All screenings Fridays 7:30pm
Ealing Town Hall W5 2BY
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November-December  2017

Heroes and Villains
    Icons and Legends
Through stock characters, typecast actors, and narrative tropes, we explore personas and personalities, in works that boast the best of their genres. Some follow tradition and convention, while others subvert them, using irony to poke fun. There are familiar stories, recognisable roles, and film-star favourites, as we continue our run of the most acclaimed, famous and popular movies.

Friday 3rd November
The Blue Angel   1930
107 minutes       cert PG in German with English subtitles
directed by Josef von Sternberg
starring Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings
During the decadent Weimar period, a prudish and proper professor falls for the charms of cabaret singer Lola Lola, the signature role that brought Marlene Dietrich to instant stardom. It was the first major talking picture from Germany, and the first of several successful collaborations between the director and his muse, including ‘The Scarlet Empress’, which we screened a year ago to an appreciative audience. With the partnership’s recurring themes of morality, hedonism and obsession, ‘The Blue Angel’ set the standard for Dietrich’s career and her enduring image as a nightclub chanteuse, purring through songs like ‘Falling in Love Again’.

Friday 10th November
Angels with Dirty Faces   1938
97 minutes          cert PG in English
directed by Michael Curtiz
starring James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan

Two childhood friends follow very different paths, with one becoming a priest and the other a gangster. Eventually they clash in their efforts to gain influence, either positive or corruptive, over a group of vulnerable kids on the rough streets of New York City. Questions of loyalty and redemption give this thrilling crime picture a moral centre and a terrific ending, with its cast in the roles they did best – fast-talking, wise-cracking tough guys.
James Cagney won two acting awards, from New York critics and the National Board of Review USA. It was also nominated for the Academy Awards for best actor, best director, and best writing.

Friday 17th November
Nayak – Hero     1966
120 minutes       cert PG in Bengali with English subtitles
directed by Satyajit Ray
starring Uttam Kumar, Sharmila Tagore

A top leading man travels by train to an awards ceremony, and has his glamorous film-star status probed during interviews with an unimpressed magazine editor. Recent scandal, self-doubt and personal regrets come to the fore as he reflects on his life and career, shown through flashbacks and dream sequences. This stunningly shot, sensitively acted and beautifully structured character study has the human touch from the director of the Apu trilogy.
Winner of best actor from the Bengal Film Journalists’ Association, best screenplay from India’s National Film Awards, and two prizes at the Berlin film festival.

Friday 24th November
Ashes of Time – Redux 1994
93 minutes          cert 15  in Cantonese with English subtitles
directed by Wong Kar-Wai
starring Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Carina Lau

A broken-hearted swordsman lives in solitude in the remote Chinese desert. As he crosses paths and swaps stories with fellow mercenaries, the full breadth of their overlapping lives and loves becomes apparent. Omitting almost all the action expected from its martial arts context, the focus is instead on mood and feeling. This “visually striking meditation on memory” flaunts spectacular settings, heady photography, and an all-star cast of Hong Kong’s top talent, assembled by the director of ‘In the Mood for Love’.

Winner of several awards for cinematography, editing, art direction, costume and makeup from the Hong Kong Film Awards, and the Taiwan and Venice film festivals. Named best film, director and screenplay by
Hong Kong critics.


Friday 1st December
The Wizard of Oz             1939
102 minutes       cert U    in English
directed by Victor Fleming
starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Margaret Hamilton, Billie Burke

A tornado whisks Dorothy and her dog Toto from dreary, grey Kansas to the marvellous Land of Oz, with its yellow brick road, emerald city and red shoes in sparkling Technicolor. She has the scarecrow, tin man, cowardly lion and munchkins on her side to help her find her way home, while the Wicked Witch and her winged monkeys are out to get her. With its elaborate sets and a vivid imagination that conjures up pure magic, this MGM musical remains a family favourite, and was voted the number 1 US fantasy movie by the American Film Institute.

Winner of two Academy Awards for best music, original song and original score, and nominated for best picture, cinematography, art direction and special effects.


Friday 8th December

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs         1937
83 minutes   cert U    in English
A princess flees from her wicked stepmother, the evil queen, and finds safety in a cottage, with housemates whose oddly specific names indicate their different traits. Whistling birds, singing miners, an opinionated mirror, thorough housekeeping and the importance of eating fresh fruit are among the many highlights of this fairy tale. Disney’s first feature film became one of the most seen and best loved movies in cinema history, voted the number 1 US animation by the American Film Institute.

Winner of an Honorary Academy Award, a special award from the New York Film Critics Circle, and an Art Trophy at the Venice Film Festival. Counted among the Top Ten Films of the year by the National Board of Review USA.


Friday 15th December
Monty Python and the Holy Grail            1975
92 minutes          cert 12A               in English
directed by Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin

King Arthur and his knights’ adventure quest is beset by eccentric enemies, imaginative insults and weird weapons. Just some of the skits that celebrate all that is ridiculous involve the Knights Who Say Ni, a truly terrifying rabbit, and some very rude Frenchmen. It’s sublimely silly, an assortment of the absurd, which spoofs epics, the medieval era, and filmmaking itself. This parody is heralded among the funniest comedies – or as the taglines proclaimed, it “sets the cinema back 900 years!” “Funnier than Psycho and shorter than Ben-Hur.” “You can do worse than see it.”

“Nominated for 26 Oscars, 3 Brians, a Maureen & 1 Sergio.”

Friday 22nd December
No screening

Friday 29th December
No screening

Friday 5th January 2018
No screening

Friday 12th January 2018
We’re back with Casablanca