Mark MacLennan

 
Sun
24
Dec
2017
 

Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, V for Vendetta takes place in an alternate vision of Britain in which a corrupt and abusive totalitarian government has risen to complete power. During a threatening run in with the secret police, an unassuming young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) is rescued by a vigilante named V (Hugo Weaving) -- a caped figure both articulate and skilled in combat. V embodies the principles of rebellion from an authoritarian state, donning a mask of vilified would-be terrorist of British history Guy Fawkes and leading a revolution sparked by assassination and destruction. Evey becomes his unlikely ally, newly aware of the cruelty of her own society and her role in it.

Sun
24
Dec
2017
 

Hailed as a genius for his simplistic approach to life, an aging simplistic gardener called Chance (played by Peter Sellers in a perhaps career best performance)  with a childlike naïveté rises, by accident, into the game of politics. The man is soon presented as a possible Presidential candidate although no one knows his true background. A fascinating, funny film from acclaimed director Hal Ashby (who also directed other acclaimed well acted and intelligent human scaled dramas such as Harold and Maude, Coming home & Shampoo). 

Sun
24
Dec
2017
 

In this lauded satire from Sidney Lumet, veteran news anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) discovers that he's being put out to pasture, and he's none too happy about it. After threatening to shoot himself on live television, instead he launches into an angry televised rant, which turns out to be a huge ratings boost for the UBS network. This stunt allows ambitious producer Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) to develop even more outrageous programming, a concept that she takes to unsettling extremes. As relevant today as it was 42 years ago on initial release.

Sat
30
Sep
2017
 

In this WW II tragicomedy, Guido marries Dora and together they have a son. Five years later they are imprisoned in a concentration camp. Guido does not want his son to know why they are there, so he says that it's a game in which the winner receives a tank. In one bold stride, Robert Benigni (director, star and screenwriter) has set himself apart from the rank and file of funnymen, joining the elite class of clowns who know that humor and heartbreak are only a howl of pain apart. Benigni won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, while the film itself won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film

Sat
30
Sep
2017
 

A man receives news from his aging mother in a little town that someone he once knew has passed away. A beautiful story unfolds about the man's childhood friendship with an old man who was the projectionist at the local theatre. Their bond was one that contained many highlights and tragedies, and shaped the way for a young boy to grow and move out of his rundown village to pursue a dream. If ever a movie came from the heart, it’s Giuseppe Tornatore's nostalgic Cinema Paradiso, winner of the 1988 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.

Sat
30
Sep
2017
 
  1. Titta di Girolamo has spent eight years living alone, not working. His only vices are cigarettes and hanging around in bars, he seems as if he's waiting for something, for a secret to be revealed. As it turns out, Titta is a mafia courier and his life is programmed by his work commitments and his drug addiction, both facets of his life meticulously managed. Then one day he meets a young girl, Sofia, and his habits will be completely altered, down to a tragic unpredictable epilogue.
Sat
30
Sep
2017
 

Michelangelo Frammartino's quietly mesmeric drama sees the turning of the seasons and the cycle of life through the eyes of an ageing, ailing Calabrian shepherd. The setting is the fields and countryside around an ancient southern Italian village, beautifully captured by cinematographer Andrea Locatelli. And sharing equal billing with the work's near-silent central human protagonist are the goats of the flock he is nominally in charge of (though in reality the issue of who is caring for who is rather blurred), and the man's mischievously intelligent sheep dog. The story also incorporates sections dedicated to a lost kid goat, a felled tree and a charcoal kiln. It's a simple tale that unfolds slowly, with ravishing beauty, but it also leaves the viewer with plenty to think about.

 

Thu
24
Aug
2017
 

This was one of the first films to deal with the effects of Nazi Germany's concentration camps on their survivors. Sol Nazerman (played by the outstanding Rod Steiger in arguably his greatest performance), manager of a pawn shop in THE 1960's and a concentration camp survivor faces a horrid internal conflict. Being engulfed in a New York ghetto environment, Sol suffers flashbacks. The flashbacks juxtapose concentration camp treatment with ghetto neighbourhood treatment. His internal conflicts between submitting to the same injustices he and his family suffered or resisting the injustice a peak at the end of the film. Outstanding direction from Sidney Lumet.

Thu
24
Aug
2017
 

Based on a play by Tennessee Williams, a shady guitar-playing singer, Val Xavier (Brando), leaves his troubled past behind him and hits the road. When his car breaks down in Two Rivers, he decides to stay a while when he gets a part-time job as a store clerk. When the wife of the store owner and a fiery local woman both fall for the intriguing Val, trouble starts to brew in Two Rivers. Part of our Sidney Lumet Season.

Sun
13
Aug
2017
 

'After 20 years, what Sergeant Johnson has seen and done is destroying him'. 

 

The third collaboration between Sean Connery and the director Sidney Lumet is an unsettling glimpse into the toxic and damaged mind of a policeman which has been polluted by the horrors witnessed over the course of his 20 year plus career. Sergeant Johnson (Sean Connery) has been a steady and reliable policeman for many years. However, something snaps in him during his interrogation of Baxter (Ian Bannen), a suspected child molester. A powerful and complex performance from Connery with an equally compelling performance from the much missed Ian Bannen.

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