List of films screened




23 Nov 00

Run Lola Run


14 Dec 00

Enter the Dragon




4 Jan 01

The Maltese Falcon


18 Jan 01



1 Feb 01

Little Voice


1 March 01

Un Nos Ola Leuad


22 Mar 01

The Wild Bunch


5 Apr 01

Central Station


31 Aug 01

2001: A Space Odessey


25 Oct 01

Velvet Goldmine


8 Nov 01



22 Nov 01

West Beirut


13 Dec 01

Three Kings


3 Jan 02

All About my Mother


24 Jan or 22 Feb 02


Animation on 4


14 Feb 02

Those who love me can take the train


7 Mar 02

The Thirty-nine Steps


28 Mar 02

American Movie


31 Aug 02

Best in Show


Thursday 26th, September 02

The Cup

1999, Khventse Norbu. Tibet, 94 mins. Subtitles

World Cup fever is holding a Tibetan monastery and obsessed monks In Its grip. A sweet and funny 'East meets West' story.


Thursday 24th October 02

Birthday Girl

200I Jez Butterworth.

This comedy-cum-thriller is centred around John who finds -a bride via a Russian website, All Is well until Nadia's cousin and his friend turn up to join  In her birthday celebrations. John suddenly finds himself Involved In comical bank robberies and other, slightly less tasteful, activities. One of Nicole Kidman1s best role to date.



Thursday 7th November 02

Twentyfour Seven

1998 Shane Meadows

Bob Haskins' local boy made good returns to his roots to teach the local lads boxing. Good 'kitchen sink results combined with dialogue to die for and superb one-liners make for a very entertaining film. Shot in black and white for effect so don't hang the projectionist.


Thursday 21st November 02

The Wages of Fear

Henri Georges Clouzot, France, B&W, 156 mins

French ex-pats', in a bid to make money, drive a load of nitro-glycerine 'through, the South American Jungle. Brood-chilling tension and the inevitable deaths make far a very dark vision of human nature, Bring a cushion.


Thursday 12th December 02

People on Sunday

Germany, 73 mins B & W Menschen am Sonntag 73 mins, Subtitle*

This unique blend of feature and documentary is as much a celebration of people, as a valuable historical document of Berlin in the 1920s. The five central characters in the film were all amateurs, who actually worked at the jobs described in the film and were only free for shooting on Sundays. Billy Wilder wrote the script and Fred Zlnnemann assisted the direction. Beautifully and excitingly photographed in the last of cinema’s "silent years", TONIGWS OCCASIONAL CINEMA SCREENING FEATURES LIVE PTANO ACCOMPANIMENT, WITH AN ORIGINAL SCORE PROM "CLASSIC OLEW STAR PAUL SHALLCROSS.



Thursday 16th January 2003

Ghost Dog Way of the Samurai

Jim Jarmusch, Fr/Ger/Jap/US

Pigeon fancying hit-man flies to live and die by the Samurai code. Forest Whitaker actually makes this work. High action, superb soundtrack and a plot which swings from dark to Light, filmed in beautiful Jarmusch style.


Thursday 6th February 03

The Eel

Japan 1996 117 mins

A man leaves prison after eight years for murdering his wife and her lover and becomes a barber in a village of misfits. His only friend is an eel because "It listens to me when I talk and doesn't tell me the wrong things in return. Seeing is believing.


Thursday 20th February  03

Solas (Alone)

1998. Benito Zambrano. Spain,

An unsentimental drama about a young woman's desperation when finding herself pregnant and abandoned. Watch out for same fine acting in the character of her mother. Winner of 14 international awards.


Thursday 6th March 03

Dr Strangelove: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

1963, Stanley Kubrick, GB, 94 mins, B&W

Kubrick and Sellers at their finest. The stereotyping of US generals, President, and their flunkies Is still very contemporary and the message still pertinent, But you could just forget Armageddon and enjoy the laughs. Most memorable scene - stetson wearing bomber pilot riding the bomb to oblivion.


Thursday 27th March 03

Dogtown and Z-Boys

2002 Stacy Peralta. US 89

This documentary tells the true story of how kids Living in Santa Monica, CA in the 1970"s brought their surfing styles into skateboarding and revolutionised the sport.  Using home movies, photos, a brilliant soundtrack and candid, articulate interviews, director Stacy Peralta (one of the original boys) details the birth of a pop culture phenomenon.


Thurs 11th Sep 2003 EM 7.30pm

Nine Queens

(2000, Biellnsky, Argentina, 115rnlns, subtitles)

This black comedy thriller finds two conmen in possession of a set of forged stamps. What follows Is a tale of multiple twists, which has all concerned uncertain as to who is doing what to whom, and will leave you guessing right till the end. A dizzy making but hugely entertaining movie.


Thurs 25th Sep 2003 EM 7.30pm

Roger & Me

(1989, Michael Moore, USA, 8Srnlns)

Less well known but just as absorbing and funny documentary from Michael Moore (maker of 'Bowling for Columbine'). He attempts to meet with the head of General Motors, to ask him why, despite record profits, they have laid off tens of thousands of workers in his hometown. The failure of the American dream has tragic-comic consequences for the people of Flint. Michigan.


Thurs 6th Oct 03 EM 7.30pm

Letter to America

(2001, Triffonova, Bulgaria, 105 mins, subtitles)

Ivan’s best friend lays dying In a US hospital. Denied a visa to travel to Karen’s bedside, Ivan heads into the Bulgarian countryside in search of a forgotten folk song believed capable of resurrecting the dead. The most successful feature film ever to come out bf Bulgaria.


Thurs 30th Oct 2003 EM 7.30pm

Bread & Roses

(2001, 'Ken Loach, UK & Europe, 110 mins) Ken Loach makes a Hollywood movie! Don't you believe it? We may be In LA but as ever this passionate filmmaker Is interested In the people who live on the margins, He focuses on the Illegal immigrant cleaners of the dazzling marble and glass, office blocks of ,corporate America, who appear invisible to the lawyers and Hollywood agents who work In them.


Thur 13th Nov 2003 - CABAN 8pm

At the Height of Summer

(1999, Tran Anh Hung, Vietnam, 11Smlns subtitles)

After the death of their mother the lives of three sisters and one brother are thrown into turmoil by adultery; Poetic and beautiful film set in Hanoi, from the director of 'The Scent of Green Papaya.


Thurs 4th Dec 2003 CABAN 8pm

Man with a Movie Camera

(1929, Verlov, USSR, B & W, 138rnins)

An old film of the Russian avant-garde - a documentary of a day in the life of the Soviet Union, which at the same time explores numerous cinematic techniques as It manages to show the audience watching the film that it Is making. Even the tripod takes a bow! The Occasional Cinema Is delighted to show a print with a completely modern score by The Cinematic Orchestra, whose turntables, brass section, soul, hip- hop and jazz undertones make this astonishing film even better.


Thurs 15th Jan 2004 CABAN 8pm

12 Angry Men

(1957, Sidney Lumet, US, B & W, 95mlns)

Henry Fonda, dressed In a white suit, Is the only member of the jury unconvinced of the gull1 of young man accused of murder. Gripping hot and sticky drama, which questions all our prejudices. Packed with well-known faces like Jack Klugman (TV's 'Quincey') in an early role. A timeless classic movie.


Thurs 5th Feb 2004 EM 7.30pm


(2001, Ray Lawrence, Australia, 121 mines)

A woman's body Is found In some Lantana bushes, and her Identity Is slowly revealed to us, The discovery has consequences for a bored Sydney detective and his wife and for several other relationships. An ingenious thriller of neatly contrived coincidences and chance events.


Thurs 19th Feb 2004 EM 7.30pm


(2002, Ahbas Kiarostami, Iran, 93m1ns, subtitles)

A sophisticated woman makes ten car journeys around the city of Tehran, during which she gives lifts to her son, her sister and a variety of other women; All this Is filmed from entirely within the car. The conversations provide a fascinating insight into the lives of Iranian women, whose position 1s society is very different from our notions of equality.


Thurs 18th March 2004 EM 7.30pm

Sunshine State

(2002, John Sayles, USA, 140mtrls)

Florida is the sunshine state of the title and the d.evdope~5.are intent on destroying established communities to build golf courses, and shopping malls. How this affects two families representing white and black residents is warmly portrayed in a gentle un-Hollywood like manner.



