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A Bug's Life (U)

A Bug's Life

Journey inside the miniature world of bugs for bigger-than-life fun and adventure under every leaf. Embark on an incredible expedition with one little ant as he searches for a band of warriors to help him battle the grasshoppers who threaten his home. When he stumbles upon a bumbling troupe of circus bugs instead, their only hope for victory is the bond of friendship and the power of imagination.


On Sunday mornings our Family Screenings are followed by a free activity for Children.


The screening is Pay What You Can, which means you’re free to pay as much or as little as you can afford. By paying for a ticket, you will enable us to keep offering Pay What You Can screenings to families struggling with the cost of living. Thank you

Book Tickets

Sunday 23 Jun 202411:00am

A Passage to India (40th Anniversary Screening) (15)

A Passage to India (40th Anniversary Screening)

The screening will be introduced by guest curator Anupma Shanker.


David Lean's 1984 epic historical drama, A Passage to India, marks the final film of his glorious career which is decked with critically-acclaimed masterpieces like The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Brief Encounter (1945).


Written, directed and edited by Lean, and winner of two academy awards, A Passage to India is based on the 1960 play of the same name by the Indian-born American writer Santha Rama Rau, which is in turn adapted from E. M. Forster's highly acclaimed 1924 novel.


Set in the 1920's in the fictional city of Chandrapore during the British Raj amidst growing Indian independence movement, the narrative unfolds in a series of intriguing twists and turns following close encounters between various British and Indian characters. When Adela Quested, the proper young Englishwoman who is unofficially engaged to the city magistrate Ronny Heaslop, accuses the Indian doctor Aziz Ahmed of attempted rape during a daytrip in the Marabar Caves, the incident spreads like wildfire, escalating tensions between the natives and the ruling British elites. As sparks fly, cultural mistrust deepens, colonial power structures are threatened and relationships are put on trial, it seems that in the end, the truth shall set everyone free...but does it?


Shot by Lean's collaborator Ernest Day (who often referred to Lean as his 'eyes'), the film's evocative cinematography and authentic outdoor locations set the perfect mood and aesthetic tone for its multi-layered themes of imperialism, racial prejudice, religion and cross-cultural imbroglios whilst never losing sight of the 'mysterious' and the 'exotic' as observed and absorbed through the 'English eyes' of the film’s key characters, Adela and Mrs. Moore, who upon arrival are intrigued by the desire to explore 'the real India' but soon find themselves catapulted away from the predictable tedium of their colonial lives into the 'unexplainable muddle' that is India. (A term used by Forster in a 1934 letter).


40 years since its release, A Passage to India remains a wonderfully provocative tale, full of striking images, haunting moments and unforgettable characters, all played to near perfection.


Anupma Shanker:


Anupma is a British-Indian film curator and archives researcher, with a deep and evolving interest in colonial & post-colonial screen narratives. Her curatorial practice is focussed on researching, screening and creating conversations around heritage films, with aim of making them accessible to a wider audience, both within and outside the UK. Her other interests include, Black-British cinema, Post-war Japanese Cinema, Indian Parallel Cinema, and Iranian New-wave Cinema.

Book Tickets

Thursday 15 Aug 20247:40pm

AIFF presents 2023-2024’s Best of the Fests (18)

AIFF presents 2023-2024’s Best of the Fests

The Association of Independent Film Festivals (AIFF) presents 2023-2024’s Best of the Fests.


Best of the Fests brings together a collection of 8 short films from their 13 different UK film festivals.


We welcome 13 UK film festivals coming together to bring you some of the best from their fests. These 8 shorts have been hand-selected from a community of festivals under the AIFF umbrella, that all uphold a similar ethos - they promote the inclusivity of diverse film cultures and encourage emerging, exciting and undiscovered talent in the UK. During this session, the festivals will share a few of their favourites with you.


The screening will be followed by a Q&A with some of the filmmakers. After the discussion, we'll all head to The Garden Bar for drinks, giving you the opportunity to meet others working in the industry!


Shorts being screened:


Under the Blue  – Dir: Linda Ludwig & James Curle, 2024 UK (15:00) featured in Wolverhampton Film Festival


The Bird Feeder – Dir: Scott Trotter, 2023 UK (17.25) featured in St Andrews Film Festival


The Date – Dir: Amy Hodge, 2023 UK (12.52) featured in Unrestricted View Film Festival


The Holiday Maker – Dir: Harry G. Mead, 2022 UK (12.34) featured in Kingston International Film Festival


Dying to meet you – Dir: Ava Bounds, 2022 UK (9.58) featured in The Spirit of Independence Film Festival


Robutler – Dir: James Button, 2023 UK (5.37) featured in The Funny Life Film Festival


Better – Dir: Zoe Hunter Gordon, 2023 UK (16.00) featured in Tweetfest Film Festival


Where it Ends – Dir: Fergal Costello 2023 UK (11.35) featured in Sunderland Shorts Film Festival


Book Tickets

Sunday 30 Jun 20243:00pm

Alps (15)

Alps

This screening is presented by Cinema Rising and will feature an in-person introduction from Hannah Strong.


Back in 2009, Yorgos Lanthimos’s provocative chamber piece Dogtooth become something of a cause célèbre, setting the director on a path of escalating international acclaim. Now, off the back of easily his biggest project to date (the star-studded, hyper-stylised Poor Things) his latest film, the absurdist anthology Kinds of Kindess sees the Greek director operate in a register closer to that of his earlier work. With this in mind, we take a look at the film that sits between Dogtooth and the English language work that has cemented Lanthimos as a bona fide star: 2011’s Alps.


Alps follows a company of performers who impersonate the recently deceased, supposedly to aid the grieving process for the bereaved. Significantly stripped back compared to the excesses of his recent output, Alps is a pitch-black comedy exploring the rituals surrounding mourning and human connection.


Hannah Strong is the Digital Editor at Little White Lies magazine and a film critic with bylines at GQ, Vulture, and i-D. Her first book, a monograph on the works of Sofia Coppola, was published in 2022 by Abrams New York. She is currently working on her second book.

Book Tickets

Monday 1 Jul 20248:15pm

Animalia (18)

Animalia

Introduced by Rabih El-Khoury, SAFAR Film Festival Curator


Itto, a young woman from a modest rural background, is slowly adapting to the Moroccan privileged codes of her husband’s family. But when supernatural events put the country in a state of emergency, Itto finds herself separated from her husband and new family. Alone, pregnant and looking for her way back, she finds emancipation.


Sofia Alaoui has directed both documentary and fiction shorts that have been selected at many festivals. Her last film, So What If The Goats Die, which screened at SAFAR in 2021, was shot in the Atlas Mountains, featuring non-professional actors and dialogue exclusively in Tamazight. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, and the César for best short fiction film in 2021. Animalia is her first feature film.


Director Sofia Alaoui delivers a compellingly different cultural and social perspective on a classic sci-fi premise in Animalia” – Variety


Winner: Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award Creative Vision

Book Tickets

Monday 24 Jun 20246:00pm (Tickets on sale 17 May)

Appropriate Behaviour (15)

Appropriate Behaviour

All screenings will be shown with English subtitles (not HOH).


The screening on Sunday 7 July will be followed by a live or recorded Zoom Q&A with director Desiree Akhavan.


Appropriate Behaviour by writer/director/actress Desiree Akhavan follows a flawed, messy central character, who grapples to make sense of her LGBTQI+ and Iranian-American identities.


For Shirin (Desiree Akhavan), being part of a perfect family isn’t easy. Acceptance eludes her from all sides: her family doesn’t know she’s bisexual, and her ex-girlfriend, Maxine (Rebecca Henderson), can’t understand why she doesn’t tell them. Following a family announcement of her brother’s betrothal to a parentally approved Iranian prize catch, Shirin embarks on a private rebellion involving a series of escapades, while trying to decipher what went wrong with Maxine.


Appropriate Behaviour is an achingly cool, post-feminist comedy about what happens when a girl comes out and discovers that extraordinary is the new ordinary.


Presented in partnership with T A P E

Book Tickets

Sunday 7 Jul 20247:00pm
Thursday 11 Jul 20244:00pm

Arugula Ruchelach, Aperol Schvitz + Shiva Baby (18)

Arugula Ruchelach, Aperol Schvitz + Shiva Baby

After the enthusiastic response following our Pickle Tasting event, we're thrilled to welcome back our friends at Shedletsky's Deli for another tasty gathering on Friday 12 July, as part of our season Women Aren't Funny.


Celebrating the hilarious confusion over arugula & rugelach in Shiva Baby, we'll be preceding the screening with a Rugelach & Schvitz hour. James & Nat from Shedletsky's will provide arugula-filled savoury rugelach, especially created for the occasion, to be enjoyed with their zingy pickleback hot sauce (optional, for those who can't handle the heat). They will also be setting up a pop-up shop in the bar area, where you can buy their delicious pickles, hot sauces, and possibly some fashionable pickle-based merch!


Tickets are restricted to 2 per member, so you can bring a non-member guest, and are available for just £16.50. Included in the price will be a serving of Arugula Rugelach, an Aperol/Select/Cynar or non-alcoholic Crodino Spritz, and the screening of Shiva Baby. Seating for the screening will be unallocated.


Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby is a cult gem, where the central character, twentysomething Danielle, experiences a comical push and pull between her Jewish identity and her bisexuality. Shiva Baby is a caustically affectionate comedy about tightly knit families and communities, and the comfort and anguish they’re often responsible for.


Timings:

20:00  Rugelach & Schvitz hour + Shedletsky's Deli pop-up shopping

21:00  Screening of Shiva Baby

22:30  Expected finish

Book Tickets

Friday 12 Jul 20248:00pm (Booking opens 17 May, 1pm)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (PG)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Hold on tight for a magical, musical, fun-filled journey in this Oscar-winning classic that mixes action and animation. When young Charlie, Carrie and Paul move to a small village during World War II, they discover their host, Miss Price (Angela Lansbury), is an apprentice witch! Although her early attempts at magic create hilarious results, she successfully casts a traveling spell on an ordinary bedknob, and they fly to the fantastic, animated Isle of Naboombu to find a powerful spell that will save England!


On Sunday mornings our Family Screenings are followed by a free activity for Children.


The screening is Pay What You Can, which means you’re free to pay as much or as little as you can afford. By paying for a ticket, you will enable us to keep offering Pay What You Can screenings to families struggling with the cost of living. Thank you

Book Tickets

Saturday 29 Jun 202411:00am
Sunday 30 Jun 202411:00am

Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry (15)

Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry

Etero (a sensitive performance by Eka Chavleishvili) is a self-contented shop owner and blackberry forager in a small Georgian town. Happily single in her late 40s, she never expected to feel a sudden surge of desire for one of the local men. Director Elene Naveriani, creates a deliciously shrewd and refreshing portrait of a woman who doesn’t want, or need, to conform.


The Garden Cinema View:


A nuanced character study, Elene Naveriani's Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry proves to be more complex than it initially seems. Etero, a 48-year-old virgin who falls short of most social standards, is expected to express gratitude for the condescending behaviour of her first-ever lover and her so-called friends. However, the surprising decisions she makes display an inspiring sense of self-confidence that makes this film an interesting case of female representation on screen. Akin to Aki Kaurismäki's finest works, the film skilfully intertwines personal narratives with social commentary, employing an intimate story as a vehicle to challenge ageism, misogyny, and societal prejudices.


Eka Chavleishvili's powerful central performance, coupled with Agnesh Pakozdi's stunning cinematography that vividly captures this Georgian village, also contribute to the uniqueness of this enchanting film that lingers in the mind long after you leave the cinema.  


Book Tickets

Monday 24 Jun 20248:30pm

Blue Sunshine + Director Q&A (18)

Blue Sunshine + Director Q&A

The screening is in partnership with Tongues on Fire and all proceeds will be donated to LGBTQ+ charities in India.


The screening will be followed by an online Q&A with the film’s writer/director/actress Samyuktha Vijayan, hosted by Shiva Raichandani.

 

Blue Sunshine is the remarkable debut feature by trans writer and director Samyuktha Vijayan, who also plays the lead role in the film. The film recently won a top prize at Tongues on Fire- The UK Asian Film Festival.


Aravind, a high school teacher, wants to transition from male to female while working for a school in a small town in South India. Aravind has been taking hormone medication for six months while hiding her identity from her colleagues and conservative family. But when Aravind’s father proposes an arranged marriage, Aravind is driven to embrace their new identity and begins to live as a woman named Bhanu. Although she has support from some close friends, the teacher faces adversity at every turn.


