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Winter 2005 season

Tuesday 11th January at 8pm
The Motorcycle Diaries [Diarios de motocicleta]     Argentina / USA / Germany / UK 2004  |  128 mins  |  15
In 1952, 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado embark on an 8,000 mile tour of Latin America on a beaten-up old Norton motorbike. In the course of their trip they are brought face to face with the consequences of mass poverty and social injustice, and for Ernesto this proves a life-changing experience, one that will help to shape him into one of the world’s most famous revolutionaries. Directed by Central Station's Walter Salles, The Motorcycle Diaries is a compelling and thoroughly engaging rites-of-passage story that develops into a documentary-like study of the effects of poverty and the need for drastic change. Featuring two terrific central performances from Rodrigo De La Serna as Alberto, and the consistently excellent Gael Garcìa Bernal as the young Che Guevara. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 18th January at 8pm
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster     USA 2004  |  145 mins  |  15
In 2001, the hugely successful heavy metal band Metallica were facing an uncertain future: their bass player Jason Newsted had quit and lead singer James Hetfield was fighting both addiction and his own demons. In an attempt to help, the group’s management hire a self-styled ‘performance enhancement coach’, who spends the next two years working to restore them to their former glory. Documentary-makers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills) followed the band during this period, recording the development of the group’s first album of the new millennium and their first tour in years. The result is a fascinating, keenly observed work laced with moments of absurdist comedy that can’t help but mark the film as a real life version of Rob Reiner’s infamous rock mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap.

Sunday 23rd January at 4pm     SPECIAL SCREENING
The Battleship Potemkin [Bronenosets Potyomkin]     Russia 1922  |  75 mins  |  PG
In 1905 in the port of Odessa, conditions on board the Battleship Potemkin deteriorate to such a level that the ship’s crew revolts, an uprising that spreads to the port itself, but with the arrival of the Cossacks, a bloody confrontation becomes increasingly inevitable. Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 dramatisation of a key event in Russian revolutionary history remains a seminal film work, a masterpiece of propagandist storytelling and brilliant editing, reaching its peak in the Odessa Steps massacre, which is rightly still regarded as one of the most perfectly realised sequences in cinema history.

Tuesday 25th January at 8pm
Hero [Ying xiong]     Hong Kong / China 2003  |  99 mins  |  12A
In the 3rd Century ‘warring states’, a nameless swordsman is granted an audience with the Qin emperor, to whom he tells stories of enemies vanquished at his skilful hands, but the emperor has his own version of how he believes events unfolded. Taking his cue from Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Zhang Yimou demonstrates a startling shift in style from dramas such as Raise the Red Lantern and To Live to create one of the most visually beautiful action films in cinema history, with sweeping landscapes, dazzling fight scenes and an epic sense of time and place. A huge hit at the US box office, the film features the cream of Hong Kong action talent in the lead roles, including Jet Li, Zhang Ziyi and Maggie Cheung.

Sunday 30th January at 4pm     SPECIAL SCREENING
Billabong Odyssey     USA 2003  |  87 mins  |  PG
A group comprised of some of the world’s top surfers set off on a globe-trotting quest to find and ride the world’s biggest wave. Philip Boston’s documentary follows this eighteen month journey across six continents and shows the group tackling waves of up to 70 foot in height, as well as talking about the passion that drives them and the latest in cutting edge surfing technology. A fascinating trip for surfers and non-surfers alike, and boasting some stunning cinematography of the rides themselves.

Tuesday 1st February at 8pm
Dead Man's Shoes     UK 2004  |  86 mins  |  18
Two close but very different brothers – strong willed Richard and hesitant Anthony – return to their small Midlands home town to confront a dark episode from their past. Richard clearly has revenge on his mind, but against who and for what? The latest film from Shane Meadows, the director of TwentyFourSeven, A Room for Romeo Brass and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, unfolds initially as drama laced with improvisational character comedy, taking a darker, more menacing turn in the second half. The performances in particular are first rate, especially Paddy Considine, broodingly effective as the troubled and vengeful Richard.

Tuesday 8th February at 8pm
In My Skin [Dans ma peau]     France 2002  |  93 mins  |  18
After accidentally cutting her leg in a fall, marketing analyst Esther becomes fascinated with the destruction of her own flesh, and embarks on a journey of self discovery and self-mutilation in an increasingly intense investigation into the nature of her skin, and what lies beneath. Reading like a dream project for David Cronenberg, for whom body horror has become a key cinematic theme, this is a darkly disturbing blend of psychological drama and sometimes graphic horror, directed by 8 femmes and Sous le sable writer Marina de Van, who also plays the lead role. Given the nature of the subject and its sometimes direct handling, this is not a film for the squeamish. (Cine Outsider review)

Saturday 13th February at 4pm     SPECIAL SCREENING
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers     UK / USA 2004  |  122 mins  |  15
An adaptation of Roger Lewis’s biographical study of one of Britain’s most talented and fondly remembered comedians, but whose public image masked a difficult man who could be unpleasant and cruel to those around him. Detailing Sellers’ life from his early days with The Goon Show through his rise to international stardom, the film proves another showcase for the extraordinary talents of Geoffrey Rush, who excels as Sellers, but who is well supported by Emily Watson as his first wife Anne, Charlize Theron as Britt Ekland and John Lithgow as director Blake Edwards.

