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The All-New 7 Day Cinema Diet #1

The All-New 7 Day Cinema Diet #1

On the day that QUAD reopens we present a revamped 7 Day Cinema Diet from QUAD film programmer Adam Marsh.

Now with added Cinema!! Yes, just when you thought it was safe to pick up the remote control, the world changes and its time for the lights to dim, the curtains to part and the projector to fire up! Cinema is back!

With this New World Order bringing change, the 7 day cinema diet is changing too. Here we will be bringing you 7 days worth of excellent film entertainment ranging from films playing QUAD’s three screens, films playing via QUAD’s Cinema At Home offers as well as a select choice from a range of streaming platforms.

Highlights this week include Oscar winner Nomadland, the evocative A Common Crime, Barry Jenkins’ latest, a classic counterculture film from Robert Downey Sr, a giant turtle and a truly unique Polish animation.

See you at the movies! 

Day One – QUAD Cinema 

Nomadland (12A) 

See the film at QUAD. Book here.

Winner of Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress at the 2021 Oscars, Nomadland is this year’s must-see film. Frances McDormand (Fargo, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), is Fern, who, following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.  

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (15)  

See the film at QUAD. Book here.

It’s the closing night party at an American dive bar and it ain’t over til it’s over. In the semi-constructed circumstances of this compellingly ambiguous film, director brothers Bill and Turner Ross tap into the community spirit that local bars engender and the real connections people make in unexpected places. A wonderful doc about the sense of community a local pub (or bar) brings. 

Sisters With Transistors (PG) 

See the film here at QUAD. Book here.

Or watch online here.

Sisters With Transistors is the remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to utterly transform how we produce and listen to music today. The film maps a new history of electronic music through the visionary women whose radical experimentations with machines redefined the boundaries of music, including Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Eadigue, Suzanne Ciani, and Laurie Spiegel.   

Ammonite (15)

See the film at QUAD. Book here.

A fictionalised account of the life of the 19th century palaeontologist Mary Anning. Kate Winslet plays the pioneering scientist with Saoirse Ronan as the gentlewoman who falls in love with her while staying in Mary’s beloved Lyme Regis. Deftly taking in the erasure of women from the history of science, the film is also woven through with an unusually subtle take on class difference in small town 19th-century Britain. A love story at its heart with Winslet and Ronan excelling in movingly unguarded performances. 

Day Two – Cinema At Home 

The 8th 

See the film here.

The 8th traces Ireland's campaign to remove the 8th Amendment - a constitutional ban on abortion. It shows a country's transformation from a conservative state in thrall to the Catholic church to a more liberal secular society.  

The 8th includes voices from both sides of the debate, but its primary focus is on the dynamic female leaders of the pro-choice campaign. The film follows the veteran campaigner Ailbhe Smyth and self-described glitter-activist Andrea Horan as they chart a bold strategy of grassroots activism and engineer the impossible. This dramatic story is underscored by a vivid exploration of the wrenching failures that led to this defining moment in Irish history. 

An urgent narrative, a cautionary tale and a roadmap for progressive reforms in a modern era where authoritarianism is on the rise, The 8th shows a country forging a new progressive path at a time when reproductive rights are threatened around the world. 

"We're so used to 'burning issue' documentaries sounding dire warnings in the face of calamity that it comes as a shock to find one telling an unmitigated story of triumph" - Screen International 

Iorram (PG)

See the film here.

The first cinema documentary entirely in Scottish Gaelic, Iorram (Boat Song) is a lyrical portrait of life in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, past and present. Director Alastair Cole takes the audience on an immersive journey into the heart of a thousand-year-old community, blending archive sound recordings with contemporary visuals shot over the past three years, set to an original score by acclaimed folk musician Aidan O’Rourke. 

The first film score by Aidan O’Rourke (of multi-award-winning folk group Lau) weaves together sound and vision in an emotional and cinematic narrative of toil, laughter and loss. 

"It's less a documentary, more like unearthed treasure" ★★★★★ - Andrew Collins, Radio Times 

A Common Crime (12)

See the film here.

One night in the pouring rain, Kevin, the adolescent son of Cecilia’s housekeeper, knocks on her door. A sociology lecturer and financially secure, Cecilia lives alone with her young child. She is too afraid to let Kevin in. The next day, his body is found in a river. The neighbourhood accuses the police of having hounded the teenager and social unrest rocks this impoverished part of town. Cecilia’s concept of reality is also increasingly shaken, her moods start to fluctuate and she begins hearing and seeing things. Is she losing her mind? 

In a ghostly, shimmering narrative, director Francisco Márquez articulates the injustices of Argentine society, which manifest themselves in the growing gap between rich and poor, employees and employers. His protagonist, sensitively played by Elisa Carricajo, is tormented by her guilty conscience. Like a ghost, her mounting consternation encroaches on every area of her life. 

A Common Crime screened at both the London Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival in 2020. It was also nominated for Best Argentinean Film at the Mar del Plata Film Festival in 2020. 

