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Spring Season 2011

Tuesday 6th April at 8pm
Neds     UK / France / Italy 2010  |  124 mins  |  18
In 1972 Glasgow, bright and confident student John begins secondary school with high hopes for his academic future. But the effects of his dysfunctional family, his working class background and a fiercely territorial local gang culture soon see him at risk of trading a once promising future for life as a violent thug. With a title drawn from a Scottish acronym for Non-Educated Delinquent, the third film from actor-turned-director Peter Mullan (Orphans, The Magdalene Sisters) presents a head-on challenge to the notion that the path to juvenile violence is solely down to educational ability. An uncompromising and sometimes violent film, Neds has attracted widespread critical acclaim and boasts a string of outstanding performances from a young, non-professional cast. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 26th April at 8pm
Monster     UK 2010  |  94 mins  |  12A
Six years after a NASA probe crash-landed in Mexico and unleashed an alien life form, half of the country is a walled-off zone in which the US military struggle to contain the large and destructive creatures that dwell within. In spite of the dangers, cynical photojournalist Andrew agrees to locate and escort his boss's daughter through what has been dubbed The Infected Zone to the safety of the US border. Made on a shoestring budget on pro-sumer camcorders, with the impressive effects work done on a home computer, Monsters is a hugely impressive feature debut for British director Gareth Edwards, a socio-political road movie with a science-fiction bent, and a potent parable on immigration and power politics with a very human heart.

Tuesday 4th October at 8pm
Le quattro volte     Italy / Germany / Switzerland 2011  |  88 mins  |  15
In a tiny Italian hilltop village, an ageing, ailing and deeply religious goatherd and his sharp-witted dog tend their livestock. When the old man dies, a goat kid is born, the first transitional step in this gentle, poetic study of community, reincarnation, spiritual celebrations, and the Pythagorean theory of the interconnectivity of animal, vegetable and mineral. Adopting an almost wordless observational approach, director Michelangelo Frammartino creates a captivating, beautifully photographed and heart-warming work that combines anthropological documentary with a philosophical meditation on the cycle of nature.

Tuesday 11th October at 8pm
Incendies     Canada / France 2010  |  130 mins  |  15
At the will reading for their late mother, Canadian twin siblings Simon and Jeanne discover that she harboured a long buried secret. The pair are charged with delivering two sealed letters, one to the father they had long believed dead, the other to a brother they never knew they had. Simon shows no interest in carrying out the task, and Jeanne departs for the Middle East in search for information on her mother's mysterious past. Wajdi Mouawad's acclaimed stage play is developed by writer-director Denis Villeneuve into very cinematic blend of personal and political drama, whose dual timeline narrative unfolds as a gripping and sometimes harrowing voyage of self-discovery. (Cine Outsider review)

Tuesday 18th October at 8pm
The Messenger     USA 2009  |  113 mins  |  15
After being seriously injured in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is assigned to work with the more experienced Captain Tony Stone at the Casualties Notification Office, whose job is to visit the families of fallen soldiers and inform them that a loved one has been killed in action. Initially the two do not seem well matched, but the range of emotional responses their visits trigger sees a bond begin to develop between them. Featuring a pair of superb performances from Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson, and excellent support from Samantha Morton as a widow with whom Montgomery becomes involved, The Messenger is a moving and acutely observed study of love, loss and grief, and a remarkable directorial debut for Oren Moverman, the acclaimed writer of Todd Haynes' I'm Not There.

Tuesday 25th October at 8pm
My Dog Tulip     USA 2009  |  83 mins  |  12A
Author JR Ackerley's 1956 account of the 15-year relationship with his German Shepherd Queenie becomes the subject for an engrossing, beautifully animated film by award-winning animators Paul and Sandra Fierlinger. Despite its almost Disney-esque sounding subject matter, this is in no sense a children's film, documenting as it does the attempts of the elderly author (wonderfully voiced by Christopher Plummer) to cope with the practical and biological complexities of caring for a large and single-minded animal. The first major animated feature to be handdrawn using paperless computer technology, My Dog Tulip is an offbeat, unsentimental, but touching and often amusing story of that unique bond between man and his sometimes disobedient best friend.

Tuesday 1st November at 8pm
Silent House [La casa muda]     Uruguay 2010  |  86 mins  |  15
Teenager Laura and her father Wilson are hired to renovate a remote cottage to prepare it for sale, but on their first night they are disturbed by loud noises from the upper floor. When Wilson investigates and fails to return, Laura is left alone to explore the dark and unfamiliar house, not knowing what lies ahead, or who or what else might be in there with her. A familiar horror set-up is given a tension-inducing twist by director Gustavo Hernandez's decision to shoot the entire film in one continuous real-time take, placing us alongside Laura as she makes her terrified way around the darkened house. Featuring a superb central performance from Florencia Colucci, Silent House is one of most ingenious and unnerving low budget horror thrillers of recent years.