Tuesday 15th February at 8pm
Kontroll     Hungary 2003  |  105 mins  |  15
On the Budapest underground, Bulcsú is one of a group of misfit ticket inspectors. He never goes above ground, and has become determined to catch a particularly fast-footed fare dodger known as ‘Bootsie’, but a more sinister threat arises in the shape of a hooded figure who has taken to throwing unsuspecting passengers in front of trains. Successfully blending oddball character comedy with fast-paced action and elements of a surreal thriller, this first film from first time feature director Nimród Antal creates a set of very engaging characters, makes atmospheric use of its underground locations and is driven along by a pounding score by techno-rockers Neo. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 22nd February at 8pm
Stage Beauty     UK / USA 2004  |  110 mins  |  15
In 1660s England, when all female stage roles were played by men, Edward Kynaston is at the peak of his professional as an actor specialising in female roles. That is, until King Charles II changes the rules, allowing women to play alongside the male actors for the first time, a move that has a devastating affect on Kynaston’s life and career. Directed by Richard Eyre (who scored in 2001 with Iris) from Jeffrey Hatcher’s play, Stage Beauty is a romantic comedy with a wonderful feel for period and character in the style of the hugely successful Shakespeare in Love, and boasting a fine cast that includes Billy Cradup, Tom Wilkinson, Rupert Everett, Edward Fox and Tom Hollander.

Sunday 27th February at 4pm     SPECIAL SCREENING
Two Brothers [Deux frères]     France / UK 2004  |  109 mins  |  U
In early 20th century Cambodia, two tiger cubs are separated when a British adventurer befriends one of them, named Koumal, and transports him to a circus, while his young brother Sangha is adopted by the son of a local French governor. The film follows the fate of the two animals as Sangha is trained to fight and Koumal does his best to survive the rigours of the circus, neither knowing if they will ever encounter each other again. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud revives memories of his earlier animal drama The Bear, as well as Disney’s own life-action animal adventures, with this engaging, pro-environmentalist family film that manages to creates genuinely sympathetic characters from its two magnificent animal leads.

Tuesday 1st March at 8pm
A Thousand Months [Mille mois]     Morocco / France / Belgium 2003  |  124 mins  |  12A
In a Moroccan village in 1981, eight-year-old Mehdi is preparing for his first religious fast, but his mind is on other things – his father is in jail for political activism and he has become fascinated by the mayor’s teenage daughter, the politically active and rebellious Malika. Slowly paced but meticulously observed, this first feature-length film from writer-director Faouzi Bensaidi is a multi-stranded story of life in a Moroccan village seen from the viewpoint of a growing child. Described in Sight and Sound as “like a vivid North African Short Cuts,” the film shines in its photography, its intricate structure and its naturalistic, low key performances.

Tuesday 8th March at 8pm
Ae Fond Kiss     UK / Belgium / Germany / Italy / Spain 2004  |  104 mins  |  15
Glasgow DJ Casim, a first generation Pakistani Muslim, accepts the role his parents have mapped out for him, including an upcoming arranged marriage. Roisin is a lapsed Irish Catholic and a teacher in the same city. One day an incident involving Casim’s rebellious younger sister brings the two together, and a troubled love affair begins. Scripted by Paul Laverty and directed by Ken Loach, Ae Fond Kiss looks at the still-present issues faced by some inter-racial relationships, but is first and foremost an appealing Romeo-and-Juliet style love story, and one with a more optimistic tone than the previous Laverty-Loach collaborations, My Name is Joe and Sweet Sixteen. Once again, Loach excels in creating as sense of documentary realism and in extracting excellent performances from his largely non-professional cast.

Tuesday 15th March at 8pm
The Corporation     Canada 2003  |  145 mins  |  PG
The rise of the American political documentary continues with Jennifer Abbott and Mark Achbar’s compelling, revealing and ultimately sobering examination of modern multinational corporations, taking them to task over unethical business practices and their shoddy attitude to the environment in their blind pursuit of profit at any cost. The film is packed with information and interviews, and makes for a very persuasive and sometimes disturbing education that is designed most effectively to provoke realisation and ultimately positive action from the viewer. Exhaustively researched and painstakingly assembled, this is a fascinating work that should be made essential viewing for brand name fashion slaves, and the politicians that so many big businesses seem to have in their pockets.

Tuesday 22nd March at 8pm
Where's Firuze? [Neredesin Firuze]     Turkey 2004  |  138 mins  |  15
Istanbul music promoter Hayri is verging on bankruptcy and desperately needs to find a new act that can guarantee him a sure-fire hit. With perfect timing, he discovers Ferhat, an golden voiced singer who seems to be the answer to his dreams, but without even the money to cut a demo tape, Hayri sees his hopes fading, until the arrival on the scene of Firuze, a rich widow all too happy to invest in the new singer. But is there more to her than meets the eye? Turkish cinema is not known for its knockabout musical comedies, so Where’s Firuze? is not so much unusual as unique, a madcap blending of musical numbers and wild comedy, and a satirical look at the sometimes rocky path to fame and fortune.