23 Sep 04




90 mins


(English subtitles)

A stunningly filmed piece following the tensions within a Sicilian fishing village over a long hot summer. A massive bonfire finally breaks the quiet storm on the beach on St Bartholomew’s feast. Be warned the ending is not neat! Respiro won Best Film at Cannes critics week in 2002.  L



14 Oct 04


France 2002

90 mins

L’Homme du Train

Patrice Leconte   (English subtitles)

A chance for all closet Johnny Hallyday fans to see their hero acting and doing it well. A bank robber (Hallyday) meets a retired literature teacher. Strangers bound by coincidence – the robbery is planned for the same time as the teacher is due to have surgery – the two men begin to wish they could have lived the other’s life: with an entirely unpredictable result. This elegant, very French film won the audience prize at the Venice Film Festival 2002.   L



4 Nov 04






130 min

Cert 18

City of God   (Cidade de Deus)

Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund.

In Portuguese with subtitles.

Based on the novel by Paolo Lins, this film depicts the varied paths children take to survive in a brutally dangerous housing project in Rio de Janeiro. The characters are based on the lives of the many people Lins interviewed during eight years of research for his book, and the entire cast was drawn from locally trained or non-professional actors. Reportedly the portrayal was so authentic and appalling that City of God prompted socioeconomic policy reforms in Brazil.  A



18 Nov 04




Talk to Her

(English subtitles)

An Oscar and BAFTA winning film from sad, sly, funny, clever, controversial film magician Pedro Almodovar. A difficult story of two men who each love a woman in a coma becomes a meditation on the importance of communication in relationships. Of all Almodovar’s teasing masterstrokes, none is more daring than a saucy, silent film-within-the-film called Shrinking Lover, which serves a subtly clever purpose.   L



2 Dec 04


France/ Canada/ Belgium. 2002

Belleville Rendezvous

(no dialogue so no subtitles!)

The French answer to Nick Parks’ genius. If Tati had made cartoons this is what they would have looked like. A typically French subject, cycle racing, given a very unexpected plot turn and superb artistry. The cultural stereotyping is wonderful, watch out for the frog lollies.   L



13 Jan 05




96 min


Gabriele Salvatores.

In Italian/English/Greek/Turkish with subtitles.

An Italian ship leaves a handful of soldiers on a little Greek island during World War II. There’s not a lot for them to do so they have a good time.  A film that’s like going on holiday.   A



3 Feb 05



Finland/ Germany/ France

97 min

The Man Without a Past

(Mies Vailla Menneisyyttä)

Aki Kaurismäki. In Finnish with subtitles.

A man arrives in Helsinki and is promptly mugged. He recovers, but is left with amnesia and must try to rebuild his life from scratch. This quiet black comedy received an Oscar nomination for best foreign film. It’s the second in Kaurismäki’s "Finland" trilogy.   A



17 Feb 05




104 min

Être et Avoir

Nicolas Philibert. In French with subtitles.

The documentary sensation that follows a year in the life of a rural French village school, its children and their teacher. This is filmmaking of both heart and humanity with poetry in its vision and restraint and care in its telling. Really lovely.   L




3 Mar 05





Cert 18

High Plains Drifter

Clint Eastwood

In the spaghetti westerns, Clint Eastwood made the anonymous hero into a cliché and here we have another man with no name. But Eastwood is now director as well as lead, thinking outside the box, so that at the end we are forced to wonder whether the hero exists at all. Using the western genre as framework, Eastwood has made a film like no other, an elegiac essay in the mysterious semi-supernatural set in surroundings usually associated with simple straightforward plots and action.   B



7 Apr 05




91 min

A Mighty Wind

Christopher Guest

In mock-documentary style, this comedy follows an aging ‘60s era folk trio who reunite for a memorial show following the death of a concert promoter. This affectionate send-up is the third “mockumentary” from the writing duo Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy (after Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show) and is reminiscent of This is Spinal Tap, which Guest also co-wrote and starred in.   A


Sat 27 August 05   Bryn Derwen  Coed y Parc  Bethesda

Leningrad Cowboys go America

Aki Kaurismaki  1989

Following last season’s successful screening of Kaurismaki’s ‘Man Without a Past’, we are pleased to show what most consider his masterpiece, a film that has gained a global cult status.

The Leningrad Cowboys, a group of Finnish musicians, and their manager, travel to America seeking fame and fortune. As they cross the country, trying to get to a wedding in Mexico, they are followed by the village idiot, who wishes to join the band. This is without question one of the greatest rock and roll movies ever made. Aki Kaurismaki has to be admired for making such a gutsy and crazy film.


Wed 21 Sept   Y Caban

Peace One Day

Jeremy Gilley (2004)

The story of one man’s attempts to persuade the global community via the UN to officially sanction a global cease-fire day . . . a day of peace. This documentary charts the 5-year journey of the filmmaker as he lobbies just about anybody who’s anyone and his dog. The real challenge is to get the world to unite on a day fast approaching. 1hr 20mins. Cert PG


Thurs 6 Oct 05   EM

Cold Fever  (Á köldum klaka)

Friðrik Þór Friðriksson 1995  83 mins USA/Japan/Iceland/Denmark/Germany. In English, Japanese, German, and Icelandic.

Hirata (Masatoshi Nagase) is a successful young Japanese businessman who reluctantly makes a trip to Iceland to perform a traditional ceremony at the location where his parents died in an accident. His journey takes twists and turns that make for a humorous and absorbing road movie featuring spectacular shots of Iceland.


Thurs 20 Oct 05

Jour De Fete

Jacques Tati  1948  77mins. Cert U

The French comic genius Tati makes his film debut. The village postman endeavours to streamline his service à l’américaine.

”The timing and sheer cleverness of the gags is breathtaking”.

This film is supremely good natured, gently and gloriously funny.


Thurs 3 Nov 05  EM

Only Human

Spanish with English subtitles    3 awards from the International Film Festival 2005

Directed by Dominic Harari; Teresa Pelegri

An amusing, feel-good take on family relationships and Jewish-Arab relations.

When Leni brings her Palestinian fiancé Rafi home to meet her Jewish family- mayhem. European farce at its very best. (BFFS)

Its slight zaniness is recognisably Spanish while there were also elements of typically Jewish humour. Some of the set pieces in the film are laugh at loud funny, while the characters are superb - in particular the ex-Israeli army granddad, the ultra religious but very confused son and the nymphomaniac daughter. This is a family with real problems and the comedy is often tinged with sadness. In an albeit short argument at the end between the Jewish daughter and her Palestinian boyfriend the Middle East debate is given a very vocal hearing, and while this film does not attempt to delve into the subject too deeply.


Thurs 17 Nov 05   EM


Gyorgy Palfi  2002

Using almost no dialogue, the film follows a number of residents (both human and animal) of a small rural community in Hungary. While most of the film is a series of vignettes, there is a sinister and often barely perceptible subplot involving murder.

This film should be seen by anyone who enjoys experimental film, or simply wants to see something different. Palfi should be applauded as a director who can not only conceive of such a movie, but also execute it in such an interesting and compelling way.


Thurs 1 Dec 05  EM

The Man in the White Suit

Alexander Mackendrick  1951

An innovation classic. It is one of the famous Ealing comedies that include “The Lavender Hill Mob,” “The Ladykillers,” and, of course, “Kind Hearts and Coronets”.  Ealing Studios, the longest continuously operating film studio in the world, is in itself an icon for the triumph of the eccentric over the mainstream, of the underdog over the establishment.

For a film released in 1951, “The Man in a White Suit” establishes that there are very few humorous sci-fi comedies and this satire is the very best.  A boffin invents a fabric of infinite strength which never wears out and never gets dirty!  When it is made up into a suit, Capital and Labour slowly, slowly begin to realise the consequences . . .


Thurs 15 Dec 05

Y Galeri Shorts including a number made in Wales.

Food from 6pm.

Note change in venue to Y Galeri, Victoria Dock, Caernarfon - next to Safeway/Morrisons.




Thurs 12 Jan 06  Y Caban

Riding Giants

Stacy Peralta.

