Check out the latest films with the Curzon’s ‘Stream with us’ service – week beginning Friday 26th February.

The Curzon team are tentatively making plans for re-opening mid May a time which can’t come to soon. In the meantime check out the fabulous selection of films on offer through the streaming service this week.

RAMS

RAMS is a 2020 Australian comedy-drama film directed by Jeremy Sims.
In remote Western Australia, two estranged brothers, Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton), are at war. Raising separate flocks of sheep descended from their family’s prized bloodline, the two men work side by side yet are worlds apart. When Les’s prize ram is diagnosed with a rare and lethal illness, authorities order a purge of every sheep in the valley. While Colin attempts to stealthily outwit the powers that be, Les opts for angry defiance. But can the warring brothers set aside their differences and have a chance to reunite their family, save their herd, and bring their community back together?

“A wonderfully wry, charmingly understated comedy. Touching, beautiful and poignant.” – Variety

“It is an odd experience, and I wonder what it would be like if I hadn’t seen the original…a strange comedy in a remote area…but well-worth checking out…” – Mark Kermode

“Watching Neill coo ‘you are beautiful, no, you are beautiful’ to his flock is entertainment factor alone but this is an unexpectedly lovely little film.” – Larushka Ivan-ZadehMetro (UK)

MLK/FBI

MLK / FBI is the first film to uncover the extent of the FBI’s surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Based on newly discovered and declassified files, utilizing a trove of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and unsealed by the National Archives, as well as revelatory restored footage, the documentary explores the government’s history of targeting Black activists, and the contested meaning behind some of our most cherished ideals. Featuring interviews with key cultural figures including former FBI Director James Comey and directed by Emmy® Award-winner and Oscar®-nominee Sam Pollard, MLK / FBI tells this astonishing and tragic story with searing relevance to our current moment.


“An eye-opening documentary that poses hard questions and gives no easy answers, MLK/FBI is a worthy addition to the ever-timely media concerning Martin Luther King Jr.” – Amon Warmann Empire Magazine

“Beautiful in its style, enraging in its substance, this skewering of the FBI’s surveillance of the civil-rights icon is essential for understanding the near-term roots of white supremacy in America.” – MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

“King’s tortured relationship with the FBI is the subject of the new documentary MLK/FBI. Directed by Sam Pollard, it offers a comprehensive overview of how the FBI targeted King during his years of activism.” Robert Green II The Nation

ASSASSINS

In 2017, Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, was assassinated in the bustling departures hall of Malaysia’s international airport. The spectacularly brazen murder happened in broad daylight, filmed entirely by security cameras. Footage showed two young women approaching Jong-nam from behind, covering his eyes with their hands, and pressing VX—the most lethal nerve gas on earth—into his eyes. He was dead within an hour. If the murder sounds extreme, the story that came next was even more bizarre: the two women who killed Jong-nam claimed they had simply been hired to pull a video prank. The Malaysian government scoffed, arrested and imprisoned the women and put them on trial for murder, facing execution. But was their outlandish story actually the truth?

‘It’s like a John le Carré thriller for the Instagram generation. Only it’s real.’ Kevin Maher Times UK

What an extraordinary story of sexism, violence, diplomatic bad faith and dishonesty on an international scale.” Peter Bradshaw Guardian

‘Tells an extraordinary and almost unbelievable story in a detailed and meticulously crafted way.’ Rob Adams Backseat Mafia

COUP 53 + Q & A with MICHAEL MOORE AND RALPH FIENNES

While making a documentary about the CIA/MI6 coup in Iran in 1953, Iranian director Taghi Amirani and editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient) discover never seen before archive material hidden for decades.

The 16mm footage and documents not only allow the filmmakers to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but it also lead to explosive revelations about dark secrets buried for 67 years. Working with Ralph Fiennes to help bring the lost material to life, what began as a historical documentary about four days in August 1953 turns into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters. The roots of Iran’s volatile relationship with America and Britain has never been so forensically and dramatically exposed.

This powerful and authoritative documentary by the Iranian filmmaker Taghi Amirani is as gripping as any thriller…a riveting documentary on a very British coup…a grim curtain-raiser to today’s tragedies.’ – The Guardian 

‘It wins you over with its scrappy underdog antics and then, later, bowls you over with its heavyweight insights. It’s like taking a swim in John le Carré’s brain.’ – Time Out

BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLDSTORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHE

When Alice Guy-Blaché completed her first film in 1896 Paris, she was not only the first female filmmaker, but one of the first directors ever to make a narrative film. In Be Natural, Pamela B. Green acts as a detective, revealing the real story of Guy-Blaché and highlighting her pioneering contributions to the birth of cinema and her acclaim as a creative force and entrepreneur in the earliest years of movie-making.

