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Spring 2002 season

Tuesday 9th April at 8pm
Mulholland Drive     USA / France 2001  |  146 mins  |  15
Forced at gunpoint from her car, which is then involved in a collision with teenage drag racers, a beautiful woman stumbles from the wreckage with a large amount of money, a mysterious key and no memory of how she came to be there. When she meets up with wannabe actress Betty, the two set about uncovering the mystery of the woman's Identity, and what happened to her. The latest film from surrealistic master of the bizarre, David Lynch, is anything but a straight mystery thriller and finds the director, alter the more gentle, humanistic pleasures of The Streight Story, right back in territory he made h is own with the likes of Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Lost Highway. Defying normal narrative conventions, Mulhollond Drive is nonetheless compelling cinema, creating a dream-like world that can shift from dark humour to suggestive terror in a single scene, effortlessly weaving in unusual subplots and characters and forming into a challenging but utterly satisfying whole that is being hailed by some as the director's finest work to date and has gained him a most unexepected first: a Best Director Oscar nomination.

Tuesday 16th April at 8pm
Hedwig and the Angry Inch     USA 2001  |  92 mins  |  15
After a failed love affair and a botched sex change operation, young East German Hedwig forms a rock band and embarks on an unsuccessful tour of seedy clubs in America, while a fresh-faced teen star rockets to fame by stealing his songs. Rapidly gaining a reputation as cult movie of the year, this first film from young Texan John Cameron Mitchell (who as well as writing and directing also takes the lead role) is an intoxicating cross between Velvet Goldmine and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (and then some}. A "post-punk neo-glam rock odyssey" in which plot is secondary to Stephen Trask's witty and instantly catchy songs, the outrageous hairstyles and costumes, Mitchell's rich imagination and the sheer brash exuberance of the whole enterprise. Originally scheduled and cancelled for last season, it has, like Hedwig himself, been recalled by popular demand.

Tuesday 23rd April at 8pm
Ghost World     USA / UK / Germany 2001  |  112 mins  |  15
Two teenage friends, Rebecca and Enid, graduate from high school and are almost immediately disappointed with what life has to offer. The two react in different ways – Rebecca slowly learns to accept life as it is, while Enid remains detached and derisive, eventually striking up a friendship with nerdy loner Seymour, all of which begins to drive a wedge between the two once-close friends. Having made his name with the extraordinarily intimate documentary Crumb, director Terry Zwigoff here adapts an offbeat comic strip (in collaboration with its creator Dan Clowes) to create a fresh, insightfuI and sharply satirical look at life for the teenage outsider, peppered with believable, well-drawn characters, absolutely and refreshingly non-Hollywood in its style and approach. A film dedicated to those who will never, by choice or otherwise, fit in, Ghost World also boasts a string of excellent performances, including American Beauty's Thora Birch as Enid, Scarlett Johansson as Rebecca and indie fave Steve Buscemi as the geeky Seymour.

Tuesday 30th April at 8pm
The Devil's Backbone [El espinazo del diablo]     Spain / Mexico 2001  |  108 mins  |  15
In the closing days of the Spanish Civil War, a left-wing group and their families try to delay the inevitable by disguising their remote orphanage as a Catholic school. As they wait the arrival of Franco's troops, they are haunted by two things: a huge deactivated bomb in the courtyard and the mysterious spirit of "the one who sighs". Newly arrived 10-year-old Carlos, who sleeps in the bed of a boy who disappeared the night the bomb was dropped, inadvertently starts to unravel the orphanage's dark secrets. Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is no stranger to the horror genre, having cut his teeth with the remarkable vampire film Cronos, found mainstream success of a sort with Mimic and has inherited the director's chair for the upcoming Blade 2, but is not given to straightforward genre fodder - The Devil's Backbone stands out from the crowd through its subtlety, its effective blending of horror with politics and its straight-up tension-building creepiness, prompting very favourable comparisons with the recent and more heavily promoted The Others. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 7th May at 8pm
Apocalypse Now Redux     USA 2000  |  202 mins  |  15
In 1979, Godfather maestro Francis Coppola emerged from over a year of insanity, over-budgeted indulgence and near tragedy (star Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack in the middle of shooting) with what has become a defining momem in cinema history, and stands today as one of the greatest war movies ever made, as well as probably the most expensive art film the world will ever see. After years of rumour and a few tantalising glimpses of key scenes that were dropped for the initial release, Coppola went back and re-dited the film to create the complete version, restoring a lmost 50 minutes of missing footage, adding new scenes and characters and expanding on those with which we were previously familiar. The result is epic in every sense of the word, an astonishing journey into the Heart of Darkness, combining high action with brooding menace and dark introspection. Terrific perormances from Martin Sheen, Frederick Forrest, Robert Duvall, an insane Dennis Hopper and an iconic Marlon Brando, breathtaking photography and production design, a hypnotic use of music and bold shifts of pace and style make this essential viewing in any version. A word of warning – Apocalypse Now Redux has a running time of 3 hours 20 minutes, plus break, but this is one film that justifies every extraordinary minute of its screen time and this is a rare opportunity to see the film as it was meant to be seen – restored and on the big screen. (Cine Outrsider review)