From the creator of Dog Town and Z-Boys comes a passionate advocacy of surfing. Peralta tells us that surfing is incomparably exciting, a type of hedonism that offers an ecstatic and genuinely spiritual contact with nature.

Although there are no Beach Boys tracks here the film is distinctly biased to American surf culture. But put that aside and enjoy the ride. Cert 12A


Thurs 26 Jan 06  EM

Memories of Murder

Bong Joo-Ho  2003  Subtitles  2hrs 10mins  Cert 15

Based on real events, this unpredictable comedy is the strange story of a botched investigation into a Korean serial killer in the late 1980’s. The two detectives assigned to the case are amongst the most incompetent imaginable. The film generates a feeling of unease at their inability’s, of farce as we get closer to the killer, and of farce as clues are lost or destroyed. Unbelievable, yet all too believable.


Thurs 16 Feb 06  EM

The Station Agent

Thomas McCarthy  2003

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.

This film is a  genuine charmer. The vertically challenged hero loses his job and home but inherits a disused railway station in the backwoods where he gradually builds a new social grouping. A warm and compassionate movie totally without gooey sentiment.


Thurs 2 March 06  EM

Consequences of Love  (Le Conseguenze dell'amore)

Paolo Sorrentino  2004  100 mins   Italian with subtitles.

Consequences of Love follows Titta (Toni Servillo), a resolutely detached man with seemingly no identity or purpose. It becomes a gripping psychological thriller as the people around him cause him to reconsider his life of isolation. It was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes.


Thurs 23 March 06  EM


Andrés Wood  2hrs  Cert 15

The events surrounding Pinochet's coup in Chile in 1973 seen from the point of view of two 11-year old boys. The boy’s friendship across the class barrier is doomed to come to an end as their school is taken over by the state and Pinochet's grip on power tightens.   ???


Date unknown

Down by Law

Jim Jarmusch  1986  107 min  USA/West Germany  In English and Italian.

Three very different men—an unemployed disc jockey (Tom Waits), a small-time pimp (John Lurie), and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni)—are brought together in a Louisiana prison, where their adventures begin. Described by director Jim Jarmusch as a “neo-beat-noir-comedy.”


Tuesday, September 19 2006


Dir: Lukas Moodyson. Swedish. 2000.

It’s 1975. there’s snow, sex, Volkswagens, Abba and politics (personal and global). With humour ranging from gentle to bawdy, 'Together' is a wry Swedish story of human relationships. As someone says in the film, "I'd rather eat porridge together than pork chops alone", and that is the recurring message throughout the film. When Elizabeth tries to move away from her violent husband, she escapes to her brother’s Stockholm commune. We gradually meet the members of the household and get to see their strengths and weaknesses as they struggle to live with each other (and themselves).


Tuesday October 3

Dark Star

Dir: John Carpenter. USA.1974

Classic, low-budget sci-fi spoof about four stoned astronauts on a 20-year mission in deep space, to destroy unstable planets. Set mid-22 century, they while away their time, trying to keep cabin fever at bay, with sunlamp treatment, videotape diaries, joking, bickering and wresting with their pet alien (is it a beach ball or is it God?).


Tuesday, October 17

Bombon El Perro

Dir: Carlos Sorin. Argentina/Spain. 2004

Set in Patagonia, this tender story follows the fortunes of a middle-aged, unemployed man, struggling to retain his dignity and confidence. He is given an enormous pure-bred Argentinian dog, when he helps a stranded motorist, and his life takes a new direction when he begins entering Bombon to dog shows. With a cast of mainly amateurs, the beautiful but desolate landscapes and haunting score emphasise the gentle man’s vulnerability.


Tuesday, October 31 2006

Donnie Darko

Dir: Richard Kelly. USA. 2001.

Cult thriller takes psychological journey through time travel, existentialism, nihilism, love, and personal sacrifice. Set during elections in 1988 small-town America, Donnie, a disturbed teenager on medication and undergoing psychoanalysis for blackouts and personality disorders, is being visited by a demonic being in a rabbit-suit called Frank who tells him the world is about to end.


Tuesday, November 14

Paradise Now

Dir: Hany Abu-Assad. France/Germany/Netherlands/Israel. 2005.

In Nablus on the West Bank, two ordinary guys, garage mechanics, Said and Khaled, friends since childhood, have volunteered as suicide bombers. Suha, an educated, well-travelled young woman acts as their conscience, challenging their plans. Shot on location in both the Palestinian territories and Israel, 'Paradise Now' is a tense and gripping human drama exploring some of the motivations behind acts of terrorism.  A film which knows its topic up close and provides no easy answers. "Gripping, thoughtful . . . extremely moving" says the Daily Telegraph. Certificate 15 - contains no gratuitous violence.

A nomination for best foreign language film in the 2005 Oscars; winner of the Golden Globe, Blue Angel and Amnesty International awards in 2005 and has other awards.


Tuesday, November 28 2006

Atanarjuat The Fast Runner

Inuit. 2001

The frozen landscape of northern Canada is the stage for an adventure based on an Inuit legend. Atanarjuat, a charismatic young hunter is challenged by his jealous cousin. Everyday Inuit life and simple struggle for survival is the backdrop to a passionate saga. Universal themes of love, betrayal, rape, murder, revenge, communal loyalty, patience, dreams and fate are all explored. Acted by local amateurs, this is the first Inuit language film to be made.


Tuesday, December 12 2006

Wings of Desire

Dir: Wim Wenders. Germany. 1987

Two angels wander through a mixture of post-war and modern Berlin. Invisible to humans, they help and comfort all the fearful, lonely, sad souls they meet. Finally, one of the angels becomes unhappy with his immortal state, yearning to become human and experience the joys of everyday life. He meets a beautiful, circus trapeze artist and falls in love. The entrancing, dreamlike poetry of the dialogue fits seamlessly with the powerful cinematography.



Tuesday, January 9, 7.30pm Y Caban Brynrefail


French thriller. 2005. Dir: Michael Haneke

Starring Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche

This utterly compelling psychological thriller. Georges, a Parisian TV presenter begins to receive mysterious and alarming packages containing covertly filmed videos of himself and his family. To the mounting consternation of Georges and his wife, the footage on the tapes – which arrived wrapped in drawings of disturbingly violent images – becomes increasingly personal, and sinister anonymous phone calls are made. Convinced he knows the identity of the person responsible, George embarks on a rash and impulsive course of action that throws up some unpleasant facts about his past and leads to shockingly unexpected consequences.

Eat first…Rachel is serving Provencal casserole of aubergine, peppers and olives or boeuf bourginon served with bread then chocolate mousse cake for £6.95 from 6pm


Tuesday January 30, 7.30pm Y Caban Brynrefail

True Stories

USA comedy/drama. 1986. Dir. David Byrne

David Byrne visits the fictional Texas town of Virgil, on the eve of the town's celebration of the state's sesquicentenary.

In character, Byrne is an amusing eccentric, cruising around town in a cherry-red convertible delivering humorous one-liners, often speaking directly to the audience, and wearing tacky urban cowboy attire. His countenance throughout the film is a wonderful mix of curiosity, amazement and disbelief as he passes through the every day life of Virgil, introducing us to the local colourful characters, seeking, and finding, the bizarre in the ordinary.

Great Talking Heads soundtrack.


Tuesday February 20, 7.30pm Y Caban Brynrefail

Bread and Tulips

Italian romance

A neglected Italian housewife, Rosalba, married since 21 to a plumbing supplier whose mistress is her sister in law, does a Shirley Valentine when she is left behind by her family on a bus trip. On a whim, she hitch-hikes to Venice. She finds a room owned by Fernando, an Icelandic waiter; befriends Grazia, a holistic masseuse; and, gets a job at a flower shop owned by a cranky anarchist. Her husband sends a portly plumber to find her.

Will duty and maternal instinct win out, or will Alba stay in Venice, find real romance?


Tuesday March 13 , 7.30pm Y Caban Brynrefail

A Cock and Bull Story

British historic drama/comedy. 2006. Dir: Michael Winterbottom. Starring: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon

Flipping back and forth between the 18th Century and the hapless efforts of 21st Century film makers, A Cock and Bull Story is an unorthodox adaptation of the English literary masterpiece, "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman", written by Laurence Sterne. The story begins with Tristram Shandy (Steve Coogan) narrating his life story as he sees it. Crammed with literary jokes and dark humour, Shandy’s warped childhood tales are constantly interrupted by his family and household, inadvertently revealing far more about himself than any conventional autobiography.


