QUAD Cinema Programmer Adam Marsh brings you another seven days of fantastic film viewing options.
Another eclectic mix of films for you to view in the comfort of QUAD’s cinema screens or the comfort of your own home. We head to out into the galaxies on a five year mission with the crew of the Starship Enterprise courtesy of All4 this week, experience some classic comedy, exquisite arthouse fare and some dystopian visions from MUBI. All the recommendations have been pulled from QUAD’s weekly listings, free streaming platforms BBC iPlayer and All4, plus MUBI (available with a free trial).
See you at the movies!
Adam J. Marsh
Day One – QUAD Cinema
With his startlingly funny but clear-eyed satire Mandabi, Sembène made a bid for the world to reorient itself towards Africa as the heart of cinema. The first feature ever made in an African language, Mandabi fulfilled Sembène’s dream “to restore Africa’s stories to Africans.” Set in Dakar, Mandabi tells the story of Ibrahim (Makhouredia Gueye) and the transformative effect that a 25,000 franc money order from his nephew in Paris has on his fortunes. Word quickly travels about his new-found wealth, while a thousand bureaucratic obstacles stand in the path between him and his money. Ibrahim, preening and scheming, laying bets he has no means to collect, is a superb character study. But Mandabi is also a sprightly but stiletto-sharp satire on post-independence African nations and the shadow cast by colonialism. Winner of the Grand Jury prize at the Venice Film Festival, Sembène’s adaptation of his own novella set a new course for African cinema: radical, anti-colonial and proudly independent in its methods.
"It's powerful material, expertly orchestrated" - The Times
The bohemian life of artist and writer Tove Jansson is wondrously brought to life in this timely and moving biopic. Exploring her early years as a struggling artist in Helsinki, shunned by the artistic establishment, Tove parties hard with the intelligentsia and fails to live up to the high artistic expectations of her sculptor father. At her first solo exhibition she meets the married theatre director Vivica Bandler, their attraction to each other obvious. A passionate love affair ensues, which nourishes Tove’s creativity and soon her most famous creation takes the world by storm. This is a beautiful celebration of the life and work of a remarkable woman and will make you want to take a stroll through Moominvalley as soon as it’s over.
In this seven-time Oscar nominated film, things go terribly awry when small-time Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife so he can collect the ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. Once people start dying, the very chipper and very pregnant Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand, who won an Oscar for her performance) takes the case. Is she up for this challenge? You betcha!
"It’s brilliance [lies] in making the forces of law and order look as interesting and funny as the bad guys" ★★★★★ - The Guardian
10th Anniversary Screening.
When a Muppet fanatic (Walter), his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) take a trip to Los Angeles to visit the Muppet Studios they are horrified to discover that the evil Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) has plans to demolish the studios. Only they can reunite the classic team to stop the evil oil mogul. With songs by Flight Of The Conchords’ Bret McKenzie this film spawned a whole new generation of Muppet fans.
Day Two – ALL4
Star Trek – The Motion Picture
The crew of the Starship Enterprise come out of retirement when Earth is threatened by a massive energy field. Captain Kirk (William Shatner), now an Admiral, Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Bones (DeForest Kelley), and the rest of the television regulars are all on board for what proved to be the first of a series of movie adventures.
Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan
The second big screen adventure for the crew of the starship Enterprise sees them encounter Khan (Ricardo Montalban), an old foe whom Captain Kirk (William Shatner) banished to a far corner of the Universe some years back. A selectively bred supervillain, Khan threatens to reverse creation with his Genesis Machine, but not if Kirk has any say in the matter.
Star Trek III – The Search For Spock
Admiral Kirk's defeat of Khan and the creation of the Genesis planet are empty victories. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is dead and McCoy is inexplicably being driven insane. Then a surprise visit from Sarek, Spock's father, provides a startling revelation: McCoy is harbouring Spock's living essence. With one friend alive and one not, but both in pain, Kirk (William Shatner) attempts to help his friend s by stealing the U.S.S. Enterprise and defying Starfleet's Genesis planet quarantine. But the Klingons have also learned of Genesis and race to meet Kirk in a deadly rendezvous.
Star Trek IV – The Voyage Home
It's the 23rd century, and a mysterious alien power is threatening Earth by evaporating the oceans and destroying the atmosphere. In a frantic attempt to save mankind, Kirk and his crew must time travel back to 1986 San Francisco where they find a world of punk, pizza and exact-change buses that are as alien as anything they've ever encountered in the far reaches of the galaxy. A thrilling, action-packed mission for the Starship Enterprise!
Day Three – BBC iPlayer
Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes
Docudrama that explores the life and creative output of Coventry born-Delia Derbyshire – electronic musician, sound pioneer and female outsider in postwar Britain. From 1962 until 1973, she worked at the BBC’s Radiophonic workshop, where she created the iconic Doctor Who theme tune, which remained uncredited in her lifetime. Delia Derbyshire introduced avant-garde electronic sound to a whole generation through the medium of a children’s teatime television show. Sound was both a refuge for Delia and a haunting manifestation of something darker.
