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August 2017

 - Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Moonlight & Manchester by Sea
The Academy judges uncharacteristically got it right this year awarding top gongs to Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea—two powerful stories about troubled outsiders in today’s America. Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan won the Best Screenplay Oscar for Manchester by the Sea. His script is clever, frequently very funny and unflinching in its depiction of a family falling apart through grief. Leading man Casey Affleck deservedly won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance while Michelle Williams was unlucky to miss out on the Best Supporting Actress award for which she was nominated. Best Picture award went to Moonlight—a coming of age story set in a tough neighbourhood in Miami. A terrific cast, lead by Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Ashton Sanders, and deft direction by Barry Jenkins make for a compelling film exploring issues of race, sexuality and poverty in America’s south. Both stories sound grim but they are treated with such style and intelligence as to be richly rewarding viewing. Highly recommended.


20th Century Women: Dir. Mike Mills
Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening) is a determined single mother, raising her adolescent son Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing—Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbour.


Elle: Dir. Paul Verhoeven
Isabelle Huppert is Michèle LeBlanc; founder and CEO of a successful video game company, who is attacked in her own home. Taking what appears to be a desire to shrug off the terrifying incident, she locks the door after her attacker and refuses to tell the police—then Michèle begins to track down her assailant, and soon they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game, one that at any moment may spiral out of control. A gripping multi-layered psychological noir thriller from filmmaker Paul Verhoeven that recalls Hitchcock & Polanski.


Frantz: Dir. François Ozon
In a small German town after World War I, Anna mourns daily at the grave of her fiancé Frantz, killed in battle in France. One day a young Frenchman, Adrien, also lays flowers at the grave. His presence so soon after the German defeat ignites passions.

July 2017

 - Wednesday, July 05, 2017
I, Daniel Blake: Dir. Ken Loach ($21.95)
In the North-East of England, 59 year-old widower Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) is forced to stop working when he is taken ill with heart disease and so applies for Employment and Support Allowance from the Government. But his life is further thrown into disarray when his benefits are suddenly taken away from him and he is forced to jump through the many hoops of the bureaucratic system to get them back. During this time, he meets the similarly-troubled single mother Katie (Hayley Squires) whose financial problems mean she is being forced out of her home in London along with her two kids Dylan and Daisy (Dylan McKiernan and Briana Shann).


Graduation: Dir. Cristian Mungiu ($32.95, region 2)

A young girl is set to leave her Romanian homeland for a prestigious English university when she is physically assaulted just before her final exam. Her father now tries to get to the bottom of who the culprit is and how to convince bureaucratic powers to reconsider this life changing exam for this daughter. Another brilliant drama that plays with thriller-like tension from the acclaimed director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.


The Legacy: Season 3 ($42.95, region 2)
Following the death of progressive internationally-renowned artist Veronika Grønnegaard, The Legacy traces the story of Veronika’s four adult children, whose distinctive upbringing has affected their lives in very different ways. In this season the four heirs have finally made peace with the past, and with each other. Following Thomas’ death, Emil has taken on the role of parent to Melody at Grønnegaard, where they live with his niece, Hannah, and her artist troupe. Signe spends most of her time with her boyfriend, Aksel, running her organic farm. Gro has set up a gallery for young, progressive art at the Art Hall. Frederik lives in the US, and, having enjoyed a successful career and healthy profits, he is ready to make peace with Solveig. But, in his absence, his family has evolved, so is he really prepared for what awaits him once he comes back home?


The Hollow Crown Collection ($64.95)
Luscious screen adaptations of Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Henry V, Henry VI in two parts and Richard III starring Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston & Jeremy Irons, Benedict  Cumberbatch, Hugh Bonneville, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and many more, plus ‘making of’ special features with exclusive interviews with cast and crew—all in one set—a bargain!


Things To Come: Dir. Mia Hanson-Løve
Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) teaches philosophy at a high school in Paris. She is deeply passionate about her job & enjoys passing on the pleasure of thinking. Married with two children, she divides her time between her family, former students & her eccentric mother, leading a life of personal & intellectual fulfilment. Unexpectedly, Nathalie’s husband announces he is leaving her for another woman. With a newfound freedom suddenly thrust upon her, Nathalie must reinvent herself & establish a new way of living. ($25.95, region 2)

June 2017

 - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Its Only The End Of The World: Xavier Dolan
After 12 years of estrangement a writer (Gaspard Ulliel) returns to his hometown, planning on announcing his impending death to his family. However, his mother (Nathalie Baye), tempestuous siblings (Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux) and beleaguered sister-in-law (Marion Cotillard) have their own personal grievances to air. As buried resentments threaten to surface and fits and feuds begin to unfold, all attempts at empathy are sabotaged by the family’s inability to listen and love. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes 2016. ($32.95, Region 2)
 
 

Le Bureau: Season 2 ($59.95, Region 2)
French intelligence officer Guillaume Debailly (Mathieu Kassovitz) and not so new recruit Marina Loiseau (Sara Giraudeau) return in this excellent French political drama—even better than the first season.
 
 

Dancer ($29.95)
Blessed with astonishing power & poise, Sergei Polunin took the dance world by storm & became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal. At the peak of his success, aged 21, he walked away, driven to the brink of self-destruction by stardom—his talent more a burden than a gift. This is an unprecedented look into the life of a complex young man who has made ballet go viral. Urban rebel, iconoclast, airborne angel, Sergei is transforming the shape of ballet as we know it. But virtuosity comes with a high price. How can you be free to be yourself when you are ballet’s ‘hottest property’?

Die Nibelungen: Dir. Fritz Lang ($32.95, Region 2)
Perhaps the most stately of Fritz Lang’s two-part epics, this long-awaited HD restoration, presented in its original frame rates and aspect ratio, the five-hour Die Nibelungen is a courageous and hallucinatory work. Adapted from the myth that is the basis for Wagner’s Ring Cycle, part One, sees the eponymous Siegfried rise to power, part 2 sees his widow exact vengeance in one of the most exhilarating & terrifying end-sequences in all of cinema. Features include newly translated optional English subtitles for the original German inter-titles and an hour-long documentary: The Heritage of Die Nibelungen




  1. August 2017 Gleebooks Bookshop 09-Aug-2017
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  12. June 2016 Gleebooks Bookshop 01-Jun-2016