Tag Archives: Brazil

Sci-fi on the Booking Scheme!

With the BFI’s new season Sci-fi: Days of Fear and Wonder kicking off this September we’re taking a look at the Sci-fi films available on the Booking Scheme. Sci-fi can be both a vision into the unknown and a filter through which we can view our own world. It’s an inventive and broad genre and we have a great range of films available that represent some of that diversity. So take a look and head here if you’d like to book one.

Another Earth | Mike Cahill | 2011 | USA | 89 mins

On the night that a second Earth is discovered Rhoda Williams crashes a car causing the death of a child. Wracked with guilt she applies to join the delegation that will visit Earth 2 as a means of escaping her trauma. Before she can leave however she tries to make amends with what she’s done. A subtle and moving film that uses the prospect of a second life as a means to explore how we can say goodbye to the one we have.

Battle Royale | Kinji Fukasaku | 2001 | Japan | 121 mins

A classic cult film, adapted from the manga novel, and a huge influence on films like The Hunger Games. Over the top violence, a high-concept dystopian future and taboo subject matter have all ensured Battle Royale’s reputation. But beneath the comical violence and deranged set-pieces is a bitter satire and superb filmmaking. In a near-future Japan saddled with an out of control youth Battle Royale is the yearly culling of the worst behaved schoolkids – who are shipped of to a remote island and told that only one may leave.

Brazil | Terry Gilliam | 1985 | UK | 137 mins

Filming in 1984 and released the year after it’s hard not to compare Brazil with Orwell’s masterpiece – both share a terrifying vision of a dystopian future controlled by a relentless bureaucracy and enforced by shady government agencies but Gilliam’s film is more satirical and surreal. An unassuming clerk, Sam Lowry, is instructed to resolve the problem caused by a ‘humble’ mistake: the cobbler Archibald Buttle is mistaken for the terrorist Archibald Tuttle and subsequently murdered during an interrogation. But Lowry’s investigation is thwarted by endless paperwork and an overly suspicious secret police who identify him as a potential terrorist just for looking into Tuttle.

Death Watch | Bertrand Tavernier | 1980 | France, West Germany | 125 mins

A Glasgow set (and filmed) social-realist sci-fi tale stars Romy Schneider as Katherine Mortenhoe – a woman who is diagnosed with a rare fatal disease. In a society that has cured almost all illnesses – and where elderly people are taken to die in secluded homes – Katherine’s mortality makes her a celebrity. Desperate TV producers try to buy the rights to make a reality TV show of her last days but Katherine refuses. A particularly determine TV exec (Harry Dean Stanton) convinces Roddy, a cameraman, to have a camera installed in his eye so that Katherine can be filmed against her will.

The Day the Earth Stood Still | Robert Wise | 1951 | USA | 88 mins

A certified classic The Day The Earth Stood Still is a powerful statement on the dangerous conjunction of man’s persistent wars and ever more powerful technology. The citizens of Earth are stunned by the sudden arrival of an alien spaceship. The ship is occupied by only two beings – a humanoid Klaatu and his robot guard. Klaatu is a peaceful emissary who declares he has an important message that he must deliver to all the world leaders. But the United States government reacts with suspicion and after Klaatu is injured they attempt to hold him captive until they reach a decision. Klaatu escapes and sets about learning what he can about the human race before delivering his terrifying warning.

The Fly | Kurt Neumann | 1958 | USA | 89 mins

Andre Delambre – a talented and daring scientist is working with his wife on a matter- transportation device, or teleporter. His initial experiments proving successful Andre decides to build a human sized set of telepods. Eager to deliver a new, instantaneous form of transportation that would change the world Andre decides to test the teleporter. But at the moment he turns the teleporter on a small fly enters the telepod…

Fantastic Voyage | Richard Fleischer | 1966 | USA | 96 mins

In a futuristic twist on the cold war both the Soviet Union and the United States have  discovered how to minaturise people – but only for a short period of time. The one man who knows the secret to indefinite shrinking is Jan Benes – who is held captive behind the Iron Curtain. During a rescue attempt Benes is left dying from a blood clot – the only way to save him is to save him from the inside. A  team of scientists are shrunk down and sent inside Benes blood stream to remove the clot but they only have an hour to complete their mission.

