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Winter 2010 season

Tuesday 5th January at 8pm
Broken Embraces [Los abrazos rotos]     Spain 2009  |  127 mins  |  15
It's been fourteen years since screenwriter Mateo Blanco lost both his sight and the love of his life in a serious car crash. Since then he has lived under his pen-name of Harry Caine and attempted to erase all trace of his former identity. But the death of a wealthy industrialist prompts him to recall the events that led up to his fateful accident. The latest Palme d'Or nominated film from Spanish maestro Pedro Almodóvar sees him re-united with Live Flesh, All About My Mother and Volver star Penelope Cruz in a stylish, compelling, fabulously performed and structurally ingenious parallel-narrative drama.

Tuesday 12th January at 8pm
Fish Tank     UK 2009  |  123 mins  |  15
15-year-old Mia lives on a run-down Essex housing estate with her sisters and young mother Joanne. Excluded from school, she's fond of fighting and has inherited her mother's fondness for alcohol. Her only contentment comes from dancing alone to hip-hop music, but everything changes when her mother brings home enigmatic new boyfriend Connor. The second feature from Andrea Arnold, director of the widely acclaimed Red Road, is a raw but compassionate coming-of-age drama, featuring strong performances from newcomer Katie Jarvis as Mia and Michael Fassbender as Connor. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 19th January at 8pm
Sin Nombre     Mexico / USA 2009  |  96 mins  |  15
Sayra is a young Honduran woman riding a freight train roof through Mexico with her father and uncle in the hope of gaining illegal entry to America. Casper is a young Mexican gang member travelling the same route with the intention of robbing these desperate passengers. Their paths cross and an unexpected but increasingly strong bond forms between them. This extraordinary debut feature from writer-director Cary Fukunaga provides a vivid and utterly compelling insight into the hardships of the immigration trail, and was a deserved winner of the directing award at this year's Sundance Festival.

Tuesday 26th January at 8pm
Bright Star     UK / Australia / France 2009  |  119 mins  |  PG
In 1818 London, 23-year-old poet John Keats finds himself warming to his outspoken neighbour Fanny Brawne. A friendship gradually develops into a secret but platonic love affair. This could easily have played as a standard TV-style costume drama but becomes, in the hands of The Piano and Portrait of a Lady director Jane Campion, a warm, wistful and beautifully observed study of the artist as a young romantic. Handsomely photographed by Greig Fraser, it featuring two excellent central performances from Ben Wishaw and Abbie Cornish.

Tuesday 2nd February at 8pm
The Cove     USA 2009  |  92 mins  |  12A
Richard O'Barry made his name and fortune by rigorously training the dolphins for the TV series Flipper, but his shock at the death of one of the animals in his care prompted him to become a welfare activist for the creatures he once exploited. The Cove follows him to the small Japanese town of Taiji, whose seeming devotion to the dolphins that swim off its coast conceals a terrible secret, one that O'Barry and the film crew become determined to capture on film, whatever the risk. A deserved multi-award winner on the festival circuit, The Cove is both a compelling ecological documentary and a shocking call to action. (Cine Outsider article and interview with Fisher Stevens)

Tuesday 9th February at 8pm
Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee     UK 2009  |  71 mins  |  15
The latest film from UK indie favourite Shane Meadows (TwentyFourSeven, Dead Man's Shoes, This is England) sees him once again teamed with close friend Paddy Consadine, who here plays a failed musician and roadie known as 'Le Donk', determined to secure white rapper Scor-zay-zee to play support at an upcoming Arctic Monkeys gig. Largely improvised and shot in just five days, Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee is a sometimes uproarious ride, driven by an inspired, energetic and sometimes hilarious performance by Consadine as the motormouth roadie of the title.

Tuesday 16th February at 8pm
BirdWatchers [La terra degli uomini rossi]     Italy / Brazil 2008  |  103 mins  |  15
The once proud but now disenfranchised Guarani-Kaiowá tribe of Brazil have fallen on hard times, reduced to putting on fake displays of tribal aggression for passing tourists, for which they are paid a pittance. Village elder Nadio decides they should return to the land of their fathers, an area that is now owned by a wealthy and unsympathetic white rancher. Using the issue of land rights to explore a community too often consigned to film background characters, BirdWatchers is a compelling ethnographic docudrama that provides a rare and moving insight into the lives of the indigenous people in the Amazon basin.

