Programme 2011-12

7 September 2011
The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos) (18)

Set in Buenos Aires, 1999, this Oscar-winning film centres on a retired lawyer who decides to solve a 25 year-old murder. An emotionally charged and gripping thriller, both as a love story and murder mystery.

Dir. Juan José Campanella, Argentina 2009, 129mins (subtitles)

Member rating: 93% Voting: A-32, B-6, C-1, D-1, E-0
Member comments: Note: "brilliant" appears a great many times in people's comments. Totally absorbing - so much so that I didn't notice how long it was. Chilling in its realism but a great study of human nature. A traditional style of thriller but perfectly made. Absolutely edge of seat throughout. An outstanding choice to start the new season, totally absorbed in the action, and forgot time and space around me. Great stories within stories. Hard to pick any faults in this great opener. Brilliant story, brilliant film and brilliant start to season - more please CFS!!.Had it all, love story, thriller with novel twist and humour. Beautiful story, loved the two themes of love and Justice. Life really meant life for all the characters. Extraordinary - very clever film - excellent. What a fantastic film to start the season. Excellent acting & completely unexpected twists to the plot. Tremendous suspense with a surprising conclusion. Very good film. No intrusive background music, well lit and good denouement, I'd see it again. Totally absorbing with a very satisfying ending - best film I have seen in some time. Wonderful! An excellent film to start the season. Wow, keeps you guessing to the end, Thrilling all right. A brilliant start. Completely absorbing in every respect, humour , pathos -everything. Wonderfully slow, deliberate pace, just about perfect. Quite fascinating - great start to season. Fabulous and moving, rather too much Talcum powder on the aging Espito. The Argentinian justice system seems quaint. The subtitles were of little help! A little over long, but a very good film with strong blend of comedy and romance. A good film but the ending was a bit disjointed. Edge of the seat type of film with unexpected ending. Great start to the new season. Couldn't have anticipated the ending.

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28 September
Archipelago (15)

A well-to-do family arrives in the Scilly Isles for a holiday, but as the rain lashes down fractures arise, especially when the father fails to appear. 'Joan Hogg's Archipelago is subtle, mysterious and utterly distinctive "deeply intelligent"' (Guardian)

Dir. Joanna Hogg, UK 2010, 115mins

Member rating: 39% Voting: A-3, B-3, C-8, D-12, E-15
Member comments: Sorry to give this an "E" but found it empty; it seemed an amateur attempt at portraying relationships - too many lingering shots of nothing. Grey. Anything filmed in the Isles of Scilly can't be at all bad; really caught the atmosphere of an island-based holiday cottage. What was the point of it - tedious. Hard to empathise with this family as too slow-moving and dialogue weak. Sadly this film spent too little time on the story and too much time on the director show-casing her film-making skills; these skills should enhance a story not trample all over it; should we at the CFS keep indulging these people? Any slight chance of enjoying the film was completely ruined by members of the audience giving each other a running commentary throughout. I feel this film was more about the arty way it was shot - viewing the film through the camera lens rather than watching and listening to the film's story line unfold; didn't get the contents at all?? Too much light and dark but no Milk Tray!! Do people think that whispering though the film is unheard by others - rudeness. No plot, no colour, nothing. If the film wanted to portray a sense of boredom and desperation it succeeded! Nice landscape, dysfunctional people. Slow, boring. Rather slow but nevertheless absorbing as the characters and situations developed. Strange film - almost compelling; it became clear why the husband didn't turn up. Superb acting; like being a fly on the wall observing the lives of others. Must be the most boring film ever. So slow and dark, I kept falling asleep. Interesting dynamics but rather slow. One of the most boring films I have seen in years. Really enjoyed the family tensions - nail-biting and excruciating - can't wait for Christmas!! The beautiful Scilly Isles were a light relief to the dark brooding tensions of the dysfunctional family. Looked good but far too long. The worst film I have ever seen in my life - nothing happened. It was a relief when this holiday finished. Tension held attention. Totally pretentious and self indulgent - it was so ridiculous it was quite fascinating. Strange holiday; couldn't see a lot; lighting in house seemed very dim - perhaps why the food wasn't cooked enough! Unrelentingly slow and self-consciously "arty". A bleak view of a bleak family. The only good things about the film were the sexing of the lobster and the plucking of the pheasant!! Not sure this worked - did not maintain dramatic tension. Slow, boring. Tedious, disjointed, pointless. Beautiful photography - disjointed "plot" but very atmospheric. Atmospheric - very truthful. Not interesting enough; annoyingly boring people who seemed unable to do anything for themselves; did get over the atmosphere of terrible Christmas and family holidays though. Dulux drying time preferred; totally unengaging; couldn't care less about any of them - the first two hours were the worst! Slow and dreary! Livened up briefly when Cynthia stormed off - what was the point of it all? Curious - I was bored witless, wanted to hit someone but still rather enjoyed it!


