Earlier this year, London’s Royal Academy of Arts mounted the first ever retrospective devoted to the portraiture of Edouard Manet. Spanning this enigmatic and, at times, controversial artist’s entire career Manet: Portraying Life brought together works from across Europe, Asia and the USA. Documentarian Phil Grabsky was granted exclusive access to explore the exhibition with the kind of intensive scrutiny (and learned insight) most art-lovers can only dream of.
"Once again the film proves that seeing an exhibition through a camera (especially an HD one) is far better than not seeing it at all." Roberta Smith, New York Times
Candida Brady’s documentary looks at the growing global crisis of trash, highlighting how human health and the environment are threatened by the pollution from burning and discarding waste. Visually and emotionally the film is both horrific and beautiful: an interplay of human stories and ecological disruption. But it ends on a message of hope: showing how the risk to our survival can be averted through sustainable pathways that provide economic solutions while protecting our air, water and food resources
"Crucial viewing for realists and alarmists both." 5 stars! Joe Neumeier, NY Daily News
Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. Though she had no concept of how far they would go, Freda had faith in The Beatles from the beginning, and The Beatles had faith in her. A unique perspective on the greatest band in the history of pop.
"A satisfying and moving experience." Ernest Hardy, Village Voice
"One of the tasks of a lifetime is to become familiar with the great works of Shakespeare," wrote Roger Ebert, in his 4-star review for Kenneth Branagh’s acclaimed, full-length film of the Bard’s most enduring tragedy. He continued: "Branagh’s version moved me, entertained me and made me feel for the first time at home in that doomed royal court…. His ’’Hamlet’’ is long but not slow, deep but not difficult, and it vibrates with the relief of actors who have great things to say, and the right ways to say them."
"Not only the best filmed adaptation of Hamlet I have ever seen, but the best cinematic expression that I have come across of any of Shakespeare’s plays." James Berardinelli, Reelviews
"As star and ringmaster, Branagh gets to the heart of Hamlet and goes to admirable lengths to take his audience there, too." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"100% Shakespeare and 100% cinema." Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
Set on the outskirts of Bradford in Northern England, the second feature from Clio Barnard (The Arbor) follows two young lads, Arbor (Conner Chapman) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas), and their dealings with a local scrap dealer. Boldly cinematic and featuring astonishing performances from the two leads, The Selfish Giant cements Barnard’s reputation as a visionary filmmaker.
"Devastating in its simplicity and honesty, The Selfish Giant is a colossus of feeling." Inkoo Kang, Village Voice
"Boldly, broodingly cinematic… jaggedly moving." Guy Lodge, Variety
"A film of such power and beauty that there will be no escaping it." David Thomson, New Republic
Adam (Richard E Grant) is a rich industrialist, who aspires to a more cultured world. Spurred on by playful jibes that he’s little more than a city suit living the capitalist’s dream, this frustrated amateur opera singer decides to throw an opera in his lavish country retreat. Once his friends see him belting out the notes, he feels sure it will spell the end to their shallow taunts. In fact, it might even help him win the hand of a female conductor he’s been pursuing whom, it just so happens, is the first to be recruited for his showpiece.
Richard Eyre’s produciton of Verdi’s masterpiece has been one of the most successful opera stagings in the long and celebrated history of the Royal Opera House. We present the original, definitive incarnation of that production, starring the incomparable Renee Fleming as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta, oppose Joseph Calleja as Alfredo and Thomas Hapson as his unyielding father.
Andrei Serban’s staging of Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama. Turandot is a tale of disguised identities, riddles, ritual executions and powerful, triumphant love.
David Lean’s sweeping, four-hour desert epic demands to be seen on the big screen. The late, great Peter O’Toole landed the role of his lifetime as the British cartographer who united the Arab tribes to fight the Turks in WW1. Screening in a restored DCP version.
"A miracle… The first film I saw that made me want to be a moviemaker." Steven Spielberg
Paris in 1855, when the opera was first performed, provides the starting point for the interpretation by celebrated Norwegian born director Stefan Herheim. The opera ballet plays a significant role too, with Johann Kobborg choreographing for dancers from the Royal Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet. The story is set to impassioned and dramatic music, rich in showpiece arias and ensembles with striking choruses. Antonio Pappano conducts a world-class cast including Erwin Schrott, Bryan Hymel and Lianna Haroutounian in The Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Verdi’s grand opera,
It’s the camping trip from hell! Produced by Edgar Wright, the latest from Down Terrace and Kill List director Ben Wheatley is another pitch black comedy on English manners and psychopathology, the missing link between Mike Leigh and Hammer Horror. Chris and Tina depart on what is supposed to be a romantic caravan trip (or "erotic odyssey" as Tina prefers to think of it). Alas, litterbugs, obnoxious hikers and condescending tourists interrupt their idyll at every turn, reminding us of Sartre’s famous truism, "hell is other people".