‘A superb piece of cinema, and one of the highlights of the 2024 Glasgow Film Festival. This is all the more remarkable because writer/director/star Samyuktha Vijayan has no prior experience...Talent like this doesn’t come along very often.’- Eye For Film


Tamil with English subtitles


Shiva Raichandani:

Shiva is a BAFTA-nominated non-binary screenwriter, director, producer, and inclusion consultant for film and television. Shiva was recently selected by the TV Collective as a Breakthrough Leader, shaping the future of the television industry. They were a recipient of the prestigious BFI and BAFTA LGBTQIA+ Mentoring Scheme, and were identified by Attitude Magazine as a Top 10 trailblazer for Film, TV, and Music in the United Kingdom. Shiva’s latest BAFTA-nominated documentary, Always, Asifa, premiered at the BFI’s London Film Festival.

Book Tickets

Sunday 28 Jul 20245:00pm

Bye Bye Tiberias (PG)

Bye Bye Tiberias

Years after leaving her Palestinian village to pursue an acting career in France, Hiam Abbass returns home with her daughter, in this intimate documentary about four generations of women and their shared legacy of separation.



The Garden Cinema View:


The film is many things, a love letter to the director’s own mother, actress Hiam Abbass (Lemon Tree, Succession), an ode to exile, a moving recollection of forced displacement, an exploration of Palestinian identity, and a celebration of female strength and resilience. Shot with sensitivity and candour, the film also allows Lina to portray her own experience as a third-generation child, navigating her own heritage and path. The focus however is firmly on Hiam, who grapples with all that was lost when her grandparents were expelled from Tiberias. All the pieces of the puzzle fit together to tell the story of four generations of women keeping their Palestinian identity and culture alive.

Book Tickets

Friday 28 Jun 20246:00pm
Saturday 29 Jun 20244:00pm
Sunday 30 Jun 20245:00pm
Monday 1 Jul 20244:00pm
Tuesday 2 Jul 20243:30pm
Wednesday 3 Jul 20248:45pm
Thursday 4 Jul 20246:00pm

Caramel (PG)

Caramel

The screening on July 3rd, will be introduced by  Abla Kandalaft.  A discussion will proceed after the screening between her and Laila Alj.


Caramel is a Middle Eastern rom-com that challenges binding cultural traditions whilst celebrating female friendship.


In Beirut, five women meet up at a beauty salon, a highly colourful and sensual microcosm. Layale loves Rabih, but he is married man. Nisrine is a Muslim and she has a problem with her coming wedding: She’s no longer a virgin. Rima is tormented by her attraction to women. Jamale is refusing to grow old. Rose has sacrificed herself to look after her older sister. At the salon, men, sex and motherhood are the subjects at the heart of their intimate and liberated conversations.


Laila is an actor and theatre producer from Casablanca, Morocco. She is a graduate of the Theatre and Creative Writing for the Media programmes at Northwestern University in the US and has an MA from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is a founding member of MENA Arts UK and also currently the producer at Theatro Technis.


Abla is curator, journalist and researcher with a Syrian/Lebanese background. She co-produced BBC Arabic's Cinema Badila for 5 years, and programmes films from the Arab world and beyond. She sits on the board of the Independent Media Association. She currently oversees special programmes and discussions at the Garden Cinema

Book Tickets

Wednesday 3 Jul 20248:30pm
Wednesday 24 Jul 20244:00pm

Ceddo (18)

Ceddo

Our screening on Monday 17 June will be introduced by Estrella Sendra (KCL), programme consultant on our award winning 2023 Francophone West African season.


In precolonial Senegal, members of the Ceddo (or 'outsiders') kidnap Princess Dior Yacine (Tabata Ndiaye) after her father, the king, pledges loyalty to an ascendant Islamic faction that plans to convert the entire clan to its faith. Attempts to recapture her fail, provoking further division and eventual war between the animistic Ceddo and the fundamentalist Muslims, with Christian missionaries and slave traders from Europe also playing a role in the conflict. Banned in Senegal upon its release, Ceddo is an ambitious, multilayered epic that explores the combustible tensions among ancient tradition, religious colonisation, political expediency, and individual freedom.

Book Tickets

Tuesday 25 Jun 20243:10pm

Chile Estyle (18)

Chile Estyle

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film's director Pablo Aravena.


Young people took to the streets with political muralism all over Chile in the late 60s, at the same time that young people in New York were starting modern graffiti, and May 68 took place in Paris. Chile Estyle is a documentary film which explores the past and present of Chile's unique street art tradition, which comes from a remix of political muralism and graffiti, and has been part of Chilean cultural and political life since the 60s. The result is a visually arresting, informative, and entertaining film.



Book Tickets

Saturday 13 Jul 20244:00pm

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (12A)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Our screening on 7 July is the latest in our discussion series, In the Works, hosted by Oscar nominated composer Gary Yershon. Gary's guest is the artist and academy award winning costume and production designer Tim Yip. Tim has worked with the likes of John Woo, Tsui Hark, Tsai Ming liang, and of course Ang Lee. For Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, he won the Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, and the BAFTA for Best Costume Design.


Celebrated Taiwanese director Ang Lee brought wuxia to the West with this sweeping period epic, which won four Academy Awards and proved Michelle Yeoh’s crossover appeal as an art-house action star. When rebellious teenaged heroine Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi) steals the legendary jade sword of martial-arts master Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-fat) from his warrior friend Yu Shu Lien (Yeoh), she sets off a breathlessly paced pursuit entailing magnificent chases over rooftops, lakes, and trees. Lee pays homage to wuxia master-director King Hu: Zhang’s Jen evokes Cheng Pei-pei’s Golden Swallow in Hu's breakout hit Come Drink with Me, while the spectacular battle atop the swaying branches of a bamboo forest references the conclusion of his classic A Touch of Zen.


In partnership with the Chinese Cinema Project.



Book Tickets

Sunday 7 Jul 20243:40pm (Onsale 20/6, 18:00)

Deep Sea (PG)

Deep Sea

Swept into the sea during a family cruise, a young girl named Shenxiu stumbles upon a mysterious restaurant under the waves. There, she meets the scheming head chef and his ragtag crew of adorable otters and sarcastic walruses. They join forces to save the restaurant and reunite Shenxiu with her mother.


This underwater adventure stuns with cutting-edge 3D animation showcasing an innovative, painterly style inspired by classical Chinese ink brush art.


Language: English


On Sunday mornings our Family Screenings are followed by a free activity for Children.


The screening is Pay What You Can, which means you’re free to pay as much or as little as you can afford. By paying for a ticket, you will enable us to keep offering Pay What You Can screenings to families struggling with the cost of living. Thank you  

Book Tickets

Saturday 13 Jul 202411:00am
Sunday 14 Jul 202411:00am

Exiled (15)

Exiled

Johnnie To’s long-awaited 2006 spiritual follow-up to The Mission brings together an all-star cast for the tale of hitmen pitted against each other over the fate of a childhood friend. Seeing To explore the possibilities of cinematic language and visual storytelling through stunning widescreen compositions, the film features some of his most memorable and visceral shoot-out set pieces, pushing the question of loyalty versus self-preservation to its bloody limits. Premiered in competition at Venice and the recipient of awards at a long list of international festivals, Exiled is widely recognised as one of his very best works, an exquisite mix of thrilling, poetic action and quietly devastating broken brotherhood.

Book Tickets

Saturday 6 Jul 20241:30pm

Fly Me to the Moon (18)

Fly Me to the Moon

Based on her semi-autobiographical novel, Sasha Chuk’s multiple-award winning feature debut is a moving family chronicle, following a pair of sisters who relocate from Hunan to Hong Kong in the 1990s, and are faced with identity crises, poverty, and their father’s drug addiction. Produced by Stanley Kwan, the film is a deeply humanistic exploration of immigration and discrimination in Hong Kong, addressing these and other social issues in a grounded manner. While charting change in the city during the twenty years from the 1997 Handover to 2017, Chuk never loses sight of the complex family bonds at the heart of her story or its journey towards a sense of self-realisation and acceptance.

Book Tickets

Friday 5 Jul 20246:00pm

Girls Will Be Girls- Preview Screening (18)

Girls Will Be Girls-  Preview Screening

For South Asian Heritage Month we present a special preview screening of the Sundance prizewinning Girls Will Be Girls, with a pre-recorded introduction by director Shuchi Talati.


In a strict boarding school nestled in the Himalayas, 16-year-old Mira discovers desire and romance. But her sexual, rebellious awakening is disrupted by her mother who never got to come of age herself. This stellar debut feature from Shuchi Talati won the World Cinema Audience Award and the Special Jury Award for Acting at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.


Hindi & English with English Subtitles


Sundance - World Cinema Dramatic Competition - Audience Award, Special Jury Award for Acting - 2024


SXSW - Festival Favourites - 2024


Director’s Note:

‘Girls Will Be Girls is set in a conservative boarding school, much like the school I attended, where girls are policed, ostensibly to protect their “virtue.” Despite this, I saw fierce, funny girls and women all around who subverted and circumvented the social and moral codes. In Girls Will Be Girls, I wanted to write about these subversive women who populated my life but never my screens and to expand the narratives that are available to Indian women.’


With thanks to Modern Films

Book Tickets

Saturday 17 Aug 20245:00pm

Green Border (15)

Green Border

In the murky and perilous forests of the 'green border' dividing Belarus and Poland, a calculated and dangerous game unfolds. Refugees from the Middle East and Africa, desperate to reach the safety of the European Union, find themselves ensnared in a sinister geopolitical scheme orchestrated by Belarusian autocrat Alexander Lukashenko.

 

The refugees are unwitting pawns in Lukashenko's brazen attempt to incite Europe. Deceived by false promises of easy passage, they are drawn to the border through relentless

propaganda. Among them are Julia, a passionate new activist who has abandoned her comfortable life for the cause, and Jan, a young border guard navigating a moral labyrinth. Their fates become entwined with that of a Syrian family, each Caught in the web of this manufactured crisis. Against the backdrop of an era defined by shifting political landscapes, Green Border, the stirring new film by three-time Oscar Nominee Agnieszka Holland, thrusts us into a world where idealism collides with harsh realities.



The Garden Cinema View:


A monumental political statement from Agnieszka Holland which has made her a pariah in certain echelons of Polish society, and a harrowing viewing experience for the audience, Green Border is a sobering depiction of Europe’s treatment of migrants. The initial section tightens its grip to such an brutally suffocating extent that, combined with Tomasz Naumiuk steely monochrome cinematography, you might think this is descending into The Painted Bird territory. Thankfully (for us), the hold is released and the scope widened to encompass various sides of this crisis (activists, a guard, an apolitical civilian). Whilst the material remains tough to watch, Holland’s focus with every scene is to give names, voices, and depth of character and feeling to the persecuted and stateless. To her credit, this film is ultimately a powerful attempt to combat the systematic discourse of dehumanisation directed towards migrants in Belarus, Poland, further afield, and close to home.  

Book Tickets

Sunday 23 Jun 20244:30pm
Monday 24 Jun 20243:00pm
Tuesday 25 Jun 20248:00pm
Wednesday 26 Jun 20243:25pm
Thursday 27 Jun 20245:40pm

Happy as Lazzaro (12A)

Happy as Lazzaro

This film was proposed by our member Dani, who writes: 'La Chimera reminds me of this beautiful film. Would love to see it with others at The Garden Cinema!'


This is the tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. Life in their isolated pastoral village Inviolata is dominated by the terrible Marchesa ­­Alfonsina ­de ­Luna, ­the­ queen­ of­­ cigarettes.­ A loyal bond is sealed when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping. This strange and improbable alliance is a revelation for Lazzaro. A friendship so precious that it will travel in time and transport Lazzaro in search of Tancredi. His first­ time ­in­ the ­big­ city,­ Lazzaro ­is ­like­ a ­fragment­ of the past lost in the modern world.


Please note, the screening on Monday 17 June is our Free Members' Screening, and the screening on Wednesday 26 June is a general public screening.

Book Tickets

Tuesday 25 Jun 20246:10pm

He's a Woman, She's a Man (18)

He's a Woman, She's a Man

Peter Chan’s fourth feature gave Leslie Cheung one of his first romantic comedy lead roles, playing a temperamental music producer determined to propel his new male protégé (Anita Yuen) to stardom, not knowing that he’s actually a woman. Complications of the heart follow, the film daringly exploring themes of homosexuality and gender identity taboo at the time in Hong Kong, with Chan subverting genre expectations and transforming farce into delightfully provocative satire. The winner of multiple awards on its release in 1994, He’s a Woman, She’s a Man was made during Cheung’s temporary retirement from music, giving fans a chance to hear him sing on screen, including the iconic ballad 'Chase', which like the film itself has become a beloved classic.