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5 October
The First Day of the Rest of Your Life (Le premier jour du reste de ta vie) (15)

This is a funny, insightful and moving portrait of family life, spanning the years from 1988 to 2000. It highlights five key days which changed the life of each individual member of the family.


Dir. Rémi Bezançon, France 2008, 113mins (subtitles)

Member Rating: 78% Voting A-19, B-16, C-8, D-3, E-0
Member comments
: Brilliant film - so well put together. Another view of family life by turns charming, amusing, improbable and typically French; very noisy, almost a "sock" film. Excellent from the very beginning to the end - in all aspects. A well crafted and well executed film; I loved it - it rang true on so many levels; we're back on track CFS!! Some moving scenes. I enjoyed this film even though I found it difficult to follow in parts; it was good to hear people in the audience laughing. Excellent, kept you watching and waiting through the whole film - all content and no hot air! Funny, sad, realistic snapshots of life. OK of a genre, but sentimental and highly artificial. Fantastique! - could watch it all over again. A lovely happy sad film; loved the air cushion at the end. Warm, moving, funny - a bit messy at times, but "so's life"! Interesting - well produced, good photography - well acted. Very enjoyable; easy to watch and well crafted. Good all round - enjoyed and felt for it. Superb film - really powerful. A joyful look at family life - much more positive than last week's Scilly film! Very humorous and a good example of a modern family. Had everything from very funny to very emotional. What a contrast to last week! - all the emotions brilliantly portrayed. Annoying "American" subtitles which is a shame; very enjoyable film - excellent lesson about the dangers of smoking. Warm, touching, truthful film of a French family - beautifully observed; vive la famille! A dysfunctional family that took a very long time to grow up! Good in parts but overlong. From the very beginning this film engaged and held your attention; well observed from funny moments through to deep emotional ones. Back on track; thoroughly enjoyed it - more like this please. Engaging; good mixture of amusing and sad - the rough and smooth of family life nicely portrayed. Fab film - "live for the moment"! C'est magnifique! "Americanisation" of subtitles is irritating but appreciated smoking/cancer lesson! A wonderful family, with all their good times and bad; the music was just perfect for every moment. A lovely life affirming film. Yet another tiresome family - this time French. Delightful. Quite good

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26 October
Loose Cannons (Mine vaganti) (12A)

In this multi-stranded comedy of errors and sexual identity, the son of a pasta-making clan has his plans to "come out" derailed by his brother. 'Engaging stuff, handsomely shot, a lovely film.' (Time Out)

Dir. Ferzan Ozpetek, Italy/Turkey 2010, 113mins (subtitles)

