Warring stepbrothers compete for the affections of a worldly Irish singer on the road from Shetland to Glasgow in a fearlessly funny, bold and beautiful drama with tremendous energy and personality. Lushly photographed, sexy, cool, anarchic and honest, with a trio of charismatic young actors at the center, Welsh-born writer-director-punk musician Philip John’s first feature is a simply drawn, but intricately thought out right-of-passage film that recalls the quirky nuance of Bill Forsyth and the rock-n-roll charge of Danny Boyle. Winner Best Film Newport Beach Film Festival.
UK/Ireland 2016 (93 minutes)
Sponsored by Bruce Lymbum
Anna Paquin, whose mercurial career has gone from Oscar winner for “The Piano” to TV star of “True Blood” and “Game of Thrones,” appears in this sweet unexpected love story as a physician named Jean who returns to her hometown where she maintains bee colonies in her backyard. When one of her patients is evicted she invites him and his sister to stay with her, and a romance slowly sparks between the two women. Based on a novel by noted British actress Fiona Shaw, the movie is, in the words of the Toronto International Film Festival where it showed, “a story of courage in the face of terrifying intolerance. Love comes in myriad forms here: romantic love and the vocational love that a caregiver feels for her community—even when the community turns on her. Beautiful to look at, suspenseful, sexy and deeply touching, this film from director Annabel Jankel reminds us that opening our hearts to the possibility of love can be reward enough.” UK 2018 (106 minutes)
Please observe the film’s new date and time:
Called Ireland’s “most maverick moviemaker” by The Irish Times, Director Liam O Mochain’s third feature is an omnibus film, comprising seven interconnecting tales, each inspired by a true story, with the director himself at the center as a likable loser working the Lost & Found at an Irish country rail station. An older man begs for train fare to Dublin. A cranky pub owner with wild ideas keeps refurbishing his unpopular pub. A marriage proposal at an airport goes hideously wrong. On her deathbed, an old woman recalls valuables left behind when fleeing the war, inspiring her grandson into an unlikely treasure hunt. One ambitious “bridezilla” is determined to keep her booking at a wedding venue, even though she no longer has a willing groom…or does she? The breezy vignettes weave these characters and others into and out of each other’s lives bringing deeper meaning and ingenuity to the movie’s title. A truly independent film filled with humor and humanity, this low-key charmer will leave your heart warmed and your spirit lifted.
Ireland 2017 (92 minutes)
Please observe the film’s new date and time:
Due to technical difficulties at the Vogue Theater, Black ’47 will be played at the Balboa Theater (3630 Balboa Street, San Francisco) on Sunday, February 17 at 7:30 PM.
Irish filmmaker Lance Daly takes on the Great Famine and its worst year, 1847, resulting in a powerful revenge tale the Guardian calls “harrowingly effective.” Australian actor James Frecheville ( “Animal Kingdom”) gives a coldly terrifying performance as an Irishman who deserts from the British army and returns to his homeland to discover the truth about how his family has been tyrannized and allowed to die in squalor and misery. He is pursued by disgraced English soldier-turned-policeman (Hugo Weaving), a drawlingly arrogant officer (Freddie Fox), and a tracker-guide (Stephen Rea from “The Crying Game”). The superb cast is rounded out by Jim Broadbent as an evil absentee landlord. This viscerally tough, insightful film contains lively historical detail concerning the exploitation of Irish Catholics, including a riveting scene showing “Souperism,” wherein evangelical Protestants offered a meal to poor, starving Catholics in exchange for conversion. A huge hit in Ireland, the film benefits from the majesty of cinematographer Declan Quinn’s wide vistas. Irish 2018 (100 minutes)
Breezing onto the big screen like a small-screen observational comedy, complete with a deadpan voiceover, longtime collaborators director Jamie Thraves and actor Aiden Gillen’s (“Game of Thrones,” “The Wire”) latest is a not-exactly-documentary-not-really-fiction film– a low-fi, freewheeling, meta-riff on fame with Gillen playing an iteration of himself, an actor named Aidan who lives alone with a dog, struggles to connect with his (real-life) teenage daughter, and has mixed feelings about fame. He has a bad back, can’t sleep, and is playing a serial killer – the element which eventually lifts this good-natured Dublin-set charmer into pure fiction. One hopes. With a dark underpinning that repeatedly bubbles to the surface, a solid sense of humor, and a rollicking lens on the absurd, this is a uniquely entertaining film. Ireland 2017 (75 minutes)
