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The All-New 7 Day Cinema Diet #2

The All-New 7 Day Cinema Diet #2

QUAD Cinema Programmer Adam Marsh brings you another seven days of fantastic film viewing options.

Ah that wonderful feeling as the Pearl and Dean theme echoes around the cinema. Yes, here we are on Week 2 of the All New 7 day Cinema diet and our second week with QUAD’s screens filled with great films.  

This week we pull recommendations from QUAD’s programme both on screen and at home, BBC iPlayer, ALL4, Arrow Player, BFI Player and Netflix. We have Greek sci-fi, US Indie, British docs, classic literary adaptations, a brace of Ken Russell films, zombies, immortals, and some of the greatest directors of all time.  

See you at the movies.  

Adam J. Marsh 

Day One – QUAD Cinema 

Frankie (12A)

See the film at QUAD

A delicate, funny, moving and richly cast study of a family grappling with life-changing news from Ira Sachs (Love is Strange, Little Men). In Sintra, Portugal, an historic town known for its brightly coloured fairy-tale castles and lush gardens and parks, matriarch Frankie (Isabelle Huppert) gathers three generations of her family together for a holiday. But despite the gorgeous surroundings, she has troubling news to impart, bringing the cracks and complicated romantic entanglements between them to the fore.  

"A film that whisks us away, showcases such a talented and eclectic array of performers, and reconfirms a singular filmmaker's affecting artistry" - Los Angeles Times 

First Cow (12A)

See the film at QUAD

In her latest film, the intensely pleasurable First Cow, celebrated American director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Certain Women, Meek’s Cutoff) once again trains her perceptive eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has travelled west to join fur trappers in Oregon Territory, where he forges a connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) who is also seeking his fortune. Soon the two collaborate on a highly successful business, but its longevity is perilously reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner (Toby Jones) and his prized milking cow.  

"Gives you the feeling that you've just witnessed a major work from a great American filmmaker" - Rolling Stone Magazine 

Apples (12A)

See the film at QUAD

Set in an uncertain, analogue version of the recent past, Greek director Christos Nikou’s eerily timely Apples depicts a disease that leaves its victims with severe memory loss. There is a government treatment programme for people like Aris (Aris Servetalis) where they perform daily tasks prescribed by doctors and capture new memories with a Polaroid camera, paired with fellow amnesiac Anna (Sofia Georgovassili). Prescient and incorporating surrealist humour with a tender touch, this is an illuminating study of human memory. Tonally similar to other Greek ‘Weird Wave’ films (including Lanthimos’s Dogtooth, on which Nikou was an assistant director).   

"Deep, yet funny" ★★★★ - The Times 

Peter Rabbit 2 (U)

See the film at QUAD

Mr McGregor and Bea are now happily married and living alongside Peter and his rabbit family. Bored of life in the garden, Peter heads to the big city and naturally creates chaos for all his family. Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne are back as the humans with Elizabeth Debicki (Mopsy), Margot Robbie (Flopsy) and Aimee Horne (Cottontail), with the national treasure James Corden as Peter. 

Day Two – Cinema At Home 

Bank Job 

See the film here

A stream is available to rent from Dartmouth Films priced at £9.99 for a two day rental period from 28 May. 

A filmmaker and artist couple team up with their local community to take on the world of finance by setting up a bank, printing their own money and blowing up a million pounds worth of high interest debt.  A roller coaster ride towards a future in which money works for us all. 

Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell's latest feature is an insightful and humorous investigation into the dark world of debt, exploring how a community in Walthamstow, London comes together to create their own currency, examine how money and debt is created in our economy, and to ask important questions about how the system of money creation might be altered in their favour. 

Polystyrene: I Am A Cliché 

See the film at QUAD

See the film at home

Poly Styrene was the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements. Featuring unseen archive material and a rare diary narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, this documentary follows co-director and daughter Celeste, as she examines her mother’s unopened artistic archive and traverses three continents to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.   

The screening at 7pm on Tuesday 1st June will be introduced by Cine-Lit’s resident expert and Film Historian Darrell Buxton. 