Narrated by Jodie Foster, the film features commentary from Diablo Cody, Geena Davis, Julie Delpy, Ava DuVernay, Michel Hazanavicius, Patty Jenkins, Ben Kingsley, Andy Samberg, Agnès Varda, Evan Rachel Wood and more.

“Educational and entertaining” – Time Out

“It’s a commendable revival of the legacy of one of cinema’s pioneering female figure” – Empire

“A scrupulously well-researched documentary” The Hollywood Reporter

FAMILY ROMANCE, LLC

The company of the title, based in Tokyo, loans out actors to people who need to fill specific emotional holes in their lives. They might need to rent a father to give away a bride because her real dad is a raging alcoholic. They may need to create an instant workplace friend to take the blame for a shameful cock-up. Or perhaps they just require a quick burst of life-reaffirming happiness through the recreation of their fondest memory. All of the above, and more, are presented by Herzog in a series of vignettes, shot in a handheld-video style that feels substantially similar to any of his documentaries. Furthermore, Family Romance, LLC is a real company, and its founder, Yuichi Ishii, appears as himself, taking a delicate, fictional assignment which provides a loose plotline.

‘Is it a docudrama? A meta-doc? Staged reality? However you define it, it’s enthralling, unsettling and typically Herzogian.‘ – Time Out

‘It is Herzog’s best film since 2010’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams – seemingly slight at first, but with a premise that snags in your brain, and moments of pure oddball transcendence.’ – Daily Telegraph

“A provocative drama from Werner Herzog exploring a real-life company hiring out actors as family members.” Andrew Heskins easternKicks.com

WILLY’S WONDERLAND

Nic Cage takes on a set of violent animatronic amusement park mascots in this action packed, nail-biting tale of terror that will take you on the ride of your life!

Stranded in a remote town with a car that won’t work and no way to pay the local repair shop, THE JANITOR (Nic Cage – Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse) agrees to spend the night in an abandoned theme park full of animatronic characters that were once a joy to the kids of the town, but now hold a dark secret.

As night falls, these once happy mascots come to life and they’re out for blood. Survive at any cost, it’s only one night!

“It ably fulfills its promise as a bonkers saga about Nicolas Cage battling satanically-possessed fantasy robots in a funhouse restaurant, and really, that’s no small accomplishment.” Nick Schager – The Daily Beast

“Needlessly gory and imaginatively graphic, the just-under ninety-minute feature burns on all cylinders, not just using common horror tropes but gleefully abusing them; no sin goes unpunished as The Janitor cleans Willy’s house.” Kevin A. Ranson MovieCrypt.com

“Willy’s Wonderland is] erratic, hilarious, and just the right amount of unhinged Nic Cage to get things right.” Kate SánchezBut Why Tho? A Geek Community

AWAY

After a mysterious crash landing, a young boy wakes up alone on an exotic island. He’s being chased by a dark spirit, although it’s unclear whether the spirit means to help or harm the boy. A motorcycle appears, providing safe travel to the boy, and he makes friends with a local songbird who offers guidance. Soon they are off on their own adventure, trying to escape the dark spirit, learn more about the mysterious crash landing, and uncover the true nature of the exotic island.

Written, produced, directed, scored, and animated entirely by award winning Latvian filmmaker Gints Zilbalodis, AWAY was beautifully crafted over a period of more than three years, developed from a previous short Zilbalodis had been working on. The story, told without dialogue over a series of breathtaking backgrounds, is equally inspired by reality, dreams, and waking fantasies.

‘“Away” is an astonishingly beautiful story. A boy discovers himself in a dreamlike landscape and embarks on a journey – part terrifying, part affirming, totally entrancing. The graphic style is reminiscent of Miyazaki, but unlike the work of the Ghibli Studio, Gints Zilbalodis animated, directed, edited and scored this film all by himself. An extraordinary feat.’ – Reviewed by our very own CEO, Susannah Shaw.

“A mesmeric minimalist marvel.” Larushka Ivan-ZadehMetro (UK)

“Gints Zilbalodis deserves big kudos for realising this awesome three-year passion project, which weaves an acutely personal metaphor into an epic open-world adventure.” Jack Hawkins HeyUGuys

BORDER

Customs officer Tina is known for her extraordinary sense of smell. It’s almost as if she can sniff out the guilt on anyone hiding something. But when Vore, a suspicious-looking man, walks past her, her abilities are challenged for the first time ever. Tina can sense Vore is hiding something she can’t identify. Even worse, she feels a strange attraction to him. As Tina develops a special bond with Vore and discovers his true identity, she also realizes the truth about herself.