Stray (18)

See the film here.

Through the eyes of its stray dogs wandering the streets of Istanbul, Stray explores what it means to live as a being without status or security. As they search for food and shelter, three dogs—Zeytin, Nazar, and Kartal—embark on inconspicuous journeys through Turkish society that allow us an unvarnished portrait of human life. Whether they lead us into decrepit ruins or bustling streets, the gaze of strays act as windows into the overlooked corners of society: women in loveless marriages, protesters without arms, refugees without sanctuary. Through their canine eyes, we are shown a human world ruptured by divisions along class, ethnic, and gender lines. The film is both a critical observation of human civilisation through the unfamiliar gaze of dogs, and a sensory voyage into new ways of seeing and being from a position of extreme marginalisation. It is at this intersection that Stray seeks to shed light on Turkey’s societal convulsions through the observations of Zeytin and her companions —both human and nonhuman. 

"A colourful tapestry of bone-chewing, play-fighting, and butt-sniffing" ★★★★ – Independent 

Day Three – BBC iPlayer 

Calamity Jane 

See the film here.

Doris Day stars as famous female sharpshooter Calamity Jane in this lighthearted musical. The film follows the life of the heroine who would rather hit targets than chase men - until she falls for Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel), who would rather shoot Indians than chase after a tomboy like Calamity Jane. The film features the Oscar-winning song 'Secret Love'. 

Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me 

See the film here.

Documentary focusing on the career of American soul singer Teddy Pendergrass. Featuring interviews with the artist's friends, family and collaborators, the film charts his rise to success in the 1970s and the aftermath of the life-changing car accident that left him paralysed from the chest down. 

Philomena 

See the film here.

Steve Coogan and Judi Dench star in this Academy Award-nominated drama about a mother's search for the child she was forced to give up years before. Director Stephen Frears' drama, based on former BBC political correspondent Martin Sixsmith's book 'The Lost Child of Philomena Lee', follows Sixsmith (Coogan) as he sets out to help Lee (Dench) in her search for the illegitimate son who was taken from her by the Catholic Church when she fell pregnant in 1952. As the trail eventually leads them to the United States and her son's remarkable story, the pair find that, despite their age difference, they begin to form a deep, enduring bond. 

Manchester By The Sea 

See the film here.

Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) has his life turned upside down when his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies suddenly and leaves his son Patrick (Lucas Hedges) all alone. Though reluctant at first, Lee feels he must accept his brother's wishes and become Patrick's legal guardian. This involves Lee returning to his hometown of Manchester in Massachusetts and facing all the complications that come with it, including his estranged ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and certain members of the local community. Lee grapples with his new role as a father figure to Patrick and tries to support the young man with his problems, while still contending with his own.  

Day Four – Amazon Prime 

The Underground Railroad 

See the film here.

A ten episode mini-series from Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colston Whitehead, The Underground Railroad chronicles Cora Randall’s desperate bid for freedom in the Antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumoured Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad beneath the Southern soil. 

Shaun The Sheep The Movie 

See the film here.

One of the greatest kids films of all time! Channelling the inner spirit of the silent comedies of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Shaun The Sheep heads to the big city to rescue the Farmer from a career in hairdressing.  

Cold War 

See the film here.

A passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched, set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris.  

Blade Runner 2049 

See the film here.

Catch the last time Denis Villeneuve headed to the world of sci-fi ahead of his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune this week before it leaves Amazon Prime. A new blade runner (Ryan Gosling), finds a secret leading to a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) who has been missing for 30 years. 

Day Five – Arrow Player 

Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe 

See the film here.

Arguably the start of a three film high watermark for the Gamera franchise. Following a long absence from the big screen, Gamera made a triumphant return to form in time for his 30th anniversary, with upgraded special effects and a more serious tone. Now a guardian deity, Gamera tussles with a new incarnation of his old foe - the flying monster Gyaos - first in Fukuoka, and then in a spectacular aerial battle over Tokyo. 

Putney Swope 

See the film here.

Assuming he is incapable of winning, all of the members of a prestigious Madison Avenue advertising firm accidentally vote to appoint the company's only black executive, Putney Swope, as chairman of the board. His unexpected win behind him, Swope changes the company's name to 'Truth and Soul, Inc,' fires nearly all of its elderly white employees, and focuses solely on creating subversive, outlandish, and shocking campaigns. As the company is catapulted to new heights of success, Swope finds that he has drawn the ire of the U.S. President, who seeks to declare him and his renegade staff a threat to national security.Considered one of the masterpieces of late 60s counterculture cinema, Robert Downey Sr.'s (Greaser's Palace) Putney Swope remains a vital cinematic satire on race, politics and pop culture. Featuring a supporting performance from character actor Allen Garfield (Nashville) alongside a cameo from Mel Brooks. 