Member rating: 79% Voting: A-17, B-22, C-5, D-2, E-0
Member comments:
Delightful with poignant and comic moments. I loved it. Loved the music, the actors and the film but subtitles a bit too fast. A brilliant film, funny and at times a profound treatment of "that subject"; only Italians could do this. Loved it - best yet; so full of life. Bitter sweet and enjoyable. It has everything - humour, beauty, sadness. Very enjoyable, but can't pretend to understand all the twists; loved the food scene. Tender, witty, but serious; so many wonderful faces and Lecce - magnificent. Funny, warm and wonderful. A delight - visually stunning, poignant and wise. Very entertaining in every respect. Gays have more fun! Wonderful opening shot, wonderful scenery and a captivating film from start to finish. File this one in the "good" envelope CFS; neither a world-beater or a stinker - a pleasant enough two hours. More subtle than its loud glossy surface implied. Yet again, a film spoiled by a couple near the back talking during the film. Loved it - quite a surprise. A bitter-sweet comedy. An intelligent film. Great story, funny and serious; good direction. Beautifully filmed - very entertaining. A well-crafted film - good story, beautifully told. Not bad. Most enjoyable - good story and music. Uneven in tone but warm and enjoyable. Acceptance of everyone's lives is so painful for others in some circumstances - a happy ending.... Very good and put over in a way that allows everyone to understand the subject. Very entertaining!! Loved the fact that Loose Cannons didn't tie up all the loose ends; good to see strong parts for actresses - could teach us a thing or two! Lovely - Bellissimo! An enjoyable film, and the last quarter hour the best! Sensitive topic dealt with in a very entertaining way. A superb film, I just loved it. Overlong but a pleasant stroll around Puglia, and some amusing characters. Yet another European family dinner with explosive ending, but at least the characters were sympathetic, and Lecce gleamed in the tourist tat-free light.

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2 November
Submarine (15)

Ayoade's lovely detailed debut strikes just the right balance between energetic comedy and heartfelt teen-drama. Set in 1980's Swansea it is distinctly British, sincere, lively and very funny.

Dir. Richard Ayoade, UK 2011, 97mins

Member rating: 53% Voting: A-2, B-13, C-20, D-8, E-4
Member comments
: Overuse of dark visuals and poor sound quality let down this plucky UK low budget film. Found it a bit slow - saving grace was the last 5 minutes. Interesting film showing life from a teenager's point of view. If this is precocity it took an awfully long time to work itself out, not helped by poor sound. Teenage torment portrayed in an interesting format; diction could have been clearer - made it difficult to follow at times. Compelling tale and great acting - shame about mumbling. Very true to life - disturbingly so! (too many adverts??) Well shot and atmospheric; a typical adventure of a British teenager - why did this have "British film" written all over it? Some good acting but poor sound track obscured the film. An interesting portrayal of teenage angst. Enjoyed the film - did not enjoy the 10 minutes of adverts and the random air conditioning. A Gregory's Girl for the 21st century; thank God [I'm] no longer ruled by hormones. Beautifully sensitive. A bit slow in places. Not very funny; self-indulgent teenage angst - wouldn't recommend it. Very well acted; it's hard growing up - loved the photography. An introspective film; intelligent and quite well done adolescent "sturm und drang" etc. Warm, affectionate, well-observed tale of teenage angst. Not sure I wanted reminding of the 70's! Film OK; 10 minutes of loud adverts not OK, breeze of air conditioning awful. Well acted; didn't enjoy the black humour. A real departure CFS - creative, humorous and strangely compelling; good British film-making with an enjoyable storyline. Different; just glad I'm not that young any more - beautiful scenery especially at the end. Oh to be young again - good study of feelings. Just too much teenage angst and not much humour - rather dreary and boring with too much juddery handheld camerawork. I'm so glad I'm not a teenage boy - so much angst. I would have enjoyed it if there had been sub-titles - the diction was very poor. Bit tedious between the funny parts - interesting concept let down by the technicals. Charming and a strong visual style; a bit of editing would have helped sharpen it up. Tedious, melancholy film - glad when it was over. Good portrayal of adolescence. Quirky and imaginative - always good to see Sally Hawkins. Wonderful - especially the closing scene. Teenage angst redeemed by a touching ending. Glad I'm no longer a teenager, awful parents - interesting photography. It may have been homage to the 80's but it was somehow dreary and certainly not "lively and very funny". Visually the interiors were so muddled, was that really how the 80's were? surely not. Depressing and no laughs at all.

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16 November
Heartbreaker (L'arnacoeur) (15)

Enjoyable French comedy of a professional couple hired by the family to break up the romance between a rich heiress and her fiancé. With likeable characters, a sharp script, and snappy direction it's a real hoot.