Wednesday, 12 September, 7.30pm, Y Caban Brynrefail

Monsieur Hulot's Holiday            Les Vacances des Monsieur Hulot

French classic.  1953   Director: Jacques Tati

If you do not have the time or money to travel back to 1953 to spend a French holiday, you might as well just watch M. Hulot's Holiday. The humour in the film is warm, never condescending or patronizing to the characters. There is always the sense of fun. The movie really sells itself by not making Mr. Hulot a buffoon alone in the crowd. Circumstance and happening reveals everyone to be capable of situational humour, the accidents of the movie are shared with a laugh.

It is an observational movie, and the majority of the humour is not forced, neither upon us nor upon the movie itself. It merely shows how people can get involved in each others' lives, how funny the average day can be. The camera does not stick itself to Mr. Hulot, but goes anywhere for a laugh. If a small boy is doing something funny, the camera will be there to capture it all, and then leave the boy. This would make another film feel large, but because there is no story to the film, because there is no main character to feel especially attached to, it always feels personal, it always feel like you are seeing something nobody else is.

Perhaps the best part is that the film sticks with you for days afterward, and soon Mr. Hulot's Holiday shows its real genius, as you start noticing similar things happening around you.


Wednesday 10 October 2007

Ten Canoes

(2006 Australia 90 min)   Dir: Rolf de Heer/Peter Djigirr

Genre: Adventure/Comedy/Drama/History/War           Language: Aboriginal/English

A richly layered folk-myth drama set among Australian Aborigine tribes in the Northern Territory. Wry, playful voiceover from actor David Gulpilil, who explains that the story he has to tell, is a complex and sophisticated affair with as many ramifications as branches on a tree. A young hunter with his tribesmen is out stripping tree-bark with a view to making 10 canoes. Discontented with his unmarried status, he nurses a desire for one of his brother's wives. In order to instil wisdom and patience into the young buck, his elder sets out to tell him interweaving stories of his ancestors. Part of what is refreshing about Ten Canoes is that it does not make the Aborigine people alien or exotic, or a subordinate part of a story about white people's transgression.


Wednesday 14 November 2007

This is England

(2006 UK 101 min)        Dir: Shane Meadows

Genre: Drama                   Language: English

Shane Meadows' latest has a familiar theme, a kid struggling to make the right choices and being influenced by a charismatic but dangerous surrogate father figure. It's a confident and invigorating take on 1983, and a crucial summer holiday for the film's excellent lead actor, Thomas Turgoose. If this is Meadows' mea culpa for flirting with the far right in pre-teen years, he's careful to separate the wheat from the chaff: the skins Shaun originally gangs up with show him care and camaraderie. Their only violence is against property, at least until the arrival of ex-con Combo, a bitter, racist representative of a previous generation of skins. Handling the complexities of masculinity, violence and race with sensitivity and a lightness of touch, the film captures the mood of the time, and the allure of being part of a gang.


December 12 2007

Into Great Silence

(2005 France/Switzerland/Germany 169 min)               Dir: Philip Groening

Genre: documentary               Language: English/French/Latin

The German documentarist Philip Groening waited patiently for 13 years before the Carthusian monastery of the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps near Grenoble invited him to make a film about their lives on the conditions that there should be no artificial lighting, no music (other than their own Gregorian chants) no interviews, no commentary and no accompanying crew.

The result is a meditation on lives given over to poverty, prayer and solitude. Groening lived in a cell of his own for four months, covering all seasons, communicating with the monks by letter and recording their lives.

We see the monks praying in their cells, gathering in the chapel, working in the tailor’s workroom, the laundry, the farm, the gardens, the kitchen, a cobbler’s workshop and an improvised barber’s salon. We also see two novices, one black, one Asian, being welcomed into the order by the general prior. We also see the monks chatting on their weekly walk and talk expedition in the countryside and see their childlike delight in sliding down a snow-covered hill using their shoes as toboggans and throwing snowballs. The only person to speak to camera is an elderly, blind monk who describes his loss of sight as a gift from God.


Wednesday 9 January 2008


(2007 114 mins)                  Dir Deep Mehta

Genre: Drama                       Language: Hindi

From the courageous and provocative filmmaker Deep Mehta, comes the Oscar-nominated Water, a profoundly moving and beautifully vibrant story of India's 'widow houses', where women of all ages are taken to live (even today), isolated from society following the deaths of their husbands. Sprinkled with humour, rife with universal emotions and alive with visual excitement, the story of Water follows three widows who dared to stand up for themselves in the liberating time of Mahatma Gandhi.


Wednesday 13 February 2008

Mountain Patrol (Kekexili)

(2006 China/Hong Kong 90 min)                    Dir: Chuan Lu

Genre: Action/Drama                   Language: Mandarin Chinese/Tibetan

One man will risk everything to save innocence

Based on true events. There is harsh beauty and even harsher drama in this Chinese movie directed by Lu Chuan, about the "mountain patrol" licensed by the Beijing government in the 90s to stamp out the illegal poaching of antelope in the vast Tibetan plain of Kekexili, a place so utterly untenanted by humankind that each footprint, as someone puts it, "will be the first since the world began". When Beijing journalist Ga Yu arrives at Kekexili, he witnesses a Tibetan funeral and a village in mourning. Ga Yu is determined to uncover the real story behind the mysterious disappearance of patrol volunteers, the killing of rare Tibetan antelopes, and the rumour that the mountain patrol collaborates with the poachers. Stunning cinematography covers shimmering landscapes, treacherous ice-rivers and white walls of mountain.


Wednesday 12 March 2008

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen

(2006) 112 min    Dir: Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk

Genre: Drama      Language: English, Inuktitut, Danish

This is the first film to visualise the Christianisation of indigenous people from their own point of view.

Based on the real journals of 1920s adventurer, Knud Rasmussen (who was raised in Greenland by a Danish father and Inuit mother), we follow the lives of the last great Inuit shaman, Avva, his rebellious daughter, Apak, and their family. We witness the momentous changes introduced to their ancient culture by European explorers, missionaries and traders.

This second collaboration from Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, directors of the award-winning Atanarjuat - The Fast Runner, is more a collage of image and sound than a traditional narrative feature, and is a challenge well worth audience perseverance.

Screened to follow Llanberis Mountain Film Festival 2008 showing.


Wednesday 9 April 2008

Le Chignon d’Olga

(2006) 92 min              Dir: Jérôme Bonnell.

Genre: Romantic Comedy Drama              Language: French

Le Chignon d’Olga is the charming first film by talented 23 year-old writer-director Jérôme Bonnell.

A tender romantic comedy-drama set in a provincial French town, it tells the story of brother and sister, Julien and Emma, who are grieving after the recent loss of their mother. As the summer draws to a close, Julien aimlessly wanders the streets until one day he encounters Olga, a beautiful young woman who works in a bookshop. Secretly, without confiding even in his close childhood friend Alice, he tries everything he can to get closer to the object of his affection. Bonnell's remarkably confident debut received widespread critical acclaim and favorable comparisons to the work of French filmmaking master Eric Rohmer.


Sunday, August 24 08

The Science of Sleep

2006, France, Cert 15, 106 mins, Dir: Michel Gondry  Cerebral, romantic comedy

French-born Michael Gondry, and co-writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, has given us another movie with that distinctive combination of elegance and wackiness: insouciant, self-reflexive and intensely childlike. It is set in Paris, where Stéphane (Gael García Bernal) has returned to live in the almost-forgotten family home he left with his father when his parents divorced. Now his mother has divided the apartment into two flats, allowing him to live in one and rent the other out to two single girls, Stéphanie and Zoe (Charlotte Gainsbourg and Emma De Caunes). Stéphane simply moves back into his childhood bedroom, which his mother has kept unchanged with all his old toys and posters and wacky inventions, and it encourages Stéphane in his regressive Walter Mitty-ish tendency to reverie and fantasy. In his head, Stéphane is the host of a homemade TV show, with stage-set and cameras made of cardboard, a kind of lifestyle-news programme whose sole purpose is to comment on the ongoing bafflement of his life. And poor Stéphane is falling for his beautiful neighbour, Stéphanie, who is entranced by this innocent, with his ingenuous imaginative charm and love of arts and crafts, but does not find him attractive. Idealistic and romantic: a thwarted love story that does not trade in the degraded cliches either of romance or conventional sexiness. Stéphane's relationship with his workmates, particularly the boorish yet likable Guy, played by Alain Chabat, is effortlessly comic.


