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Winter 2009 season

Tuesday 6th January at 8pm
Burn After Reading     USA / UK / France 2008  |  96 mins  |  15
Unaware that his disgruntled wife Katie is having an affair with Treasury Agent Harry (George Clooney), alcoholic CIA analyst Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) quits his job and starts work on his memoirs. When a disc containing some of Cox's sensitive files falls into the hands of gym workers Chad (a hilarious Brad Pitt) and Linda (Frances McDormand), the pair attempt to blackmail Cox, but when he is unresponsive to their demands they take an alternative approach that soon sees them hopelessly out of their depth. The latest film from the Coen Brothers (Fargo, No Country to Old Men) is their funniest since The Big Lebowski, a wonderfully absurdist take on the paranoid thriller genre and one of the most enjoyable American films of the year. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 13th January at 8pm
Hunger     UK / Ireland 2008  |  90 mins  |  15
In Northern Ireland's Maze Prison in 1981, Provisional IRA member Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) led a hunger strike in an effort to win political status for himself and his fellow IRA inmates. The first feature film by Turner Prize winning artist Steve McQueen documents events leading up to the protest and the strike itself, eventually focussing on Sands and his revealing conversations with Catholic priest Father Moran (Liam Cunningham). The violence within the prison is not shied away from, but the film takes a balanced view of its subject that explores the humanity of both sides without showing open support for either cause. The result is a searingly powerful and uncompromising work that establishes McQueen as a cinematic force to be reckoned with.

Tuesday 20th January at 8pm
Let's Talk About the Rain [Parlez-moi de la pluie]     France 2008  |  110 mins  |  12A
When feminist writer Agathe visits her uptight sister Florence in their South of France birthplace to help settle her late mother's affairs, she announces her intention to move into politics and is persuaded by Karim, the son of the family's Algerian housekeeper, to take part in a documentary he and local filmmaker Ronsard are compiling on successful women. In the process the foibles and pretentions of all are exposed, from Agathe's self-obsession and casual prejudices to the ineptness of the would-be filmmakers. Written and directed by its husband and wife stars Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, who also made the celebrated Look at Me, Let's Talk About the Rain is a warm and witty comedy-drama that celebrates life's small but precious moments.

Tuesday 27th January at 8pm
Patti Smith: Dream of Life     USA 2008  |  109 mins
Although most well known for her 1978 song 'Because the Night', singer, songwriter and poet Patti Smith has been a vital musical force for over 30 years, her 1975 debut album 'Horses' widely credited as a major influence on the punk rock movement. Fashion photographer Steven Sebring spent eleven years following Smith with a movie camera and captures everything from the unbridled energy of her live performances to the quieter moments she spends with her family, and even the scattering of the ashes of her good friend, photographer Robert Maplethorpe. What emerges is a reverential but compellingly intimate portrait of one of the key female rock icons of the modern age.

Tuesday 3rd February at 8pm
Welcome to the Sticks [Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis]     France 2008  |  106 mins  |  12A
In an effort to cheer up his depressed wife Julie, post office manager Philippe tries to swing a job relocation to a Riviera seaside town, but bungles an interview and is downgraded to running a small-town post office in a dreaded and colder district of the country's north. Leaving his wife and son in warmer climes, Philippe makes the journey alone, but finds that the location and its people are not quite what he had expected or feared. A huge hit in its native France (the film make back twice its budget in its opening weekend there), Welcome to the Sticks is a gentle, warm hearted but intermittently hilarious comedy, written, directed by and starring popular French stage comic Dany Boon.

Tuesday 10th February at 8pm
The Baader Meinhof Complex     Germany / France Czech Republic 2008  |  150 mins  |  18
In the 1970s, the Baader Meinhoff group quickly established themselves as West Germany's most prominent and militant left wing terrorist group whose violent attacks on prominent citizens in late 1977 that were dubbed 'German Autumn', resulted in 34 deaths and brought the country into a state of emergency. Directed by Uli Edel, who also made the sobering Christiane F and Last Exit to Brooklyn, The Baader Meinhof Complex dramatises the rise and fall of the group in gripping. revealing and sometimes controversial fashion, aided by excellent performances from Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtrau and Johanna Wokalek.

Tuesday 17th February at 8pm
Linha de Passe     Brazil 2008  |  108 mins  |  15
Having attracted international acclaim with The Motorcycle Diaries and contributed segments to both Paris je t'aime and Chacun son cinéma, Walter Salles re-unites with co-director Daniela Thomas (in their fifth film together) to explore four months in the life of pregnant cleaner Cleuza and her four sons as they each struggle to make a living in the chaotic bustle of Sao Paulo. Consisting of five interlinked stories running in parralel and all drawn from true life experiences, the film paints a gripping portrait of the harsh realities of everyday existence in Brazil's capital city and features a string of excellent performances from its newcomer cast.

