Our Film Club represents a fun, friendly and sociable night out, meeting regularly to watch some great movies on a big screen in our Parish Hall on Towers Avenue. All are welcome and entry is free. Tables and chairs are arranged so everyone can sit in comfort and enjoy any food and drink they might bring along.
Our programme for 2018 is as follows:
On Friday January 19 Film Club will be showing Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, directed by Howard Hawks in 1953 and starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. The film is an undisputed classic, a Technicolor feast for the eye and a confection of comedy, gags and irresistible musical numbers, including the iconic ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’. Hawks provides us with two charismatic strong female leads who have the measure of the patriarchal world around them, and the pairing of Monroe and Russell is a joy to watch – but it is Monroe who ultimately claims the film as her own. It’s funny, it’s musical, on the big screen it’ll look gorgeous – how can you resist?
Poetry and love are on the cards in this month of Saint Valentine, and on Friday February 16 Film Club will be showing Bright Star, written and directed by Jane Campion in 2009 and starring Ben Wishaw and Abbie Cornish. The film observes the growing relationship between the poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne in Regency Hampstead and is a beautiful, thoughtful evocation of its subjects and time; with strong performances from the cast, but most especially from Cornish as Brawne and Wishaw as Keats, it is a film which one critic has described as “an artistic monument to his life, love, poetry and soul”.
On Friday March 23 Film Club will be showing the BAFTA-winning, Academy Award nominated black comedy Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes), written and directed in 2014 by Damián Szifrón, produced by the Almodóvar brothers and starring Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez and Leonardo Sbaraglia. Inventive, absurd and grimly comical, the film is an anthology of six tales united by a common theme of violent vengeance, ranging from an outrageous “I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you!” to a shockingly hilarious example of the dangers of road rage, and offers two hours of consummately stylish and masterful cinematic storytelling. The New York Times reported that it became a cultural phenomenon on its release – a must-see! (Contains scenes of a violent nature. Spanish with subtitles.)
On Friday April 27 Film Club will be showing the Academy award-winning Napoleonic epic Master and Commander, directed in 2003 by Peter Weir and starring Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Robert Pugh and David Threlfall. Set almost exclusively onboard ship, it tells the story of Royal Navy Captain Jack Aubrey, captain of HMS Surprise, and his pursuit of the French privateer Acheron. The film is a vivid recreation of the danger and adventure and camaraderie of the great age of seafaring and discovery, of the age of Cook and Bligh, and, in the words of the film critic Roger Ebert, “achieves the epic without losing sight of the human”.
On Friday 18 May, as part of the Jesmond Community Festival, we will be showing Roman Polanski’s 1973 film of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, starring Jon Finch, Francesca Annis and John Stride. A commercial failure on release, the film is now critically recognized as an unsurpassed rendering of Shakespeare on the big screen. With its gritty naturalistic style, consummate sensitivity to Shakespeare’s language and powerful central performance from Finch as a man of a deep moral vision tormented by an impotent awareness of the monstrosity of his crimes even as he commits them, the film definitively shows Shakespeare’s story to be a gripping, at times brutal, story of both institutional and personal tragedy. (Contains scenes of nudity and violence.)
On Friday 15th June 2018 at 7pm the Film Club will be showing the satirical, science fiction comedy The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir in 1998 and starring Jim Carrey, Ed Harris and Laura Linney. Truman Burbank looks like an ordinary Joe who has lived all his life in the idyllic seaside town of Seahaven Island; in fact, unbeknownst to him, Seahaven is the creation of a major television network, all its inhabitants are actors and Truman has since birth been the subject of a hugely popular “reality” TV show. By turns comic, touching and unsettling, with a central performance by Carrey that has been compared to the kind of James Stewart ‘everyman’, the film was received with critical acclaim on its release and continues to offer new perspectives on all sorts of aspects of our lives.
All viewings are at 7pm in the Holy Name Hall on Towers Avenue, Jesmond. You do not have to be a Catholic to join us. Admission is free and all are welcome.
Our programme for Autumn 2017 was as follows:
- 15 September 2017: Best in Show (2000)
- 27 October 2017: Nosferatu (1922)
- 24 November: Klute (1971)
- 15 December: Groundhog Day (1993)