Mark MacLennan

 
Wed
18
Apr
2018
 

John Ford's landmark Western revolves around an assorted group of colourful passengers aboard the Overland stagecoach bound for Lordsburg, New Mexico, in the 1880s. An alcoholic philosophizer (Thomas Mitchell), a lady of ill repute (Claire Trevor) and a timid liquor salesman (Donald Meek) are among the motley crew of travellers who must contend with an escaped outlaw, the Ringo Kid (John Wayne), and the ever-present threat of an Apache attack as they make their way across the Wild West.

Sun
25
Feb
2018
 

A depressed middle-aged man travels the Iranian countryside searching for someone to bury him after his planned suicide. Eventually, he encounters a Turkish taxidermist who tries to get him to see life's beauty. This Palm d'Or-winning drama is one of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's most accessible films for Western audiences.

Sun
25
Feb
2018
 

A monumental hospital-for-the poor based melodrama set in 19th century Japan, directed by legendary director Akira Kurosawa. An ageing doctor (nicknamed Red Beard, played by Toshiro Mifune) gradually instils into his young and ambitious new intern the rewards of working in the poorer sections of the community. The film bowls along magnificently in a strange yet compelling mixture of genuine emotion, absurdity and poetic fantasy and clearly shows Kurosawa’s humanitarian tendencies, without wallowing in sentimentality. The period recreation of 19th century Japan is matchless and Mifune's retrained yet towering central performance impresses. Although a huge success in Japan, and after a run of 16 straight films, this would prove to be the last time the legendary pairing of Kurosawa and Mifune would work together – the film took two years to shoot,  Mifune had to keep his (real!) beard for that two years, thus having to turn down many other lucrative roles, leading to their permanent estrangement.   

Sun
25
Feb
2018
 

In a magnificent performance, Tatsuya Nakadai stars as Hanshiro Tsugumo, a down and out samurai who enters the home of a feudal lord requesting to commit honourable ritual suicide on his property. Suspected of simply fishing for charity, Hanshiro is told, in gruesome detail, the story of the last samurai who made the same request – but Hanshiro is resolute and will not be moved from his original request………..Hanshiro’s story is then told in a series of flashbacks which link him to the previous samurai. Inverness Film Fans are proud to bring director Masakai Kobayashi’s measured, brutal yet artistic masterpiece - acknowledged by many as the greatest Japanese film of the 1960’s - to the big screen at Eden Court.

Sun
25
Feb
2018
 

Yojimbo is the acclaimed 1961 jidaigeki (Japanese period) film directed by the legendary director Akira Kurosawa. It tells the story of a masterless samurai (ronin), portrayed by the great Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune, who arrives in a small one horse town where two competing crime lords and their gangs vie for supremacy. The two bosses each try to hire the newcomer as a bodyguard. The samurai plays both sides off each other in an effort to get more money - death and destruction awaits with darkly comedic results. The film was remade as the famous spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars by Sergio Leone starring Clint Eastwood. Yojimbo is acknowledged as one of the greatest and most influential action films ever made and was Kurosawa's most popular ever film at the box office both in Japan and internationally.

Sat
10
Feb
2018
 

A young man falls in love with a woman whose husband was forced to leave the country in search of work and has disappeared. A melancholic portrayal of a generation torn between the urge to leave the country, its ties to the homeland and its struggle to survive.

It's Winter, is an austerely beautiful parable about men and their painfully conflicted view of themselves: a wintry tale that calmly occupies its own poetic time and space, and has an enigma at its core with something of the Martin Guerre myth. It's Winter is both hugely impressive and rewarding.

Fri
09
Feb
2018
 

An unhappily married couple break up in this complex, painful, fascinating Iranian drama by writer-director Asghar Farhadi, with explosive results that expose a network of personal and social faultlines. A Separation is a portrait of a fractured relationship and an examination of theocracy, domestic rule and the politics of sex and class – and it reveals a terrible, pervasive sadness that seems to well up through the asphalt and the brickwork. Winner of the 2012 Oscar for best foreign film; A Separation is a landmark film, which many viewers will not be able to get out of their heads

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.

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