This heartwarming documentary written and directed by Naina Sen tells the story of an unlikely cultural exchange that occurred when the newly revived Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Chorus left their home in the Outback and flew overseas for the first time to sing ancient German Lutheran hymns in their own language at Lutheran churches throughout the German state of Bavaria. In personal interviews conducted throughout the planning of the tour and during their travels, we get to know and admire these strong and resilient women who speak about the effects of colonialism on their traditional culture, including their ancestors learning these songs from Lutheran missionaries and passing them down through generations. The chorus members also speak of the strong relationships that bind them as women. Their love of the music and their angelic voices won the hearts of the German people who remembered the old hymns that their parents would sing to them. Australia 2017 (84 minutes)
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Directed by Shekar Kapur, this lush period extravaganza stars Cate Blanchett in the role that announced her as a star as Elizabeth 1 during the early years of her reign. She was a Protestant monarch in a Catholic country, reason enough for the instability surrounding her reign. Conspiracy and intrigue created her steely determination to survive and rule, with betrayal eventually causing her to relinquish the one man she loved, the dashing Joseph Fiennes as Sir Robert Dudley, and become “the Virgin Queen”. Fabulous sets and costumes combined with a stellar cast (including Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston and Richard Attenborough) led by Blanchett who enthralls as the passionate young princess adopting the merciless mantle of the Queen of England during a tumultuous period in British history. Rightly garnered 7 Oscar nominations.UK 1998 (124 minutes)
“Elizabeth” and “Richard III” will be introduced by Peter Robinson, movie reviewer for KALW91 FM and editor of San Francisco’s Books & Travel.
Laurence Olivier’s “Richard III,” from 1955 is considered the best of his efforts behind the camera. Directing himself, he gives a much heralded if undeniably campy performance as the malformed title character who methodically plots and murders his way to the throne. Olivier delivers Richard’s famous soliloquies directly facing the audience. Given a lavish budget estimated at several millions, he shot the film in color and Vista Vision, a super-sharp widescreen process that enhanced his own visual concepts. The Mostly British festival will screen a new eye-boggling digital restoration. The film also is notable for starring four actors who ultimately are knighted: Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud and Olivier. UK 1955 (160 minutes)
Greatness is thrust upon Britain’s Prince Albert after his brother abdicates and he is forced to ascend the throne as King George VI. He is not a natural for the role being timid, low in self-confidence and suffering from a debilitating stammer. 1936 was a critical time in Europe, threatened by the ambitions of Hitler and Mussolini, and Britain needed a strong, clear voice. The Queen Mother astutely hired Lionel Logue, an Australian actor and speech therapist, to help the King overcome his stammer. The film is the moving story of the relationship between these two men, a deep and often hilarious friendship. It is a superb film, a winner of a best picture Oscar and best actor for an extraordinary Colin Firth as the King. Directed by Tom Hooper with Geoffrey Rush as the speech therapist and Helena Bonham Carter and Guy Pearce.
UK 2010 (118 minutes)
This atmospheric drama set in a glittering Sydney is reminiscent of the Ethan Hawke-Julie Delpy “Before Sunrise” series in portraying two eminently likeable characters who are each willing to risk exploring where a chance encounter will lead them and the effects of fate. As Viv and Jasper, stars Emily Barclay (“The Light Between Oceans”) and Benedict Samuel (the TV series “Gotham”) literally collide in a busy intersection in Sydney, damaging Viv’s cellphone. The accident requires her to delay her return to her fiance in London while her phone is repaired. A contrite Jasper offers her use of his phone and company as the two share a series of adventures that lead them to shed their initial reserve. They happen upon numerous bizarre characters while roaming deeply into Sydney’s nightlife. Australia 2018 (85 minutes)