Dir. Pascal Chaumeil, France 2010, 105mins (subtitles)

Member rating: 79%: Voting A-21, B-15, C-14, D-0, E-0
Member comments:
Brilliant. It was fun - a tonic! Very entertaining - very noisy in parts. More like this please! Thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted comedy and it was so good to hear so much laughter from the audience. A clever French twist on a Romcom theme - subtle, no; fun, yes. Fantastic film - so pleased it had the fairytale ending. Very entertaining. Tres amusent! Most enjoyable! A great film to finish the year with - lived it, loved it! Fast, furious and a ripping good yarn! Very unusual - very peculiar. Entertaining but not deep with (?)curious conclusion. Good relief from the normal run of films. Sheer escapism but great fun. Full of fun, original and entertaining - why does there have to be music at 496 decibels to hurt one's ears though? Great fun, really entertaining; sound is always too loud. Wonderful. A ridiculous plot but a fun film, spoiled by the sound system set too loud. Lively. An impossible love story - good fun. Unusual romantic comedy but very entertaining - good fun! Good story well told and acted. Light hearted fun! An enjoyable frothy comedy! Very entertaining. Very amusing, very entertaining - it was FUN. Great concept and fast moving storyline brilliantly executed; it even had a happy ending - almost unheard of for a CFS film; great choice. Great fun. Amusing. Absolutely fantastic - I'll get the DVD for my husband for Christmas! Light and amusing but a pity it descended into cliché at the end - See you next year and thanks!! Entertaining though rather superficial - I wonder if it would be so highly rated if it was American rather than French? Great film - original and full of laughs, a pre-Christmas treat! A great, fun, film. Good fun. An enjoyable film with lovely people and locations. Very entertaining, it brightened up a dreary November.

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11 January 2012
Midnight in Paris (12A)

This sweetly sentimental film is funny and charming about a young man and his love for the city, and people's illusion that a different life would be distinctly better. Best and most enjoyable Allen picture for years.

Dir. Woody Allen, USA/France 2011, 94mins

Member rating: 86%: Voting A-26, B-19, C-5, D-0, E-0
Member comments:
Despite being Woody Allen, I enjoyed the film - I did wonder how many more names could he include! Woody Allen's typical style - more please. Magical film - transported - must read Hemingway! Wonderful imaginative depiction of what happens in Paris after midnight. Superb - Woody Allen back to his best! Unusual but very entertaining. Excellent - took us all into a fantasy world. Funny, bizarre, brilliant!! The time shift didn't work for me. A great film to start 2012 - a fantasy I should love to go on! A beautiful fantasy of a film, spun along by perfect music, parfait! A welcome return to form for Woody! Keep 'em coming. Beautiful evocative photography in Paris, imaginative story; one of Woody Allen's best perhaps. Fabulous, fantastical fun! A good Woody Allen compared with recent form! The perfect antidote to Wuthering Heights [shown on 7 January]. You can hear Woody Allen's voice a bit too much sometimes. Could have cut the early Paris travelogue, but a good concept well executed. Brilliant! Lovely, romantic escapism - and Paris at its best. Absolutely brilliant. Imaginative and charming. Very clever and amusing. A+. Enjoyable fantasy - great travelogue for Paris. My kind of fairy story - plus musical accompaniment! A very enjoyable film - great views of Paris. Excellent, very funny. An interesting story, enjoyable. Very gentle and light-hearted. Whimsical and very charming. A quirky one CFS - a knowledge of early 20th century historical figures was almost essential; easy watching though! An easy to watch film to start the CFS year; well shot with some good scenery at the start. Light-hearted fun. I had a permanent smile on my face throughout - great to see Woody Allen finally back on form. Enthralling film - very enjoyable and crazy. Who else but Woody Allen? Indulgent but a clever plot and most enjoyable. Loved it all, especially the music: Well filmed even in the rain.

 

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25 January
Drive (18)

'Driver' is a stunt driver by day and at times a getaway driver at night. He'll do anything providing it involves driving, but complications set in when he befriends a woman whose husband is due for release from gaol.