Tuesday 8th November at 8pm
A Separation [Jodaeiye Nader az Simin]     Iran 2011  |  120 mins  |  PG
In modern day Iran, middle class Simin is seeking a divorce from her husband Nader, to whom she has been married for fourteen years. Simin wants to take their 11-year-old daughter and leave the country, but Nader believes she should stay and help look after his Alzheimer's afflicted father. The couple agree to separate, and to help him with his father, Nader hires a young carer named Razieh, who unbeknown to him has problems of her own. Made on a budget of just $300,000, Iranian writer-director Asghar Fahadi's multi-award winning film is a socially and emotionally complex story of family breakdown and the class divisions in modern Iranian society, driven along by Fahadi's taut direction and a string of excellent performances.

Tuesday 15th November at 8pm
The Princess of Montpensier [La princesse de Montpensier]     France / Germany 2010  |  130 mins  |  15
In 16th century France during a time of religious upheaval, the strikingly beautiful young heiress Marie de Mezières is in love with soldier Henri de Guise, but has been betrothed by her father to Henri's cousin, the Prince of Montpensier. When Henri and the Prince go off to war, Marie is left to be tutored by Protestant deserter, the Comte de Cabannes, who quickly falls for the beguiling Princess. Eschewing the stately style of traditional period dramas, veteran director Bertrand Tavernier takes a more vigorous and cinematically energetic approach to this emotionally charged adaptation of Madame La Fayette's celebrated story. Strikingly shot, it boasts a fine cast that includes Mélanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson and Gaspard Ulliel.

Tuesday 22nd November at 8pm
Benda Bilili!     Republic of Ciongo / France 2010  |  85 mins  |  PG
Four paraplegic musicians living on the streets of Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, join forces with a child percussionist and a teenage boy who plays an instrument of his own design. Five years later, the group have signed a record contract and are embarking on a concert tour that will take them around the world. Their remarkable and inspirational journey is charted by French filmmakers Renaud Barret and Florent de La Tullaye, who met the musicians by chance back in 2004 when making short films about the region's music. The resulting film is a captivating and warm-hearted ragsto- riches story, and a beguiling portrait of the city, its people, and its entrancing music.

Tuesday 29th November at 8pm
Outside the Law [Hors la loi]     France / Algeria / Belgium / Tunisia / Italy 2010  |  138 mins  |  15
Having been uprooted from their ancestral home by French colonial authorities, fate sends three Algerian brothers in separate directions. Abdelkader becomes the leader of an Algerian independence group, Messaoud joins the French army and is shipped off to Indochina, and Saïd moves to Paris and tries his hand at pimping and boxing management. Eventually the brothers are reunited, and join forces in the sometimes ruthless fight for Algerian independence. A film that prompted protests on its release in France for re-awakening old wounds, Outside the Law nonetheless takes an even-handed approach to its still controversial subject, a compelling history lesson bolstered by fine performances and some gripping action set-pieces.

Tuesday 6th December at 8pm
Sawako Decides [Kawa no soko kara konnichi wa]     Japan 2010  |  112 mins  |  12A
23-year-old Sawako's life is going nowhere. Having run away to Tokyo at the age of 18, a series of dead-end jobs and failed relationships have reduced her to a state of alcoholic malaise. Then an unexpected call from her uncle pulls her back to her home town, where she attempts to re-bond with her fatally ill father and help pull his ailing fresh water clam business back from the brink of bankruptcy. But even with this new found purpose in life, Sawako is not destined for a smooth ride. What may sound like a Hollywood-style story of reconciliation and redemption is actually one of the year's most offbeat and likeable films: a blend of deadpan comedy and character drama that celebrates the ordinary and those who accept their lot in life.

Tuesday 13th December at 8pm
Treacle Jnr.     UK 2010  |  85 mins  |  15
Without any warning to his wife and young child, quietly depressed, middle-class Tom leaves the house one morning and takes a train to London, where he throws away his credit cards and phone and begins a new life at the bottom of society. After being attacked in a park while sleeping rough, he meets cheerful motormouth Aidan, and despite their considerable differences, a friendship develops, which helps the wayward Tom to rediscover his true sense of self. Only the third feature in ten years from the promising Jamie Thraves (The Low Down), Treacle Jr. is an involving, darkly funny and low key walk therough The Fisher King territory, boasting a trio of excellent performances from Tom Fisher, Aiden Gillen, and Riann Steele as Aiden's volatile flatmate Linda.