Book Tickets

Thursday 4 Jul 20246:00pm

Hero (12A)

Hero

A global sensation which made Zhang Yimou a household name in the West, Hero features a galaxy of Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese star names (Jet Li, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi, Donnie Yen), and is a boundary pushing wuxia extravaganza, a richly romantic vision of history, and a somewhat controversial blockbuster.


During the ancient Warring States period a nameless man (Li) is summoned to the court of the King of Qin after he claims to have defeated three legendary assassins. What ensues is a contest of wits and ideological debate, as the King’s suspicions gradually rise.


Hero is a film of immense beauty and gravity defying martial arts choreography. Cinematographer Christopher Doyle (known for his work with Wong Kar-wai) famously structured the film into four visually defined sections, designed to strongly evoke the four seasons. Meanwhile, Tan Dun’s swooning score accentuates the love triangle between Leung, Cheung, and Zhang Ziyi’s characters. Hero remains incredibly exciting, surprisingly moving, and, to this day, still leaves audiences debating the surprising denouement.


Book Tickets

Saturday 17 Aug 20247:45pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Tuesday 27 Aug 20243:45pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Friday 30 Aug 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

Hounds (18)

Hounds

A tense, atmospheric thriller, Hounds is Moroccan director Kamal Lazraq’s impressive feature film debut set on the streets of Casablanca. It follows a hapless father-son duo who run into trouble after a kidnapping goes wrong and things go from bad to worse.


Living precariously on the margins of society, Hassan (Abdellatif Masstouri) and his son Isaam (Ayoub Elaid) earn money as lackeys for a local crime boss, who likes to fight dogs on the side. One night, when he loses his favourite dog in a fight, he sets Hassan and Isaam the task of kidnapping his rival’s right-hand man. But things go awry from the outset, setting them on a path they must navigate with what little resources they have, forced to fly by the seat of their pants. Unfolding over one night, the film employs a dark sense of humour, imbuing its central characters a Safdie-esque quality which is cleverly used as a lens through which to view the dark underbelly of Moroccan society.


The Garden Cinema View:


The latest contender for the anxious crown of high-stress cinema: a film cycle to encompass the likes of the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems and Good Time, and one-take palm-sweaters such as Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria and Philip Barantini’s Boiling Point. Hounds adheres to the one-night-odyssey structure of many of these examples, folding in episodic encounters and surreal humour that surely owes some debt to Scorsese’s yuppie nightmare, After Hours. Whilst the escalating tribulations of Hounds are suitably gripping, it’s these moments of culturally specific oddness (‘is it a donkey or is it a djinn?’) that give the film a unique flavour.  

Book Tickets

Sunday 23 Jun 20242:20pm
Monday 24 Jun 20246:25pm
Tuesday 25 Jun 20245:50pm
Wednesday 26 Jun 20243:00pm
Thursday 27 Jun 20248:40pm

House of Flying Daggers (15)

House of Flying Daggers

All screenings will feature a video introduction from head of programming at FIRST International Film Festival, Xiao Gu.


Given the huge critical and commercial success of Hero (2002), it is unsurprising that Zhang Yimou continued with wuxia cinema. In their final collaboration, Zhang Ziyi plays a blind dancer enlisted to help two police officers (Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro) bring down a rebel group during the declining years of the Tang Dynasty in the 9th century. The resulting love-triangle is, at times, as fiercely contested as the political machinations and deadly fight sequences.


Narratively more straightforward than Hero, House of Flying Daggers is perhaps a form of retreat back into Zhang’s comfort zone of visual aesthetics (the film was Oscar nominated for cinematography), tragic romance, and flowing performance (both dancing and combat gracefully mirroring each other). This is, then, a fitting end point for our Zhang Yimou retrospective: an experience of almost pure cinematic pleasure.  


Book Tickets

Tuesday 20 Aug 20248:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Saturday 24 Aug 20242:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Thursday 29 Aug 20243:30pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

I Am Belmaya (12A)

I Am Belmaya

The film will be preceded by a pre-recorded introduction and a screening of the short film Stronger directed by Belmaya.


An inspirational story of rebellion, courage and hope as Belmaya, a young Dalit woman in Nepal, silenced and subjugated for most of her life, takes up the movie camera to tell her story.


Orphaned at the age of nine, uneducated, and trapped in an abusive marriage, Belmaya is desperate for independence and determined to create a better life for her young daughter in this extraordinarily intimate documentary. A directorial collaboration between Sue Carpenter and Belmaya Napali spanning 14 years, the story interweaves observational material with footage shot by Belmaya and takes us on a transformational journey as she stands up to her husband and society, and reclaims her voice through filmmaking.


Best Documentary - UK Asian Film Festival, UK, 2021


Nominee - BIFA 2021 (British Independent Film Awards), Best Documentary and Raindance Discovery Award categories


Nominee - One World Media Awards 2021, Women Entrepreneurs Reporting category


Nepali and English, with English subtitles


Stronger (Belmaya Nepali, 2021, 3min)

An original song by Simi Carpenter and short film by Belmaya Nepali, about a girl’s desire to break free from parental and societal constraints and take control over her own life.

Book Tickets

Monday 12 Aug 20246:00pm

Industry Panel: Cinematography

Industry Panel: Cinematography

As we are aware The Garden Cinema membership community is not just made up of cinema enthusiasts, but also covers a large range of film creatives, we like to help connect our members working across all departments of the industry.


For our regular industry panels, we invite knowledgeable speakers to discuss their specific branch of the industry, with plenty of time for asking questions. After the discussion, we all head into the Garden Bar, so you can network with fellow members.


On Wednesday 26 June, we will be joined by cinematographers Evelin van Rei NSC (Walk with Me, Passenger, Bad Sisters, Chemistry of Death), Bebe Dierken (Sexy Beast, Midas Man, The Million Robbery, Doctor Jekyll), and Nanu Segal BSC (Hoard, Emily, Scoop) to discuss all things cinematography. Join them in an honest and open conversation as they discuss their journeys, identities, philosophies, biggest challenges, and how they maintain authenticity and safeguard mental wellbeing. Come prepared with your most daring and curious questions!

 

Tickets are restricted to 1 per member, and available for just £5, which includes a token for a complimentary house wine, beer or soft/hot drink.

 

About the speakers:

 

Dutch autistic cinematographer & artist Evelin van Rei NSC received the Angénieux Special Encouragement Award at Cannes Film Festival in 2022, which recognises next-generation cinematographic talent. She is well-known for her distinctive and artistic imagery both in still and moving image. Visceral, textured, intricate, and reminiscent of tenebrism qualities in paintings. Evelin seeks to create thought-provoking, authored, authentic, innovative, and emotionally resonant films. Cinema as art form. She has a soft spot for indie, arthouse, surrealism, experimental, psychological thriller, and sci-fi.


www.evelinvanrei.com @evelinvanrei_nsc

 

Birgit Bebe Dierken is a german film cinematographer who has also worked in American and British films. She graduated in photography in 1991. She was assistant cameraman for many years on films like Blood Diamond, Bourne Ultimatum, Eat Pray Love, and Inglorious Basterds until she became director of photography full time. Since then she has worked in different genres from period to science fiction, and contemporary content.


www.bebedierken.com @bebedierken

 

Since studying cinematography at the NFTS in the UK, Nanu Segal has enjoyed working across different genres in her feature film work, with recent credits including Hoard for Luna Carmoon, Emily for Frances O’Connor and Scoop for Philip Martin. Her short films have collected many awards from film festivals across the world (Cannes Cinefondation / BAFTA / Rhode Island). Nanu also served as the 2nd unit Director of Photography on the Oscar winning film, Bohemian Rhapsody. Her episodic credits include BAFTA nominated series A Spy Among Friends and Guilt S1, for which she was awarded the RTS Camera Award. Alongside her narrative work, Nanu shoots commercials for companies such as Somesuch, Riff Raff and Anonymous Content.


www.nanusegal.com


Check out our Youtube channel for videos of our previous industry panels.


Previous speakers have included:

- Michaël Dudok de Wit (Director of The Red Turtle)

- Alexandra Sasha Balan (Animator on The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse)

- Jacob Stolworthy (Reporter, The Independent)

- Jack Shepherd (Writer, Total Film)

- Georgia Goggin (Producer of Pretty Red Dress)

- Susan Simnett (Producer of Fadia's Tree)

- Christina Papasotiriou (Senior Film Programmer at Raindance Film Festival)

- Philip Ilson (Co-Director of London Short Film Festival)

- Edward Lovelace (Director of Name Me Lawand)

- Tom Howson (Head of Theatrical Sales at Dogwoof)

- Joanna Johnston (Costume Designer on Lincoln, Forrest Gump, Death Becomes Her)

- Charlotte Finlay (Costume Supervisor on Barbie, Paddington 2)

Book Tickets

Wednesday 26 Jun 20247:00pm (Sold Out)

Ju Dou (15)

Ju Dou

Our screening on Sunday 21 July will be introduced by Victor Fan (KCL).


Zhang Yimou’s follow up to Red Sorghum (1987) revisits several of his debut’s key themes, but in a now far more rigid and stifling setting. The titular character (played by Gong Li) is newly wedded to an unspeakably cruel dye mill owner, who has murdered his previous two wives. When she embarks on a clandestine affair with her husband’s adoptive nephew, a deadly series of events is set in motion.


The middle part of Zhang’s loose ‘Red Trilogy’, Ju Dou is one of his great aesthetic achievements. The claustrophobic and cloistered world of the mill is rendered using old fashioned Technicolor processing, lending an already fairy tale-like narrative a rich and timeless visual sheen that resembles, at points, the fantasy worlds of Powell and Pressburger. The lurid vats of red dye stain the rigid physical and social structures of this airless setting which is ruptured only by a myriad of hiding places and peep holes where a game of voyeuristic desires plays out


Book Tickets

Sunday 21 Jul 20241:30pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Monday 29 Jul 20243:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Friday 9 Aug 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

Kinds of Kindness (15)

Kinds of Kindness

Kinds of Kindness is a triptych fable, following a man without choice who tries to take control of his own life; a policeman who is alarmed that his wife who was missing-at-sea has returned and seems a different person; and a woman determined to find a specific someone with a special ability, who is destined to become a prodigious spiritual leader.


The Garden Cinema View:


After his recent mainstream success working with Tony McNamara, Yorgos Lanthimos reignites his creative partnership with writer Efthymis Filippou. What this means for us is a move away from the likes of The Favourite and Poor Things, and a return of the acerbic absurdism of Dogtooth and The Lobster.


As tends to be the case with anthology films, Kinds of Kindness is uneven. The first section is the strongest: a sado-masochistic black comedy about the systems of control that govern our working and personal lives. Channelling something of J. G. Ballard (and possibly John Fowles’ The Magus), Lanthimos’ affectless black comedy style works very effectively in this dead world of corporate subservience. The second and third parts play uneasily. There are moments of surreal inventiveness and shocking humour in both the doppelgänger and cult narratives that feel completely unique to Lanthimos. There are also repeated scenes of abuse and narrative longueurs which are quite draining.


Kinds of Kindness is an unhappy film, albeit a cinema experience that would not be provided by any other filmmaker.

Book Tickets

Friday 5 Jul 20242:45pm8:20pm
Saturday 6 Jul 20245:15pm
Sunday 7 Jul 202412:30pm3:45pm
Monday 8 Jul 20242:00pm8:00pm
Tuesday 9 Jul 20245:10pm8:15pm
Wednesday 10 Jul 20242:45pm5:25pm
Thursday 11 Jul 20242:00pm8:20pm

LRB Screen X MUBI: First Cow (12A)

LRB Screen X MUBI: First Cow

LRB Screen, the London Review Bookshop’s long-running film series, continues its exploration of the art of literary-cinematic adaptation in partnership with MUBI.


We head west, next, for First Cow, an invigorating spin on US origin myths by the outstanding auteur-director Kelly Reichardt. Loosely adapted by Reichardt and her regular writing partner Jonathan Raymond from the latter’s 2004 novel The Half-Life, it maintains the luminously photographed but deliberately understated approach of her earlier, Oregon-set masterworks Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy, while developing the historical engagement she’d initiated with Meek’s Cutoff. Siding instinctively with working class figures and the socially, economically or ethnically marginalised, Reichardt’s 1820s buddy/road (or foot) movie pairs-up a former trapper and a Chinese fugitive, with a business plan to make mouthwatering cookies for frontier settlements. The recipe requires fresh milk, though, which the cow belonging to a pompous local bigwig the Chief Factor (Toby Jones) may just be able to provide...