Dir. Nicholas Winding Refn, USA 2011, 95mins

Member rating: 54%: Voting A-8, B-7, C-4, D-7, E-7 (write in F-2)
Member comments:
I feel I can't grade this film as I found it far too violent for me personally. Michael Mann-like (Heat/Thief) with painterly framing and techno/electro soundtrack (as in Heat/Thief); the main character was required to be a cipher - part McQueen/Eastwood/Brando. It is the nastiest film I've ever seen - were they all baddies? Couldn't see who was good or bad - when they were bad they were very, very, very horrid! And he seemed such a nice man. The start of the movie really set the scene for the rest of the film; unusual to have so much blood and gore at CFS - made me jump more than once. Brilliant, excellent cinematography - scorpion jacket was a perfect touch. Very well made and utterly horrible. What a horrible film. Wow! Great story with suspense and action; good music too. Reminiscent of Scorsese; gripping and wonderfully atmospheric; brilliant acting. Slow and much much too much violence - unrealistic! Gratuitous violence is not entertainment. Can't say enjoyable but excellent of its kind! What a terrible film - inhumane! The worst ever. An excellent but gory film with great atmospheric music really adding to the tension! - a great departure from the norm CFS. Mr Cool turns out to be a nutter! Lousy titles, lousy music, bad acting. Slow - needed a change of pace; unnecessarily explicit violence. Achingly cool, fantastic soundtrack; heard there was a lot of blood, so knew to take off my glasses when it got too graphic! Gripping and totally realistic; well done CFS - a very different film. Gripping, gruesome, edge of the seat stuff. Slow, long drawn out extreme violence - not what we come to the Elgiva for. Poor acting, gratuitous violence! Too violent for my liking. Bloody. A bit too violent for a January evening. Modern film noir but, although stylish, ultimately empty at its core. A good film but not one I "enjoyed". Gross, gratuitous, horrid. When the violence started I just shut my eyes for the rest of the film. Tarantino without the humour! A very strong cast and well acted and directed - Gosling superb almost like McQueen/Eastwood in understated menace. Photography superb underpinned with an unsettling and riveting soundtrack. A story sadly of our times about the criminal sub strata of Los Angeles society and, as such, a legitimate story for a film and a legitimate film for CFS to show - not all films can be gentle French Comedies! Some of the images were so shocking and mind/sense grabbing that they overshadowed the real strengths of the acting and direction and reduced the film almost to B movie status - a pity.

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1 February
The Maid (La nana) (15)

With engaging performances and story telling, this film offers a pleasing take on a bourgeois family and its servants. When a new maid is taken on to help maid Raquel, jealousy and resentment build up and sabotage follows.

Dir. Sebastián Silva, Chile/Mexico 2009, 96mins (subtitles)

Member rating: 49%: Voting A-0, B-12, C-13, D-9, E-4
Member comments:
A strange film with some abrupt changes of mood and a sudden ending. Well done, but the transformation of Raquel is not credible. Strange story but I enjoyed it. An interesting study in interdependency - would not want to see it again as there is too much handheld camera work. An interesting take in relationships - what a shame Lucy left! - hope her influence remains with Raquel. Difficult to empathise with Raquel or the family. Too manic. A pleasant film but found handheld camera work clumsy and intrusive. Didn't go anywhere and I didn't really get it; I'm afraid that CFS has reverted to type and shifted back onto the "safe" option - more edgy and, dare I say, controversial films like Drive please. Just the right film after last week's violence - really pleasant. Disappointing and slow; not sure what all the headaches were about when she didn't accept help - this film needed to go deeper; it touched in places and then moved on giving no depth to the movie? Boring, tedious. Similar in tone to Mike Leigh's films; a slight story with maximum emotion but minimal sentimentality. Tedious - camera work visually disturbing. Compelling and thought provoking. Too much handheld camera. A film about nothing much - pleasant enough but slight. Bittersweet; comic at times - a psychological study of interdependence; Rachel grew more confident through her friendship with Lucy and gained self-respect. All that housework made me tired; didn't really get inside the characters - couldn't really believe that the maid had spent years in the family. Good story well acted - pleasant enough with some surprises although not greatly involving. Good - different. Tedious. Inoffensive - OK movie but didn't really go anywhere. Very strange. Absorbing wondering what would Raquel's next trick be. Pleasurable but rather put in the shade having seen The Help.