“The film huddles closely around a personality whose courage and determination invite great empathy.” Donald Clark Irish Times

“Border is without question one of the most rewarding cinematic experiences of 2018 and a film you absolutely, unequivocally will not forget about in the near future.” Richard Propes TheIndependentCritic.com

“Unique format, out of the ordinary, and marvelously disturbing.” Gisela Savdie El Heraldo

SHEFFIELD ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, bought to you in collaboration with Clevedon Skate Project.

SHAFF holds a special resonance this year: the importance of getting outside for our daily dose of exercise, plus the definite lack of adventure, have been in the minds of many, pushing people to try new sports and reassess their lifestyle. The upside of Covid creating new digital platforms, means that this is one fantastic film festival we wouldn’t usually get to see this far south. 

SHAFF scour the world, sourcing the best in outdoor and adventure films from around the globe: so sit back, get inspired and feel the rush of adrenaline (without hanging from a cliff).

There are no reviews yet.

MANIFESTO

From acclaimed visual artist Julian Rosefeldt, MANIFESTO features two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett in 13 distinct, must-see vignettes that incorporate timeless manifestos from 20th century art movements. From anchorwoman to homeless man, from Pop Art to Dogma 95, a chameleon-like Blanchett gives a tour-de-force performance as she transforms herself as never before. Rosefeldt weaves together history’s most impassioned artistic statements in this stunning and contemporary call to action.

‘Cate Blanchet is astonishing in bravura character study – a hypnotically fascinating exploration’ – The Guardian

‘It is conceptual in nature, nontraditional in form, and perfectly esoteric in appeal.’ – Variety

“There is a hypnotic fascination to this work by artist and film-maker Julian Rosefeldt, one of the few commercial films that explores the boundaries between cinema and installation, or cinema and video art.” Peter Bradshaw The Guardian

FALLING

John (Viggo Mortensen) was born to a loving mother, Gwen (Hannah Gross), and a father Willis (Lance Henriksen), who embraces masculinity, taking his son duck hunting while he’s a toddler and allowing him to pull the trigger. However, Willis also has a hair trigger temper, which eventually drives his wife away and alienates John and his younger sister Sarah, who alternately hate and fear being in his presence.

When Willis is elderly and begins to show signs of dementia, John brings him to his home in California in order to be able to take care of the man. However, in his elder years, Willis has become more toxic than ever. A stream of racist and homophobic comments constantly flow from his mouth. John, who is gay, is married to another man and has an adopted daughter, but despite his horrific experience as a child with his father, still feels bound by duty to take care of Willis.

“A very substantial achievement.’ – The Guardian

‘Poetic yet accessible, Falling proves a deeply-felt directorial bow for Mortensen.’ – The Radio Times

“It’s beautifully done and intense with some very dramatic scenes.” Tim Cogshell FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

LUXOR

British aid worker Hana (Andrea Riseborough) has been working in a war trauma unit along the border between Jordan and Syria, and returns to the ancient city of Luxor, where she arrives at the storied Winter Palace Hotel for a few days of rest. Traumatized by the horrors she’s witnessed, she bumps into former boyfriend Sultan (Karim Saleh) by chance.

An archeologist, Sultan takes her to his latest dig in the Valley of the Kings to help take her mind off of things. Her next assignment is in Yemen, but she feels broken, unable to handle another war zone. Haunted by the familiar place and unable to access all of her memories of Luxor, she struggles to reconcile her past choices with the uncertainty of the present.

‘In its modest, quiet maturity, “Luxor” avoids the cliché of presenting the East as exotic… – it’s the rare travel story that understands how sometimes being someplace else is as much about the “being” as it is the “someplace else.” – LA Times

“In its modest, quiet maturity, “Luxor” avoids the cliché of presenting the East as exotic… – it’s the rare travel story that understands how sometimes being someplace else is as much about the “being” as it is the “someplace else.” Robert Abele Los Angeles Times

“A movie that captures the gut-ache of ruminating on lost love, and the pain of an expiration date hanging over a brief encounter that maybe doesn’t have to end.” Ryan Lattanzio Indie Wire

HGS 2021 Last call for entries!

Featuring short films shot in, inspired by or created by filmmakers hailing from our cosy corner of the British Isles, Homegrown Shorts provides a platform for the emerging cinematic voices grown in the fertile soil of the South-West.

Based at the Curzon, the film festival is now in its 5th year, having had films submitted from over 100 filmmakers, ranging from stop-motion shot on phones to 35mm digitized film.

To enter, email badgerclubproductions@gmail.com by Feb 28th

For further information, please contact: 

Curzon Cinema & Arts Marketing  Email petra.mansour-moffatt@curzon.org.uk  / Tel 01275 879115 

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