Introducing the film, and discussing the pleasures and challenges of adaptations from the actor’s perspective, will be Toby Jones, renowned across stage, screen and television for his brilliantly nuanced and always committed performances.


Book Tickets

Monday 15 Jul 20248:00pm

La Chimera (15)

La Chimera

Set in the 1980s, in the former Etruscian landscape of rural Italy, the film follows a vagabond-type character called Arthur (Josh O’Connor); an Englishman who embodies the spirit of the Romantics, he is searching for something he can’t quite grasp. As an archaeologist, he makes use of his unique skills to aid a ragtag group of tomboroli - local graverobbers - to find ancient tombs filled with artefacts to sell on the black market. To the locals these graves are sacred, believing curses follow those who enter. But Arthur, who is mourning the loss of his love Beniamina, is less concerned with the monetary value of the objects, using the digs to search for the door to the afterlife - of which myths speak - where he imagines reuniting with her. A cloud of mystery follows him as he walks the line between the living and the dead, between reality and trickery, between the past and the present. Bringing him into the present is Italia (Carol Duarte), a single mother who befriends him and opens his eyes to the world in new ways.


The Garden Cinema view:


It’s a Josh O’Connor spring, and here he plays a (somehow) even more rumpled and crumpled character than his washed up tennis pro in Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers. He is Arthur, a perpetually exhausted and sullen English archaeologist-cum-tomb raider, decked out in creased, and increasingly grubby, white linens. This feels like an instantly iconic role for O’Connor, and one which director Alice Rohrwacher places within a beautiful evocation of 1980s Italy. As in the wonderful Happy as Lazzaro, Rohrwacher captures Tuscany and Lazio on nostalgic 16mm Kodak film. Her scenes are full of humour and music, and the film as a whole beckons in dreams, ghosts, and creatures of myth. Filled with melancholia, but never sombre, La Chimera is grumpily romantic, very slightly fantastical, and always a delight.      

Book Tickets

Monday 24 Jun 20243:30pm
Thursday 27 Jun 20245:15pm

London Breeze Film Festival presents Drift + Q&A with screenwriter Susanne Farrell (15)

London Breeze Film Festival presents Drift + Q&A with screenwriter Susanne Farrell

London Breeze presents Drift, in support of Refugee Week. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with screenwriter, Susanne Farrell (Hope Street; Dirty God) and producer of PopChange Ornella Mutoni.


Drift is the first English language feature film from Singaporean director, Anthony Chen (ILO ILO; Wet Season), from a screenplay by Susanne Farrell and Alexander Maksik. It is based on the novel A Marker to Measure Drift by Maksik


Jacqueline (Cynthia Erivo), a young refugee, lands alone and penniless on a Greek island, where she tries first to survive and then to cope with her past. While gathering her strength, she begins a friendship with a rootless tour-guide (Alia Shawkat) and together they find the resilience to forge ahead. Drift also features Honor Swinton Byrne (The Souvenir I, The Souvenir II)                                                                                      

                                                                                           

'A mesmerizing showcase for Cynthia Erivo’s talents' - New York Times


'Cynthia Erivo’s performance remains unwaveringly riveting' 

The Wrap


'A typically sensitive, understated tale of trauma and the healing balm of friendship.'

ScreenDaily


An unlikely ode to healing and human connection

Variety


Miraculous… Cynthia Erivo Is the Reason You Need to See ‘Drift’ ” -Rolling Stone


Grounded in realism and empathy

An assured and compassionate portrait

★★★★ Time Out


Riveting … a compelling exercise in empathy

★★★★ Rolling Stone


Captivating

★★★★ Empire


★★★★ Total Film


★★★★ The Times


London Breeze is a BIFA-qualifying independent film festival showcasing emerging filmmakers and award-winning films from the UK and around the world. The 9th edition of our Festival will take place between 23rd - 27th October 2024, and will be our most ambitious festival yet. With our rebrand from Barnes Film Festival and new partner venues, we are committed to a year round programme of screenings and film events in addition to our flagship annual film festival in October.

Book Tickets

Sunday 23 Jun 20241:30pm

London Socialist Film Co-op Orgreave Anniversary Day: Afternoon (18)

London Socialist Film Co-op Orgreave Anniversary Day: Afternoon

Join the London Socialist Film Co-op for an all-day event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the events at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. We will present two screenings, morning and afternoon, exploring the history, legacy and contemporary significance of state violence and media manipulation during the 1984/5 Miners Strike.


We also present the premiere of a new LSFC production: No Right on Earth: The Featherstone Massacre (2024), produced / directed by Neil Kemp (Instant Karma Films), written and presented by Ian Clayton.


In the afternoon, we will screen two documentaries, Yvette Vanson's Battle For Orgreave: The Sequel (1991) and BBC Yorkshire's Inside Out (2012) which consider the legacy of Orgreave, the police corruption during the trials of miners wrongly accused of Riot and the connection to the police cover-up during the Hillsborough Disaster of 1989, enacted by the same force. Following this we will screen The Featherstone Massacre, a short documentary from 1975, presented by historian and broadcaster Michael Wood. In his first ever film, he chose to commemorate the Featherstone Massacre of 1893. He details how, after reading the Riot Act, the British Army opened fire on an unarmed group of striking miners leaving two dead and many injured. The afternoon screening will close with the premiere of No Right on Earth a new LSFC production, produced / directed by Neil Kemp (Instant Karma Films) and written and presented by Ian Clayton on the Featherstone Massacre as a historical precedent to the state violence perpetrated against miners in 1984; including a new interview with Arthur Scargill, former President of the National Union of Mineworkers, filmed on International Workers’ Day 2024.


The screening and premiere will be followed by a panel and Q&A with the filmmakers: Ian Clayton, Featherstone author and writer / presenter of the new film; Neil Kemp, producer / director and Michael Wood, historian and broadcaster.



Programme for the Afternoon Screening:


Battle For Orgreave: The Sequel (1991) Yvette Vanson, C4 Critical Eye


Inside Out (2012) BBC Yorkshire


The Featherstone Massacre (1975), Michael Wood, YTV


No Right On Earth: The Featherstone Massacre (2024), Neil Kemp (Instant Karma Films), Ian Clayton, LSFC


With thanks to Yvette Vanson, Platform Films and the British Film Institute


Book Tickets

Saturday 29 Jun 20244:30pm

London Socialist Film Co-op Orgreave Anniversary Day: Morning (18)

London Socialist Film Co-op Orgreave Anniversary Day: Morning

Join London Socialist Film Co-op for an all-day event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the events at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. We will present two screenings, morning and afternoon, exploring the history, legacy and contemporary significance of state violence and media manipulation during the 1984/5 Miners Strike.


The morning screening will present three documentaries from 1985, produced in solidarity with the miners’ campaign. Straight Speaking: Miners Campaign Tape 4 was produced in 1985 to counter media-manipulation during the strike and introduces the lies and broken promises made by the National Coal Board. Following this, two films by pioneering filmmaker Yvette Vanson, The Battle For Orgreave and Taking Liberties, directly explore the police intimidation and violence at Orgreave and in mining communities across the UK.


The screening will be followed by a panel and Q&A with Kate Flannery, Secretary of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and Arlen Harris, award-winning filmmaker, broadcaster and researcher in the histories of colonial and state violence.



Programme for the Morning Screening:


Straight Speaking: Miners Campaign Tape 4 (1985), Platform Films


The Battle For Orgreave (1985), Yvette Vanson, Channel 4


Open Space: Taking Liberties (1985), Yvette Vanson, BBC



With thanks to Yvette Vanson, Platform Films and the British Film Institute

Book Tickets

Saturday 29 Jun 202410:30am

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (PG)

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

In this enchanting Oscar-nominated drama, a daydreaming but discontented young teacher is posted to Lunana, a remote village high in the Himalayan mountains. There, he is disheartened to find a simple yak herding community lacking basic amenities such as electricity or even a blackboard in its school classroom. But the enthusiasm of his young students and the unassuming warmth of the village folk buoy his spirits and he must decide whether to return to the city before the gruelling winter sets in or remain in this strange and captivating land.


Beautifully photographed in extraordinary Bhutanese mountain locations, Pawo Choyning Dorji’s acclaimed debut feature gives a fascinating insight into a region rarely seen on screen. Balancing gentle humour with life-affirming drama, and performed with easy appeal by largely first-time actors, it’s an entertaining, irresistibly uplifting tale about the power of a new environment to effect personal transformation.


Dzongkha & English with English Subtitles


Oscars Nominee- Best International Feature Film 2021


'A breath of fresh air' - Ang Lee


Director’s Statement:

'One of the things I wanted to do was bring back appreciation of the traditional folk songs of Bhutan. These songs in the film really tell the story of our country and they are at the heart and soul of Bhutanese culture, but as we are modernising, they are being forgotten. I wanted to showcase these songs in the movie partly to show Bhutan to the outside world but also to remind Bhutanese about this amazing music we have


Screening in partnership with the Chinese Cinema Project. 

Book Tickets

Tuesday 23 Jul 20243:00pm
Saturday 3 Aug 20244:00pm

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A (18)

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A

Drawn from a cache of personal video recordings from the past 22 years, director Steve Loveridge’s Sundance award winning MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. is a startlingly personal profile of the critically acclaimed artist, chronicling her remarkable journey from refugee immigrant to groundbreaking musician.


She began as Matangi. Daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, she hid from the government in the face of a vicious and bloody civil war. When her family fled to the UK, she became Maya, a precocious and creative immigrant teenager in London. Finally, the world met her as M.I.A. when she emerged on the global stage, having created a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey along the way; a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the unwavering, ultra-confident voice of a burgeoning multicultural youth.


Never one to compromise on her vision, Maya kept her camera rolling throughout. MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. provides unparalleled, intimate access to the artist in her battles with the music industry and mainstream media as her success and fame explodes, becoming one of the most recognisable, outspoken and provocative voices in music today.

Book Tickets

Friday 26 Jul 20248:45pm

Mo' Better Blues (15)

Mo' Better Blues

Talented trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington) is obsessed by his music and torn by indecisiveness about his girlfriends Indigo and Clarke. But when he is forced to come to the aid of his manager and childhood friend Giant (Spike Lee), Bleek finds his world more fragile than he ever imagined. A feast for the senses, the film features a superlative score by Bill Lee (the director’s father) as performed by the Branford Marsalis Quartet.

Book Tickets

Friday 5 Jul 20248:40pm

Not One Less (U)

Not One Less

Our screening on 10 August will be followed by a Zoom Q&A with lead actress Wei Minzhi.


Inspired by the works of Abbas Kiarostami (in particular Where is the Friend’s House?) and Vittorio De Sica, Zhang returned to similar territory to The Story of Qiu Ju (1992). Not One Less is an even purer example of neorealism, with a cast of non-professional actors mainly playing versions of themselves.


Chief amongst those is the one-in-a-lifetime performance of thirteen-year-old Wei Minzhi as a teenager who is ordered to a remote and poverty-stricken village to work as a substitute teacher. Barely older than her students, the shy girl is charged with keeping the class intact for one month, or she will not be paid. Faced with overwhelming family debt, the class troublemaker disappears into the city to find work. The stubborn teacher, however, is determined to follow the boy and bring him back to school.


Not One Less was designed in part to promote China’s education reform policies (although it is arguably quite critical of the school system at the same time), which may have contributed to its controversial rejection from the main competition at Cannes. Despite this, it would go on to win the Golden Lion at the 1999 Venice Film Festival.  


Book Tickets

Saturday 10 Aug 20248:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Sunday 18 Aug 20245:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Monday 26 Aug 20243:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

Old Well (18)

Old Well

Introduced by Chris Berry (KCL).


Considered one of the mentors of Fifth Generation filmmaking in China through his work at the Xi’an Film Studio, in 1986 Wu Tianming was lacking a leading man for his drama of rural modernisation, Old Well. He wanted an actor who resembled his cinematographer, Zhang Yimou, and ultimately realised the easiest course of action would be to offer him the role. In return for Zhang’s double duty, Wu and Xi’an would produce his debut feature, Red Sorghum. A film that would go on to win the Golden Bear at the 1988 Berlin Film Festival, and launch the directorial career of the leading light of Chinese cinema. Notably, the proximity of the releases of both Old Well and Red Sorghum led to Zhang and Wu sharing the Golden Rooster Award for best film in 1988, with Zhang also picking up the best actor award for Old Well.  


Old Well itself resonates with Zhang’s films to come. He plays a university educated engineer who uses his training to find an operational water source for a village that is notorious for digging useless wells. The conflict and cooperation of modernity and agrarian existence, the beauty and harshness of China’s natural landscape, and the attraction of forbidden love, are all themes that Zhang will return to again and again in the films throughout this season. Remarkably this will finally mark the UK premiere of Old Well.    