Tuesday 14th May at 8pm
Delicatessen     France 1991  |  99 mins  |  15
Very recently, French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet hit the big time with his hugely popular, infectiously magical Amélie, which played last season to a sell-out house. Jeunot's unique visual style was developed with collaborator Marc Caro, and nowhere was it more distinctive than in their first feature, the dark, hilarious and bnlliantly inventive Delicatessen. Set in an undefined, post-apocalyptic near future, the plot has grieving ex-clown Louison (Dominique Pinon) move into a boarding house run by homicidal butcher Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), who is not above repackaging his guests as meat for the downstairs delicatessen. Louison is targeted as the next victim, but then falls for the butcher's daughter Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac). Despite – or perhaps because of – its dark overtones, Delicatessen is an absolute joy, every shot, character and plot turn executed with care and imagination by its directors. Many scenes have passed into film legend and been (poorly) imitated elsewhere, not least the increasingly manic rhythmic cross-cutting sparked off by some squeaky bedsprings, and the film itself has become a major cult favourite.

Tuesday 21st May at 8pm
The Lady and the Duke [L'Anglaise ey le duc]     France / Germany 2001  |  129 mins  |  PG
In 18th Century revolutionary Paris, Scottish aristocrat Grace Elliot chooses to remain in the city and stick stubbornly to her monarchist principles, maintaining her friendship with former lover the Duke of Orleans. Outside, the mob moves closer and the shadow of the guillotine looms ever larger. One of the most successful French directors of the past 40 years, Eric Rohmer, now aged 81, adapts the real­life memories of Grace Elliot and presents a familiar historical situation – that of the French Revolution – from a less familiar viewpoint, that of the aristocracy under threat. With characters that are unable to deal with changing times, it is the director himself who adapts – after a career of over 40 films, Rohmer here abandons the traditional settings of period drama and the realism of his earlier films in favour of digitally manipulated imagery and a carefully composed and effectively unsettling artificialit, features a very different role for Jean-Claude Dreyfus, most famous in the UK for his role as the maniacal butcher in Delicatessen.

Tuesday 28th May at 8pm
Kandahar [Safar é Gandehar]     Iran / France 2001  |  85 mins  |  PG
Nafas, an Afghan refugee now working as a journalist in Canada, receives a letter from her sister announcing that, unable to bear the Taliban rule of her country any longer, she intends to commit suicide in three days, coinciding with the final eclipse of the century. Nafas embarks on a trip to save her sister, one that involves her return to a landscape infested with mines and a country in which women have no rights whatsoever. Having worked as writer and editor on his daughter Samira's The Apple and Blackboards, Monsen Makmalbaf, the Iranian master who gave us Gabbeh and A Moment of Innocence, returns to the director's chair for this captivating and timely look at Afghan life under Taliban rule. Structured as drama but shot in documentary style, the film ultimately succeeds as both, gripping through its characters and events, but informing us through its depiction of ordinary life in a land we seem to know too little about.

Tuesday 4th June at 8pm
The Swamp [La Ciénaga]     Argentina / USA / Japan / France / Switzerland / Spain / Brazil 2001  |  100 mins  |  12
On a crumbling north-western Argentinian estate, alcoholic Mecha lives with her faithless husband and three children. An accident finds them joined by the family of her cousin Tala, and the group spend the long hot summer flirting, fighting, drinking and sweating out the heat, all the while struggling against the oppressive decay around them. Plot is not the key factor in Lucrecia Martel's debut feature – her prime concern is to right get under the skin of a decaying, dysfunctional middle-class family, not in the style of traditional political cinema, but by examining in fine detail the snobbery and insecurities in the lives of Mecha and her brood. Strong performances, fine cinematography and an increaingly atmopheric sense of claustrophobia and decay make this an experience that both disturbs and fascinates, and one that stays with you long after the film is over.

Tuesday 11th June at 8pm
In the Bedroom     USA 2001  |  131 mins  |  15
In a quiet village in Maine, the lives of an ordinary local couple are turned upside down by an unexpected and tragic incident, forcing them to deal with a range of emotions as they come to terms with feelings of anger, loss and blame. To give too much detail about the plot of ex-actor Todd Field's powerful first film as director would harm the experience of actually seeing it – the film paints a picture, sets a scene, then shatters it, taking a very different turn and evolving into an unsettling, utterly compelling character drama that examines the lives of the central characters and the process of grieving, coping with guilt in precise and unsettling detail. A grippingly told and developed work, featuring two superb central performances from Sissy Spacek and The Full Monty's Tom Wilkinson.