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Spring 2005 season

Tuesday 29th May at 8pm
2046     Hong Kong / China / France / Germany 2004  |  129 mins  |  12A
Chow Mo Wan is a writer in 1960s Hong Kong whose evolving novel is on the surface about the future, but is actually revisiting Chow's own past. Having returned to the apartment block in which he once fell deeply in love, he becomes involved in a string of relationships, but is haunted by a sense of regret and loss. Wong Kar-Wai's follow-up to his own beautifully realised In the Mood for Love once again has an extraordinary sense of place and character, and though different in tone, it nevertheless carves its own unique identity whilst simultaneously recalling the earlier film's beauty and emotional power. Gorgeously photographed and scored, it features captivating central performances from Tony Leung Chiu Wai, reprising his role as Chow, and Zhang Yimou regular Gong Li.

Tuesday 5th April at 8pm
Look at Me [Comme une image]     France / Italy 2004  |  110 mins  |  12A
Budding singer Lolita is worried about her weight and has a problematic relationship with her conceited and arrogant father Etienne, a successful novelist whose young trophy wife is close to Lolita's age and tends to get all of the attention he fails to give his daughter. Co-written and directed by Agnes Jaoui, who also co-stars, this is an involving comedy drama which puts relationship power games under the cinematic microscope, but does so with considerable wit and observational detail. A character-d riven ensemble piece, Comme une image has been widely praised as one of the best and most sophisticated movies of the year.

Tuesday 12th April at 8pm
Enduring Love     UK / USA 2004  |  100 mins  |  15
On a seemingly idyllic picnic with his partner Claire, university lecturer Joe is profoundly shaken when an accident that he attempts to prevent results in tragedy. Adding to his problems is fellow would-be rescuer Jed, who develops an unexpected and potentially dangerous crush on him. Director Roger Michell and star Daniel Craig previously made the effectively low key drama The Mother together, and if anything Craig is even more impressive here as the increasingly fragile Joe, though he receives sturdy support from Rhys lfans as Jed and the always excellent Samantha Morton as Claire. Adapted from Ian McEwan's novel of the same name, this is an intelligent and compelling drama. laced with dark humour and an occasional sense of underlying menace.

Tuesday 19th April at 8pm
House of Flying Daggers [Shi mian mai fu]     Hong Kong / China 2003  |  119 mins  |  15
During China's Tang dynasty, a blind young dancer named Mei is suspected of belonging to an anti-government organisation known as The House of Flying Daggers. Dispatched to investigate her, police inspectors Leo and Jin become involved in an increasingly complex web of cross and double cross in their attempt to use Mei to locate the organisation's elusive leader. Following hot on the heels of the director's visually extraordinary Hero, House of Flying Daggers again demonstrates Zhang Yimou's ability to stage beautifully designed set-pieces and anchor them in a tale of mythic scale. Featuring the acting and physicals skills of Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau from Infernal Affairs, and Hero and 2046 co-star Ziyi Zhang.

Sunday 24th April at 4pm          SPECIAL SCREENING
Riding Giants     USA 2004  |  106 mins  |  12A
Following on from last season's Billabong Odyssey, we present this special screening of Stacy Peralta's documentary outlining the history of the sport from its peak in the 1950s to the present day. The film mixes archive and interview footage with some stunning sequences of big wave surfing, and provides outsiders with a fascinating and often exciting insight into the world of the dedicated surfer.

Tuesday 26th April at 8pm
Ray     USA 2004  |  150 mins  |  15
The rise to fame of legendary singer Ray Charles, who lost his sight as a child and was later to do battle with his own heroin addiction and relentless womanising, yet rose to become one of the most successful and best loved singers in American popular music history. Concentrating primarily on the singer's early years, the film's real stars are Jamie Foxx, whose uncannily accurate portrayal of the singer bagged him the Best Actor award at this year's Oscars, and the very music that made Charles such a widely loved and respected figure. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 3rd May at 8pm
The Sea Inside [Mar Adentro]     Spain / France / Italy 2004  |  125 mins  |  PG
Ramon Sampedro has been paralysed from the neck down for 26 years following a driving accident as a young man. Confined to the same bed in the same room for most of that time and cared for by his close family, Ramon decides he should have the right to end his life, a decision that attracts the attention of both terminally ill lawyer Julia and single mother Rosa, who have very strong and very different views on Ramon's decision. Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar, who made something of a splash with his ghost story The Others, takes what on the surface seems to be a tale about death and makes a film about the affirmation of life. as well as tackling the moral issues surrounding a person's right to choose whether to live or die.

Tuesday 10th May at 8pm
Koktebel     Russia 2003  |  105 mins  |  12A
A widowed and penniless father and his 1 2-year-old son head out from Moscow towards the distant Crimean coastal town of Koktebel. Using whatever mode of transport they can, including their own feet, they carry out odd jobs for people they meet on route in exchange for food and a place to sleep. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival, this first film by two young Russian directors inevitably recalls Andrei Zvyagintsev's recent The Return, despite being very different in tone, and is a beautifully shot and emotionally involving road movi e that features two winningly naturalistic performances at its centre.