Book Tickets

Saturday 20 Jul 20248:10pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

Original Copy (18)

Original Copy

The screening on 29 July will be introduced by Dr Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram, Senior Lecturer in World Cinema at Queen Mary.


Original Copy is a humorous and heartfelt documentary about the magic of film, its transience, and its immortality.


The 'Alfred Talkies' cinema in the heart of Mumbai has fallen out of time. In the old Hindi film palace, 35mm copies still rattle through the museum-ready projectors. A sinking ship, held on course by an intrepid crew: the distinguished boss, who shouldn't have taken over the cinema because she is a woman. The meticulous manager who knows exactly what his audience wants. And the chain-smoking film poster painter, Sheikh Rehman, who runs his studio behind the cinema screen in the style of old masters. A mixture of artist, guru, comedian and philosopher.


Each week a mammoth task begins, to paint a huge billboard sized picture showcasing the latest film. His colourful and spectacular posters are works of art in their own right, but Sheikh Rehman’s work is becoming obsolete as plastic posters take over and the cinema battles against declining audiences. A hopeless fight, but no reason to give up.


Original Copy is a ravishing declaration of love to the cinema and its heroes both on and behind the big screen.


Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, Canada (2015)


Best Documentary, Fantastic Fest Austin, USA (2016)


Rotterdam International Film Festival, Netherlands (2016)


Dr Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram

Dr Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram is Senior Lecturer in World Cinema at Queen Mary and author of the world's first book and edited anthology on new Indian Indie films. Ashvin is Associate Director of the UK Asian Film Festival – London and has directed the UK Heritage Lottery-funded documentary Movies, Memories, Magic (2018). His latest book Indian Indies: A Guide to New Independent Indian Cinema (with a foreword by Shabana Azmi) was published by Routledge in 2022.  

Book Tickets

Monday 29 Jul 20246:20pm
Tuesday 13 Aug 20243:00pm

Orlando: My Political Biography (12A)

Orlando: My Political Biography

A diverse cast of 26 trans and non-binary performers exuberantly claim their Orlando-ness, (re)interpreting scenes from the novel and reflecting on their own identities.


Taking inspiration from the past while remaining adamantly grounded in the present as it looks to the future, Orlando: My Political Biography is a radical, enlightening, and roaringly entertaining ode to queer joy, and a blast of fresh air in contemporary queer cinema


The Garden Cinema View:


This inventive documentary playfully deconstructs both Virginia Woolf’s classic novel, and the film itself, to provide a clear example of identity construction, as well as a broader history of trans rights and recognition in the 20th century. A charming and talented group of Orlandos blur the line between personal testimony, novel readings, and re-enactments. The result is humorous, touching and, as Paul B. Preciado is never beyond throwing in a musical interlude, often delightfully camp.

Book Tickets

Friday 12 Jul 20245:35pm
Saturday 13 Jul 20248:30pm
Sunday 14 Jul 20247:20pm
Monday 15 Jul 20243:20pm
Tuesday 16 Jul 20245:50pm
Wednesday 17 Jul 20248:35pm
Thursday 18 Jul 20245:40pm

Perfect Days (PG)

Perfect Days

A highly anticipated return to fiction feature filmmaking from Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire), Perfect Days takes the writer-director to Tokyo to tell a story celebrating the hidden joys and minutiae of Japanese culture. Winner of the Best Actor award at Cannes 2023, Koji Yakusho (13 Assassins) stars as Hirayama, a contemplative middle-aged man who lives a life of modesty and serenity, spending his days balancing his job as a dutiful caretaker of Tokyo’s numerous public toilets with his passion for music, literature and photography. As we join him on his structured daily routine, a series of unexpected encounters gradually begin to reveal a hidden past that lies behind his otherwise content and harmonious life.


Combining a refreshingly unstereotypical depiction of the Japanese capital with a soundtrack comprised of iconic hits from the 60s and 80s, this is a subtle, shimmering and ultimately life-affirming reflection on finding beauty in the everyday world around us. Nominated for the Best International Film award at the 96th Academy Awards.


The Garden Cinema View:


Perfect Days follows Hirayama, a janitor who finds contentment in cleaning toilets, dining in solitude, and reading and listening to music. Though perhaps tedious on paper, under Wenders' skilled direction, Hirayama's everyday practice becomes a philosophical treatise on the value of manual labour and mindfulness. Notably, Hirayama’s mindful lifestyle is not aided by a typically serene environment, but within the gritty backdrop of a bustling metropolis.


Koji Yakusho gives an incredible performance of an introverted man living a simple life, yet his face reveals intelligence, and hints at past pain. His wisdom is clearly hard-earned.


The rhythms of Perfect Days are unhurried, focusing on routines, rituals, and repetitions. This pacing never frustrates, but rather provides a meditative viewing experience that mirrors Hirayama's own serene state.


Book Tickets

Tuesday 25 Jun 20248:50pm

Polite Society (12A)

Polite Society

All screenings will be shown with Descriptive Subtitles (HOH).


The screening on Sunday July 21 will be followed by a Q&A with lead actor Priya Kansara.


Nida Manzoor, creator of the BAFTA, Peabody, and Rose d’Or award winning sitcom We Are Lady Parts, made her feature directorial debut with Polite Society. This exuberant feminist action comedy, turns genre etiquette on its head whilst examining the complexities of navigating life as a British-Pakistani teenager. 


A merry mash-up of sisterly affection, parental disappointment and bold action, Polite Society follows martial artist-in-training Ria Khan who believes she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, Ria attempts to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood.


Book Tickets

Sunday 21 Jul 20247:00pm
Thursday 25 Jul 20243:30pm

Queer Members Mixer: La Cage Aux Folles (15)

Queer Members Mixer: La Cage Aux Folles

After the enthusiastic response to our previous edition, we are thrilled to bring back our Queer Members Mixer event, just in time to round out this year's Pride Month!


Join us from 19:30 to mingle with fellow members in the Garden Bar - all are welcome, whether you're queer, questioning, or a raging ally. We'll be foregoing our usual playlist in favour of Chappell Roan and Céline Dion, and to get the conversation moving (or your feet - whatever you're into), your first drink is included in the ticket price!


 As it's a Friday, a musical would only be appropriate, so at 21:00 we'll head into the screen for the original film adaption of La Cage Aux Folles.


Tickets are restricted to 1 per member, and available for just £12.50, which will include a token for a complimentary glass of vermouth (wine, beer, or soft drinks also available, if you're not feeling the summery vibe yet). Seating for the screening will be unallocated.


About the film:

Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) and Albin (Michel Serrault) - a middle-aged gay couple who are the manager and star performer at a glitzy drag club in Saint-Tropez - agree to hide their sexual identities, along with their flamboyant personalities and home decor, when the ultraconservative parents of Renato’s son’s fiancée come for a visit. This elegant comic scenario kicks off a wild and warmhearted French farce about the importance of nonconformity and being true to oneself. A breakout art-house smash in America, Edouard Molinaro’s La Cage aux Folles inspired a major Broadway musical and the blockbuster remake The Birdcage. But with its hilarious performances and ahead-of-its-time social message, there’s nothing like the audacious, dazzling original movie.

Book Tickets

Friday 28 Jun 20247:30pm

Raise the Red Lantern (PG)

Raise the Red Lantern

Our screening on Saturday 27 July will be followed by a discussion in The Garden Cinema Bar.


The culmination of Zhang Yimou’s ‘Red Trilogy’, and perhaps his most accomplished film, Raise the Red Lantern follows an educated young woman named Songlian (Gong Li, once again), who is sold into marriage with the rich tyrant Master Chen. The Qiao Family Compound provides the basis for one of the great single-setting films, a bewildering fortress of walls, gates, and chambers which reflects the maze of political and sexual challenges which Songlian must navigate if she is to survive. Fittingly, Raise the Red Lantern is Zhang at his most theatrical. Here, surface level appearances are deceitful, and every gesture or phrase hides a double meaning. The world of repeated rituals and contests between the four competing wives of Master Chen is both intoxicating and frightening. Prosperity and favour are inextricably linked to performance (that of duties and of identity), often the only course of agency for women in the patriarchal societies depicted in many of Zhang’s films. Winner of the Silver Lion at Venice in 1991, Raise the Red Lantern is finally available to see once again in the cinema, in the UK premiere of a new digital restoration.  

Book Tickets

Wednesday 24 Jul 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Saturday 27 Jul 20244:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Monday 5 Aug 20243:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

Red Sorghum (15)

Red Sorghum

Our screening on Friday 19 July will be introduced by Victor Fan (KCL), and will be followed by a post film discussion group in The Garden Cinema Bar.


Red Sorghum was an international sensation which won the Golden Bear at the 1988 Berlin Film Festival and propelled Zhang Yimou to arthouse stardom. Adapting Nobel Laureate Mo Yan’s bawdy and brutal novel, Zhang depicts the fortunes of a rural wine distillery during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Gong Li stars (in her debut role) as a young woman sold into a marriage to the leprous owner of the distillery. When her husband is killed in mysterious circumstances, she inherits his business and endeavours to survive and succeed in a patriarchal and semi-lawless society, and against the ever-encroaching war. Zhang captures the potent energy of the source material, with use of deeply saturated colours (primarily, red), and the vast swaying fields of Sorghum which conceal and reveal both intense danger and liberating escape. Barbarism and romanticism coexist in this intoxicating slice of folk-filmmaking, arguably the wildest and most peculiarly optimistic entry in Zhang’s filmography.

Book Tickets

Friday 19 Jul 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Monday 22 Jul 20243:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Wednesday 31 Jul 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

Robot Dreams- Family Screening (PG)

Robot Dreams- Family Screening

Oscar-nominated Robot Dreams is the first animated film from Pablo Berger. This dialogue free, hand-drawn delight invites audiences of all ages to explore love and loss through its tender portrait of a new friendship.


Dog is lonely and he decides to purchase a friend. When his order arrives, he builds Robot, a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky companion to keep him company. Dog and Robot spend an idyllic day together, ending up at Coney Island to enjoy the fun. But they are soon separated on the beach. Dog, devastated at the loss of his friend, does everything in his power to get Robot back.  


On Sunday mornings our Family Screenings are followed by a free activity for Children.


The screening is Pay What You Can, which means you’re free to pay as much or as little as you can afford. By paying for a ticket, you will enable us to keep offering Pay What You Can screenings to families struggling with the cost of living. Thank you  

Book Tickets

Saturday 6 Jul 202411:00am
Sunday 7 Jul 202411:00am

SAFAR Futures Young Programmers: In the Belly of the Beast (18)

SAFAR Futures Young Programmers: In the Belly of the Beast

A film event curated by Amel Moyersoen, Loulwah Kutbi and Sally Zarzour, as part of the the SAFAR Futures Young Programmers 2024.


A film programme delving into the complexities of exile and estrangement amidst the escalating violence and devastation in the region. Navigating these crises from a distance, and more specifically from the imperial core, the belly of the beast, these films and their makers give expression to feelings of alienation, contradiction and absurdity of continuing life as usual. Reflecting on past and present turmoil, coupled with haunting reflections on historical legacies, it explores the emotional distance wrought by loss, displacement and the sense of powerlessness experienced when distant from one's roots; while also reflecting on the power of the archive and cultural memory as an instrument of power. They question what is gained in attending to archival and experiential ruins, metaphorically and literally. These films delve into the fears engendered by such experiences, while also probing how diasporic and exilic film makers seek to reestablish connections with their homelands and assert their agency in the face of imperialist violence.


Homage by Assassination (1991)

Elia Suleiman | USA | Arabic and English | 23'


During the first Gulf War, a Palestinian filmmaker sits in his New York apartment, attempting to finish a film script. Even though he makes a concerted effort to block out the outside world, memories of past wars haunt him.


Tigers Are Better Looking (1979)

Hussein Shariffe | UK | English | 21'


A short film directed by Sudanese poet, painter and filmmaker Hussien Sharrife. Using fictive retelling, adapted from Jean Rhys’s book of short stories, the film employs a speculative approach to archives and narration that critiques notions of Western civilization. The film contrasts two different cultural realities, the homeland, Sudan, and the country of exile, Great Britain. Through poetic abstraction, the director manages to portray the strong sense of exile and the longing for the homeland.


Memories For a Private Eye (2015)

Rania Stephan | UAE / Lebanon | Arabic, French, English | 32'


While evoking the language of film noir, the film investigates a personal archive, foregrounding a fictional detective who helps unfold deep and traumatic memories.