Metropolis | Fritz Lang | 1927 | Germany | 149 mins

One of the earliest and most iconic sci-fi features – Metropolis is finally available in its full version. Remastered and restored featuring its original soundtrack (after a Freddie Mercury scored cut appeared in the 70s) there has never been a better time to revel in the astounding scope of Metropolis. In a futuristic city sharply divided by economic class the son of a rich businessman falls for the prophet of the working classes who envisions a future where the poor will rise up from the underground city they work in.

Planet of the Apes | Franklin J. Schaffner |1968 | USA | 107 mins

A spaceship crew deep in hibernation crash land on an unknown planet where a species of sentient apes have enslaved the human race. The humans on this planet are pre-civilised and lack basic language – the apes are stunned therefore to find a group of intelligent humans. Featuring one of the most iconic endings in all of cinema The Planet of the Apes is a bona-fide classic and has inspired numerous sequels, remakes and re-imaginings, but none match the quality of the original.

Prometheus | Ridley Scott | 2012 | USA, UK |  119 mins

Ridley Scott returns to the Alien universe (sort of) in this ambitious sci-fi thriller. A team of scientists working for the Weyland Corporation are sent to a distant planet to investigate signs of an ancient civilisation. What they discover is far beyond their expectations and seems to indicate the origins of life in the universe.

Sunshine | Danny Boyle | 2007 | UK, USA | 103 mins

Danny Boyle’s intense and claustrophobic thriller sees a small crew of astronauts dispatched to reignite the dying sun with a fusion bomb before the Earth becomes too cold for life. A small mishap on the way leaves the ship out of direct contact with Earth and the isolation affects the crew in different ways. Paranoia, stress and anxiety threaten to derail the expedition.

Tetsuo: The Iron Man | Shin’ya Tsukamoto |1989 | Japan | 64 mins
Also including short – Adventures of Electric Rod Boy

A man with a compulsion for sticking metal into his body is run over by a businessman. Fearing the damage to his reputation this killing would trigger the businessman dumps the body in a ravine believing the metal man to be dead. But over the next few days he discovers his skin his slowly turning into scrap metal as the ‘iron man’ seeks revenge. A surreal and visionary film that has drawn comparisons to Lynch and Cronenberg.

Tetsuo II: Body Hammer | Shin’ya Tsukamoto | 1992 | 83 mins 
Also including short – Adventures of Electric Rod Boy

In this re-imagining of Tetsuo a Japanese salaryman transforms himself into a cybernetic weapon after his son is kidnapped by a gang. While seeking revenge on the thugs the man discovers he is part of a wider experiment into creating a perfect soldier. The 47 minute short film Adventures of Electric Rod Boy is a bout a young boy who is bullied at school because he happens to have a electric rod growing out of his back.

A Trip to the Moon | Georges Mélièes | 1902 | France | 13 mins +
The Extraordinary Voyage | Serge Bromberg & Eric Lange | 2011 | 60 mins

Georges Méliès’ short is widely considered to be the first example of sci-fi and had an extraordinary impact of filmmaking. The film details a group of men who travel to the moon. They first crash into the eye of the man in the moon – one of cinema’s most enduring images, and are then captured by the moon’s inhabitants.
The documentary The Extraordinary Voyage details the creation of the short as well as its influence. Original soundtrack by Air.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea | Irwin Allen | 1961 | USA | 100 mins

Admiral Nelson takes a new nuclear submarine through its paces – after diving to the bottom of the sea the submarine, the Seaview, surfaces and discovers the sky around the earth is burning. Upon their return the crew learn that the Van Allen Radioation Belt that surrounds the earth has caught fire and will boil the oceans if the fire is not extinguished. It is determined that the fire could be dissipated by a nuclear bomb fired at the centre of the flames. The location is right over the Marianas Trench and the Seaview is deployed in a race against time to reach the launch point before the heat kills the planet. Their journey is beset by sea monsters and saboteurs who want to sea the end of the world.