Tuesday 23rd February at 8pm
Tulpan     Germany / Kazakhstan / Poland / Russia / Switzerland 2008  |  100 mins  |  12A
Fresh out of the navy, young Asa returns to the remote family farming community on the Kazakhstan Steppe with dreams of owning his own flock. In order to do so he must embrace traditional values and find himself a wife, but the only single girl in the area – the Tulpan of the title – just doesn't seem interested. The first feature from 45-year-old documentarian Sergey Dvortsevoy fuses ethnographic documentary with understated character comedy to winning effect, and provides a window to a place and people rarely seen on the cinema screen.

Tuesday 2nd March at 8pm
Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno [L'enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot]     France 2009  |  99 mins  |  15
At the tail end of his career, Wages of Fear and Les Diaboliques director Henri-Georges Clouzot began work on a big budget film inspired by his own experiences of mental breakdown, but his hyper-perfectionism and subsequent heart attack brought production to a halt. Using Clouzot's screenplay, notes and storyboards, co-directors Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea have attempted to resurrect Clouzot's original vision, in the process providing both an insight into the process of reconstruction and a mouth-watering flavour of the film that might have been.

Tuesday 9th March at 8pm
Johnny Mad Dog     France / Belgium / Liberia 2008  |  98 mins  |  15
In an unnamed and war-torn African state, 15-year-old Johnny Mad Dog leads a drugged-up and brainwashed 'Small Boy Unit' in a violent assault on the nation's capital, where 16-year-old student Laokolé struggles to keep her invalid father and her young brother safe from the approaching violence. The second feature from French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire is an uncompromising and harrowing look at the issue of child soldiery, an urgent, realistic, brutal and brilliant work that is guaranteed to shock but that demands to be seen. The boys in the film are all played by real former child soldiers.

Tuesday 16th March at 8pm
A Serious Man     UK / USA / France 2009  |  105 mins  |  15
In the summer of 1967 Jewish Mathematics professor Larry Gopnik's world starts falling apart around him – his brother is depressed, his wife wants a divorce, and anonymous letters slurring his name are being sent to his employer. With his religion providing little in the way of comfort or guidance, Larry begins a search for answers to the deeper questions about his purpose on earth and the nature of his fate. The latest film from the Coen Brothers (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men) is one of their most personal and rewarding to date, an exquisite meditation on the absurdity of existence that's as darkly comical as it is thoughtfully serious.

Tuesday 23rd March at 8pm
The White Ribbon [Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte]     Germany / Austria / Frace / Italy 2009  |  144 mins  |  15
In a small German village in the lead-up to World War 1, a series of strange events shake the local community: a doctor is thrown from his horse by a tripwire; a young boy is found bound and beaten; a farmer's wife dies after falling through a floor. But who, or what, is responsible? The latest film from acclaimed Austrian director Michael Haneke (Funny Games, Hidden) is concerned less with the nature of evil than the culpability of those who allow it to foster. Strikingly shot in black-and-white, this is an impressively performed and haunting work, and Haneke's first Palme D'Or winner.

Tuesday 30th March at 8pm
Morris: A Life With Bells On     UK 2009  |  100 mins  |  12
The spirit of Christopher Guest (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) is evoked by this good natured and enjoyable mocumentary that satirises – but never mocks – the very English art of Morris dancing. Dorset tractor mechanic Derecq Twist lives for Morris dancing and leads the Millsham Morris team, whose uniquely avant-garde approach to the medium becomes the subject for a film documentary. A witty and intermittently hilarious debut feature for writer/star Charles Thomas Oldham and director/supporting player Lucy Akhurst. The film also boasts some notable cameos from the likes of Ian Hart and Derek Jacobi.

Tuesday 7th February at 8pm     SPECIAL SCREENING
Thanet and the Black Death     UK 2010  |  75 mins  |  12A
The shocking story of a village in Thanet in the grip of Britain’s worst disaster in history – the Black Death of 1348. The film vividly recreates life in medieval times: how peasants and nobles live, the status of women and the role of religion. Also the weird and wonderful approach to health and medicine – could gout really be cured by goat’s droppings? Then we see the results as the deadly plague spreads over the village, fomenting panic and despair and cracking open established beliefs. Will God save them? Or are they all going to die? The film was shot on location in Thanet with a mainly local cast.