The screenings are complemented by a discussion on cultural retrieval in the context of loss, generational commitments towards archives that centre personal histories with filmmaker and video artist Rania Stephan and Dr. Eiman Hussein.


Accessibility


Captions: All films will have closed captions. The discussion will be live captioned.


Step free access: There is step free access to the venue from the main entrance, which is at street level. The venue is wheelchair accessible and there is one wheelchair space available on the screen.


Quiet space/ prayer room: There will be a quiet space that has 10 seats available, this space can also be used as a prayer room. However, since the seats are built in, there is not a lot of floorspace for prayer.


For more info on accessibility and how to get there, click here.


The SAFAR Film Festival is the largest festival in the UK dedicated to cinema from the Arab world. Founded in 2012, SAFAR showcases the broad spectrum of film from the region by working with curators on themed programmes and inviting filmmakers for live Q&As and events.

Book Tickets

Thursday 27 Jun 20248:00pm

Shanghai Triad (15)

Shanghai Triad

After difficulties with censors due to the sensitive political nature of To Live (1994), Zhang Yimou retreated to supposedly more stable ground with a genre (gangster) film with a less incendiary period setting (1930s Shanghai).


Hired as servant to nightclub singer and mob boss mistress Xiao Jinbao (Gong Li), naive teenager Shuisheng (Wang Xiaoxiao) is thrust into the glamorous and deadly shadow-world of Shanghai’s crime syndicates. Over the course of seven days, Shuisheng observes mounting tensions as triad boss Tang begins to suspect traitors amongst his ranks, as well as rivals for Jinbao’s affections.


Shanghai Triad marked the end (for the time being) of the professional and personal partnership between Zhang and Gong Li which forms the creative core of the director’s first seven films. Fittingly, much of this film celebrates Li as a performer, both through several onstage song and dance numbers, and the highwire acts of appearance and desire Jinbao must indulge in order to survive. Working within a populist genre also allowed Zhang to engage in a degree of formal playfulness. In particular, his use of odd angles and framings, and POV camera work which return the viewer to a reflexive and preserve voyeuristic position, not seen since Ju Dou (1990).        


Book Tickets

Tuesday 6 Aug 20248:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Monday 12 Aug 20243:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Friday 16 Aug 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

Shiraz: A Romance of India + Live Music (U)

Shiraz: A Romance of India + Live Music

The film will be introduced by guest curator Anupma Shanker. Prior to the film there will be a traditional tabla performance by Dhanraj Persaud.


A silent spectacle featuring an all-Indian cast of thousands, lavish costumes and gorgeous settings, Shiraz: A Romance of India is based on the true story -or a romanticized version- of the 17th-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and the events leading to the construction of the world’s most beautiful monument to love, the Taj Mahal, in memory of his dead queen, Mumtaz Mahal.


The brainchild of star and producer Himanshu Rai, regarded as one of the pioneers of Indian cinema, this ambitious Indian/British/German co-production was directed by the Bavarian filmmaker Franz Osten, and was the second of three silent films, shot on location in Jaipur, India. Rai plays the lead role of the humble potter Shiraz who follows his childhood sweetheart Selima (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she is sold by slave traders to the future emperor. Shiraz is ultimately fated to design the queen’s iconic mausoleum.


Restored from original film elements by the BFI National Archive in 2017, the film also features a new score by the Grammy Award-winning sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar.


Looking back at this iconic historical saga ninety six years later, Shiraz is not just one of the few silent Indian films to survive, it is an aide-mémoire of India’s flourishing film industry in the 1920s, and a shining jewel of silent world cinema classics.


Anupma Shanker


The film has been chosen by guest curator Anupma Shanker. Anupma is a British-Indian film curator and archives researcher, with a deep and evolving interest in colonial & post-colonial screen narratives. Her curatorial practice is focussed on researching, screening and creating conversations around heritage films, with aim of making them accessible to a wider audience, both within and outside the UK. Her other interests include, Black-British cinema, Post-war Japanese Cinema, Indian Parallel Cinema, and Iranian New-wave Cinema.


Dhanraj Persuad [Tabla]

Dhanraj began his training at the age of 14 under the tutelage of Pandit Rajkumar Misra. In keeping with the lineage of his Guru, Dhanraj follows the playing style of the Jaipur and Farukhabad Gharanas of Tabla. Not only is Dhanraj an accomplished Tabla player but also an experienced vocalist, currently receiving training from Smt. Chandrima Misra of the Kasur-Patiala Gharana. Dhanraj has performed extensively around the UK and is fast becoming a much sought after performer within the Indian Classical Music scene in this country.

Book Tickets

Friday 9 Aug 20248:15pm

Shiva Baby (15)

Shiva Baby

All screenings will be shown with Descriptive Subtitles (HOH).


Shiva Baby is a cult gem, where the central character experiences a comical push and pull between her Jewish identity and her bisexuality.


Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby focuses on twentysomething Danielle (Rachel Sennott), a perennial student who’s been lying to her supportive but overbearing parents about her faltering academic career. Then again, she has a lot of secrets she’s keeping, including her relationship with an older man, Max (Danny Deferrari), who also gives her money. Hauled off to a shiva by her parents, she’s mortified to encounter her embittered ex Maya (Molly Gordon), followed by other people who make things increasingly more awkward. Much to her chagrin, she finds out that many of them have secrets of their own.


Shiva Baby is a caustically affectionate comedy about tightly knit families and communities, and the comfort and anguish they’re often responsible for. Seligman structures the film expertly: Danielle lurches from one potentially catastrophic encounter to another - each one threatening to expose her multiple fabrications - while navigating spilled drinks, wailing babies, and an endless string of friends and relations anxious to give advice. Seligman’s stellar ensemble cast, led by Sennott and including Polly Draper and Fred Melamed, is spot-on.

Book Tickets

Wednesday 17 Jul 20244:00pm

Soraida, A Woman of Palestine (18)

Soraida, A Woman of Palestine

Introduced by Rabih El-Khoury, SAFAR Film Festival curator


Soraida, A Woman of Palestine (2004) captures the reflections, concerns and imagination of a Palestinian woman, her family and her neighbourhood: the soul of a nation that is doing its best to survive the war and occupation. Produced exactly twenty years ago for Canadian television, it challenged Western depictions of the region and compelled audiences at the time to ask fundamental questions about what life is like in the Middle East. Today, it offers a rarely seen portrait of life in Ramallah at the turn of the century and an insight into the daily realities of Palestinians over the decades.


Born in Egypt, Tahani Rached settled in Quebec in 1966. After attending École des beaux-arts de Montréal, she was involved in community action until she made her first film, Pour faire changement (1972), a documentary produced by Le Vidéographe, which set the tone for all her future work. In 1979, her first feature film, Les voleurs de jobs, revealed her distinctive view of the world. A documentary on immigration, it demonstrated her ability to capture reality. After joining the NFB as a staff filmmaker in 1980, she tackled many sensitive topics through film: war in Beirut! Not Enough Death to Go Round (1983); the resourcefulness of the disadvantaged, through the songs in Au Chic Resto Pop (1990); a doctor’s battle against AIDS in Doctors with Heart (1993); Four Women of Egypt (1997) women’s search for meaning and tolerance through 50 years of contemporary Egyptian history in Four Women of Egypt (1997), and many more.


Book Tickets

Monday 24 Jun 20248:00pm (Tickets on sale 17 May)

Sweetie (15)

Sweetie

The film will be screened with Descriptive Subtitles.


The screening on Wednesday 26 June, will be introduced by film critic Laura Venning.


Though she went on to create a string of brilliant films, Jane Campion should also be remembered for her stunning debut feature, Sweetie, which focuses on the hazardous relationship between the buttoned-down, superstitious Kay and her rampaging, devil-may-care sister, Sweetie - and on their family's profoundly rotten roots. A feast of colourful photography and captivating, idiosyncratic characters, the tough and tender Sweetie heralded the emergence of this gifted director, as well as a renaissance of Australian cinema, which would take the film world by storm in the nineties.


Laura Venning is a film critic from London specialising in feminist cinema, queer cinema and folk horror. She has written for BBC Culture, Empire magazine, Little White Lies magazine and the Curzon Journal. She has contributed to critics’ surveys such as Sight and Sound’s historic Greatest Films of All Time poll in 2022 and has introduced films at the BFI Southbank.

Book Tickets

Wednesday 26 Jun 20248:30pm
Tuesday 2 Jul 20243:30pm

Swept Away (18)

Swept Away

Content warning: The film contains scenes of violence, sexual assault and graphic/explicit language that some might find triggering.


The screening on Sunday 23 June will be in partnership with CinemaItaliaUk.


One of the most controversial choices in the season is the highly divisive Swept Away by Italian iconoclast Lina Wertmüller – the first woman ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar.


On an elegant yacht cruising off the coast of Sardinia, Raffaella (Mariangela Melato), a rich and stunning capitalist, enjoys tormenting Gennarino (Giancarlo Giannini), a Communist sailor. Fate weaves a different scenario and roles become reversed when the two find themselves stranded together on a deserted island.


CinemaItaliaUK's mission is to raise awareness of Italian culture by promoting Italian films that go beyond the traditional genres, and to ultimately stimulate and encourage cultural integration.

Book Tickets

Sunday 23 Jun 20247:00pm
Tuesday 25 Jun 20243:30pm

That They May Face The Rising Sun (15)

That They May Face The Rising Sun

Capturing a year in the life of a rural, lakeside community in late 1970s Ireland, That They May Face The Rising Sun is a sensitive and beautifully realised adaptation of the last novel by John McGahern. Joe (Barry Ward) and Kate (Anna Bederke) have returned from London to live and work in a small, close-knit community in rural Ireland, close to where Joe grew up. He’s a writer, she’s an artist who retains part ownership of a London gallery. Now embedded in a remote lakeside setting, the drama of a year in their lives and those of their neighbours unfolds through the rituals of work, play and the passing seasons. A delicate, meditative exploration of ritual, community bonds, and the question of how best to live.


The Garden Cinema View:


Perhaps it’s time to pack it all in and start again in the countryside. Here’s a film that presents such a notion as perfectly feasible. Joe and Kate Ruttledge retain their London-artist-adjacent work whilst enjoying the pastoral beauty of Loch Nafooey in County Galway. Their lives are only as dramatic as ours. Seasons change, friends and neighbours pass by. Life passes and lives pass on. A car number registration playfully reads: ‘OZU’, although That They May Face the Rising Sun has more in common with Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days than directly with the likes of Tokyo Story. The sense of location is particularly powerful here, and much of the film's pleasures lie in the immersive visuals and sounds of Western Ireland. There is a certain strange smiling benevolence in Barry Ward’s lead performance which holds the more weathered locals as eccentric curiosities; their problems cast into relief by the Ruttledges’ somewhat condescending contentment. But admittedly, this may just be envy speaking.

Book Tickets

Sunday 23 Jun 202412:00pm
Thursday 27 Jun 20243:00pm

The Beast (15)

The Beast

The year is 2044: artificial intelligence controls all facets of a stoic society as humans routinely 'erase' their feelings. Hoping to eliminate pain caused by their past-life romances, Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux) continually falls in love with different incarnations of Louis (George MacKay). Visually audacious director Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, Nocturama) fashions his most accomplished film to date: a sci-fi epic, inspired by Henry James' turn-of-the-century novella, suffused with mounting dread and a haunting sense of mystery.


The Garden Cinema View:


To call Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast a kind of arthouse Cloud Atlas might sound flippant, but like the Wachowski sisters’ mad epic, there is a certain ambition (and a certain pretension) here which is laudable in itself. The triptych structure of The Beast does lead to the kind of unevenness found in anthology filmmaking (although there is a core connection throughout the film, and the editing is nonlinear at times). The 19th century romance is convincing even as a standalone, and George MacKay’s very fluent French acting is impressive. The dystopian section is odd and intriguing. Reminiscent of Kogonada’s After Yang and Spike Jonze’s Her, this vision of future Paris also recalls Nouvelle Vague sci-fi experiments like Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville and Chris Marker’s La Jetée. The middle section, a long, often single location exploration of incel culture and domestic terrorism will likely be divisive. MacKay and Léa Seydoux perform this faultlessly, and a nightmarish dream logic (think late career David Lynch) pervades. A unique film which will delight some and frustrate others.  

Book Tickets

Wednesday 26 Jun 20245:10pm

The Farewell (PG)

The Farewell

All screenings will be shown with English Subtitles (not HOH).


The screening on Sunday July 14 will be followed by a discussion between Jennifer Lim, Hester Yang and Emma Carleschi 

The hilarious and heartbreaking, The Farewell is a modern classic that explores the joys and dysphoria of cultural tensions.


