Newsletter – 20 February 2019

Three special events ahead

On February 28 we screen Faces, Places (French title Visages, Villages). Ann Miller, who has visited ABCD every year for over twenty years, will introduce it briefly and afterwards will lead discussion. The film is by Agnès Varda and you may recall Ann introducing her very warmly received film The Gleaners (Les Glaneurs) a number of years ago. Ann, a specialist in Francophone cinema, taught in the modern languages department at Leicester University and before that ran the modern languages teacher training course at Westminster College. If you are know any languages teachers acquainted with her, do tell them. They may well wish to come along.

Then on March 7, we screen our annual silent with live musical accompaniment. This year it’s Ernst Lubitsch’s 1919 comedy, The Oyster Princess (die Austern Prinzessin) and, as for over 30 years, Andrew Youdell will be at the piano. Lubitsch, regarded as one of the very greatest film directors, a few years later moved to Hollywood, directing Garbo in Ninotchka and making To Be or Not to Be. The film is just a bit weird (in a good and refreshing way, in our view) and in many ways is remarkably modern, for all its hundred years.

Please note: this screening takes place at St Nicolas Church (Abingdon Market Place) and begins at the earlier than usual time of 19:30. Guest tickets will be £7.50 (£3.50 full-time students). There will also be a short film before the feature. Do please bring guests and tell people about the event. When he had silents at St Nicolas’ in the years when there was an Abingdon Arts Festival (R.I.P.) our audiences were very big, but now most townsfolk probably just don’t know about these events.

Please also note: there is no film on Feb 21.

Film stars don’t die in Liverpool, showing on March 14, is a well-received recent British film based on the final years of Gloria Grahame. She had a featured role in Frank Capra’s 1946 It’s a Wonderful Life, but is mainly thought of as a film noir actress. As such she starred in Fritz Lang’s classic of the genre, The Big Heat, which we will be presenting on March 21. What makes the first of these two screenings into a special event is that we expect to have present Susannah Brough, the film’s assistant Art Director. Subject to her professional commitments, she will talk about the making of the film and the art department’s role. She visited us a few seasons ago (to introduce the 2013 production, Sixteen), and was very interesting on her work. Since then her career has made strong progress. If you look her up on imdb, you will recognise many of the films and tv series that she has worked on. (

Corn Exchange, Wallingford

Many ABCD members will know, or know of, the Corn Exchange, where films have been screened for many years. They have now, with the support of the BFI, started screening ‘international films’ on certain Monday evenings. Shoplifters is scheduled for February 25, followed by Disobedience on March 25. More info:

We plan to send out our next newsletter early in March.