Wed Sep 10th  08

The Baker

UK 2007 Director: Gareth Lewis

A hit man has second thoughts about his career and seeks refuge from his boss by finding work as a baker in a rural Welsh village.

Writer-director Gareth Lewis provides a great story, excellently told with lots of refreshing originality, tons of laughs, and perfect casting throughout. Damian Lewis is wonderful in the lead role, displaying the perfect blend of comedy, action and romance and Kate Ashfield is gorgeous. A family-friendly feel-good story of redemption.


Wed Oct 8th  08


France 2007 Director: V Paronnaud & M Satrapi

Poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution. The black-and-white animation, highly stylized and in two dimensions unlike the usual cartoon 3-D, summarizes in quick, intelligent flashes, often impressionistic, growing up in Teheran and Vienna from a highly personal point of view. The narrative is as original as the art.

The narrator, Marjane Satrapi, only daughter of an educated Teheran couple, first sketches in briefly how the Shah first came to power, only to lose it and have it replaced by the fanatical religious regime of today. Educated in a French school, she and her family are rapidly alienated from the so-called revolution; she is sent to Vienna to continue her education, falls in with a group of punks and eventually returns both depressed and disillusioned to Teheran where, with other university students, she must submit to the rule of extreme Islamists.

The story covers a great deal of ground from the point of view of a young pro-Western culture radical, and is told with humor and intelligence. She laughs at herself as much as at the semi-lunatic Guards of the Revolution.

This is no fairy tale with flying horses and beautiful princesses, but a serious, unsentimental and sometimes brutally honest film covering, among other events, the story of the millions of Iranians and Iraqis who died in a now forgotten seven year war around the Persian Gulf.


Wed Nov 12th   08

And when did you last see your Father

UK 2007 Director: Anand Tucker

Starring Jim Broadbent, Colin Firth and Juliet Stevenson

Writer, Blake Morrison's moving and candid memoir of the weeks leading up to his Yorkshire GP father’s death. A beautifully written, well acted but above all wonderfully directed, film looking at a man who learns about himself by finding out about his father. Colin Firth plays a real writer who wrote an auto-biographical novel about his relationship with his father played by Jim Broadbent.

The events are funny and moving but restrained within a believable reality. Firth learns to live with his father's behaviour as we see that he isn't perfect either. It's positive about life without being sentimental.

Anand Tucker brings Blake Morrison’s autobiographical bestseller to the screen with sensitivity, humour and visual flair. - Empire


Wed Dec 10th  08

The Band's Visit

Israel/France 2007 Director: Eran Kolirin


A band comprised of members of the Egyptian police force head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts centre, only to find themselves lost in the wrong town. What follows is a special night of quiet happenings and confessions as the band makes its own impact on the town and the town on them.

A touching film about what makes us similar as humans, you will be subjected to a wide range of emotions during this film: joy, frustration, embarrassment, delight and so on - the humanity of the film really shines. People of such different backgrounds are basically the same; same hopes and aspirations, same fears and frustrations etc. The same things make all of us tick.

This film is also about strangers and others. And how we can help one another. The scene with Haled and the Israeli boy and girl in the skating rink is a classic.


Wed Jan 14th 08

Edge of the World

UK 1937 b&w Director: Michael Powell

Shot on the North Sea island of Foula, a magnificent, primal landscape of high, rocky inland plains and sheer cliffs jutting out of the sea. Powell renamed the island Hirta for this fictional story (based on the real-life evacuation of the island of St. Kilda) of an isolated community's traditional way of life slowly dying as the young men are drawn to the modern cities of the mainland. John Laurie and Finlay Currie play the two family patriarchs who struggle over the future of the island community. The romantic melodrama at the heart of the tale turns on a breathtaking race up the sheer cliffs and the grudge resulting from that contest.

The Edge of the World is more stately and still than Powell's cinematically playful and stylistically vibrant later films like The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus. The proud, hard residents of the island are constantly framed against the dramatic sky, the craggy mountains, or the rolling meadows. Yet there's a poetry to his images, which are never less than gorgeous, and Powell directs with a sense of tension, urgency, and desperation that pulls at the easy pace of this harsh lifestyle.

Wed Feb 11th  09

Blame it on Fidel

France/Italy 2006 Director: Julie Gravas

A 9-year-old girl weathers big changes in her household as her parents become radical political activists in 1970-71 Paris.

Review from Time Out

There’s a delightfully supple comedy in this early ’70s story, not only from the tantrum-throwing heroine’s uneasy adjustment to newly radicalised priorities, but also in her instinctive probing of mum and dad’s sometimes woolly self-justification. While Julie Depardieu and Stefano Accorsi are both fine as the grown-ups, the film belongs to Nina Kervel’s intuitive brilliance as their Little Miss Unimpressed, a pouting terror in school uniform. It’s conjecture just how close this is to the childhood of the first-time director, whose father is the great political filmmaker Costa-Gavras, but she’s managed the rare trick of making an essentially serious movie with the lightest of touch. How do we learn about notions of justice and equality when as children our perspective’s so naturally self-centred? A deft, original, entertaining and thoughtful look at that moment when we realise the world’s just that bit more complicated than we thought.


Wed Mar 11th 09


UK  2008 Director: Lucy Walker


Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas, Blindsight follows the gripping adventure of six blind Tibetan teenagers on a climbing expedition up the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri, on the northside of Mt. Everest. 
This is not your average triumph over adversity story. The film reveals the very strong, often contradictory personalities of two highly accomplished adults leading the children: Erik is a blind American mountaineer and Sabriye is a blind German academic who runs a school for blind youngsters in Lhasa Tibet.
They are both exceptional in their own ways, but disagree on what will really benefit the kids. Erik wants them to reach the summit while Sabriye wants them to enjoy Erik as a role model and take pleasure in the moment. One walks away not really being sure who was right, or if the whole climb was a mistake or a great idea. The most profound scenes are with the Tibetan children themselves and the hardships they faced before finding their way to the school.
The film captures both the arguments of the climbers as well as their frustrations, despair and exhilaration towards the end.

Wed 8 April 09

The Pillow Book

UK 1997 Director: Peter Greenaway

This film, starring Vivian Wu from "The Last Emperor", is a seductive and elegant story that combines a millennium of Japanese art and fetishes with the story of a neurotic modern woman who tells a lover: "Treat me like the pages of a book." Early in Nagiko's life, she sees something she was not intended to see: her father's publisher forcing her father to have sex as the price of getting a book published. On another occasion, when she is 6 or 7, she is introduced to the publisher's 10-year-old nephew, and told this will be her future husband. These events set up fundamental tensions in her life, and as an adult, unhappily married to the publisher's nephew, she begins keeping her own pillow book. The nephew is a shallow dolt, who finds her book and in a jealous rage burns her papers and then their house.

Nagiko flees from Kyoto to Hong Kong, where eventually she finds work as a fashion model and begins to seek lovers who will fulfil her dreams. For her the appearance of a person's handwriting is more important than the surfaces of his face; she wants to be used as a book, to be written on, to be read.

Her fetish ties in with two ancient Japanese artistic practices. One is the art of tattooing, which can be much more elegant and artistic than in the west, and is used by the yakuza as a way of bonding with their criminal brothers. It can be seen as a form of submission--to the will of the tattoo artist, to the will of the group dictating the tattoos, or simply in the willingness of a person to be used as an object.
The other practice is the long-standing Japanese tradition in art of deliberately exposing the artificiality of a work of art. Realism is less prized than style. Landscapes may use great realistic detail, and then have captions written on them, or the bright red artist's mark. Kabuki and Noh theatre overlay their stories with ancient layers of style and tradition. To write a poem on a body is much the same as writing it on a landscape: The word and the image create a tension.
Greenaway, whose work includes "The Draughtsman's Contract," "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" and "Prospero's Books," uses an essentially Japanese technique. He likes to build up his images in layers, combining film and video, live action and paintings, spoken narration and visual texts. He shoots in colour, b&w, and subtle tints. Here he tells a lurid story of sexuality, fetishism and betrayal, in an elegant and many-faceted way.
One of the most elegant parts of the film comes toward the end, as Greenaway illustrates the pages of Nagiko's pillow book. She has used each part of the body for the appropriate texts, even writing on ears and tongues, and here the words (Japanese, English, printed, spoken, Kanji) take on a sort of mystical, abstract quality. The talkies chained pictures to words; Greenaway finds a way out by using words as pictures.