The Wall | Julian Pölsler | 2012 | Austria, Germany | 103 mins

Die Wand

A low-key sci-fi fable, The Wall is more concerned with emotion and character than spectacle or technology. A woman goes on a holiday with two friends to a remote cabin. One morning her companions drive into town to get some supplies. By the afternoon they have not returned and the woman becomes concerned. Heading out on the road she suddenly and inexplicably encounters a forcefield that prevents her from getting any further. She realises she is trapped alone surrounded by an invisible wall and must adapt to fend for herself. Life beyond the wall appears frozen and the woman must learn to live with solitude.

Woman in the Moon | Fritz Lang | 1929 | Germany | 163 mins

The first serious science-fiction feature film Lang made the most of contemporary scientific theory at the time to make his film as accurate as possible. Though mistakes were made (the film used Peter Hansen’s theory that the far side of the moon would have a breathable atmosphere) the film is nevertheless remarkable. A team of corporate spies force themselves into a scientific exploration because of rumours that the Moon is full of gold. Their interference in the mission threatens to jeopardise the whole crew once they land on the moon. Available now thanks to a sublime restoration from Eureka.

Book a film.

Best of British

On April 1st BFFS is hosting a 35mm screening of This Is England at Film Unit, one of Sheffield’s community cinemas. The  screening will be introduced by Warp Films Head and BFFS Patron Mark Herbert who will also take part in a Q&A after the screening, along with special guests.
Before the main feature we will also be screening two short, Paddy Considine’s Dog Altogether and Dr. Easy from film-making collective SHYNOLA.
This is very special evening to help BFFS raise funds for our charitable work, and we are honoured to be supported by Warp Films. You can find out more about the event here.

To mark the event we’re taking a look at a few of the best British films available on the BFFS Booking Scheme.

Brazil | Terry Gilliam | 1985 | UK | 132 min

Gilliam’s surreal, satirical adaptation of 1984 (an original title was 1984 and a 1/2) is one of the most iconic dystopian films ever made. Dreaming up an impressively macabre futuristic city Gilliam’s film is an extraordinary triumph. The unfortunate protagonist is Sam Lowry, a lowly office worker whose neighbour, Harry Buttle, is mistakenly arrested by the authorities who are seeking the terrorist Harry Tuttle. When Lowry tries to rectify the mistake by reporting it to the government he is quickly marked as a terrorist and enemy of the state – a far simpler solution in the eyes of the bureaucratic engine than it is to actually admit they made a mistake. Forced to go on the run Sam encounters a beautiful worker, Jill, the same woman he has been dreaming about for months.

Dreams of a Life | Carol Morley | 2011 | UK | 95 min

When the body of Joyce Vincent was found in her Central London apartment 3 years after she had died with the television still on, Carol Morley set out to investigate who Joyce was and how this could have happened. A startling documentary revealing the truth of isolation even within the busiest and most populated areas, Dreams of a Life is also a celebration of the life of a woman who had become forgotten, even by her friends. Her outstanding debts for electricity, rent and everything else were consistently deferred but it was three years before anyone attempted to find out why they weren’t being paid. Because it had been so long since she had died a cause of death couldn’t be determined so Morley seeks out ex lovers, colleagues and friends to try to determine how and why a 30 year old woman could die in Central London and no one notice.

