The following four fantastic films will be screened.
LOVE IS STRANGE
• USA / France • 2014 • 95min • Dir: Ira Scahs
Sachs, a Sundance festival favourite and winner, has John Lithgow and Alfred Molina play the long-term lovers and newly-weds suddenly wrenched apart. George (Molina) is a music teacher at a Catholic school, and when they catch wind of his nuptials – finally sanctioned by law in the state – he is fired. Unable to pay the rent on their Manhattan apartment they separate to stay with friends and family – George with the gay cops next-door, – and Ben (Lithgow) with his nephew and family in Brooklyn. Lithgow and Molina, supported by the incomparable Marisa Tomei, deliver nuanced performances in a profound and good-humoured tale of enduring love in the face of religiously inspired and sanctioned homophobia.
UK • 2014 • 120min • Dir: Matthew Warchus
Here’s the kind of film at which the Brits excel (think The Full Monty), an ensemble of extraordinary actors (among them Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton) who, you can see, have enjoyed every moment of playing with each other. Based on a true story, improbable though it may sound, it’s about the London ‘Pervs’ who went off to Wales to stand in solidarity with the ‘Pits’ – striking miners during Thatcher’s determined demolition of the unions. The situation allows for many laughs as ‘innocent’ villagers meet the city aliens… and with joyous moments celebrating the power of friendship and solidarity. Prize-winning Pride (pic above) received a standing ovation at Cannes 2014 where it screened during the Director’s Fortnight. Director Warchus has been named as Kevin Spacey’s successor at the Old Vic.
Awards: Cannes 2014 Queer Palm
REACHING FOR THE MOON
• Brazil • 2013 • 118min • Dir: Bruno Barreto
This biopic, set in the 1950s and 60s, dramatises the lives of two powerful artists and their tempestuous, complicated 15 year long affair. American Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Bishop travels to Brazil to stay with a college friend. Her creative block is thoroughly unplugged by said friend’s Latin lover, Lota de Macedo Soares, architect and designer of the iconic Flamengo Park in Rio. Stylishly shot, the film is a feast of the best of design of the era – spaces, buildings, cars and clothes. It is here that Bishop wrote her most famous and deceptively simple poem One Art. Miranda Otto as Bishop and Gloria Pires as Soares give shining performances.
THE SKELETON TWINS
• USA • 2013 • 90min • Dir: Craig Johnson
Maggie and Milo are estranged twins suddenly thrown together in a time of crisis. Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader, better known as comics (Saturday Night Live) deliver wonderfully dramatic and (can they help it?) comic performances as the twins in trouble – Hader’s Milo is a suicidal gay man, and Wiig’s Maggie is a cheating wife unable to make the right decision. As they reconnect – with those funny, touching intimacies and knowing button-pressing flare ups that only siblings can have – so the themes of depression and suicide are aired, but with wonderful black humour.
Awards: Sundance 2014 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
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