This is a life story told through sound, using both Delia’s own pieces of music alongside a soundtrack constructed from samples chosen with musician and performance artist Cosey Fanni Tutti from Delia’s attic tapes. It explores the fantasy of a collaboration, an exchange of ideas across eras between two fascinating musicians. It celebrates independence and imagination and looks at how, when that energy is evoked by women and creates a spark, the pattern seen throughout history is that it is often dismissed, ridiculed or downplayed. A cinematic exploration of a legendary musical figure, written and directed by Caroline Catz, who also plays Delia.
Borg vs McEnroe
Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason star as tennis greats John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg in this biographical drama about the pair's rivalry during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships. With Borg on the cusp of winning his record-breaking fifth consecutive Wimbledon title a young, brash American emerges to challenge his dominance. The film follows the different paths the players took to reach the top of their sport as they prepare for the championships, with Borg training in Monaco with his coach Lennart Bergelin (Stellan Skarsgard), wary of McEnroe's rise. The pair's contrasting styles, both on and off the court, make for a perfect rivalry enjoyed by the press and fans alike who fiercely await their eventual meeting in the tournament, a match which would go on to be regarded as one of the best of all time.
When activist Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) garners support at a Gay Pride rally in London for his plan to raise funds in support of the striking miners, he encounters a surprising impediment to his plan: most mining communities refuse to take money from gay and lesbian groups. However, one Welsh village, Dulais, seem grateful for the support. Mark and his friends hire a minibus and visit the villagers to consolidate the relationship. Though the villagers don't completely accept their visitors straight away, the community, which includes Hefina (Imelda Staunton), Dai (Paddy Considine) and Cliff (Bill Nighy), gradually warm to Mark and his friends as they realise the common causes that bind them.
Catherine Corsini directs this French drama about forbidden love between two women. Set in 1971, Cecile De France plays Carole, a Spanish teacher and radical feminist living in Paris. By pure chance, on one of her feminist group's actions she meets Delphine (Izia Higelin), the daughter of farmers. Almost instantly they fall in love, but their romance is disrupted when Delphine receives word that her father has had a stroke and she must return home to help with the farm. Carole, finding the separation difficult, decides to join Delphine on the family farm. However, the rural community isn't as liberal as Paris...
Day Four – BBC iPlayer
The Lady Vanishes
Elliott Gould (M.A.S.H., Friends) and Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting) make a great screen couple in this light-hearted remake of Hitchcock's classic thriller. Amanda Kelly (Cybill Shepherd) is sharing a carriage with British nanny Miss Froy (Angela Lansbury) on an express train traveling through pre-war Germany. When Miss Froy disappears, Amanda tries to recruit a search party. However, apart from American photographer Robert Condon (Elliott Gould), the other passengers are strangely reluctant to get involved and deny ever seeing the nanny. It soon becomes apparent that Miss Froy is not what she seems.
Clash Of The Titans
In this star-studded film, the Greek gods on Mount Olympus watch Perseus (Harry Hamlin) and his love, Andromeda (Judi Bowker), in clashes against various mythological monsters. The special effects bring these monsters to life and even enable Pegasus to fly is magnificent from master Ray Harryhausen. This past week would have been Harryhausen’s 101st Birthday, celebrate by watching this trip into fantasy.
Bitter-sweet comedy from director Bill Forsyth. Gregory (John Gordon Sinclair) is a gawky adolescent living in a small Scottish town. He is the star of the school football team until the arrival of the gorgeous Dorothy (Dee Hepburn), the only female player, who quickly replaces him. Although demoted to goalie, Gregory soon falls head-over-heels in love with Dorothy, and sets about trying to ask her out.
Trump in Tweets
This feature length documentary examines how Trump used Twitter to change US politics, exploring why this technophobe became a serial tweeter and witnessing the impact his tweets have on the world.
Day Five – All4
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
The Starship Enterprise crew takes the ultimate voyage as they search for God and the mysteries of cosmos, both believed to be found on the legendary planet Shakaree. William Shatner steps behind the camera to direct this instalment.
Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country
The Enterprise leads a battle for peace but when a Klingon ship is attacked and the Enterprise is held accountable, the dogs of war are unleashed again as both worlds brace for what might be their final, deadly encounter. The final original crew only adventure for Kirk and company.