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22 February
The Shop Around the Corner (U)

Classic feature. In a Budapest store the new floorwalker and a girl assistant take a dislike for each other, unaware that they are already penpals. 'The most beautifully acted and paced romantic comedy ever' (New Yorker, 1978)

Dir. Ernst Lubitsch, USA 1940, 99mins

Member rating: 73%: Voting A-9, B-24, C-5, D-4, E-0
Member comments:
Delightful old fashioned romantic comedy. Great to see James Stewart. Enjoyable film, pity about poor sound-track. If only all films were this romantic. Silly but charming. Must now see modern remake "You've Got Mail" Great dialogue. One black and white film is enough for one season. Sweet story but sound track hard to hear at times. Enjoyable change of tone and always good to see James Stewart doing his thing. Eat your heart out George Clooney. Enchanting, witty, excellent acting - the best! Delightful comedy still raising laughs after 72 years, a hint of darkness made it all the more believable. Beautiful narrative, James Stewart at his best, heart-warming romance. A swift walk down memory lane. Very enjoyable. A pleasant change. It reminds me of my childhood, watching TV films on a Sunday afternoon, long slow and boring. Very interesting to see how film has developed over 70 years. Its origin as a play was obvious but very well made and acted. Lovely film. Apart from the Hungarians speaking astonishing American it was lovely. Nicely quirky, full of fun - I never realised the importance of straight legs before. Pure nostalgia. Lovely romantic film - those were the days. Where did you find this lovely film? A very sweet film with great period charm. An amusing change. A nice old fashioned story with a happy ending. Not sure if the classic film worked, a bit slow for present day tastes? The experiment may be worth pursuing next season if the right film can be found. Quirky gentle humour, feudal labour relations! Very ;pleasant-well written - nice twists.

 

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14 March
Abel (15)

Tender, loving heartbreaking story of a disturbed 9 year-old who starts speaking and acting eerily in the persona of his absentee father. With great acting the film brilliantly locates a child's-eye view.

Dir. Diego Luna, Mexico 2010, 82mins (subtitles)

Member rating: 61%: Voting A-9, B-12, C-12, D-8, E-3
Member comments:
Very sad - didn't want to see Abel return to hospital - was that the point, that there was no choice? SAD. If there was a message in this film it passed me by - what was the point of it all? Moving, agonising. Depressing and moral tale. Very harrowing! Exactly what I hoped for from CFS - a film I wouldn't have otherwise made time to see. Excellent Indie film without a pat Hollywood ending but a ray of hope to leave on. A little slow, but it took the mind off the Elgiva's air conditioning! Interesting but offered little else. Very powerful, but disturbing! A bit like all the others - very noisy and too much shouting. Thank you to the gentleman who spotted the subtitle problem. Great acting from the two boys. Very serious subject but interesting. Uncomfortable, real, brilliantly acted and technically very well made. Very thought provoking. Most unusual - a 'dark' subject. A sad little film - acting excellent; demonstrates how family breakups affect children. Interesting film, full of mixed emotions. Heartbreaking. Most enjoyable - out of the mouths of babes! Unusual story - good photography, good acting. Brilliant; the accusation in Abel's eyes in the final scene - heartbreaking. No sympathetic characters and an unlikely premise. Very bitter sweet! It was more DFS than CFS this week - I wish I had stayed at home on the sofa!! Just very strange. A desperately sad story but very well acted and filmed. Beautifully made - weird - thought provoking. Very peculiar but well acted and directed. Powerful and cliché-free - no happy ending; strong performances put Hollywood in the shade. Thank you, great film. A touching story with excellent acting. An excellent film but so incredibly sad; an amazing child actor - and the direction was unbelievably careful and sensitive. Well constructed and sympathetic. Excellent performance by the mother. A real nail-biter.