Wed 22 Oct 08

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi "Spirited Away"

(2001) Japan - Directed by Hamao Miyazaki

A lavish Japanese fairy tale. While moving to their new home a young girl and her parents find an odd tunnel in the side of a hill leading to a strange "theme park" on the other side where things are obviously very "wrong" (at least to the little girl - her parents seem woefully oblivious) and as sunset approaches the world becomes very strange indeed. This film works on many levels; a social commentary on Japan, a homage to ancient Japanese/Russian mythology, a moral film for both children and adults. But most importantly, it is a simple story brilliantly told by a great filmmaker.

Highly rated and award winning animation, very hard to classify - perhaps a modern 'Alice through the Looking Glass', very funny in parts but like 'Alice' possibly disturbing for some.


Wed 26 Nov 08


(2002) Wales - Directed by Timothy Lyn

A gypsy girl arrives in Bethesda to stay with her grandparents in the 1930s The setting and style of the film captures the essence of rural North Wales and the choices Welsh families had in that era. Eldra's family obviously come across as very Romany Pagan, and it's this which causes the conflict between them and their neighbours, not unheard of to this day. Superb cinematography and music.


Wed 28 Jan 09

Les Choristes

2004 - France/Switzerland/Germany - Christophe Barratier

Bangor and Anglesey French Film Society (BARFFS) and Occasional Cinema present Les Choristes (The Chorus) at Blue Sky Café (formally known as Java), Bangor High Street on Wednesday 28 January 2009 at 7.30pm.

French producer and musician, Christophe Barratier makes his directorial debut with Les Choristes, inspired by the 1947 film La Cage aux Rossignols. Wildly successful orchestra conductor Pierre Morhange (Jacques Perrin) returns home when his mother dies. He recollects his childhood inspirations through the pages of a diary kept by his old music teacher, Clément Mathieu (Gérard Jugnot). Back in the late '40s, little Pierre is the rebellious son of single mother Violette (Marie Bunel). He attends a grim boarding school run by strict headmaster, Rachin (François Berléand). New teacher Mathieu brightens up the place, organising a choir, leading to the discovery of Pierre's musical talents. Featuring performances by Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc Choir. The Chorus advances the theory that troubled kids are better charmed than chastened. Les Choristes was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004.


Wed 25 Feb 09

Lives of Others  -  Das Leben der Anderen

2007 - Germany - Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Very highly-rated Oscar winning film about the horrifying, sometimes unintentionally funny system of observation in the former East Germany. In the early 1980s, the successful dramatist Georg Dreyman and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland, a popular actress, are big intellectual stars in the socialist state, although they secretly don't always think loyal to the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more...


Wed 25 Mar 09

Le Velo de Ghislain Lambert

2001  France  Director: Philippe Harel

This whimsical low budget comedy is an overlooked gem.

One man's slow climb up the ladder to modest success is thwarted at every rung in this lightly downbeat comedy-drama. Ghislain Lambert (Benoit Poelvoorde) is a amateur bicycle racer who lives on a small farm in Belgium with his brother, Claude (Jose Garcia), and a hired hand who cannot speak, Denis (Sacha Bourdo). Lambert dreams of someday going pro, and a local coach, Focodel (Daniel Ceccaldi), agrees to help him train. With Focodel's help, Lambert is asked to join a team of pro cyclists and finds himself sharing a room on the road with Riccardo (Emmanuel Quatra), an outgoing Italian racer who urges him into a romance with cycling enthusiast Babette (Christelle Cornil) and introduces him to performance-enhancing drugs. Lambert soon butts heads with Fabrice (Jean-Baptiste Iera), the team's star rider, and while Lambert tries to show up the self-centered racer, his plan backfires when he's kicked off the team for drug use. With Claude's less-than-cordial assistance, Lambert gets back into the game and lands a lowly position with another racing team, essentially putting him back where he started.


Wednesday 27 May 9.00pm Blue Sky

The Age of Stupid

UK 2009 Director: Franny Armstrong

Occasional Cinema presents a special repeat screening of the film 'The Age of Stupid' at the Blue Sky on Wednesday 27 May 09 at 9pm. Food will be served from 7.00pm and a reservation is recommended - please phone Blue Sky on 01248 355444. If you don't book for food it is first-come-first-served for the film. Admission for film (members and non-members) £3. We hope you would like to come to see this important film - please spread the word.

The Age of Stupid is the new four-year epic from McLibel director Franny Armstrong. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?

"Every single person in the country should be forcibly made to watch this film". Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London

"I was nodding to myself all the way through, thinking 'How can I reduce my flights?, 'Can I install a wind turbine at home?'. It is definitely going to change my life. It was so powerful and so moving I wanted it to go on for another hour." Gillian Anderson, actress

"I defy anyone to come out and not feel like they've got to make a difference." Caroline Lucas, Leader of the UK Green Party

More details on


Wednesday 24 June 8.30pm Blue Sky

The End of the Line

UK 2009 Director: Rupert Murray

Another special showing by member request. Partial blackout arrangements mean we can start the film a little earlier than previously. This is a new film and the blurb which folows is from The Evening Standard. The film was also covered in the New Scientist this week. Admission £3.

Fish have had their chips in The End of the Line

By Derek Malcolm, Evening Standard 12.06.09

Stark choice: “Anyone who doesn’t eat sustainable fish is doing our children no favours”

When a mere documentary inspires a respectable film star to appear naked with nothing but a fish in her arms you have to credit its makers with chutzpah. Let’s hope it works and the fish enjoyed itself.

Filmed over a two-year period in settings as far apart as the Straits of Gibraltar, Alaska, Senegal and Tokyo, Rupert Murray’s film is a warning that there may be no fish in the sea by 2050. It points out that man, “the most efficient predator our oceans have ever known”, is allowed to fish in 99 per cent of the seas, which has led to the near extinction of bluefin tuna, used in sushi, and a vast over-population of jellyfish. Anyone who doesn’t eat sustainable fish is doing our children no favours.

Scientists, fishermen and enforcement officials state the case, and Murray has applied a professional gloss but visually and emotionally The End of the Line understates its case. If what it says is true, it does not seem angry enough. And does it really provide enough facts to underline its argument?

Perhaps its chief purpose is to interest those who know very little about the devastation caused by deep sea trawlers without putting them off with pessimism. If so, it does a good job — but a tougher argument might have done an even better one.

Also see:



Wed 9 Sept


Director: Bruno Romy, Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon

Country: France: 01.17

Year: 2008       Duration

Guardian quote: “Strictly Jacques Tati is the order of the day for this engaging, gentle and lovable film about a married couple who live for ballroom dancing… Driving home one night from a typical trophy-winning success they encounter a dorky depressive, who is attempting, incompetently, to take his own life. His appearance brings about a catastrophe that causes their lives and relationship to unravel.”


Wed 14 Oct

The Yes Men Fix the World

Director:           Andy Bichlbaum/Mike Bonanno

Country:           France/USA

Year:    2009    Duration: 01:27

Troublemaking duo Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, posing as their industrious alter-egos, expose the people profiting from Hurricane Katrina, the faces behind the environmental disaster in Bhopal, and other shocking events.

Guardian quote: “Funnier and more useful than Sacha Baron Cohen's Brüno, this guerrilla movie records for posterity the serious satirical work of the poker-faced American pranksters Andy Birnbaum and Mike Bonanno, who set out to expose the lies and misdemeanours of conglomerates.”


Wed 11 Nov

Of Time and the City

Director:           Terence Davies

Country:           UK

Year:    2009    Duration: 01:14

A love song and a eulogy to the director’s birthplace of Liverpool. It is also a response to memory, reflection and the experience of losing a sense of place as the skyline changes and time takes it toll.

