As ever, we’ve got lots of amazing movies showing in our cinema this month. We asked our Programme Coordinator, Dan Mitchelson, to give us a run down on what he’s personally looking forward to and why:
Episode 4: A New Hope is the first film I ever remember seeing in the cinema, and so, despite having gone away and watched thousands of other films and forgotten about Star Wars (a bit), the series still holds a very special place in my heart. The Force Awakens (2015) made me remember why I loved those films, and I’m really excited to see where the story goes from there.
This instalment is directed by Rian Johnson who’s best known for making Brick (2005) and Looper (2012). Both of these movies are brilliant, smart, and startlingly original, so to see a director who made his name from films like that take on the Star Wars juggernaut really excites me. I’m expecting a smart, subversive blockbuster with fancy camera shots, lightsabres and Luke Skywalker.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi runs Fri 5 Jan - Thu 11 Jan. Click here to buy tickets.
One of the big issues we’re dealing with at the moment is that of non-disabled actors playing disabled characters on screen. It’s a practice that has happened repeatedly throughout history and has brought great acclaim to actors such as Eddie Redmayne (portraying Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything) and Jamie Foxx (Ray), but it’s a practice that we absolutely can’t support as we feel it perpetuates under-representation of disabled actors in the industry. We recently screened Andy Serkis’ Breathe and had a discussion around these issues afterwards.
Sanctuary features disabled actors portraying disabled characters which is important and positive progress. What’s more important, however, is that the story is not solely focusing on the actors’ impairments. It’s romantic and funny; political and hard hitting, and tells a warm, affecting story that helps to shape our understanding of the world we live in.
Sanctuary runs Fri 12 Jan - Thu 18 Jan. Click here to buy tickets.
This is Japanese director Takashi Miike’s 100th film, and he’s done some amazing work in the past with Ichi the Killer and 13 Assassins being the stand-outs for me.
Blade of the Immortal tells the story of Manji, an immortal samurai who fights against evil to regain his soul. I’m not typically a huge fan of samurai films but the energy and style of Blade of the Immortal has completely won me over. This looks like it’s going to be a hugely entertaining and thoughtful film from one of the world’s most impressive auteurs.
Blade of the Immortal runs Fri 19 Jan - Tue 23 Jan. Click here to buy tickets.