 

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28 March
White Material (15)

During an African civil war, a lively white woman (Isabelle Huppert) refuses to abandon her coffee plantation when confronted by a world gone mad. 'A superb and complex film.' (Sight & Sound)

Dir. Claire Denis, France/Cameroon 2009, 106mins (subtitles)

Member ratings 53.8%: A-2, B-15, C-10, D-9, E-4
Member comments:
The chaotic style of the film's camerawork and direction accurately portrayed the terrible situation. Interesting film, one to watch twice. Very interesting. A bit slow and a bit confusing - were there any good guys? A depressing but thought-provoking film with a confusing conclusion; unusual for the woman to be unprotective of the family. Very tense. Isabelle Huppert's flimsy blouses were implausible under the circumstances! Brilliantly absorbing and a very tense film but a lot of unanswered questions. Too slow - too much hand held camera. Terrible. Would have given "Very Good" but found the son's madness and grandfather's murder odd; perhaps that's the point. Haunting view of war, inhumanity, colonialism and loss of reason. Nice to see the Highlander! Interesting insight into divisions within a civil war. Very haunting and moving. Relentlessly depressing without a single character to care about. Slow and disjointed. A gripping portrayal of the devastating and tragic civil wars that are still occurring to this day. Laboured story of a blinkered woman.... A dark and deeply disturbing film. Tremendous atmosphere, very tense. The camerawork was too close up and jerky for the film to be watched in any comfort. Yet another powerful film: brilliant direction and cinematography - very evocative atmosphere. Very good acting but not my kind of film. Good atmosphere, but garbled and confusing. Good film but confusing?? Superb but distressing - who would ever trust Africa?! Too grim! Thank heavens that colonialism has ended. Serious subject - more comedies please. Very atmospheric, excellent sense of place though at times the narrative was a bit confusing. Grimly realistic. Beyond any words - A terrible reality - never entertainment but well made. Full of suspense and atmosphere, great music but confused story and relationships?? I admired the actress but found the film very disturbing. Timeline confusing, close-up handheld camera distracting.

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11 April
My Afternoons with Margueritte (La tête en friche) (15)

This is a sweet-natured, heart-over-head comedy, with Gerard Depardieu as a bumbling, fat handyman who strikes up an unlikely friendship with ninety-something Margueritte. 'A feel-good lesson in self-improvement' (Independent)

Dir. Jean Becker, France 2010, 82mins (subtitles)

Member ratings 85.4%: A-21, B-16, C-4, D-0, E-0
Member comments:
Brilliant, a feel good film. Superb, brilliant - but why did the programme notes forget to mention Depardieu? Came out smiling - with a few tears. A heart-warming story. A relaxing and entertaining theme. Un film charmant. Very enjoyable. Very charming. Nice with two T's. A feel good film at last; I could just about believe everything - apart from the beautiful bus driver. Very charming, also touching and humorous. What a lovely film - superb! A delightful and touching film with an excellent performance by the main character. A film full of tenderness and dependable relationships! Lovely - true to life film, nicely shot. Unusually sentimental for a CFS film; strangely compelling and a good choice. A charming, feel good film, parfait! Lovely to see Germain gradually developing with Margueritte's gentle support. A lovely film, tender moving and humorous at times - Gerard Depardieu at his best. A very engaging film. Charming. Gently lovely, a feel good film; nice change from the usual harrowing film. Nice to see Depardieu - and there's an awful lot of him to see these days! Simply delightful; beautifully acted with warm real characters - great choice. Pleasant film but Depardieu seemed too old for the part. Lovely film; best since Midnight in Paris. Thoroughly enjoyable; the two main actors were excellent. Excellent acting, ambience, story and French rural life. A delightful film, extremely well acted. Very interesting and enjoyable. This evening's choice was worth the price of membership alone - thank you to all concerned. An endearing little film with a happy ending. Depardieu was very convincing and played the part well.

 

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18 April
Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux) (15)

Stunningly beautiful, truth-based and powerful resonant drama of French Cistercian monks facing threats of violence from Algerian Islamic fundamentalists in their serene corner of the Atlas mountains.