"This sardonic depiction of Britain, as a land where a thin veneer of strained politesse and fussy specificity of tastes masks a throbbing heart of darkness, makes for Ben Wheatley’s best film yet." Jesse Cataldo, Slant
"A black comic state of the nation address." Kim Newman, Empire
"Dark, gruesome, blithely amoral and thoroughly entertaining." Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com
Don José (Jonas Kaufmann) is a young soldier in the army in Seville. He intends to marry Micaëla, a girl from his home village, but when he meets the sensual and high-spirited Carmen (Anna Caterina Antonacci), his head is soon turned…Spanish heat and gypsy passion are brought to the stage in Francesca Zambello’s vivid production of Bizet’s famous opera.
Sung in French with English subtitles
Acts One and Two will last for about 1 hour 50 minutes, followed by a 15 minute interval. Act Three will last for about 1 hour 5 mins.
Powerful music, a gripping story and a tragic end: Puccini’s ever-popular Tosca performed with a fabulous cast. Among the star singers in this revival are Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. Jonathan Kent’s detailed production draws to the full on the historical backdrop of Rome in 1800, an atmospheric backdrop to the love of the beautiful diva Tosca, the idealism of her lover Cavaradossi and the deadly, destructive obsession of the malevolent Chief of Police, Scarpia.
Daniele Abbado explores themes of identity, exile and religion in a powerful staging of Verdi’s epic opera. War has broken out between the Babylonians and Israelites. The Israelites have captured Fenena, younger daughter of the Babylonian King, Nabucco. In revenge, Nabucco vows to destroy Jerusalem, aided by the vengeful Abigaille.
“Domingo’s career, 42 years at Covent Garden and counting, continues to be a wonder of the age.” The Guardian
Matinee screening Aug 24 (only) All Ages Show, Under-19s welcome.
Evening shows introduced by Bond expert Murray Gillespie
Released in North America in May 1963 - 50 years ago - the very first James Bond movie was an adaptation of Ian Fleming’s sixth Bond novel..Set for the most part in Jamaica, the story involves the assassination of a British MI6 officer. Bond’s investigation draws him ever closer to the mysterious Dr No. Not just the first but one of the best Bond films, this establishes the key ingredients which have made the series so popular for so long.
When MI6 gets a chance to get their hands on a Lektor decoder, Bond is sent to Turkey to seduce the beautiful Tatiana (Daniela Bianchi), and bring back the machine. With the help of Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendariz), Bond escapes on the Orient Express, but might not make it off alive. Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and Timothy Dalton have all cited From Russia With Love as their favourite Bond film.
"Highly immoral in every imaginable way; it is neither uplifting, instructive nor life-enhancing. Neither is it great film-making. But it sure is fun." Richard Roud, The Guardian (1963)
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. In his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.
In a reboot of the series, Casino Royale opens with Bond (Daniel Craig) gaining his 00 status, by killing two enemy agents, and earning his license to kill. Bond must win a high stakes poker game against terrorist financer Le Chiffre, to bankrupt him so that he will be murdered by his bankers.
Kasper Holten, ROH Director of Opera, presents a mesmerizing new production of Mozart’s sublime tragicomedy. The impulsive and charismatic Don Giovanni travels through Europe seducing women, accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello. When he commits murder, he unleashes vengeance from beyond the grave.
Guatemala, GB, USA
A moving, thought-provoking and rare documentary by a Latin American woman, recording her return from exile and into the still dangerous and volatile political environment of contemporary Guatemala. Where over the course of four years, writer-director Ana Lucia Cuevas discovers, through the archived records of the perpetrators of the crimes themselves, the involvement of her own government and foreign Intelligence Services in the abduction, torture and murders of her brother and his young family.
"A powerful, personal story of state-sponsored terror in Guatemala and the lasting effects it has had on families, “The Echo of Pain of the Many” is a timely testament to the brave, untiring efforts of Guatemalans to demand justice and dent the country’s long-standing veil of impunity." Guatemala Solidarity Network