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Spring 2010 season

Tuesday 13th April at 8pm
A Prophet [Un prophète]     France / Italy 2009  |  155 mins  |  18
Naïve 19-year-old Franco-Arab Malik begins his first stint in an adult prison after years in and out of juvenile detention, his aim being to do his time as quietly as possible. He is quickly recruited by Mafioso César Luciani, a move that sits badly with the Luciani’s Corsican crew and earns him the distrust of the prison’s Muslim community. But as Malik learns the ropes he embarks on his own freelance criminal dealings, and is soon facing danger from a number of quarters. The latest film from Jacques Audiard, director of the excellent The Beat That My Heart Skipped, is a dark, sometimes harrowing but brilliantly handled prison movie, a huge award-winner in its native France and widely acclaimed as one of the finest crime movies in decades. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 20th April at 8pm
Capitalism: A Love Story     USA 2009  |  127 mins  |  12A
It may seem that political documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has been a little quiet since the international success of Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko, his acclaimed look at the state of American health care. But he’s still making films and ruffling establishment feathers, and his most recent work takes aim at corporate capitalism and the manner in which it controls the lives of those who live in the countries in which it has flourished. As ever, Moore’s approach is a playful but stealthily effective blend of showmanship, agitprop and sometimes shocking statistical information, with Moore once again taking the lead role and always prepared to ask the confrontational questions.

Tuesday 11th May at 8pm
Still Walking [Aruitemo aruitemo]     Japan 2008  |  114 mins  |  U
In modern day rural Japan, a family gathers to commemorate the tragic death of eldest son Junpei in a drowning accident fifteen years earlier. Second son Ryota dislikes these reunions, in part because of the manner in which Junpei was always favoured by his father and his parents’ lingering belief that the wrong son died that day. The latest film from Japanese master Hirokazu Koreeda, director of fabulous 1998 transcendental fantasy After Life (Wandâfuru raifu), is a beautifully observed and poignant study of family, loss, inter-generational differences and how our relationships and perceptions of others change over time.

Tuesday 4th May at 8pm
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll     UK 2010  |  115 mins  |  15
It’s been a busy few years for film biographies of famed musicians, with everyone from Johnny Cash to Ian Curtis having their life stories told on screen. Now it’s the turn of Ian Drury, the enigmatic, polio-stricken lead singer of The Blockheads, one of the most enduring acts to emerge from the British punk rock movement of the 1970s. The first solo directorial feature by director Mat Whitecross, who co-helmed The Road to Guantanamo with Michael Winterbottom, takes its title from one of Drury’s most popular tunes and tells his story from a difficult childhood through to his success as the most unlikely of pop stars. An energetic and vibrant tribute to a true musical original, built around a thrillingly passionate central performance by Andy Serkis.

Tuesday 11th May at 8pm
Me and Orson Welles     UK / USA 2008  |  114 mins  |  12A
On a day trip to New York in 1937, a chance encounter with Orson Welles results in high school student and aspiring actor Richard Samuels landing a supporting role in the Mercury Theatre production of Julius Caesar. Working alongside such theatrical luminaries as Joseph Cotton, John Houseman and George Coulouris, Samuels quickly finds himself pulled into Welles’ world and transformed by his sometimes punishing working methods. Based on Robert Kaplow's semi-fictionalised account of the play’s production, Me and Orson Welles is Dazed and Confused and A Scanner Darkly director Richard Linklater’s most upbeat and energetic film, boasting at its centre a compelling portrayal of the brilliant but power-driven Welles by Christian McKay.

Tuesday 18th May at 8pm
Food, Inc.     USA 2008  |  94 mins  |  PG
The political documentary continues to be a force for information and alarm with Robert Kenner’s eye-opening and deeply troubling Food, Inc., a detailed examination of how the process of raw food production has mutated over the years in line with the growth of the fast food industry. With input from authors Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Kenner exposes government complicity in a process involving corporate greed, disease and animal cruelty, and charts the increasingly negative effects the changes have had on the nation's health. Nominated for Best Documentary at this year’s Oscars, the film was narrowly beaten by last season’s The Cove.

