24/01/2019 19:45 at Health and Wellbeing Centre.
In this elegiac, good-natured, optimistic and occasionally really funny film, Isak Borg (Victor Sjöström), a retired professor of medicine, drives with his daughter Marianne (Ingrid Thulin) to Lund University where he is to receive an honorary degree. They pick up various young passengers along the way who prompt memories of his life. Bergman uses dream sequences to illustrate Izak’s state of mind, and a visit to his elderly mother takes us to the wild strawberry memories of his childhood. With fluid cinematography by Bergman regular, Gunnar Fischer, we flit between dream and reality sequences. According to Wikipedia, Stanley Kubrick listed the film as his second favourite of all time; and Philip French (theguardian.com) made it one of his eight desert island movies.
Dir: Ingmar Bergman 92mins Sweden 1964
31/01/2019 19:45 at Health and Wellbeing Centre.
This beautiful animation follows the story, set in Afghanistan in 2001, of 11 year old Parvana and her family. The Taliban rule. Her father, a teacher, passes on to Parvana his love of storytelling, while the family endure the difficulties of everyday life. One day the Taliban break into their home and Father is taken away to prison. Parvana, disguised as a boy, takes over the essential tasks which women are prohibited from doing. Thus life goes on and she becomes the storyteller, helping her siblings to cope with their predicament with stories of the Evil Elephant King. However, the gathering storm of war approaches.
“It’s somehow inspiring to immerse oneself in this pared-down adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ well-regarded young-adult novel, about an 11 year old girl who must step up and care for her family after the Taliban raids her home and arrests her father.” (Peter Debruge, variety.com)
Dir: Nora Twomey 94mins Ire/Can/Lux 2017
7/02/2019 19:45 at Health and Wellbeing Centre.
A joy to the eye, this beautifully restored film is pure romance, telling the story of how the Taj Mahal came to be built. Shiraz is a lowly but talented potter in love with his adopted sister, Selima, who is sold to the palace as a slave. Her beauty is spotted by Prince Khurran who makes his intentions clear. Shiraz is always gripping, at times with edge- of-seat tension. This, together with its musical soundtrack, ensures no allowance is needed for it being a so-called ‘silent’ film – it simply isn’t!
“Multilayered, pulsing with energy, weaving a selection of Indian and European instruments together […], Shankar’s score invigorated the film.” (Pamela Hutchinson, silentlondon.co.uk)
Dir: Franz Osten 106mins Ind/Ger/UK 2016