Screening: Halloween III Season of the Witch (31st October 5pm)

As if by magic CineClub has fallen on All Hallow’s Evening so it’s only right that we celebrate this little miracle by screening a suitably spooky film. So we’ve opted for Halloween. III. That’s right. Halloween III. Not the classic John Carpenter original, but one of the frequently derided sequels. But never fear, this one is unique in that it has nothing to do with Michael Myers being an unstoppable killing machine capable of breaking the laws of physics (eg walks slowly, but always outpaces a fleeing teenager!). This film opts to be a Halloween sequel in name alone and ends up being a different kind of dark and twisted horror flick.

The film focusses on an investigation into the activities of a mysterious Conal Cochran, the owner of Silver Shamrock Novelties company, in the run up to Halloween. Silver Shamrock produce the ‘must-have’ seasonal clothing that is sweeping the nation. The clothes hide a connection with the occult that has to be seen to be believed. Some film historians highlighted the significance of the film’s plot to critiques of large corporations and American consumerism (a parallel it shares with Romero’s Dawn of the Dead). The advert for Silver Shamrock masks haunted the nightmares of many children raised in the 1980s!

Recently the movie has earned the title of cult classic, developing a large following among some fans of horror films. Halloween III is a criminally underrated movie that dared to do something completely different with a franchise when slasher movies were already becoming parodies of themselves, and its a better film for it. The critical reception to the movie was unkind in 1982 but very few horror movies convince the critics that they are anything but exploitive and full of cheap thrills. A novel based on the film went on to become a best seller in 1984 so it goes to show that there was a market for the story in Halloween III.

Check out the TV spot trailer below for a flavour of the film: 

If that wasn’t enough for you, we are also going to host an all screaming, all bleeding Halloween picture quiz before the screening. Afterwards, there is a Halloween themed karaoke event planend at the local pub, The Wolsey.

As ever, it’s all FREE and open to everyone

When and where: MC207 Cinema, 5pm, Wednesday 31st of October

Almost screened it…

I guess most of the readers of this blog will know that we had a problem with the screening of Almost Famous last week. It turns out that we couldn’t locate a version of the film in time. It wasn’t on Netflix and we couldn’t check with LoveFilm as the cinema iMac was locked down and didn’t have the latest version of Microsoft’s Silverlight DRM installed. Quite annoying. Although why I didn’t think to rent the movie from iTunes is beyond me!

In the interests of democracy we opted to offer up a number of film choices for the gathered crowd to pick from (Jarhead, Soldier Blue, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Inglorious Basterds). Thanks to everyone for bringing films in and apologies to the disappointed few who didn’t get to see the film we originally advertised.

In the end we screened We Need To Talk About Kevin, the critically lauded film from last year by Lynne Ramsey. Reports indicate that it went down very well. We’re going to take a look at the programme to see if there’s anywhere to accommodate Almost Famous at a later point. Watch this space

Screening: Almost Famous (24th October 5pm)

This week we are proud to bring you Almost Famous. This is the film a few of you regulars might have expected last week, but due to some membership diary clashes, we had to bring Boogie Nights forwards. Still, when you swap good with also good, you can’t really complain. Don’t forget, you can always check out what the current schedule looks like by clicking the link on our homepage.

Once again we are still visiting a cinematic vision of the 1970s, although this one focusses more on the music industry than than the adult entertainment industry. Almost Famous is based upon the experiences of director Cameron Crowe when he worked as a journalist at Rolling Stone magazine during the 1970s. It charts the ‘coming of age’ of a William Miller, a 15-year-old aspirational journalist who sets out on the road with the (fictional) rock band, Stillwater, as they embark on a tour.

It’s a humorous, sincere and touching film – praised by critics upon its release, yet it struggled to recoup its investment at the box office. It features a number of recognisable stars  including Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, and Philip Seymour Hoffman (twice in two weeks!). This film sits either side of Cameron’s Tom Cruise vehicles (Jerry Maguire and Vanilla Sky) and is well worth your time. It’s also got a great soundtrack (if you’ve got Spotify you can stream extracts from it below).