Guardian quote: “a heartfelt and even ecstatic study…brashly emotional and sentimental - sometimes angry, more often hilarious. Nothing has given me more pleasure this year: the sweetness of its temper, the unfashionable seriousness of its design and its mixture of worldliness and innocence make for something sublime. Like Noel Coward, Davies revels in the potency of cheap music.”


Wed 9 Dec 09

Caramel (Sukkar Banat)

Director:           Nadine Labaki

Country:           Lebanon/France

Year:    2007    Duration: 01:35

A romantic comedy centered on the daily lives of five Lebanese women living in Beirut. Layal works in a beauty salon in Beirut along with 3 other women. Layal has a relationship with a married man, Nisrine who is no longer a virgin, will soon be married, Rima is lesbian and Jamal is worried about getting old. Rose, a tailor with a shop next to the salon, is an old lady who devoted her life to take care of her older sister, has found her first love.

Guardian quote: “received a standing ovation at Cannes last year…melancholic, comedic drama…low-key, astute sociological, religious, and gender insights bubbling away behind engrossing interpersonal politics…largely non-professional cast lends an air of authenticity.”


Wed 10 Feb

Waltz with Bashir

Director:           Ari Folman

Country:           Israel

Year:    2008    Duration: 01:27

One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. The two men conclude that there's a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari can't remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. He decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world to discover the truth about that time and about himself.

Guardian quote: “extraordinary animated documentary.”


Wed 10 Mar

Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto)

Director: Gianni di Gregorio. Italy. 2008. Duration: 01:25

Gianni has no job or income and still lives in his comfortable family home with his ageing mother who requires a lot of attention and patience. When his friends escape from Rome for some countryside air one mid-summer weekend, he finds himself left behind with his mother and a motley group of elderly ladies. Guardian quote: “a wonderfully patient, delicately observed film; warm, generous, never for a moment sentimental or patronising, never exploiting dottiness and eccentricity.


Wed 14 April

Morris: A Life With Bells On

Director:           Lucy Akhurst

Country:           UK

Year:    2009    Duration: 01:40

If you enjoy folk dance you must see this film. If you enjoy England you must see this film. If you enjoy laughing you must see this film. This film is a mocumentery in the tradition of This Is SpinalTap, and A Mighty Wind.


Wed 23 Sep

Joyeux Noël

Director:           Christian Carion

Country:           France

Year:    2005    Duration: 01:56 Cert:12

This very touching story about a true occurrence during the first Christmas of the Great War is very moving. Although the truce was not a generalized event, it did happen in quite a few areas all along the front line. It was the only moment of sanity in an otherwise gruesome experience in futility. Twenty years later, these same countries would be at it again. Karl Marx said that wars are awful events pitting ordinary people (proletariats) one against another for the benefit of the wealthy, the powerful, the aristocrats. This aspect is depicted very well in this movie. Alfred Anderson, the last survivor of the Christmas Truce of 1914 died November 21th, 2005 at a nursing home in his native Scotland. He was 109 years old. Lest we forget.

Ultimately, Joyeux Noel achieves the near-impossible, by keeping the treacle to a minimum while leaving one in no doubt about the finer aspects of humanity. Utterly magical. Oscar-nominated.


Wed 28 Oct

In the Loop

Director:           Armando Iannucci

Country:           UK

Year:    2009    Duration: 01:46

Guardian quote: “..horribly brilliant comedy about this government's culture of spin and muddle, using characters first aired in the TV show The Thick Of It. It is a satirical, cynical nightmare on the subject of the run-up, or blunder-up, to the war in Iraq, complete with the nastiest of PR attack dogs and the dodgiest of dossiers. It conjures up a compelling backstairs political world of anxiety and incompetence, bullying and humiliation”.


Wed 25 Nov 09

We Are Together

Director:           Paul Taylor

Country:           UK/South Africa

Year:    2006    Duration: 01:23

We Are Together tells the moving and inspiring story of 12 year old Slindile and her remarkable friends at the Agape orphanage in South Africa. Filmed over three years, with unforgettable kids, soaring music and a plot full of surprises; a stirring and uplifting theatrical documentary.


Wed 13 Jan 10

Sleep Furiously

Director:           Gideon Koppel

Country:           UK

Year:    2008    Duration: 01:34

Set in a small farming community in Trefeurig, Ceredigion, where Koppel's parents, both refugees, found a home. This is a landscape and population that is changing rapidly as small scale agriculture is disappearing and the generation who inhabited a pre-mechanised world is dying out. This is a poetic and profound journey into a world of endings and beginnings; a world of the mobile library, stuffed owls, sheep and fire.

Guardian quote: “The film has richness and an unshowy compassion…pays tribute to the grit of a people who may yet revive their economy..”


Wed 27 Jan 10

Fermat's Room

Director:           Luis Piedrahita/ Rodrigo Sopena

Country:           Spain

Year:    2007    Duration: 01:28

Four mathematicians who do not know each other are invited by a mysterious host on the pretext of resolving a great enigma. The room in which they find themselves turns out to be a shrinking room that will crush them if they do not discover in time what connects them all and why someone might wish to murder them.

Guardian quote: “an ingenious, relentlessly exciting film, a moral fable at once visceral and cerebral.”


Wed 24 Feb

I've Loved You So Long

Director:           Philippe Claudel

Country:           France

Year:    2008    Duration: 01:55

Guardian quote: “Kirsten Scott Thomas's performance, easily the best of her career, is at the centre of a deeply involving, beautifully acted and expertly constructed human drama by and for grown-ups. She plays Juliette, a fortysomething woman who after a long and painful separation has been taken in by her younger sister, Léa. When we first see Juliette, being picked up at the airport, she wears no makeup and smokes perpetually; she has a dowdy grey cardigan of the sort worn in girls' boarding schools, and has clearly been institutionalised in some awful way.


Wed 24 Mar

Jar City (Myrin)

Director:           Baltasar Kormakur

Country:           Iceland

Year:    2006    Duration: 01:34

Guardian quote: “cracking police-procedural thriller from Iceland, inspired by a real-life controversy when that country put the genetic records of its entire 300,000 population on a single database, as an ideal test sample for research into inherited diseases. Inspector Erlendur, a tough, grizzled cop is investigating the brutal murder of a revolting old child-porn enthusiast, who lived alone in a mangy flat. Erlendur finds there the mysterious photograph of a little girl's grave, taken in 1974, and stubbornly pursues this coldest of cold cases in this coldest of cold countries. Meanwhile, an agonised businessman, whose daughter has just died at the same age, appears to be digging into the computer gene-records.”


Wed 28 April 10


Director:           John Sayles

Country:           USA

Year:    2007    Duration: 02:03

1950 rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the chicken man, and the landlord, Tyrone is desperate to lure the young cotton pickers and local army base recruits into his juke joint, away from Touissants, the rival joint across the way.

Honeydripper is a warm-hearted celebration of communal life, but it is far from being an exercise in nostalgia. Sonny, who's built his own electric guitar and amplifier, is the harbinger of a new music and he saves the day for Tyrone in an exuberant finale that reinvigorates the community. Great music and cinematography.


 2011 CABAN

September 14th 2011


Jean-Pierre Jeunet France 2009 105 mins 12A

Comedy - Crime

A man and his friends come up with an intricate and original plan to destroy two big weapons manufacturers.


October 12th

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

Yimou Zhang China 2005 107 mins certificate tbc


A Japanese father travels to China's Yunnan province in the place of his ailing son to film a famous folk-opera star. Intimate, low-budget story of an individual struggle. Tremendous cinematography.


November 9th


Marc Evans Argentina/UK 2010 118mins 15


A young Welsh couple travel to Argentina to work on their relationship. With Duffy.

Editor to come and introduce film!


December 14th 2011


Richard Ayoade UK 2011 97 mins 15

Comedy - Drama

15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life. Set in South Wales. Adrian Mole-esque.


2012 Caban

January 11th

Le Quattro Volte (Four Times)

Michaelangelo Frammartino 2010 88mins U


Inspired by Pythagoras’s belief in four-fold transmigration, by which the soul is passed from human to animal to vegetable to mineral , this wondrous docu-essay traces the cycle of life through the daily rituals of life in the southern Italian region of Calabria.


