

A quick round up of some of the new titles that have joined the Booking Scheme this January.

God’s Pocket | Jon Slattery | 2014 | USA | 88 mins

Directed by Jon Slattery and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Tuturro and Christina Hendricks God’s Pocket is a crime drama with a dark heart and a streak of black humour running through it.  Mickey (Hoffman), a blue collar worker, tries to cover things up when his stepson, who nobody liked, is killed in a suspicious construction accident, but a local reporter senses that something’s amiss and begins to investigate.

Stations of the Cross | Dietrich Brüggemann | 2014 | Germany | 110 mins

Awarded the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival 2014 Stations of the Cross is a gripping religious drama following 14 year old Maria who in the struggle between her strict religous upbringing and her desire to be more like her school mates decides a great sacrifice is what is needed. Filmed in 14 single takes each symbolising one of the 14 stations Jesus travelled through on his journey to the cross, Stations of the Cross is an audacious and spectacularly directed film that portrays both the dangers and appeal of a life under dogmatism.
Received one of the top scores at ICO Screening Days, November 2014.

Human Capital | Paolo Virzi | 2013 | Italy, France | 105 mins

After a very well-received screening at the Cinema For All National Conference Human Capital is now available to screen!
On a wintry night in Northern Italy a cyclist is struck and killed while the driver flees. From this point Human Capital works back to reveal the web of events that led to the death. Dino, a man desperate to reach the upper classes, takes his daughter to her boyfriend’s house where he meets the father – a hedge fund manager who is just the sort of man Dino wants to be. From there the two families become more and more entangled and their individual desires and anxieties trigger the tragedy at the heart of the film.

Norte, The End of History | Lav Diaz | 2014 | Philippines | 250 mins

Norte, The End of History

A rethinking of Crime and Punishment Lav Diaz’s film depicts the kind of details most films eschew. Fabian, a law student, privileged but nonetheless indebted to Magda, murders the moneylender in a fit of rage inspired by Fabian liberetarian views, inspired by Fukuyama’s declaration of ‘the end of history’. Joaquain a poor family man, also owes money to Magda after taking out a loan to try and open a cafe. It is Joaquain who is picked as the likely culprit for Magda’s murder and imprisoned for life but it is Fabian who seems to suffer more, plagued by the guilt and terror of his own actions.

Back to the Garden | Jon Sanders | 2013 | UK | 95 mins

A sombre, autumnal British drama about a memorial gathering held one year after the death of a respected professor. His wife has gathered together close friends and family but in the year since they were last together their relationships have grown entangled, strained, or difficult. The largely improvised scenes feel acutely real and add to the delicate, thoughtful atmosphere of this quietly moving film.

The Last Emperor | Bernardo Bertolucci | 1987 | China, Italy, UK, France | 156 mins

The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci’s epic portrayal of the life of Pu Yi, the Chinese Emperor who was crowned as a 2 year old and whose reign was brought to an end by the Xinhai Revolution, marking him as the last Chinese Emperor. While a prisoner under the Red Army Pu Yi recounts his life story and the tumultuous changes China bore.
Awarded 9 Oscars including Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography.

Fruitvale Station | Ryan Coogler | 2013 | USA | 82 mins

The devastating true story of Oscar Grant, a black youth shot by police after an altercation at a train station. Fruitvale Station depicts Oscar’s last day and Michael B. Jordan’s tremendous lead performance adds weight to this already tragic tale. Universally acclaimed Fruitvale Station conveys the tragedy of both Oscar’s death and the wider social problems stemming from institutional racism.

Welcome to New York | Abel Ferrara | 2014 | USA | 125 mins

Gérard Depardieu impresses as a thinly veiled Dominique Strauss-Kahn figure in Abel Ferrara’s lurid and provocative attack on the corruption of wealth and power. Depardieu plays a wealthy and influential French executive named Devereaux whose excess fuelled lifestyle, in which he believes he is entitled anything, and anyone, he wants, is brought tumbling down after he is accused by a hotel maid of sexual assault.

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence | Nagisa Ôshima | 1983 | UK, Japan, New Zealand | 118 mins

David Bowie gives a career-best performance in this arresting drama about a Japenese POW camp. The camp is run by a fierce and uncomprimising commander who believes the prisoners are dishonourable and cowardly for surrendering. When British soldier Jack Celliers (Bowie) is interred in the camp he starts to instigate small rebellions against the guards.

Hide Your Smiling Faces | Daniel Patrick Carbone | 2013 | USA | 77 mins

Hide Your Smiling Faces is a coming of age drama in the vein of classics such as Stand By Me in which the spectre of mortality casts a shadow over the lives of the characters. Inspired by an incident in the director’s own life Hide Your Smiling Faces is about Eric and Tommy, two brothers who, over the course of one summer are irreversibly affected by the death of a schoolmate.

Hide Your Smiling Faces