Check out the trailer below:

As ever, screenings are FREE and everyone is welcome

When and where: MC207 Cinema, 5pm, Wednesday 24th of October

Screening: Boogie Nights (17th October, 2012, 5pm)

Packing more disco classics than Studio 54, ‘Boogie Nights is the first great film about the 1970s to come out since the ’70s’ (Mark LaSalle), so this is not be missed!

Boogie Nights (1997) is a cinematic masterclass by Paul Thomas Anderson that focuses on an ensemble cast of porn industry players in the 1970s and 1980s. The film principally centres on Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg), a young, charismatic, and well-equipped up-and-coming actor and Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), a legendary director anxious to make “the picture he’ll be remembered for”.

These two individuals, in addition to a host of other colourful characters, endure an unparalleled rise to stardom, fame, fortune, but also the inevitable downfall as poor decisions, arrogance, jealousy, and rampant drug-use all begin to take their toll.

This is both a witty and poignant film and well worth your time. So, come one, come all…to Boogie Nights!

Check out the trailer below: 

As ever, screenings are FREE and everyone is welcome

When and where: MC207 Cinema, 5pm, Wednesday 17th of October

If you’ve got Spotify installed you can stream the fantastic soundtrack(s) below:

Beijing Independent Film Festival UK Tour Hits Newcastle

If you love international film then stick Friday the 9th of November in your diary as an exciting Chinese independent film festival is taking place in Newcastle. It’s part of the Beijing Independent Film Festival and will showcase the latest works from Chinese indie filmmakers. You can find details of the programme and a description of the films here (.pdf).

There’s 4 films on offer:

  • Shattered (2011, dir. Xu Tong)
  • The Next Life (2011, dir. Fan Jiang)
  • Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011, dir. Wang Jiuliang)
  • The Cold Winter (2011, dir. Zheng Kuo)

There’s also going to be a Q&A session with the director Zheng Kuo after the screening of his film The Cold Winter (via Skype), and Dr Luke Robinson from Nottingham University will give the opening speech, introducing the festival.

3 out of the 4 documentaries being screened will be premiers so if you want to to be amongst the first people to see these then you can register for FREE tickets by clicking through this link.

The event is suppoted by the Research Centre in Film & Digital Media, Newcastle University, and Li Xianting Film Fund, Beijing.

Screening: Land and Freedom

This week’s CineClub gets overtly political as we segue into another Spanish-flavoured film with Land and Freedom. Loach’s film about a young unemployed man from Liverpool volunteering to fight Fascism in Spain in 1936 is partly inspired by George Orwell’s classic account of his own experiences in Homage to Catalonia.

Historical reconstruction, but ‘nothing could be less like a heritage film,’ as Ian Christie put it. Raising questions about why the Republican side lost the war and pulling no punches about its internal conflicts, the film had a huge impact in Spain on its release, particularly with younger audiences.

Loach is venerated as a filmmaker in Europe, but grudgingly tolerated at home. The fightback starts here…?

You can take a look at the video below for a taster

As ever, screenings are FREE and everyone is welcome

When and where: MC207 Cinema, 5pm, Wednesday 10th of October

Screening: Los Cronoscrímenes / Timecrimes (2nd October 5pm)

We have a great Spanish film for you this week – one that deserves a much bigger audience than it has already had. It did well on the film festival circuit and it’s a firm favourite of a few CineClub regulars (we’ll let you guess who!).

Timecrimes (2007) is a low-budget Spanish science fiction thriller written and directed by Nacha Vigalonda which is all the more remarkable for its lack of Deloreans, lightening bolts and time machines. An ordinary guy takes an extraordinary step through time.

Hector (Karra Elejalde) is spending a few days in the countryside with his girlfriend, Clara (Candela Fernández), when he sees something that catches his attention while playing with some binoculars. Looking at a nearby house close to a wooded area, Hector spies a beautiful woman taking her clothes off, and decides to investigate. What begins as an ‘innocent’ slice of voyeurism descends into paradoxical mania as Hector tries to unravel the mystery of the bandaged man!

We shall say no more for fear of spoiling this clever little film, but you can check out the trailer below if you are so inclined

As ever, screenings are FREE and everyone is welcome

When and where: MC207 Cinema, 5pm, Wednesday 3rd of October