In The Aftermath 

See the film here

Following in the footsteps of Francis Ford Coppola and Peter Bogdanovich, Roger Corman protégé Carl Colpaert (The Crew) made his directorial debut by combining repurposed excerpts from a foreign film – in this case, Mamoru Oshii’s (Ghost In The Shell) spellbinding 1985 anime Angel’s Egg – with new live action footage shot in America. The result is In The Aftermath, a haunting post-apocalyptic vision like no other. A unique mash-up of 1980s B-movie nuclear paranoia and hauntingly lyrical animation, In The Aftermath is presented in a stunning new restoration that highlights Oshii’s visionary genius and Colpaert’s low-budget ingenuity. 

Krustalyov, My Car! 

See the film here

Late winter 1953. The lives of nearly half the planet are in Stalin's hands. A military surgeon, General Yuri Georgievich Klensky (Yuri Tsurilo), finds himself a target of the "Doctors' Plot": the anti-Semitic conspiracy accusing Jewish doctors in Moscow of planning to assassinate the Soviet elite. Pursued, abused, and marked for the gulags, Yuri is chased and dragged through a Stalinist Soviet nightmare. His desperate, jolting journey encapsulates the madness of the era. 

Day Six – QUAD Cinema 

Minari (12A)

See the film at QUAD. Book here.

A Korean-American family who move to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of a better life. Father Jacob (Oscar nominated Stephen Yeun) plans to start a farm specialising in Korean vegetables, while his mother Monica (Yeri Han) worries about Jacob’s lofty ambitions. Restrained and richly textured, by turns funny, moving and sharply insightful.  

Sound Of Metal (15)

See the film at QUAD. Book here.

Riz Ahmed is superb as the heavy metal drummer who, after losing his hearing, is forced to re-evaluate his place in the world. In a home for Deaf addicts, Ruben must choose between his new Deaf community and fighting to hold on to what has always defined him. Director Darius Marder uses innovative sound design to create a powerful that give you a real sense of Ruben’s sonic experience. 

Undergods (15)

See the film at QUAD. Book here.

A collection of darkly humorous, science fiction tales about human weakness and doomed fortune; a series of men see their worlds torn apart through a visit from an other-worldly stranger. Like all the best sci-fi, this arresting first feature blends sci-fi and fantasy to create a worldview which is at once savagely grotesque and alarmingly familiar. The pulsing retro-synth score enhances the sound design to excellent effect, while the striking visuals are art in themselves.  

Tom And Jerry (PG)

See the film at QUAD. Book here.

The generation old rivalry between Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse spills over onto the big screen, live action/animation mix in this new feature film. Chloe Grace Moritz has the unenviable task to remove Jerry Mouse from the Royal Gate Hotel before a big wedding hire. She has no option but to bring in an exterminator in the form of a blue cat called Tom.  

Day Seven – BFI Player 

Kill It And Leave This Town 

See the film here.

Using a combination of techniques, significantly drawing on paper, the story unfolds as a recollection of lives known, lost and held dear. In a homage to director Wilczyński’s home city of Łódź, it opens with a man puffing on a cigarette as the chimneys of the industrial town belch their smoke. Guided by the director’s memories we enter an often nightmarish tone poem, where people are variously at odds with their environment and appearances can be deceptive. A score by renowned Polish composer Tadeusz Nalepa draws us further into the dystopian vision. Watch out for Andrzej Wajda as the Warsaw Insurgent on the train. 

Initially conceived as a short, this debut feature by acclaimed self taught animator Mariusz Wilczyński was 15 years in development. Emerging onto the festival circuit last year it won major prizes at the Viennale, Ottawa and Annecy as well as in Poland. The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw also selected it as one of his 'should have been a contender' animations for the Oscars 2021. 

Daisies 

See the film here.

Věra Chytilová's neo-dadaist farce is full of extravagant visual effects, sensuous décor and fascinating experiments with colour. Two teenage girls (Marie I and Marie II) stumble through a series of happenings, exploit middle-aged men and engage in orgies of eating, interspersed with sun bathing. Full of enthusiasm and joie de vivre, the film mixes social observation, feminist comment and formal experiment in one exhilarating journey. 

Mulholland Dr.  

See the film here.

David Lynch’s unique film is part psychological thriller and part surreal, cryptic, neo-noir homage to LA. It follows an aspiring actress, newly arrived in the city, who befriends an amnesiac woman who has been in a car crash and has a lot of money in her purse. This is essential Lynch; as beautiful and baffling as you could imagine. 

Day Of The Wacko 

See the film here.

Often quoted as a favourite Polish comedy, Day of the Wacko is a non-stop tirade about the inequalities and indignities of life as seen through the eyes of Adaś Miauczyński. Played this time by Marek Kondrat, Adaś is a recurring character in Marek Koterski’s films, here in absurdist mode, virtually paralysed by his neuroses. A middle-aged school teacher, he is frustrated by his job, his relationships and the changing face of Polish politics in a post-socialist era. As he shares his analysis of the world out loud we gain insight into his (often dubious) social and sexual politics but begin to understand the challenges he faces, not least his growing isolation.