In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself. To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered among new homes abroad. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations and proprieties, she finds there’s a lot to celebrate: a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken. With The Farewell, writer/director Lulu Wang has created a heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, masterfully interweaving a gently humorous depiction of the good lie in action with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves.


Jennifer Lim is an actor, theatre and filmmaker who also writes, directs and produces. Her acting work encompasses film, theatre, television, radio and audio work. Films include ‘A Monster Calls’, 'Hostel', 'When Evil Calls', 'Piercing Brightness’, ‘Leviathan’, ‘British People’ in Uncertain Kingdom. Moongate’s commissioned short films include ’Night Lives’ and ‘Dream of Emerald Hill’ which played in multiple international film festivals. She is artistic director and co-founder of Moongate - currently Company In Residence at Omnibus Theatre. She is one of the founding members of BEATS (British East and Southeast Asians in Theatre and on Screen) and part of the BEATS/BFI Summit.


Hester Yang, a London-based Chinese filmmaker and film programmer, focuses on alternative documentary storytelling. Collaborating with Chinese and East & Southeast Asian communities in the UK, her artistic and curatorial practice explores memory, historical erasure, migration, and complex diasporic experiences. Co-founding Sine Screen弦影像, an emerging screening collective, Hester aims to showcase independent cinema and moving image works from East and Southeast Asia, opening discussions on dominant representations of ESEA culture and history.

Emma Carleschi, a recent graduate from the NFTS Masters in Film Studies, Programming and Curation, is a multidisciplinary artist and film curator. Originally from Italy, she is particularly interested in transnational and queer cinema, as well as inclusive practises of film exhibition and curation. Her most recent project, The Art of Returning, explored themes of home, identity and belonging through film screenings, Q&As, panel discussions and poetry readings. She was also recently a featured artist at the British Museum as a part of their Michelangelo showcase.


The screening on Sunday 14 July, will be in partnership with Chinese Cinema Project.



Book Tickets

Sunday 14 Jul 20247:00pm
Thursday 18 Jul 20243:30pm

The Heartbreak Kid (PG)

The Heartbreak Kid

All screenings of will be shown with English subtitles (not HOH).


The screening on Thursday 20 June, will be introduced by Julie Lobalzo Wright.

The matinee screening on Monday 17 June, will be introduced by Darren Richman. Afterwards, he and Devorah Baum will hold a post-screening discussion.


The Heartbreak Kid is a melancholic tale that turns the rom-com genre on its head.


During their honeymoon in Miami, Lenny meets beautiful and sophisticated Kelly (Cybill Shepherd). Every chance he gets, Lenny sneaks away from Lila to be with Kelly, and the more he gets to know her, the more he falls in love. Problems arise when the two women learn about each another.



Julie Lobalzo Wright is an Assistant Professor in Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick. She has taught and researched film and television stardom, animation, and Hollywood musicals. Her next project is a book length study of Barbra Streisand that will focus on the authorship of her star image throughout her career.


Devorah Baum is the author of a number of books including On Marriage (Hamish Hamilton) and The Jewish Joke (Profile). With Josh Appignanesi she is co-director of the films The New Man and Husband. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Guardian, Granta, Tate Etc and the Financial Times. She is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Southampton.


Darren Richman is a writer and journalist. He has a monthly column in The Jewish News and his writing has appeared in The Guardian, Little White Lies and The Daily Telegraph. Between 2014 and 2018, he had a regular column for The Independent in which he championed obscure or forgotten films. He co-wrote My Life as Pat Sharp, a spoof memoir published in November 2020 by Little Brown.



The Heartbreak Kid is screening from the best materials currenty available.

 


Book Tickets

Sunday 28 Jul 20247:45pm

The London International Animation Festival presents Awesome Animated Shorts for 3-12 year-olds (U)

The London International Animation Festival presents Awesome Animated Shorts for 3-12 year-olds

We’ve dug deep into the LIAF archives and have selected 16 of the best short animated films full of visually dazzling joy from all around the world, for kids of all ages and the whole family.


There’ll be talking animals, seriously fun adventures and tales that spark all those little imaginations. Animation is the most imaginative and engaging of all art forms and is the perfect platform to enthral and inspire the wide-open imaginations of kids. This programme, carefully selected with our youngest audience in mind, is always popular, and not a toy ad in sight.


For more information about the London International Animation Festival and our programmes please look at the website at www.liaf.org.uk


On Sunday mornings our Family Screenings are followed by a free activity for Children.


The screening is Pay What You Can, which means you’re free to pay as much or as little as you can afford.


Programme:


Spring Jam

Dir: Ned Wenlock

New Zealand, 5’35, 2016

A young stag, lacking impressive antlers, knows he needs to improvise sweet music if he’s to have any chance during the mating season.


Mr Night Has A Day Off

Dir: Ignas Meilunas

Lithuania, 2’00, 2017

Unsatisfied, Mr Night is walking around the town changing all things to black until everything is as dark as night.


Keep On Rolling!

Dir: Takashi Miike

Japan, 5’00, 2016

An ambitious dung beetle can’t stop rolling poo. He perfects the art with every round thing he comes across.


A Rhino named Paul "Everybody sleeps"

Dir: Dave Schlafman, Mike Annear

USA, 2’40, 2015

It's bedtime, but a restless little rhino just isn't ready to call it a day.


Dust Buddies

Dir: Sam Wade and Beth Tomashek

USA, 4’05, 2016

A group of adorable dust bunnies live a humble, but happy existence until a dust-up with a determined maid gets them into an epic kerfuffle.


Deep Beneath The Earth

Dir: Kim Noce and Shaun Clark

UK, 3’00, 2017

The only thing young Lucy likes is gaming on her Ipad. But when she loses it in the woods she is determined to get it back.


The One Who Tamed the Clouds

Dir: Julie Rembauville , Nicolas Bianco-Levrin

France, 4’00, 2016

At the top of a canyon, the old Indian Flying Shadow teaches the young Nayati the ancient art of smoke signals.


Sabaku

Dir: Marlies van der Wel

Netherlands, 2’00, 2016

When Sabaku’s best friend Buffalo passes away, he needs to find himself a new friend.


Water Path For A Fish

Dir: Mercedes Marro

France, 8’00, 2016

In a Latin American town Oscar sleeps when a sudden gust of wind wakes him up. From his window he sees a goldfish in a dirty puddle, gasping for air.


Hamlet.Comedy

Dir: Eugeniy Fadeyev

Russia, 5’00, 2015

A class of children go to see “Hamlet” with their strict teacher. When the children get bored, they start to laugh and wreak havoc.


About Coati

Dir: Alexandra Slepchuk

Russia, 6’00, 2015

A delightful fable about how to turn your weaknesses into strengths.


Awesome Beetle's Colours

Dir: Indra Sproge

Latvia, 3’15, 2016

A lovely song to guide you through the alphabet.


The Red Herring

Dir: Leevi Lemmetty

Finland/Ireland, 6’40, 2015

Are these penguins hungry or greedy?


Kochkunst - The Art of Cooking

Dir: Stella Raith

Germany, 3’15, 2016

The cook wants to make a pancake but it fights tooth and nail against returning to the pan.


In the Forest of Forgotten Umbrellas

Dir: Dimitry Vysotskiy

Russia, 6’35, 2016

Every night Dad tries to figure out what story to tell his little children.


Island

Dir: Max Mortl and Robert Loebel

Germany, 2’00, 2017

On a small island a bunch of exotic creatures run across each other.


On Sunday mornings our Family Screenings are followed by a free activity for Children.


The screening is Pay What You Can, which means you’re free to pay as much or as little as you can afford. By paying for a ticket, you will enable us to keep offering Pay What You Can screenings to families struggling with the cost of living. Thank you

Book Tickets

Saturday 27 Jul 202411:00am
Sunday 28 Jul 202411:00am

The Lunchbox (PG)

The Lunchbox

The film was proposed by our member Amanda Rosario Matveeva who writes, 'This came out when I was living in Mumbai and I remember all the hype around it. I never got a chance to see it - I would love to see it on the big screen!'


When Saajan, an ill-tempered Mumbai office worker nearing retirement, is delivered the wrong lunch, he is pleasantly surprised by the improvement in his food. The lunchbox had been intended for young housewife Ila's emotionally indifferent husband in an attempt to win back his favour. When he fails to respond to her efforts, Ila decides to enclose a note in the next meal and Saajan, his taste buds tickled and his interest piqued, decides to write back. Through a series of exchanged notes that they pass back and forth through the lunches, Saajan and Ila find comfort in their unexpected friendship.


With superbly rich and subtle performances by two of India’s finest stars, the beloved late leading man Irrfan Khan and the award-winning actress Nimrat Kaur. The Lunchbox enchanted audiences around the globe, winning an audience award at Cannes and a Best Film nomination at the London Film Festival.


Hindi with English Subtitles


Please note, the screening on Tuesday 30 July is our Free Members' Screening, and the screening on Monday 5 August is a general public screening.

Book Tickets

Tuesday 30 Jul 20246:00pm (Closed)
Monday 5 Aug 20246:00pm

The Matrix (25th Anniversary) (15)

The Matrix (25th Anniversary)

No-one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.


After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you celebrate the 25th anniversary of a stone-cold cyberpunk classic on the big screen.



Book Tickets

Sunday 23 Jun 20244:10pm
Wednesday 26 Jun 20248:10pm

The Queen of My Dreams- Preview Screening (18)

The Queen of My Dreams- Preview Screening

Our South Asian Heritage Month season opens with a special preview screening of Fawzia Mirza’s vibrant debut feature The Queen of My Dreams.


Azra, a queer Pakistani woman living in Toronto, is worlds apart from her conservative Muslim mother. When her father suddenly dies on a trip home to Pakistan, Azra flies to her ancestral home to be reunited with her grieving mother Mariam (Nimra Bucha – Polite Society), with whom she has a strained relationship. Struggling to fit in with Mariam’s image of the perfect daughter, Azra is transported – through Bollywood-inspired flashbacks – to 1960s Karachi, sparking a connection between her mother’s wild youth, and her own world in ’90s Canada, boosted by their shared love for Bollywood star Sharmila Tagore.


Writer-director Fawzia Mirza’s energetic first feature explores the chasm between individual desires and cultural expectations. Fluidly and convincingly slipping between time periods, with sequences of vivid Technicolor reminiscent of the era’s Bollywood cinema.


English & Urdu with English Subtitles


Toronto International Film Festival 2023


BFI London Film Festival 2023


SXSW 2023


Director’s Statement:

'The Queen of My Dreams is a dramedy spanning 30 years in the life of a Pakistani-Canadian family. It’s an exploration of the intergenerational connections between mothers and daughters, East and West, home and away, infused with humor, romance, music and Bollywood fantasy. Inspired by personal experiences, some of my mother’s stories, intertwined with Pakistani history and collective memory. The film shows the expansive journey of women, seeking to define and decide their own paths, while simultaneously learning – and remembering – how to love. And it explores the question I find myself asking in all my work, “How do we become who we are?”


With thanks to Peccadillo Pictures


Book Tickets

Wednesday 17 Jul 20248:00pm

The Road Home (U)

The Road Home

Made immediately after the shoot for Not One Less (1999) had wrapped, The Road Home begins with a man’s monochrome-shot return from the city to his childhood village where his father has recently died. But what begins as a short trip becomes much more when he learns his mother has demanded a traditional burial for her beloved husband. She wants to have him carried by foot, honouring the belief that a body returned this way will never forget the road home. As Yusheng enlists the men needed to fulfil her wishes, the story of his parents’ love affair unfolds in stunning colour cinematography.


The Road Home is Zhang Yimou’s most simple, yet most touching film. Dripping in nostalgic longing, the central romance plays out across a painterly bucolic canvas. The film is a profoundly emotional viewing experience, and a showcase for breakout star Zhang Ziyi, in the first appearance in her and Zhang’s extraordinarily successful three-film partnership.


Book Tickets

Wednesday 14 Aug 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Friday 23 Aug 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Monday 2 Sep 20243:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

The Salt in Our Waters (18)

The Salt in Our Waters

Debut director Rezwan Sumit collected numerous awards, including a Spike Lee Fellowship, to produce this exquisite Bangladeshi drama.


Set in the stunning, unlimited vistas of coastal Bangladesh we meet Rudro, a young artist, who after the death of his father, relocates to a remote beach village to find closure and practise his art. Welcomed by the local fishermen and their leader Chairman, Rudro's lifelike sculptures enchant the village boys and his landlord's daughter. But when the fish shoals they rely on suddenly disappear, Rudro’s modern ideas are blamed. As a cyclone approaches, Rudro finds himself centre stage in a primal, elemental conflict between man and nature.