Dir. Xavier Beauvoir, France 2010 122mins (subtitles)

Member ratings 83.3%: A-23, B-7, C-1, D-3, E-2
Member comments:
Excellent story and setting, not too hard to follow. Great atmosphere and humanity - interest held throughout; music and chants were very appropriate. An excellent film showing current affairs not only in Africa but in places where freedom is sought - good photography, acting and superb music. Brilliant French as usual. Beautifully understated in the best European tradition. Gripping and emotional. Totally moving and astonishing film - very subtle yet also dramatic. Too slow, could have been shortened. A gripping film, I'm very glad that I did not miss it - possibly the best film this year even though it was so horrific. No words! A very moving film - wonderful acting. A powerful portrayal of a universal dilemma. Very moving. Harrowing but wonderful film in all ways. A powerful moving film beautifully acted, with scenery and music to match. What incredible dignity the monks displayed to the end. A profoundly moving and meditative film, with a final shot of the monks disappearing into the mist that will stay in the memory (but the Elgiva was very hot and stuffy, and what a shame they put the house lights on before the film was truly finished - the end credits are part of the film too!). Excellent acting, very moving. A truly inspiring film. Gripping and beautifully shot portraying the horrors of civil war. A quite wonderful film with beautiful photography, fine acting and an unbelievable testimony to faith. Very powerful and totally absorbing - every aspect of the film: photography, acting, etc, was so masterful. What a powerful film - beautifully directed with stunning photography. A challenging subject which, I may suggest CFS, was too long and heavy to be considered entertainment - however, the genius Swan Lake scene almost redeemed it! Thought compelling - a terrible ending. Please can we have more of this standard of film. Dealing with broadly similar issues to White Material but in a far more linear way - the film I was least looking forward to proved the best so far; spiritually convincing even for an atheist such as me.
Stunning, hauntingly mesmeric; the kind of film that you keep thinking about long after leaving the cinema - A star.

 

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2 May

Annual General Meeting at 7pm (all members welcome)

followed at 8pm by:

Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di ferragosto) (U)

Gianni, a hard-up batchelor, is duped into caring for his landlord's elderly mother as well as his own, for a weekend. However, he finds himself looking after many more than he bargained for. A deliciously charming film.

Dir. Gianni Di Gregorio, Italy 2008, 75mins (subtitles)

Members rating 75.6%, A-16, B-17, C-7, D-4, E-0
Members comments:
Very charming in the Italian manner. Delightful comedy; many good moments; perhaps a bit more action and a longer film would be nice; good atmospheric Italian life. Slight, pleasant, inconsequential. Great to see a re-discovery of life. Great cast of characters; lovely and unusual to have elderly actors in leading roles; gentle comedy of manners that dealt with serious issues about ageing with a light touch. A realistic, enjoyable microcosm of Italian life. I'll be in this situation soon, I hope I'll laugh (we're Italian). You don't get wrinkles like that in a Hollywood blockbuster! A low key end to a great season - well done CFS. Well directed and acted; each character a delight. A good study of ageing gracefully. Nicely paced, with the characters becoming more believable as the story developed. A splendid way to end the season - a delight. Very engaging - wanted it to continue!! Gentle and a little soporific - must have been all that white wine! A delightful film to finish off the season; those women were a lot easier to look after than grandchildren!!! Poor Gianni, what a life - no wonder he had angina! A taste of August afternoons to come. Very pleasant. A lovely film to finish the season. Brilliant! Enjoyable. A little gem of a film - a great end to the season. Entertaining and good fun. Good guy Gianni - how do you do it?! Most enjoyable, it was over too soon - very amusing. Very jolly and uplifting; too short; very humorous and sniggerish but such a shame that the subtitles were American (eg "Mom")!! Just needed a glass of white wine to join in! What a lovely film - all the characters drawn with great warmth and humour. Brilliant light comedy, as good as Prozac! Only downside is I'm damn hungry and want a bottle of wine… Uplifting. Heart-warming - such lovely ladies. A pleasant light-hearted film. Photography very good particularly close-ups; Gianni played the part well with impeccable Italian. Sweet film, bit abrupt ending - kept thinking something else was going to happen; slightly annoying camerawork. Very appropriate for the sandwich generation. Funny, gentle and most enjoyable; so glad the four ladies were able to buy a bit more freedom!

 

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