Tag Archives: The Wall

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.

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A New Wave of Booking Scheme Titles

We’re very excited to now have 18 new titles available to book now on the Booking Scheme from our new partnership with New Wave Films! We’ll also be adding two more from them in the coming months, An Episode in the Life of an Iron picker will be available to book from the 14 July and When I Saw You (which we will be showing at the Booking Scheme Preview Day) will be available to book from the 25 August.
The collection includes a varied collection of some of the most highly regarded world cinema of recent years.

Here’s a quick round-up of what’s on offer:

5 Broken Cameras | Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi | Pal, Isr, Fra, Net | 2011 | 94 mins
Available now

Winning the Audience Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2012 and nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2013, 5 Broken Cameras follows a Palestinian farmer, Emad Burnat, and his non-violent resistance in the face of the Israeli army. Using footage collected over 5 years and 5 different cameras, 5 Broken Cameras documents first-hand the violence and intimidation witnessed against people living near the barrier.

A Christmas Tale | Arnaud Desplechin | France | 2008 | 150 mins
Available now

Junon, the matriarch of a bitter, feuding family learns she needs an urgent bone transplant and so, over Christmas, brings the family together. Amidst tensions involving mental illness, loss and banishment, the Vuillard family learn of Junon’s illness, but the decision about who will donate, and whether to go ahead with the operation, sparks bitter rivalries, arguments and tremendous fallings out. Cannes favourite Arnaud Desplechin, directs Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Almaric in this dark comedy. The question really is, who will give their mother the greatest gift this Noel?

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker | Danis Tanovic | Bosnia & Herzegovnia, France, Slovenia | 2013 | 75 mins
Available 25 August

A poor Roma family faces further troubles when the mother Seneda is told she needs an urgent operation after a miscarriage but they lack medical insurance and can’t afford the hospital bills. Tanovic makes use of non-professional actors who are playing out an episode from their own lives.

Caesar Must Die | Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani | Italy | 2012 | 76 mins
Available now
The latest film from the Taviani brothers, who have been making films for over 60 years, Caesar Must Die picked up the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012. The film tells the story of preparations for a performance of Julius Caesar inside a high security male prison. As Shakespeare’s play is recreated on the stage, it is also given life in the experiences and memories of the prisoners.

Elena | Andrey Zyvagintsev | Russia | 2011 | 109 mins
Available now
Elena is the dutiful housewife of Vladimir. Elena and Vladimir met later in life and both have children from previous marriages. They come from drastically different backgrounds and Elena’s marriage has brought her financial security. When Vladimir has a sudden heart attack he finds himself reunited with his estranged daughter and, in a surprise move, rewrites his will to give everything to her. Elena starts to panic for her part in the will which she has been counting on to ensure she can support her unemployed son, whom Vladimir hates. Winning the 2011 award for Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival, Elena is a daring film about familial ties.

How I Ended This Summer | Aleksey Popogrebskiy | Russia | 2010 | 130 mins
Available now


Existential thriller How I Ended This Summer won the BFI Film Festival Film of the Year Award in 2010. Recent graduate Pavel and seasoned meteorologist Sergei have to work at a polar station on a desolate and deserted island in the Arctic Ocean along together for several months. Almost abandoned on this remote outpost, with failing equipment and an unclear purpose paranoia and suspicion mounts, and the two start to hold important information back from each other.

In The Fog | Sergey Loznitsa | Bel, Lat, Rus, Ger, Net | 2012 | 127 mins
Available now
At the Western Frontiers of the USSR in 1942, the region is under German occupation. Sushenya, a rail worker, is arrested with a group of suspected saboteurs and is the only one that is spared from hanging. His survival draws suspicion from the resistance fighters who believe he is a traitor and plot revenge. In the continual unexpected twist of events Sushenya is forced to make a moral choice under immoral circumstances.

Le Quattro Volte | Michelangelo Frammartino | Ita, Ger, Swi | 2010 | 88 mins
Available now


Le Quattro Volte quietly tells the story of the last days of an old shepherd who lives with his goats in a medieval village in the beautiful south of Italy. The passing of time and life is told through beautiful imagery and wavering between drama and comedy.

Like Someone in Love | Abbas Kiarostami | Fra, Jap | 2012 | 109 mins
Available now
Only Kiarostami’s second film to be made outside Iran, Like Someone in Love is set in Tokyo and concerns the relationship between an elderly professor and a young prostitute over the course of a day. Though he has hired her Takeshi has no interest in sleeping with Akiko but solely in having some company. Nevertheless Akiko’s jealous boyfriend is determined to confront Takeshi.