February 8th

Salt of Life

Gianni di Gregorio Italy 2011 90mins 12A


Middle-aged Gianni, henpecked by his mother, wife and teenage daughter who put upon him with selfish demands, decides he needs a sympathetic mistress. Subtly observed details of behaviour and gesture - an elaborate Chekhovian story.


March 14th

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog France/Canada 2010 90mins U


Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.


April 11th

Double Indemnity

Billy Wilder USA 1944 107 mins PG

Crime – Film-noir - Thriller

An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.


2011 BLUE SKY 


September 28th

Winters Bone

Debra Granik US 2010 100 mins 15

Drama - Mystery - Thriller

17 year-old Ree sets out to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. If she fails, Ree and her family will be turned out into the Ozark woods. Challenging her outlaw kin’s code of silence, and risking her life, Ree hacks through the lies, evasions and threats offered up by her relatives and begins to piece together the truth. Richly observed portrait of poor, US backwoods life.


October 26th

Chico and Rita

Tono Errando et al Spain 2010 94 mins 15

Animation - Music - Romance

Set in Cuba, Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey brings heartache and torment.


November 23rd

Of Gods and Men

Xavier Beauvois France 2010 122mins 15

Drama - History

Under threat by fundamentalist terrorists, a group of Trappist monks stationed with an impoverished Algerian community must decide whether to leave or stay. Severe, austere and deeply moving.


2012 Blue Sky

January 25th

How I Ended This Summer

Alexei Popogrebsky Russia 2010 124 mins 12A


Gritty, award-winning tale of two meteorologists isolated on a remote Arctic island in a tense allegory about modern Russia.


February 22nd

Mary and Max

Adam Elliot Australia 2009 92mins 12

Animation - Comedy - Drama

A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen-pals: Mary, a lonely, 8-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, an overweight 44-year old New Yorker. Narrated by Barry Humphreys.


March 28th

The Secret in Their Eyes

Juan José Campanella Argentina 2009 129 mins 18

Drama - Mystery - Thriller

A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later.


April 25th

Benda Bilili

Renaud Barret & Florent de la Tulaye Dem Republic of Congo/France 2010 85 mins PG


Summer 2009. Five paraplegics and a young able-bodied teenager light up the stage in front of an entranced audience of 8000 people. "Benda Bilili" - in English "See Beyond", is the name of this Kinshasa band which has acquired a global following.




Yojiro Takita Japan 2008 130 mins 12A


A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.


2012 Caban

Sept 12th

Black Cat White Cat

Emir Kusturica 1998

Crime – Film-noir - Thriller

'Amiably beserk tale of chaos and carnival from Sarajevo-born Kusturica, set among a modern-day Gypsy community living on the banks of the Danube. Petty crime and even pettier punishment ensue, all leading up to an epochally frenzied wedding party full of commotion, frolics and runaway goats. Funny, fascinating and faintly exhausting.'


10 October

Monsieur Lazhar

Philippe Falardeau Canada 2011 94mins 12A Drama

An Algerian refugee plays ramshackle Mary Poppins to the kids at a Montreal primary school. Subtle & uplifting.


14 November

A Royal Affair

Nikolaj Arcel Denmark 2012 128mins 15 Drama History

The court of Christian VII of Denmark was rocked by adultery, madness, and sado-masochism - but all they really cared about was who got to wear the trousers.


12 December


Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano France 2011 112mins 15 Drama

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker.

2013 Caban

9 January 2013

The Angels' Share

Ken Loach UK 2012 101mins 15 Drama Comedy

Young Glasgwegian offenders redeemed by community service.


13 February

The Well Diggers Daughter

In pre-World War II France, a father is torn between his sense of honour and his deep love for his saintly daughter when she gets in trouble with the wealthy son of a shopkeeper.
Twenty-five years after rising to international acclaim in Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, Daniel Auteuil stars and makes a very competent directing debut with this handsome, old-fashioned film, (and remake of the 1940’s classic) adapted from the novel by Marcel Pagnol.
Auteuil plays Pascal, a digger and cleaner of wells: he is a greying widower and the father of a number of daughters living in the Provence countryside. The eldest, and the most beautiful of these is the 18-year-old Patricia (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who is being courted by Pascal's heartbreakingly humble, middle-aged mate Félipe (Kad Merad). But she, like Hardy's Tess of D’Urbervilles, is to be romanced and ruined by a handsome, unreliable young man from wealthier stock.

13 March 2013  Caban

Intouchables  /  Untouchable

Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano France 2011 112mins 15 Drama

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker.


10 April 2013

Welcome to the Sticks

Dany Boon   France   2008   106mins   Comedy

A really charming film. Charming being the word for movies with simple plots, very down-to-earth stakes and the ability to leave you with a big smile on your face afterwards. If you like cross-cultural fish-out-of-water movies you're going to love this story of a postmaster who gets reassigned to the apparently misunderstood (in many senses) northern region of France, and how lives change accordingly.

The English subtitles captured all the nuances of the convoluted wordplay that was obviously happening on screen. This becomes an even more impressive feat when you consider that much of the verbal fun of the movie comes from the various misunderstandings between the French-speaking lead character and the folks who speak in the northern provincial "Schticks" dialect. Capturing these dynamics was not the product of an ordinary clerical translation job: the director, Dany Boon, actually took an active role in ensuring that all the subtitles for the different languages properly and lovingly reflected the nuances and intent of the on screen banter. With truly impressive results.


2012  Blue Sky

There won't be a showing at Blue Sky in September

24 October


Written and directed by Sally Potter  2005  100 mins  UK

A stylish love story and an exposition of the travails of household cleaning; essential viewing; a rare treat from the director of 'Orlando', Don't miss this great start to the season at Blue Sky.


28 November

Le Havre

Aki Kaurismäki Finland 2011 93mins  Drama Comedy

Bold, quirky look at Europe's response to immigrants from the developing world.

2013 Blue Sky

23 January 2013


Denis Villeneuve Canada/France 2010 130mins 15 Drama History

Two siblings attempt to unravel their mother's Lebanese civil war past.


27 Febuary 2013

The Guard

John Michael McDonagh Ireland 2011 96mins Comedy Crime

Unorthodox garda, whose quiet corner of coastal Connemara becomes an international crime hotspot, is paired with an urban FBI man.


27 March 2013

Eat Drink Man Woman

Ang Lee   Taiwan   1995   124mins   Comedy Romance  Drama

This is a brilliant portrait of a family on the verge of being torn apart by their personal differences and the ominous presence of modernity, which has started to undermine the roots of the traditional Taiwanese family life. The presence of traditional Chinese Cuisine, in which Chu is both a master and the heir to hundreds of years of knowledge, serves as the perfect background to place the characters, as a metaphor for a way of life that is quickly disappearing, threatened by fast food and changes in family values. The director does not, however, focuses on mellow or sweetened scenes to show the conflict, but he maintains a humorous tone throughout the movie, placing the actors' performances on subtle gestures and witty lines which rely heavily on understatement and comedy-like situations. The basic premise of the movie suggests that change is not only inevitable but also necessary. However, the old values still need to be cherished and passed on to the next generation since they are the foundations which give sense and meaning to a life which tends to assimilate happiness to disposable items and economic success. In doing so, Chu and her daughters get reconciled, as well as their traditional background comes to terms with modernity.


24 April 2013

Nowhere in Africa

Caroline Link   Germany  2003   141mins  Biography  Drama

Nowhere in Africa tells the story of a German-Jewish family who flees Hitler's Germany in the 1930s to live in Kenya, Africa - a place about as different from home as they can possibly imagine. Against this unique setting, the family struggles to survive, to adapt, and to stick together during hardships and strife.

This is a film that has the power to take the viewer to a whole new world, with an involving, poignant screenplay and solid direction. The cinematography is of a standard that can only be described as par excellence; the film's photography exquisitely captures not only the rural landscape but the insides of buildings too – it is hard to find words for such superb cinematography. The pseudo-indigenous music score is excellent too, bringing one into the spirit of Kenya. The content of the film is full of so many ideas that one can extract to the point that it is perhaps too complex a film, but that hardly mars this unforgettable movie experience.

The film justly won the 2002 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.