Ahead Of The Curve 

See the film at QUAD

See the film at home

With a fist full of credit cards, a lucky run at the horse track, and chutzph for days, Franco Stevens launched Curve, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published. Ahead Of The Curve tracks the power of lesbian visibility and community from the early ‘90s to the present day through the story of Franco’s founding of Curve magazine. Decades later, in the wake of a disabling injury, Franco learns that Curve will fold within the year and questions the relevance of the magazine in the face of accelerating threats to LGBTQ+ community.  

"Zippy, insightful and deeply moving" - Hollywood Reporter 

Minari 

See the film at QUAD

See the film at home

 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.   

Day Three – BBC iPlayer 

A Farewell To Arms 

See the film here

Gary Cooper plays American ambulance driver Lieutenant Frederick Henry who has enlisted in the Italian army in this, one of the most successful Ernest Hemingway adaptations to be made into a film. Henry meets and falls in love with British nurse Catherine Barkley (Helen Hayes) after being injured during fighting on the Italian front during World War 1 (Hemingway also served in the Italian army as an ambulance driver during the war and was injured in the legs, giving the story a first hand experience). Whilst ostensibly a love story within a war setting, the film questions the nature and futility of war under the skilful direction of Frank Borzage. 

A House In Bayswater 

See the film here

First transmitted in 1960, this film was written and directed by Ken Russell for the BBC. It follows the bohemian lifestyles of the tenants of an old London house in Bayswater and its housekeeper, Mrs Collings. The blend of documentary style filming, colourful anecdotes and stylised sequences produces a highly evocative and entertaining film as well as an early example of Ken Russell’s distinctive approach to film making. 

The Witches Of Eastwick 

See the film here

George Miller directs this comedy horror based on the John Updike novel. Three bored and sex-starved single women (Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer), who have all lost their husbands, get together once a week for drinks and to fantasise about their ideal man in the small New England town of Eastwick, Rhode Island. The morning after one of these sessions, a mysterious man arrives in town in the form of filthy rich Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson), who buys a nearby mansion, and then seduces the friends one by one. They do not at first know that Van Horne is in fact Satan in disguise but when his cover is revealed the women, who are becoming more aware of their own magical powers, plot their escape from Daryl's control. 

Loving  

See the film here

Historical drama written and directed by Jeff Nichols which follows the story of an interracial couple who defy state laws to marry in 1950s Virginia. In June 1958, construction worker Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) drives his African-American girlfriend Mildred (Ruth Negga) to Washington where they elope. Trouble is not far away however, as after an anonymous tip-off, the local sheriff is waiting to arrest the newly-weds on their return to Caroline County. As interracial marriage is in violation of Virginia's Racial Integrity Act, the pair have no choice but to accept their penalty and are exiled to Washington. Things change with the arrival of lawyer Bernie Cohen (Nick Kroll), who convinces the Lovings to go to court and fight the charges. The high-profile case eventually reaches the Supreme Court, with the ruling becoming one of the most influential and defining legal battles of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. 

Day Four – Netflix 

Army Of The Dead 

See the film here

After a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble by venturing into the quarantine zone for the greatest heist ever. It’s zombies, it’s action and whatever happens in Vegas…. 

Highlander 

See the film here

Refresh your memory of the original classic action / fantasy Highlander as soon we will be facing a new Highlander in the form of Henry Cavill. This film follows the story of Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert, a Frenchman playing a Scot), an immortal who has been battling other immortals throughout the ages. Sean Connery appears as Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramirez (yep, a Scot playing a Egyptian) alongside Roxanne Hart and Clancy Brown as the imposing Kurgan. 

The Doors 

See the film here

Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Oliver Stone’s biopic of The Doors and their enigmatic lead singer Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer). The film traces the group's road to success, from their first rehearsal sessions through to their sell-out live concerts, and follows Morrison on the self-destructive path which would eventually lead him to an early death. The cast also includes Kevin Dillon, Meg Ryan and Kyle MacLachlan. 

No Country For Old Men 

See the film here

The Coen Brothers' stripped down and gritty chase thriller has a Vietnam vet desperately trying to give the slip to a relentless killer. While out hunting in the barren wilds of Texas, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) discovers the aftermath of a drugs deal gone wrong, with dead bodies, heroin and a case filled with $2million in cash. Deciding to take the money, Moss says goodbye to his wife (Kelly MacDonald) and takes off to plan his next move. It's not long before he discovers he's being followed by psychopathic ex-special forces hitman, Chigurh (Javier Bardem), who decides his victim's fate, guilty or not, on the toss of a coin. As Chigurh raises the bodycount, gaining ever nearer to Moss, he in turn is hunted by local Sheriff Ed Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), a seen-it-all-before cop, who could do without the excitement. 

