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Spring 2015 season

Tuesday 14 April at 8pm
Love is Strange     USA / France / Brazil / Greece 2014  |  94 mins  |  15

Having lived together for 39 years, anxious painter Ben and his upbeat partner George decide take advantage of a recent change in the law and marry.The decision has an unexpectedly negative impact on their lives: George loses his job as Catholic school music teacher, and the couple are forced to sell their New York apartment, separating them as they crash with family and friends and individually search for new accommodation.The latest work from independent filmmaker Ira Sachs (Forty Shades of Blue, Keep the Lights On) is an exquisitely observed and moving, multi-generational love story for the modern age, one built around a pair of wonderfully tender performances from John Lithgow and Alfred Molina.


Tuesday 21 April at 8pm
The Green Prince    Germany / USA / UK / Israel 2014  |  88 mins  |  15
The intriguingly titled The Green Prince is no fairy-tale fantasy adventure, but a documentary exploring how Mosab Yousef, the eldest son of Hamas co-founder and Palestinian firebrand Sheikh Hassan, was recruited by the Israeli secret service Shin Bet to spy on his father for a period of over ten years.The film is constructed around a pair of forthright interviews withYousef and his Israeli handler Gonen Ben Yitzhak, whose recollections are illustrated with archive footage and reconstructions of actual events. Produced by the team behind Man on a Wire and Searching for Sugar Man, The Green Prince tells a fascinating story that could easily have been pulled from the pages of a John Le Carre novel, were every word of it not true.

Tuesday 28 April at 8pm
Pelo Malo [Bad Hair]     Venezuela / Peru / Argentina / Germany 2012  |  93 mins  |  15
Nine-year-old Junior lives on a working class housing project in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.Wanting to look his best for an upcoming school photograph, Junior becomes obsessed with straightening his energetically curly hair, and his widowed, hard-working but traditionalist mother takes this as a worrying sign that her young son might be gay. A multiple award-winner on the festival circuit, Mariana Rondón's touching, perceptive and quietly provocative social drama explores the family battleground that exists between adults and children, as well as issues surrounding gender identity, without ever feeling forced or didactic.

Tuesday 5 May at 8pm
The Turning     Australia 2013  |  139 mins  |  15
Christmas with an estranged mother-in-law proves more fun than expected; an intense boy finds peace through the sights of his father's rifle; a man goes in search of his long lost father; an abused wife turns to religion for comfort; a boy follows his neighbour on her nightly fishing trips; a news report prompts a man to return to his childhood home; stories are related about a local criminal; a boy finds himself tempted to bury his brother in sand; a man recalls a road trip with his friend. Based on a 2005 short story collection by respected Australian author Tim Winton, The Turning features 9 individually intriguing stories – each featuring a different cast and crew – that focus on turning points in their characters' lives and explore how seemingly random encounters can impact on our future.

Tuesday 12 May at 8pm
The Homesman     USA / France 2014  |  122 mins  |  15
In the mid-19th century American West, devout and middle-aged spinster Mary Bee Cuddy is charged with transporting three women, who have all been driven mad by the grim realities of frontier life, back to the 'civilisation' of the East. En route she encounters boozy army deserter George Briggs, and recruits him to assist on what could well be a perilous journey. The second feature directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman turns standard western tropes on their head by telling its story from a female perspective. A compelling, visually striking and refreshingly honest portrayal of the harshness of life in frontier times, the film features excellent lead performances from Hilary Swank as Cuddy and Jones himself as the craggy and aged Briggs, and strong support from cast peppered with familiar faces.

Tuesday 19 May at 8pm
The Duke of Burgundy     UK 2014  |  104 mins  |  18
In an undefined, picturesque European town situated in a world in which there appear to be no men, the unassuming Evelyn arrives at a mansion owned and inhabited by the domineering Cynthia to work as her maid. Given a string of increasingly demeaning tasks, she begins to respond positively to her submissive role, and an unconventional relationship between the two women starts to unfold.The latest film from director Peter Strickland, he of Katalin Varga and Berberian Sound Studio, is both a pastiche of the 70s erotic dramas made by European directors like Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, and an artistically adventurous exploration of the sometimes bizarre nature of desire. A visually and aurally striking film, it is also a challenging one aimed at adult audiences.

Tuesday 26 May at 8pm
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter    USA 2014  |  105 mins  |  12A
A lonely and put-upon Japanese woman named Kumiko escapes the weariness of her daily life by hunting for treasure.When she discovers a discarded VHS tape of the Coen brothers' film Fargo, she takes its playful claim that the story it tells is true at face value. Armed with credit card stolen from her boss, she heads off to Minnesota in search of the money buried by the character played by Steve Buscemi in the film. Based on a real-world urban myth (which itself was inspired by a cinematic urban myth), Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is a modern-day fable of the power of hope and imagination. It's a film that feels both authentically Japanese and quirkily American, and benefits greatly from a mesmerising central performance by actress Rinko Kikuchi.

Tuesday 2 June at 8pm
Hyena     UK 2014  |  112 mins  |  18
In modern day London, corrupt drug squad officer Michael Logan trades information with criminals to fund his spiralling addiction to cocaine and alcohol.When the members of a Turkish drug ring with whom he is involved are violently murdered by Albanian gangsters, Michael quickly switches his allegiance, but finds himself in bed with the very gang that he is then recruited to help investigate. The latest film from Tony director Gerard Johnson has been described as a British Bad Lieutenant, a tough and uncompromising dig beneath the surface of the London gangland drug scene. It features strong performances from Peter Ferdinando as Michael, and the always impressive Stephen Graham as his former colleague David Knight.

Tuesday 9 June at 8pm
Manakamana     Nepal / USA 2013  |  118 mins  |  U
The Manakamana Temple, situated in the Gorkha district of Nepal, is the sacred place in the Hindu religion, being home to the Goddess Bhagwati. Located on a ridge 1302 meters above sea level, it once took a three- hour uphill walk to reach, but now is accessible via an Austrian-built cable car, on which the devout journey upwards each day. In a move of minimalist daring worthy of Abbas Kiarostami's 10, Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab have constructed a documentary portrait of a number of these pilgrims by inviting us to ride the cable car with them, each of them filmed from the same position in the same cable car. Freed of the manipulative elements of traditional filmmaking, the fledgeling directors paint a fascinatingly insightful picture of the diverse range of people who ride up the hill to pay homage to the Goddess.The result is one of the year's most quietly unassuming and oddly engaging delights.