Tuesday 24th February at 8pm
Import/Export     Austria 2007  |  141 mins  |  18
As Ukrainian nurse Olga heads west, unemployed Austrian security guard Pauli goes east, both in search of a better life. Both find their journies strewn with challanges and hardships, but their resilience and determination to survive and reach their individual goals sess them adapt to even extreme situations. The latest film from Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, who gave us the 2001 Dog Days, walks a sometimes disturbingly invisible line between drama and documentary, taking us with his characters into genuine geriatric wards, run-down estates and porn sweatshops and using characters who are played by their real-life equivalent rather than actors. The result is a sobering but illuminating and compelling journey through the underside of everyday existence.

Tuesday 3rd March at 8pm
Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame     Iran 2007  |  81 mins  |  PG
In the Afghan town of Bamian, following the destruction of two statues of Buddha by the Taliban in 2001, six-year-old Bakhtay, whose home is carved into the rock face below where the Buddhas stood, attempts to take herself to school. This seemingly straighforward task proves fraught with obstacles, as she has to barter for a pen and notebook at the local market, actually locate the whereabout of a school she has never previously visitited, and deal with a group of young local boys who are already in thr process of learning to victimise their womenfolk. The second film from 20-year-old Hana Makhmalbaf (daughter of acclaimed writer/director Mohsen Makhmalbaf) delivers its message in most engaging fashion by keeping its tone light and focussing on Bakhtay's unwaveringly chirpy determination.

Tuesday 10th March at 8pm
Fear(s) of the Dark [Peur(s) du noir]     France 2007  |  86 mins
A village is repeatedly attacked by a pack of hounds from hell, a humanoid creature takes revenge on a nerdy boy, a woman articulates her deepest fears, a young Japanese girl is encouraged to face her terrifying nightmares, a village is terrorised by an unseen monster, and a man takes shelter from the rain in a seemingly abandoned Victorian mansion. In this anthology work, six international graphic artists were invited to present different visions of the concept of fear of the dark as black-and-white animated shorts. Ranging from monochrome computer graphics to pencil-drawn imagery, the results are often eerie, unsettling and visually striking. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 17th March at 8pm
Gomorrah     Italy 2008  |  137 mins  |  15
Based on Roberto Saviano's best-seller about the organised crime syndicate the Comorra, whose activities dominate the lives of those living in the suburbs of Naples, Gomorrah has been acclaimed as one of the finest gangster movies of modern times. Moving between five seperate stories or orinary lives that are distrupted in some way by the Comorra, the film is the antithesis of The Godfather in its refusal to glamourise the lives and activities of hits characters, but it never flinches from the consequences of the resulting violence. The Grand Prix winner at this year's Cannes film festival, Gomorrah is a powerful, impressively performed and consistently rivetting work and the modern cinematic gangland story. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 24th March at 8pm
Alexandra [Aleksandra]     Russia / France 2007  |  95 mins  |  15
An elderly Russian woman named Aleksandra travels by military train to visit her grandson Denis, who is stationed in a remote army outpost in occupied Chechnya. Her journey is one of discovery and enlightenment, as she experiences the all-male world of the camp and the soldiers' casual discipline, is befriended by a similarly aged Chechen refugee in the local market, and learns of the dislike that the locals have of the Russian occupiers and that the soldiers have of their duty there. The latest work from Aleksandr Sokurov, the man behind Russian Ark and The Sun, is a visually striking and poetically minimalist study of the morally destructive effects of war in which armed conflict itself plays no part. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 31st March at 8pm
Times & Winds [Bes vakit]     Turkey 2006  |  111 mins  |  15
In a remote Turkish mountain village, three children from different families try to come to terms with aproaching adolescence and the demands of their sometimes harsh and abusive parents. Yakup has a crush on the local schoolteacher, Yildiz has taken on many of the duties of her sometimes absent parents, while Ömer habours a dream that his father will die, in part for the constant favouritism he shows towards his younger brother. A melancholic but beautifully shot and unsentimental coming-of-age story, Times & Winds captures the essence and difficulties but also the community strengths of a remote rural existence, and the emotional conflicts that come with being forced by circumstance to grow up before your time. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 7th April at 8pm
Año Uña     Mexico 2007  |  78 mins  |  15
21-year-old American student Molly, having given up on the hope of finding a worthwhile boyfriend, finds herself in Mexico, where she rents a room from the family of 14-year-old and sexually curious Diego, who quickly fixates on this attractive new visitor. Embarking on a bold cinematic experiment, director Jonás Cuarón, (son of Alfonso Cuarón of Y tu mama tambien and Children of Men fame) has composed his first feature entirely from still photographs, taken over the course of a year and linked together in a narrative shaped by the soundtrack, much in the manner of Chis Marker's 1962 La Jetée. The result is a briskly paced and involving character piece that focuses our attention on the small everyday moments that too often pass by unnoticed and anappreciated.