Tuesday 17th May at 8pm
Head On [Gegen Die Wand]     Germany 2003  |  122 mins  |  18
A failed suicide attempt lands angry alcoholic Cahit in hospital, where he meets attractive twenty-something Sibel, who has been injured by her brother for simply holding hands with a boy. Sibel is the daughter of strict Muslim Turks, and to avoid a prearranged marriage she persuades Cahit, who is also of Turkish descent and would thus meet with family approval, to join her in a marriage of convenience. something that is complicated when the two actually develop feeli ngs for one another. Directed by the German son of Turkish parents, this passionate and charged drama has been widely acclaimed as the best film to emerge from Germany in some years and has even been likened to Mathieu Kassoviu's fiery La Haine. Convincingly performed, provocative and infused with energy, the film is by turns confrontational, brutal, humorous and tender. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 24th May at 8pm
Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow [Trilogia: To livadi pou dakryzei]     Greece / France / Italy / Germany 2004  |  180 mins  |  PG
Eleni is orphaned during the Russian revolution, and in 1919 is adopted by a Greek family and raised by them in their homeland. The first part in veteran director Theo Angelopoulos's proposed filmic Trilogy follows Eleni through childhood, adolescence, marriage and motherhood, and is a sweeping, sedately paced and gorgeously photographed study of what Angelopoulos himself has described as "the human condition." A haunting work of great humanity and striking visual beauty.

Sunday 29th May at 4pm          SPECIAL SCREENING
The Chorus [Les Choristes]     France 2004  |  141 mins  |  PG
I n late 1940s France, professor of music Clement Mathieu arrives at a repressive state reform school, where he refuses to share the cynical views held by his colleagues and sets about transforming the boys' lives through the power of music. A massive hit in its native France, The Chorus may tread familiar turf, but does so with a commitment, wit and energy that is too often missing from its Hollywood counterparts. A genuine feel­good movie that benefits from fine casting, Bar ratier's directorial confidence and a truly angelic music score.

Tuesday 31st May at 8pm
15 [Shiwu]     Singapore 2003  |  97 mins  |  18
15 follows the lives of five disaffected teenagers living in suburban Singapore, following their involvement with drugs, drink, sex, prostitution and gang warfare, all of which is based on the experiences of the young, non-professional cast. Rejecting the gritty realism normally associated with this subject matter, successful music video director Royston Tan instead takes a super-charged and hyper-stylised approach that fires the film with energy, yet still manages to reflect the teenagers' own views of their lifestyles, achieving his stated aim of giving "voice to the voiceless."

Tuesday 7th June at 8pm
Turtles Can Fly [Lakposhtha parvaz mikonand]     Iran 2004  |  98 mins  |  15
In a Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border shortly before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, a group of orphaned children do what they can to survive, despite the terrible conditions in the camp, making a living by collecting unexploded mines and selling them to UN personnel. The first film to be made in post-Sadam Iraq is a powerful study of the devastating effects of both oppression and war on the innocent and powerless, working through its captivating imagery, the unflinching direction of Iranian film­maker Bahman Ghobadi (A Time for Drunken Horses) and the touching honesty of the performances from the non-professional cast. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 14th June at 8pm
Tropical Malady [Sud pralad]     Thailand / France / Germany / Italy / Switzerland 2004  |  118 mins  |  12A
Keng, a soldier who has been given forest ranger duties, becomes infatuated with country boy Tong, who though friendly with Keng does not feel romanti cally inclined towards him. As their relationship falters, news reaches Keng of the slaughter of a number of local animals, deaths that some have attributed to a shape-shifting shaman. A daring and mesmerising blend of gay·romance and Thai folk tale, Tropical Malady is quite unlike any other film released this year, its dense, complex and sometimes experimental storytelling complemented by as extraordinary visual sense and rich underlying sensuality that has left some critics a little baffled but has had as many others reeling in delight.

Tuesday 14th June at 8pm
Festival Express     UK 2003  |  90 mins  |  15
Back in June of 1970, over twenty of the most influential bands of the period embarked on a five day, 2150 mile train tour from Tororonto to Vancouver in what was billed as Canada's version of Woodstock. The journey was recorded by cameramen Peter Biziou and Bob Fiore, and thirty­three years later that footage has been fashioned into this fascinating documentary by director Bob Smeaton, recording not just the performances, but also the increasing problems encountered by the tour itself, as the musicians took to drink, drugs and partying and disgruntled fans stormed the gates after balking at ticket prices. As a document of the times it is valuable, but it's chief attraction has to be the on-stage performances, which include sets from Janis Joplin, The Greatful Dead, The Band and Sha Na Na.