Bengali with English Subtitles


London Film Festival 2020

Busan Film Festival 2020


Director's Statement:

Director Spike Lee was the first person who gave me a grant for this project, not without a warning – 'You are going to shoot a first feature, in Bangladesh, during monsoon, on boats? May Allah be with you! Allahu Akbar!' I might have laughed that day, but he was right. This project – from development to post-production – tested me in ways I never imagined it would. If I were given a second chance would I write a different script? Nope. The Salt in Our Waters made me who I am today.'


Book Tickets

Wednesday 7 Aug 20246:00pm

The Story of Qiu Ju (12A)

The Story of Qiu Ju

The screening on 26 July will be introduced by Chris Berry (KCL).


Following his trilogy of highly aesthetic folk fables (Red Sorghum, Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern), Zhang Yimou made a sharp pivot to a style grounded in realism with the Golden Lion winning The Story of Qiu Ju. Gong Li (who else?) stars in the title role as the pregnant wife of a farmer, seeking justice from local and regional authorities after her husband is assaulted by the village chief. What ensues is a powerful test of willpower, where Qiu Ju must confront the bustle of a modern city (this is Zhang’s first contemporary set picture), and the absurd - if not intentionally unhelpful - bureaucracy of the legal system.

 

Assisted by what is arguably Li’s greatest performance, Zhang demonstrates a keen interest in the lives of working people, an ambivalence toward systems of law and power, and a caution against single minded revenge. Those used to the gilded surfaces and theatricality of his earlier films may be surprised at the emotional depth of this sympathetic portrayal of a woman’s personal odyssey.  


Book Tickets

Friday 26 Jul 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Sunday 4 Aug 20241:15pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Monday 19 Aug 20243:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

The Watermelon Woman (15)

The Watermelon Woman

All screenings will be shown with English subtitles (not HOH).


The screening on Sunday 30 June, will be introduced by Aude Konan.


An iconic film that seamlessly blends romance, comedy, and political themes of Black queer oppression.


The wry, incisive debut feature by Cheryl Dunye gave cinema something bracingly new and groundbreaking: a vibrant representation of Black lesbian identity by a Black lesbian filmmaker. Dunye stars as Cheryl, a video-store clerk and aspiring director whose interest in forgotten Black actresses leads her to investigate an obscure 1930s performer known as the Watermelon Woman, whose story proves to have surprising resonances with Cheryl’s own life as she navigates a new relationship with a white girlfriend (Guinevere Turner). Balancing breezy romantic comedy with a serious inquiry into the history of Black and queer women in Hollywood, The Watermelon Woman slyly rewrites long-standing constructions of race and sexuality on-screen, introducing an important voice in American cinema.


Aude Konan is a writer, filmmaker and workshop leader. They wrote My little sister (Ma petite soeur), her first novel, at only 12 years old. It got published by the publishing company Dagan. As a playwright, she is an alumni of Talawa TYPT 15, Soho Writers Group and the Royal Court’s Introduction to Playwriting. Aude is an award-winning writer, and writes scripts as well as articles for British, French and American magazines such as Complex UK, Style Caster, Gal-Dem, Okay Africa, and The Guardian.

Book Tickets

Sunday 30 Jun 20247:15pm
Thursday 4 Jul 20244:00pm

To Live (12A)

To Live

The most ambitious film of the first decade of Zhang Yimou’s career, this sweeping adaptation of Yu Hua’s acclaimed novel is also a deeply personal reckoning with his own family history. Better known at the time for his comic roles, Ge You gives a sensational (and Cannes award-winning) performance as Xu Fugui, son of a wealthy family who is caught in the turmoil of the Chinese Civil War and then the Cultural Revolution. Together with his wife Jiazhen (Gong Li), Fugui is thrown from disaster to triumph and back by the chance fates of a society in continual collapse and repair. Few films have captured the frightening speed and energies of revolutionary times like To Live, and fewer still have brought Twentieth Century history alive so vibrantly and with such heartbreaking emotional impact. One of the great films of the 1990s returns with the UK premiere of a new digital restoration.    

Book Tickets

Friday 2 Aug 20246:00pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Sunday 11 Aug 20244:45pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)
Wednesday 21 Aug 20243:15pm (Members' presale from 6pm, 18/06)

Toni Erdmann (15)

Toni Erdmann

All screenings will be shown with Descriptive Subtitles (HOH).


Writer-director Maren Ade’s tragi-comedy is as continually surprising, hilarious, exasperating and bizarrely touching as its shambling, mischievous, titular shapeshifter. The film takes aim at corporatocracy, and launched Sandra Hüller’s meteoric acting career outside of Germany.


When Winfried’s career-driven, expat daughter Ines pays a flying visit from Romania, the pair’s awkward reunion is incessantly and - from her perspective - gratefully interrupted by work-related calls. Shortly after, Winfried travels to see Ines in Bucharest. The trip doesn’t go well and Winfried decides that his daughter’s life needs a few changes. Or rather, his bewigged, snaggle-toothed alter ego ‘Toni Erdmann’ does. Toni turns up at the worst moments, ambushing and pranking an already stressed Ines at work meetings and social engagements, to ends neither of them could possibly predict.

Book Tickets

Tuesday 9 Jul 20243:00pm
Thursday 11 Jul 20247:45pm

Vengeance (15)

Vengeance

Johnnie To’s highly-anticipated 2009 thriller Vengeance saw him teaming with Johnny Hallyday, the man credited with bringing rock ‘n’ roll to France, for the dark tale of a French chef and former hitman who sets out to avenge the slaughter of his family in Hong Kong. This French–Hong Kong co-production played in competition at Cannes, and has all the hallmarks of classic To cinema, including immaculately-choreographed balletic shoot-outs, moody cityscapes, and a cast packed with frequent collaborators including Anthony Wong, Gordon Lam, and Simon Yam. At the same time, the genius casting of Hallyday and the film’s French connection sees To delving further into the noir genre, making for a fascinating cross-cultural depiction of loyalty, gangs and assassins.



Book Tickets

Saturday 6 Jul 20244:00pm

Video Bazaar Presents: Liquid Sky (18)

Video Bazaar Presents: Liquid Sky

Video Bazaar invites you to step into a neon-lit vision of the 1980s this June as we present a special screening of Slava Tsukerman’s cult classic Liquid Sky. This avant-garde, sci-fi thriller, takes you on a mesmerising journey through the underground New York City club scene, blending punk aesthetics, surreal visuals, and an unforgettable electronic soundtrack.


Starring Anne Carlisle, the film follows the story of a bisexual model and her encounters with tiny extraterrestrials who crave a rare chemical produced in the human brain during orgasm. This bizarre and provocative plot is set against a backdrop of New Wave fashion and music, creating a time capsule of a fiercely creative era.


Liquid Sky is a cinematic experience unlike any other. Released theatrically in 1983, it quickly became a cult favourite, celebrated for its bold visual style, unique narrative, exploration of queerness and identity and its indisputable influence on fashion. So join us in experiencing this rarely screened piece of 80s New York ephemera and understand why Liquid Sky remains a significant cultural artifact, reflecting the experimental spirit of its time.


This screening is presented by the cult film collective, Video Bazaar, who are proud to show this rarely screened film and are dedicated to bringing the weird and the obscure to London audiences at The Garden Cinema. Please note this event will feature an intro and carefully curated pre-show material.


Book Tickets

Sunday 23 Jun 20247:30pm (Sold Out)

Video Bazaar Presents: Pacific Heights & Clearcut (18)

Video Bazaar Presents: Pacific Heights & Clearcut

Video Bazaar is proud to present part one of A Hell Like Ours, a landmark double bill at The Garden Cinema featuring two nightmarish thrillers that explore socioeconomic anxieties and moral dilemmas in late 20th Century Cinema, John Schlesinger's Pacific Heights and Ryszard Bugajski's Clearcut.


Prepare for a chilling evening of insidious terror and moral reckoning as we delve into the psyche of Schlesinger's Pacific Heights, which probes the anxieties of urban gentrification and the precarious nature of socioeconomic status.This psychological thriller portrays Patty and Drake, a young couple who invest in a Victorian house in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood. Their sense of security is shattered by the arrival of Carter Hayes, a seemingly ideal tenant whose malicious intentions soon become apparent. Michael Keaton’s portrayal of Hayes is a study in malevolence, embodying the fears of invasion, and the collapse of the domestic sphere. The film critically examines themes of trust, property rights, and the fragility of the American Dream.


Subsequently, we will embark on a journey to the forests of Canada with Ryszard Bugajski's Clearcut which offers a stark contrast to Pacific Heights, with its wilderness setting, and focus on environmental and indigenous rights issues. The film centers on Peter Maguire, a lawyer who becomes entangled in the struggle between a logging company and a Native American tribe. Graham Greene’s character, Arthur, represents a radical approach to activism, compelling Maguire to face the violent consequences of passive resistance. Through its intense and unflinching narrative, Clearcut interrogates themes of colonialism, environmental destruction, and moral responsibility, challenging viewers to reconsider their complicity in systemic injustices.


Both films will feature a brief intermission between the films and a pre-show seminar from Video Bazaar and writer and musician, William Deacon, which will provide an insightful exploration of the 'Yuppie Nightmare' subgenre and will delve into the recurring themes of socioeconomic anxiety, property, and ethical dilemmas, as portrayed in both films. Join us in exploring how these narratives reflect broader societal fears, the cultural context of the late 20th century, and provoke critical reactions to the complex interplay between socioeconomic status, property, and moral agency in late 20th century North America.


This screening is presented by the cult film collective, Video Bazaar, who are proud to show these rarely screened films and are dedicated to bringing the weird and the obscure to London audiences at The Garden Cinema. Please note this event will feature an intro and carefully curated pre-show material.

Book Tickets

Saturday 13 Jul 20246:30pm

Village Rockstars (PG)

Village Rockstars

Recipient of multiple international awards, Village Rockstars is an instant crowd-pleaser.


In a small village in northeast India, 10-year-old Dhunu dreams of having her own rock band. Her vibrant spirit, imagination and self-assurance stand out in a world where girls are expected to be timid and submissive. With her gang of boy mates and the support of her widowed mother, Dhunu faces the struggles of her daily life and hopes for the day she can finally play on a real guitar. Rima Das's second feature paints an inspiring portrait of a young girl finding her place in a world made for boys and men.


Assamese with English subtitles


On Sunday mornings our Family Screenings are followed by a free activity for Children.


The screening is Pay What You Can, which means you’re free to pay as much or as little as you can afford. By paying for a ticket, you will enable us to keep offering Pay What You Can screenings to families struggling with the cost of living. Thank you  

Book Tickets

Saturday 20 Jul 202411:00am
Sunday 21 Jul 202411:00am

Wakamusha + Q&A (15)

Wakamusha + Q&A

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Ryutaro Ninomiya.


Wataru (Ryota Bando), a quiet factory worker, Eiji (Rion Takahashi), a hot-blooded restaurant employee, and Mitsunori (Naoya Shimizu), a seemingly gentle carer, are childhood friends. On a late autumn afternoon, with too much time on their hands, they unleash their anger at the at the petty transgressions and discriminations of people in the street, in the name of 'Reformation'.


This new film by Ryutaro Ninomiya is the story of young people resisting the future, while questioning their aimless lives.


His second feature film, Sweating the Small Stuff, in which he also starred, was the only Japanese entry in the feature film category at the 70th Locarno International Film Festival. His film Dreaming In Between was officially selected at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, as part of ACID Cannes 2023.


This is the very first title of the new film label New Counter Film.



Book Tickets

Friday 28 Jun 20243:00pm

Wilding (PG)

Wilding

Based on Isabella Tree’s best-selling book by the same title, Wilding tells the story of a young couple that bets on nature for the future of their failing, four-hundred-year-old estate. The young couple battles entrenched tradition, and dares to place the fate of their farm in the hands of nature. Ripping down the fences, they set the land back to the wild and entrust its recovery to a motley mix of animals both tame and wild. It is the beginning of a grand experiment that will become one of the most significant rewilding experiments in Europe.


The Garden Cinema View:


Wilding showcases the history of Knepp Estate’s rewilding project, and aims to (gently) bring our attention to the ongoing biodiversity and ecosystem catastrophe brought about by land management and agroeconomics, in the UK and Europe. Further unpacking of the science behind the philosophy would have been interesting, but this a high gloss documentary which, some oddly placed reconstructions aside, delivers its message and promotes its subject with efficient clarity – and adorable animals.

Book Tickets

Thursday 27 Jun 20243:20pm