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Autumn 2012 season

Tuesday 18th September at 8pm
Le Havre     Finland | France | Germany 2011  |  93 mins  |  PG
Marcel Marx is a middle-aged shoe shiner in the seaside port of Le Havre whose contentment with his simple life is turned upside down when his wife Arletty develops a tumour and is taken into hospital. After a chance encounter with Idrissa, a young refugee who has escaped police custody, and makes it his mission to-unite the boy with his mother in London.The latest film from celebrated Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki (Leningrad Cowboys Go America, The Man Without a Past) bristles with his trademark deadpan humour and finds the director in uncharacteristically upbeat mood, marking Le Havre as one of his most enjoyable and humanist movies to date.

Tuesday 25th September at 8pm
Even the Rain [También la lluvia]    Spain | Mexico | France 2010  |  103 mins  |  15
Idealistic director Sebastián and his cynical producer Costa arrive in the Cochabamba district of Bolivia to shoot a revisionist film about Christopher Columbus, one focussing on the brutality of his conquest. All seems to be going well until one of their lead actors becomes directly involved in a volatile protest against the privatisation of the region’s water supply. Scripted by Ken Loach regular Paul Laverty, Even the Rain is a spirited and politically relevant drama inspired by the very real multinational takeover Cochabamba's entire water supply, including its rainfall, and features fine performances from Luis Tosar as Costa and Gael Garcia Bernal as Sebastián.

Tuesday 2nd October at 8pm
A Simple Life [Tao jie]     Hong Kong 2011  |  118 mins  |  PG
For 40 years Ah Tao has worked as a maid for generations of the same Hong Kong family and now attends to Roger, who works as a film producer. The relationship between the two has become so finely tuned that they are able to communicate almost without words.Then one day Ah Tao suffers a stroke and their roles are reversed, as Roger becomes her primary source of non-institutional care. A major winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards and acclaimed at festivals around the world, A Simple Life is a beautifully observed, honest, warmly humorous and deeply moving film that consistently sidesteps the pitfall of sentimentality. At its core are a pair of glorious performances from Hong Kong cinema stalwarts Deanie Ip and Andy Lau.

Tuesday 9th October at 8pm
The Angel's Share     UK | France | Belgium | Italy 2012  |  101 mins  |  15
Violent young Robbie, a habitual offender, is up on an assault charge, but due to his impending fatherhood and his assertion that he has finally changed his ways, he dodges a prison term and is instead sentenced to community service. In the course of his work he discovers that he has a nose for fine whisky, and wonders just how he can put this natural talent to profitable use.The latest film from director Ken Loach (Kes, The Wind That Shakes the Barley) and regular collaborator Paul Laverty (who also penned this season’s Even the Rain) is possibly their most warmly optimistic yet, a most engagingly performed blend of social realism, humanism and character comedy.

Tuesday 16th October at 8pm
Free Men [Les hommes libres]     France 2011  |  99 mins  |  12A
In occupied Paris in 1942, the authorities suspect that Jews and members of the Resistance are being hidden by the Muslim community in the cellar of the city’s principal mosque. In order to investigate further without alerting those responsible, the collaborationist police forcibly recruit young Algerian black marketeer Younes to spy on the mosque and its residents.Younes considers himself to be apolitical, but in the course of his undercover work he gradually finds himself sympathising with the Resistance and their fight. Based on true stories, the second feature from The Grand Voyage director Ismael Ferroukhi is a compellingly low-key wartime thriller with a pair of fine performances from The Prophet’s Tahar Rahim and Michael Lonsdale from Of Gods and Men.

Tuesday 23rd October at 8pm
Silent Souls [Ovsyanki]     Russia 2010  |  78 mins  |  15
When his wife Tanya dies, middle-aged Miron persuades his taciturn friend Aist to assist him in the last rite rituals of the ancient Merja people, from whom both men are descended and whose traditions they only half- remember. As the pair embark on the prescribed journey, accompanied by two caged birds and Tanya’s washed and prepared body, Miron relates intimate details of his relationship with his wife, while Aist recalls the Merjan rituals he once practiced with his father. Deliberately paced and beautifully photographed by The Return’s Mikhail Krichman, Silent Souls is a mesmerising, mysterious and dreamlike journey into the little understood world of ancient Russian folklore.