Tuesday 25th May at 8pm
The Headless Woman [La mujer sin cabeza]     Argentina / France / Italy / Spain 2008  |  87 mins  |  12A
While hurriedly driving to meet her lover Juan Manuel, the distracted Verónica collides with something and suffers a momentary trauma-induced breakdown. After composing herself, she continues with her journey, but her return to normal life is disrupted by a concern that the object she hit may have been human. The latest film from Argentine director Lucrecia Martel, she of The Swamp and The Holy Girl, compellingly explores the emotional self-destruction that Verónica experiences as her shallow life begins to crumble under a weight of self-doubt and guilt at what she may have inadvertently done. A visually and thematically rich experience, constructed around a gripping central performance from Maria Onetto.

Tuesday 1st June at 8pm
Mugabe and the White African     UK 2009  |  90 mins  |  12A
Ten years ago Robert Mugabe initiated a policy that enabled the government to seize land without compensation from white farmers in Zimbabwe. 75-year-old Michael Campbell refused to cooperate and took his grievance to an international tribunal in Namibia, claiming that he was the victim of racial discrimination. Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson’s Oscar-nominated documentary follows Campbell’s battle over a one-and-a-half year period as the hearing is repeatedly delayed and he and his family suffer attacks on their property and threats of physical violence and worse. Filming covertly, at sometimes considerable risk to their own safety, the filmmakers tell a fascinating personal story that paints a sobering picture of modern Zimbabwean justice.

Tuesday 8th June at 8pm
The Last Station     UK / Germany / Russia 2009  |  112 mins  |  15
In Russia in 1910, the priggish Chertkov is trying to persuade famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy to release his work into the public domain, but his excessive flattery cuts no ice with Tolstoy's wife Sofya. In response, Chertkov hires eager young Valentin to work as the writer’s secretary, but also uses him to keep an eye on Sofya, with whom the newcomer develops an unexpected bond. The Last Station is an old-fashioned historical biopic in the best traditional sense, a handsomely shot work that shines through its performances, notably Paul Giamatti as Chertkov, James McAvoy as Valentin, Helen Mirren as Sofya and Christopher Plummer as the gracefully ageing Tolstoy.

Tuesday 15th June at 8pm
Breathless [Ddongpari]     South Korea 2009  |  130 mins  |  18
Sang-hoon is a deeply troubled and sometimes violent man who works as a hired thug at his friend’s debt collecting firm, while his relationship with his immediate family varies from frosty to hostile. A walking ball of pent-up fury, Sang-hoon’s life is changed when he meets emotionally damaged schoolgirl Yeon-hue, with whom he strikes up an offbeat friendship that is destined to have a profound affect on both of their fates. An astonishing and widely acclaimed feature debut from writer-director Yang Ik-june, who also plays the lead role, Breathless is a shockingly brutal but brilliantly handled study of a modern dysfunctional Korean family, and how lives can be damaged and ultimately ruled by violence. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 22nd June at 8pm
OSS 117: Lost in Rio     France 2009  |  101 mins  |  15
It’s 1967, and suave French spy Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, code named OSS 117, is regarded by his superiors as the best in the business. Sent to Rio de Janeiro to locate a sought-after former Nazi, he is teamed with attractive female Mossad colonel Delores Koulechov, and the two soon find their professional relationship developing into something more personal. This follow-up to the 2006 film OSS 117: Cairo – Nest of Spies cheerfully satirises the Bond movies of the 1960s, being an energetic blend of inspired sight gags, direct digs at past spy movies, preposterous plot twists and unashamed silliness. The cast are all in on the joke, none more so than Rüdiger Volger as the villainous von Zimmel and Jean Dujardin as the comically expressive OSS 117.