"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
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.
Based on a notorious historical incident in which the sixteenth century French town of Loudun was swept up in tide of witch-hunting mania, Ken Russell’s searing movie kept censors busy all over the world with its shocking imagery and no-holds-barred assault on ecclesiastical hypocrisy. Forty years on it retains its power, not least for the astounding, career-best performances from Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jarman’s bold production design, and the electrifying score by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
"The pinnacle of Russell’s astonishing career, blending the exuberant visuals and musical underpinning of his most most exotic fantasies wieh a serious undercurrent of outraged political intent… a fearsome, breathtaking masterwork." Mark Kermode, BBC
"A garish glossary of sado-masochism… a taste for visual sensation that makes scene after scene look like the masturbatory fantasies of a Roman Catholic boyhood." Alexander Walker, Evening Standard
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
The Bank of England has detected an unauthorized leakage of gold from the country, and Bond (Connery) is sent to investigate. The suspect is one Auric Goldfinger, the richest man in the country - who is hatching a scheme to irradiate Fort Knox. Bond must foil his plots, while avoiding the deadly bowler-hatted Korean, Oddjob.
"A dazzling object lesson in the principle that nothing succeeds like excess." Penelope Gilliatt
Xenia Onatopp and Colonel Ourumov hijack a special helicopter that is immune to electromagnetic pulse. The pair then go to a Soviet bunker that is the control base for the Goldeneye satellite weapons - but a new Bond - Pierce Brosnan - is on the case.
Emilio Largo, the Number 2 at SPECTRE, has stolen two nuclear warheads. He threatens to destroy a city in the United States and England unless a ransom of $100 million in diamonds is paid. 007 heads out to the Bahamas to stop him.
"It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Super-Bond!" Hollywood Reporter
Enter Timothy Dalton, a leaner, meaner 007. Bond is assigned to protect Georgi Koskov, an ex-KGB officer who is defecting to the British. Koskov is to escape during the intermission at the Bratislava concert hall, and must be protected from a KGB sniper. Bond sets up across the street, but decides against assassinating the sniper…
"Grips like wet rope" Brian Case, Time Out
Ernst Stavro Blofeld is hijacking American and Russian space shuttles, in an attempt to start a war between the two nations. Bond is sent to Japan to investigate, with the help of Tiger Tanaka, the head of station in Tokyo. Armed with over 100 trained ninjas, Bond infiltrates Blofeld’s volcano lair.
Matinee show Sun Sept 1 (only) All Ages Show, under 19s welcome
One-timer George Lazenby had the good fortune to star in one of the strongest all-round Bond movies. Director Peter Hunt ensures the action is tip top, but also finds emotional reserves the super spy usually keeps well hidden. With Diana Rigg as his lover, Tracy, and Telly Savalas as Blofeld.
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
Sean Connery is back for a fast paced hunt through a diamond smuggling pipeline. MI6 arrests small time smuggler Peter Franks, and Bond takes his place, meeting courier Tiffany Case. He follow the trail of the diamonds, as everyone who touches them gets killed. The end of the pipeline is Blofeld, with another plan for world domination.
Roger Moore shows the right stuff in this slightly more realistic adventure. A ship containing an Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator (ATAC), which can control ballistic missile attacks, is sunk. Bond is sent to retrieve the ATAC before the Russians can.
When doctors diagnosed 19-year-old rock star Jason Becker with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, they said he would never make music again and that he wouldn’t live to see his 25th birthday. 22 years later, without the ability to move or to speak, Jason is alive and making music with his eyes.
Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet is a feature-length documentary film that tells the incredible story of a guitar legend who refuses to give up on his dream of being a musician despite the most incredible odds. It is a story of dreams, love, and the strength of the human spirit.
"This heartfelt documentary is also, more subtly, a tribute to the squadron of caregivers that has enabled Mr. Becker not only to survive for an extraordinarily long time but also to continue to compose music, using virtually the only part of him that still moves, his eyes." Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
"Inspiring heartbreaker of a documentary." Joshua Rothkopf, New York Times
Based on Arthur C Clarke’s short story ‘The Sentinel’, 2001: A Space Odyssey redefined the sci-fi genre. With its radical structure (a single cut elides 4 million years), scant dialogue and oblique narrative this was the first movie to emulate the philosophical seriousness of writers like Clarke and Philip K Dick, and the first to see that special effects could become an integral component in the art-form.
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