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Wed
17
Jun
2015
 

aka Stairway to Heaven

Returning home from a bombing run, World War II pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) is shot down, making last radio contact with an American air controller, June (Kim Hunter) before bailing out and plunging into the sea. With his soul in limbo, a heavenly court meets to decide his fate. Moving seamlessly between a Technicolor earth and a monochrome heaven, the unique vision of Powell and Pressburger (co-creators of Black Narcissus, 1947, and The Red Shoes, 1948) delivers an intensely moving, epic and unforgettable film.

Tue
03
Mar
2015
 

On a summer night in Paris André, a small-time ex-con, owes money to the mob and will be killed if he doesn't pay by midnight. In desperation he climbs onto a bridge over the Seine, stumbling across a beautiful and mysterious woman, Angel-A, preparing to end her life as well. As he saves her little does he know that she has been sent from heaven to save him from himself. Featuring superb cinematography by Thierry Arbogast, Director Luc Besson (Leon, Nikita, The Fifth Element) takes his audience on a beguiling, nocturnal journey through Paris in this stylish Romantic Comedy /Drama.

French writer/film-maker Luc Besson crafts a love letter to Paris with this whimsical comedy fantasy. His first directorial project since 1999's Joan of Arc, it uses ravishing black-and-white visuals to capture the city at its most beautiful. In a bittersweet storyline reminiscent of It's a Wonderful Life, Amélie's Jamel Debbouze plays a downtrodden petty crook who decides to jump off a bridge after gangsters call in his considerable loans. However, his plans are thwarted by another potential suicide - statuesque blonde Rie Rasmussen (De Palma's Femme Fatale) (2002) - whom he instinctively leaps to rescue. So begins an unconventional and increasingly surreal relationship, as Rasmussen aggressively helps Debbouze to reconstruct his life. Unlike Besson's earlier work, it's emotion rather than action that powers the picture, infusing events with surprising tenderness.

Sloan Freer in Radio Times Film Guide

Mon
26
May
2014
 

Marlene Dietrich introduced her theme song "Falling in Love Again" and shot to international fame on the strength of her performance as seductress Lola Frohlich in Josef von Sternberg's classic story of love and obsession. Strict Professor Immanuel Rath is outraged to discover that the boys in his class are frequenting a notorious cabaret called The Blue Angel. He goes to the club with the intention of turning them out, only to fall under the spell of sensuous showgirl Lola who will transform his life.

Among the first enduringly great movies of the sound era, The Blue Angel was made simultaneously in German and English versions by the 35-year-old Viennese-born Hollywood director Josef von Sternberg. The great German character actor Emil Jannings, who'd won the first ever Oscar for best actor under Sternberg's direction in The Last Command (1928), insisted on Sternberg being brought to Berlin for his first talking film.

This turned out to be The Blue Angel (based on a novel by Thomas Mann's brother Heinrich), in which Jannings gives an exquisitely detailed performance as the pompous, middle-aged Professor Rath, a high-school teacher whose life is destroyed through his romantic infatuation with Lola Lola, a wilful young singer he meets at the eponymous nightclub. Sternberg cast the little-known Marlene Dietrich as the mercurial enchantress, a role that brought her world stardom and took her to the States, where Sternberg shaped her persona in six further films.

Superbly designed and lit, The Blue Angel is a modern tragedy and an erotic masterpiece with fine songs by Friedrich Holländer (among them Dietrich's signature number, Falling in Love Again). Endless scenes etch themselves on the mind.

Philip French

The Observer, 10 March 2013

Wed
17
Jun
2015
 

Marcello Clerici, a member of Mussolini's secret police, travels to Paris on his honeymoon with orders to assassinate his former college professor, an outspoken political refugee. But Marcello's loyalty is tested when he is attracted to the professor's young wife, challenging his need to belong to the ruling party, a desire that will ultimately lead to his downfall. Bertolucci's stylish direction, Trintignant's strong central performance and Vittorio Storaro's sumptuous camerawork create an edgy and beautifully crafted film, reflecting a dark chapter in Italian history.

Wed
17
Jun
2015
 

Restless young college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) arrives for his homecoming party and meets the beguiling Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft). They soon begin an affair, but Benjamin finds himself torn between his older lover and his burgeoning romance with her daughter Elaine. Superb performances from Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman, Oscar-winning direction from Mike Nichols, a sharp comedic script and a Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack make The Graduate one of the best-loved films of the 1960's.

Mon
07
Mar
2016
 

See the film that inspired George Lucas’s Star Wars! Two peasants in feudal Japan are returning home through war torn territory and stumble across a princess and defeated general hiding out in a mountain fortress. Tricked into helping them escape with the promise of gold and pursued by the enemy, all are tested in this epic adventure. Akira Kurosawa’s characteristic humour and compassion combine with breath-taking action in one of his best loved and most influential films.

 

Tue
03
Mar
2015
 

The former Marshall of Hadleyville, New Mexico, Will Kane (Gary Cooper) prepares to leave the small town to start a new life with his bride, Amy (Grace Kelly),when he hears that a criminal he put behind bars has been set free and is seeking revenge. As the townspeople turn their backs on him, Kane must stand and face his enemy alone. Winner of four Oscars including Best Actor for Gary Cooper, Best Editing, Best Music, Best Original Song; "Do not forsake me O my Darling" and nominated for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay, High Noon is one of the best loved and most celebrated Westerns of all time.

Tue
18
Mar
2014
 

Paul Newman stars as "Fast Eddie" Felson, an ambitious, small time pool shark who takes on legendary player "Minnesota Fats" (Jackie Gleason) to prove himself and hit the big time. Taken under the wing of shady gambler Bert Gordon (George C. Scott), Eddie pursues high stakes glory only to discover the real cost of winning. Nominated for 9 Oscars in 1962 including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress, The Hustler features powerhouse performances from Newman, Gleason, Scott and Piper Laurie as Eddie's alcoholic girlfriend Sarah. Robert Rossen's astute direction, Eugen Schüfftan's superb cinematography, Newman's iconic performance and a fine ensemble cast make this film a modern classic.



Tue
04
Mar
2014
 

Jean Gabin stars as factory worker François, drawn into murder by seedy, manipulative showman Valentin (Jules Berry) and doomed by his love for two women; the worldly, sensuous Clara (Arletty) and the idealised, virtuous Françoise (Jacqueline Laurent). Barricaded inside his apartment François reveals in flashback the events which will lead to his inevitable fate at daybreak. Director Marcel Carné and screenwriter Jacques Préverts' most celebrated and influential collaboration, Le Jour se Leve features one of Jean Gabin's finest performances in a story of passion, corruption and murder.



Tue
18
Feb
2014
 

Join Groucho, Chico and Harpo Marx as they bring down the house to help their friend Ricardo woo leading lady Rosa in an infectious, madcap comedy of wit and slapstick. Featuring some of the Marx Brothers' most famous and best loved comedy routines A Night at the Opera is "guaranteed to have you laughing from one end of the musical scale to the other."



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