The Missing Picture | Rithy Panh | Cambodia, France | 2013 | 92 mins
Available now
This Oscar nominated documentary explores the director’s experiences of life under the Khmer Rouge. Mixing archive footage with hand-made clay figures to recreate scenes never filmed or footage since lost, this is a deeply personal and affecting portrait of life under dictatorship.

Nostalgia for the Light | Patricio Guzmán | Chile | 2010 | 157 mins
Available now


The Atacama Desert in Chile sees two distinct groups of people searching; one is a group of astronauts looking for answers in the cosmos, the other is a group of mothers, survivors of Pinochet’s dictatorship, searching for the bodies of their loved ones who may or may not have been buried in the desert. A stunning documentary, full of hallucinatory images and rare insight.

Once Upon A Time In Anatolia | Nuri Bilge Ceylan | Turkey, Bosnia & Herzegovnia | 2011 | 157 mins
Available now
Over the course of one long night a convoy of policeman, a medical examiner and the state prosecutor escort two prisoners over the Anatolian steppes. The prisoners have confessed to murder but are reticent about giving away the location of the body. It is not clear if they are simply forgetful, lost or trying to buy themselves times. As the night wears on the mystery deepens but Ceylan’s focus is on the effects of the crime on those who surround it than with the crime itself. A masterful, entrancing film.

Silence | Pat Collins | Ireland, Germany | 2012 | 87 mins
Available now
Eoghan is a sound recordist who is tasked with recording background noise devoid of any man-made sounds. To do so he returns to rural Ireland where he grows up and travels around the countryside. Along the way he encounters others and is drawn into considering his own past: why he left and what he left behind.

Sleep Furiously | Gideon Koppel | UK | 2008 | 94 mins
Available now


Koppel’s documentary is a loving study of the small town in Ceredigion where he grew up – and where his parents found refuge from the Nazi’s in World War 2. The town is in slow decline and the instigator for the film is the closing of the local school – but Koppel finds many in the town who are still determined to revive the local economy and to preserve their hometown.

Still Walking | Hirokazu Koreeda | Japan | 2008 | 115 mins
Available now
The Yokoyama family reunite at their parents home to commemorate the tragic death of the eldest son. Though the house has stayed the same since the family left home each member of the family has subtly changed. Set over the course of a single day Still Walking is a perfectly performed drama and possibly the best example of Koreeda’s remarkable ability to evoke a powerful and thought-provoking emotional reaction.

Tabu | Miguel Gomes | Portugal, Germany, Brazil, France | 2012 | 118 mins
Available now
A restless retired woman teams up with her deceased neighbor’s maid to seek out a man who has a secret connection to her past life as a farm owner at the foothill of Mount Tabu in Africa.

Uncle Bonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives | Apichatpong Weeasethakul | Thailand, France, UK, Germany | 2010 |  114 mins
Available now

As he lies dying on his deathbed Uncle Bonmee relates the story of his many past lives to his loved ones. In his last days he is cared for by the ghost of his wife. A strange, wonderful and entirely original film Uncle Bonmee was the recepient of the Palme D’Or in 2010.

Unrelated | Joanna Hogg | UK | 2007 | 100 mins
Available now
Unhappily married Anna escapes on holiday with her friends, Verena and George to Tuscany. Once in Tuscany Anna chooses instead to spend most of her time with Verena and George’s teenage children. Though initially welcoming the children turn against her after a chance accident. Hogg is justly celebrated for her razor sharp depictions of the middle classes and her talents are perfectly formed in this debut feature.

The Wall | Julian Pölsler | Austria, Germany | 2012 | 108 mins
Available now
A woman is staying in a cabin in the woods with two friends. When they fail to return from a trip to town she sets out to find out where they are. Near the cabin she is stopped by an invisible wall and soon discovers she is trapped alone in the outdoors. With only her dog for company the woman must learn to fend for herself. An adaptation of Marlen Haushofer’s seminal novel.

When I Saw You | Annemarie Jacir | Palestine, Jordan, Greece, UAE | 2012 | 98 mins
Available 25 August 2014
Set in 1967 in the refugee camps in Jordan, Tarek, 11, is one of many Palestinians who have fled across the border to escape the fighting. Tarek struggles to adapt to life in the camp and longs for a way out – and to search for his father. His curiosity leads him to a group of people who are refusing to give up hope of returning home and with them Tarek finds a new purpose. An optimistic and tender coming of age story, When I Saw You has drawn rave reviews and is sure to be a hit with community cinema audiences.

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