Day Five – Arrow Player 

No End 

See the film here

In 1984's No End, a recently bereaved translator juggles the conflicting demands of her work, caring for her son and her continued visions of her late husband, all against the backdrop of a Poland under the grip of martial law. A blend of ghost story, political drama and meditation on the nature of love from the director of the Three Colours Trilogy Krzystof Kieslowski. 

Zoology 

See the film here

Writer-director Ivan I. Tverdovsky’s prize-winning sophomore feature (Special Prize of the Jury at Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Best Picture at Fantastic Fest) deftly mixes the deadpan humour of Aki Kaurismäki with a poignant examination of social issues including loneliness and aging. 

Natasha is a middle-aged admin employee at a zoo where her female co-workers take pleasure in making fun of her. She lives with her God-fearing mother and leads a dull existence without prospects, until one day she grows a tail. Medical examinations follow where she meets Peter, a young radiologist and her dreary life is turned upside down. 

Described as “Kafka meets Cronenberg” (Hollywood Reporter) Tverdovsky’s film is a beautifully photographed portrait of Eastern Europe that recalls the recent New Romanian Cinema and features a brave and brilliant central performance from Natalya Pavlenkova. 

Stormy Monday 

See the film here

In 1988, Mike Figgis (Internal Affairs, Leaving Las Vegas) made his feature directorial debut with Stormy Monday, a taut, noir-influenced gangster movie that drew on his key formative influences, including his youth in the Newcastle of the late ’50s and early ’60s, and the city’s vibrant jazz scene. 

Sean Bean (Ronin) plays Brendan, a young loafer taken under the wing of jazz club owner Finney (Sting, Quadrophenia), who’s under pressure from American mobster Cosmo (Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive) to sell up in exchange for a cut of a local land development deal. Brendan just wants to earn an honest crust, but his burgeoning relationship with Cosmo’s ex-lover Kate (Melanie Griffith, Body Double) threatens to drag him into the middle of the impending showdown… 

A romantic crime thriller with genuine heart, Stormy Monday features striking, rain-drenched cinematography by Roger Deakins (The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men) and a seductive jazz score provided by the director himself. 

Crimes Of Passion 

See the film here

Our second Ken Russell film of the list today is a tour-de-force for a couple of actors. Both Kathleen Turner and Anthony Perkins turn in near-career high performances. Fashion designer Joanna Crane (Kathleen Turner) leads a double life. By night she is China Blue, a prostitute who's attracted the unwanted attention of two men. One is a sexually frustrated private detective hired by her employees. The other is a psychopathic priest (Anthony Perkins) in possession of a murderous sex toy. With its outré screenplay by Barry Sandler and over the top score by Rick Wakeman, Crimes of Passion may just be the most outrageous Ken Russell film ever made - and that's quite some feat! 

Listen to the latest Cine-Lit podcast that discuss the career of Kathleen Tuner here - https://shows.acast.com/cine-lit/episodes/kathleen-turner

Day Six – ALL4 

The House Of Mirth 

See the film here

Terence Davies writes and directs this drama set in New York at the dawn of the 20th century. Lily Bart (Gillian Anderson), a young woman looking to make a good marriage, finds herself drawn into a downward spiral when her honour and her love for Lawrence Selden (Eric Stoltz) prevent her from accepting the advances of wealthy banker Gus Trenor (Dan Aykroyd) and bring her into conflict with the social machinations of Bertha Dorset (Laura Linney). 

Tyrannosaur 

See the film here

Tense drama following the relationship between a self-destructive, alcoholic widower and a Christian charity shop worker. Joseph (Peter Mullan) is an aggressive and self-destructive loner who suffers from extreme mood swings and an inability to keep his temper in check. One such lack of control forces him to flee into a charity shop to hide from three youths. Here he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Hannah (Olivia Colman), a volunteer who attempts to calm Joseph and offer him a Christian way out of his troubles. Despite their differences, a relationship develops between the two. However, will the other man in Hannah's life, her husband, James (Eddie Marsan), have something to say about the burgeoning friendship? Directed by QUAD Patron Paddy Considine. 