Tuesday 30th October at 8pm
Electrick Children     USA 2012  |  96 mins  |  15
In a small, ultra-conservative Mormon community, 15-year-old Rachel, curious to hear what her voice sounds like on tape, inadvertently stumbles across a cover version of the Blondie song Hanging on the Telephone. A few weeks later she discovers that she is pregnant; her parents blame her brother Will and expel him from the community, but Rachel is convinced that the song itself is responsible, and heads off to Los Angeles in search of its singer.The feature debut of writer-director Rebecca Thomas and based on her own childhood, Electrick Children is a winningly scripted and beautifully shot indie coming-of-age drama, that boasts a winning performance from young Julia Garner as Rachel. [Cine Outsider review]

Tuesday 6th November at 8pm
Nostalgia for the Light [Nostalgia de la luz]     France | Germany | Chile | Spain | USA 2010  |  90 mins  |  12A
Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth, its landscape the closest this planet has to the surface of Mars. It’s a place where astronomers gather to observe the stars, the sky’s clarity there enabling them to see to the edge of the universe. But it’s also a place where the heat of the sun preserves human remains, including those of political prisoners who vanished in the 1973 Chilean military coup led by General Pinochet. A bewitching blend of stunningly photographed landscape imagery and compelling interviews and testimonies from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, Nostalgia for the Light is a moving and poetic meditation on loss and the mysteries of human existence.

Tuesday 13th November at 8pm
The Hunter     Australia 2011  |  102 mins  |  15
American mercenary Martin David is hired by a shady biotech company, who send him into the Australian wilderness to hunt down the last Tasmanian tiger.Although initially regarded with suspicion by the locals, he gradually strikes up a rapport with earth mother Lucy, whose husband went missing in the very woodland in which Martin is now hunting. Based on the acclaimed novel by Julia Leigh, The Hunter is a gripping and haunting blend of character study and psychological drama, featuring a trio of excellent performances from Willem Dafoe as Martin, Frances O’Connor as Lucy and Sam Neil as distrustful local guide Jack Mindy.

Tuesday 20th November at 8pm
Mitsuko Delivers [Hara ga kore nande]     Japan 2011  |  109 mins  |  PG
Broke, unmarried and nine months pregnant, young Mitsuko refuses to let life get her down. Her parents think she is still in California with her American boyfriend, but when the relationship ended she returned to Tokyo, and is now surrounded by the unhappy and unfortunate. An eternal optimist, she becomes determined to improve everyone’s lot, whether they like it or not. Like a louder, bossier and more infuriating Amélie, the titular Mitsuko is the latest comic creation from Yuya Ishii, the writer-director of the wonderfully deadpan Sawako Decides. Deftly weaving observations about the current economic crisis and Japanese class stereotypes into the narrative, Mitsuko Delivers is a quirky and winningly offbeat blend of character comedy and social observation.

Tuesday 27th November at 8pm
Kosmos     Turkey | Bulgaria 2010  |  122 mins  |  12A
When sermonising outsider Kosmos rescues a child from an icy river, he is warmly welcomed by the residents of the Turkish city in which the boy lives. Kosmos is openly looking for love, but his curious behaviour and a spate of robberies soon start to arouse the suspicion of the locals, until word gets around that he is blessed with almost magical healing powers. Strikingly set in the bleak and visually dramatic snows of the Turkish winter, Kosmos is a captivating, surreal and sometimes mystifying fable, a metaphoric tale that plays some bold but often arresting games with the conventions of cinematic storytelling.

Tuesday 4th December at 8pm
The Source [La source des femmes]     Belgium | Italy | France 2011  |  135 mins  |  15
In a primitive patriarchal Muslim village somewhere between North Africa and the Middle East, it’s been the job of the women to collect water from a distant mountaintop spring for as long as anyone there can remember. Fed up with having to carry out this often punishing task, the educated Leïla leads the women on a sex strike to force the idle menfolk to start pulling their weight.The latest film from The Concert director Radu Mihaileanu is a proto-feminist feel good movie, a lively and entertaining portrait of a community forced to face up to changing times.

Tuesday 11th December at 8pm
Searching for Sugar Man     Sweden | UK 2012  |  86 mins  |  12A
In the early 70s, talented singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez recorded two albums that just didn’t sell and Rodriguez disappeared from public view. Over the years his songs have garnered an enthusiastic following and long time fan and record store owner Steve “Sugar” Segerman and journalist Craig Bartholomew take it upon themselves to discover what actually happened to the singer.Their extraordinary quest, one peppered with unexpected twists and turns, is the subject of Malik Bendjelloul’s consistently fascinating documentary, one whose superb soundtrack has found the singer a whole new generation of fans.