Star Trek: Generations
Decades after the original "Trek," the skipper of the fourth USS Enterprise is Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), who investigates a massacre at a science outpost. The only survivor is Dr. Soran (Malcolm McDowall), who perpetrated the event to cover up his invention: a bomb he launches into a nearby sun, exploding it. As Soran escapes with Klingon cronies, Picard learns that Soran's plan is to summon a heavenly energy ribbon called the Nexus. Those who enter it live forever with every wish fulfilled. Attempting to stop Soran, Picard ends up inside the Nexus, where he discovers former captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), believed to have been killed in an accident 78 years earlier
Star Trek: First Contact
The Federation comes under attack by its ongoing enemy, the Borg, a cybernetics-enhanced race that once kidnapped Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), "assimilating" him into a drone. As a former prisoner of the Borg, Picard is ordered to stay out of the new battle, but he cannot resist and orders the brand-new starship Enterprise into the fray. The Enterprise follows the only surviving Borg ship through a time tunnel, where they intend to conquer Earth in an earlier era. The Borg have targeted the work of Zefram Cochrane (James Cromwell), inventor of warp drive, the device that makes interplanetary travel possible. As the Enterprise crew attempts to stop the Borg from interrupting the work of Cochrane and his assistant, Lily (Alfre Woodard), Borg drones invade the Enterprise and take it over piece by piece, while Data (Brent Spiner) is captured and seduced by the Borg Queen (Alice Krige)
Day Six – All4
His Girl Friday
Newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) is devastated when his star reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) reveals she is leaving journalism behind to marry her new beau Bruce (Ralph Bellamy). As Hildy, who also happens to be Walter's ex-wife, prepares herself for her new life as a kept woman, Walter does everything he can to get her to change her mind, including offering her the chance to write the story of a lifetime. A comedy masterpiece from Howard Hawks.
Hear My Song
Liverpool based nightclub owner Mickey O'Neill (Dunbar) provokes the wrath of his community when he books a mystery singer and implies that he is the legendary Irish tenor Josef Locke (the great Ned Beatty). Caught out by his girlfriend's mother (Shirley Anne Field), who had an affair with the real Locke years before, Mickey's business suffers as a result of this transgression. In order to save his business and restore his reputation Mickey travels to Ireland where he hopes to meet the actual Locke and coax him out of retirement.
Chan-Wook Park co-writes and directs this Korean drama adapted from Sarah Waters' novel 'Fingersmith'. Set in Korea in the 1930s, with the country under Japanese colonial rule, the film follows orphaned pickpocket Sook-hee (Tae Ri Kim) who is hired by a con artist posing as Japanese Count Fujiwara (Jung-Woo Ha) to act as the handmaiden of heiress Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim), a ploy which Fujiwara hopes will allow him to pocket the heiress' wealth for himself. As Sook-hee tries to persuade Lady Hideko to fall for the Count she instead is the one who forges an intimate bond with her new employer. The story of Hideko's troubled upbringing unfolds as the two women revel in their passionate, new relationship and explore their previously repressed desires.
The year is 1985, and society's most famous superheroes are in danger. After the mysterious murder of Comedian, his former colleagues team up for the first time in years to investigate - and survive. The secrets they uncover could jeopardise the entire world, but can they save us if they can't save themselves? An thrilling adaptation of the graphic novel that forever changed how we look at heroes
Day Seven – Mubi
The 10th Victim
In the futuristic world, the Big Hunt is a televised competition pitting assassins against each other. The prize for surviving 10 rounds? A million dollars. When renowned shooters Marcello and Caroline are selected for a showdown, their will to win is suddenly replaced by another kind of desire. Far ahead of Battle Royale, Elio Petri’s dystopian sci-fi satire of social bloodlust playfully twists genre expectations. Amidst one of the most striking retro-futurist set designs in 1960s Italian cinema, the cat-and-mouse games between Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress are dangerously sexy.
Recorder – The Marion Stokes Project
Between 1979 and 2012, activist Marion Stokes was secretly recording television 24 hours a day. In between, Stokes recorded on 70,000 VHS tapes, capturing revolutions, lies, triumphs, bloopers, talk shows, and commercials that tell us who we were, and show how television shaped the world of today. An obsessive project of eccentric proportions or a personal archive of visionary scope? This documentary chronicles Marion Stokes’s incredible, enigmatic mission: a feat of activism in which a simple VHS tape can hold a fascinating mosaic of our world, while revealing the news’s manipulative nature.
Robin Wright receives an offer from Miramount to be scanned. In this way, her alias can be freely exploited in all films the Hollywood major produces. For 20 years she disappears to return as guest of honour at the Miramount-Nagasaki Convention in a transformed world of fantastical appearances. Ari Folman followed the Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir with this striking adaptation of Stanislaw “Solaris” Lem’s novella. Reconfiguring Lem’s tale of an illusory utopia into a biting Hollywood satire, Folman blends live-action with hallucinatory animation for a vivid, sci-fi head trip.
Undine is a historian and tour guide at the Berlin City Museum specializing in urban development, while Christoph is an industrial diver. Linked by a love of the water, the two form an intense bond, which can only do so much to help Undine overcome the considerable baggage of her former affair. An urban fairytale combining legend, romance and architecture to magnetic effect.