The Full Monty | Peter Cattaneo | 1997 | UK, USA | 91 min

After losing his job due to the closure of the steel mill at which he worked Gaz resorts to stealing scrap metal and selling it on to earn a living. Even with his illegal trading he is struggling to keep up with child support payments for his son Tom, who lives with Gaz’s ex wife. After seeing a huge queue outside a touring performance of Chippendale’s striptease act Gaz decides to launch his own version and soon recruits a group of ex steel workers and other working class men to create a locals version. In a bid to publicise the event to a group of sceptical women Gaz inadvertendly promises that the men will go ‘The Full Monty’, much to the anger of his fellow performers.

My Name is Joe | Ken Loach | 1998 | UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany | 105 min

Joe, a recovering alcoholic from one of Glasgow’s poorest neighbourhoods, meets a social worker named Sarah. Though Sarah has seen many men like Joe, who still makes his living on the wrong side of the law, she is slowly won over by him. The first time she visits his house he plays her classical music explaining he discovered it after stealing tapes from a shop to sell on, but since no one wanted to buy them he kept them. Joe is naturally kind-hearted but has grown up in an area where unemployed is rife and crime is one of the few options to make a living. His best friend, Liam, is in debt to a drug dealer and Joe insists on trying to help, even if it jeopardises his attempts at going straight. As with the best of Loach’s films My Name Is Joe is an honest, real look at both the struggles of life and the determination and spirit that keeps people going. Both Sarah and Joe are under no illusions as to the likelihood of a happy future together but nevertheless give it a shot. A heartfelt, impassioned and moving film that features one of Peter Mullan’s best performances; for which he was awarded Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival.

Notes on a Scandal | Richard Eyre | 2006 | UK | 92 min

Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett lead this Oscar nominated psychological thriller. Barbara (Dench), a veteran and wearied teacher lives alone and is viewed by many of her colleagues and students as a bitter old woman. The arrival of a new teacher, Sheba (Blanchett) breaks Barbara’s seclusion. At first Sheba becomes the main subject of Barbara’s disgruntled attacks which she diligently notes down in a diary. Yet Sheba’s honest charm slowly wins Barbara over, much to her resentment, and Barbara finds herself more and more dependent on Sheba’s friendship. By chance she discovers Sheba is having an affair with one of her students but rather than report it Barbara finds an opportunity for manipulation.  Justly lauded upon release Notes on a Scandal remains a gripping drama centred on tremendous performances from Dench and Blanchett.

A Touch of Class | Melvin Frank | 1973 | UK | 106 min

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An Oscar-winning romantic comedy A Touch of Class centres on Steve, a reasonably happily married man and his hapless affair with the recently divorced Vicki. Their initial liaison, while on holiday in Spain, is a comedy of blunders but on return to London they settle into a more functioning set-up. For a while they have the perfect love affair, uncomplicated and enjoyable until they both realise they are falling in love.

Wetherby | David Hare | 1985 | UK | 102 min

At a dinner party hosted by Jean (Vanessa Redgrave) , a somewhat withdrawn and lonely teacher – though she hides this as best as she can – one of the guests engages her attention by his enigmatic and singular personality. The following morning the same man turns up at her house unannounced  and commits suicide. Before the dinner Jean had never met the man before and assumed he was the guest of Marcia (Judi Dench) and Stanley (Ian Holm) but when she tries to find out more about him it turns out no one had ever seen him before. Her obsession with the man slowly unveils some dark truths lurking within the community as well as Jean’s own past. A masterful slow-burner, utterly gripping and an exemplary showcase of British acting talent.

New MPLC titles and a fantastic screening offer!

To celebrate the addition of 25 new titles to the MPLC collection we have a exciting 3 for 2 offer on all our MPLC titles! This fantastic offer is available to all BFFS Members and Associates. With Oscar winners, classic musicals, Wes Anderson, the Coen Brothers, cult dramas and sci-fi spectaculars there’s a fantastic variety of titles to choose from.  Read on for information about the new titles and full details on the screening offer. Continue reading