Paris, Texas 

See the film here

Harry Dean Stanton stars as Travis Clay Henderson, an errant husband who reappears in the middle of an American desert after an absence of four years. His brother (Dean Stockwell) picks him up and Travis slowly begins to retrace the paths of his old life, getting to know his seven-year-old son Hunter, and going in search of his ex-wife Jane (Nastassja Kinski), who is now working in a peepshow. Directed by Wim Wenders from a screenplay by Sam Shepard, and featuring a soundtrack by Ry Cooder. 

Attack The Block 

See the film here

While being robbed by a gang of thugs outside the South London tower block where she lives, trainee nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker)'s hooded attackers suddenly break off their assault when a meteorite hits a nearby carpark. As Sam flees the scene, the gang members headed up by Moses (John Boyega) fend off an attack from a small alien being that has emerged from the crash-site, killing it in the process, and carrying off their prize to their rooftop lair. But now, as Sam and the police search for the gang, a new wave of meteorites fall. With the gang emboldened by their latest victory, they prepare to face their new-found enemy, only to be confronted with an army of much larger, savagely vicious alien monsters, hellbent on finding their comrade. 

Day Seven – BFI Player 

Patrick 

See the film here

Life on the nudist colony is fairly routine for handyman Patrick (Kevin Janssens), that is until the mystery of his missing hammer sets in motion a hilarious quest of self-discovery. Tim Mielant's feature-length debut bares all bringing laughs by the bucket load, in a film that often brings to mind the work of Aki Karusmaki. With both Janssens and supporting star Jemaine Clement on top form throughout, Patrick sets us off to search in a world where everything is laid out in plain sight. 

Le Mepris 

See the film here

Jean-Luc Godard conducts an autopsy of love and the creative process, as a boorish film producer dismantles a seemingly strong marriage. Based on Moravia’s novel, Jean-Luc Godard’s sardonic look at the world of filmmaking boasts superb performances by Michel Piccoli as a compromised writer, Brigitte Bardot as his bored wife, Jack Palance as a manipulative producer and Fritz Lang as himself, about to film Homer’s Odyssey in Cinecittà and Capri. Raoul Coutard’s camerawork and Georges Delerue’s music enhance the beauty and poignancy 

You, The Living  

See the film here

Washed out interiors provide the backdrop for a motley crew of characters: a stout depressive and her long-suffering husband; a young girl with a crush on a rock musician; couples with too much to say, or too little; a diligent tuba player… You, the Living follows a similar approach to Andersson's previous Songs From The Second Floor, but takes a slightly lighter tone in presenting a series of tragi-comic vignettes from modern life. Its genius lies in revealing the absurd details of what people around us do every day, the precision in his filmmaking giving added comic impact to the sheer randomness of much of what we see. 

Santa Sangre 

See the film here

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s surreal, cult horror about a boy who escapes from the circus, reuniting with his mother to form a bizarre and murderous double act. The director's son (Axel Jodorowsky) plays the troubled young circus boy who witnesses all manner of strange and disturbing events before running away and starting a new life. Years later he's reunited with his armless mother to form a bizarre double act in which he becomes her 'arms', leading to a murderous spree. 

Visonary Chilean director Jodorowsky first earned a cult following with his mind-melting acid western El Topo in 1970, one of the first films to to be exhibited as a 'midnight movie'. After many years struggling to raise financing for his singular visions, Jodorowsky partnered with Italian producer Claudio Argento (brother of Dario, director of Suspiria) who agreed to finance Santa Sangre on the proviso it appealed to the horror crowd. The result is an unforgettable combination of Jodorowsky's esoteric themes and motifs (religion, philosophy, rituals, circuses, dwarfs, mime) with highly imaginative scenes of graphic violence. Memorably described by Roger Ebert as "existing outside all categories", Santa Sangre is a genuine cult classic that will warp the mind of even the most jaded moviegoer. 

Listen to the Cine-Lit podcast all about the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky here - https://shows.acast.com/cine-lit/episodes/bonus-alejandro-jodorowsky