YourScreen, the Cheltenham-based streaming service, has managed to extend the run of the excellent Summer Survivors until 19 September. Time for Love, Those Who Remained and But Beautiful also run until then. Window To the Sea ends on 5 September and Calamity on 12 September. More on all of those films here

 The Guildhall

Quite a promising week at The Guildhall in Gloucester. There’s a last chance to see Summer of Soul, the documentary about a 1969 concert in Harlem, sometimes referred to as The Black Woodstock. It’s directed by Questlove, drummer and frontman for The Roots, with as much emphasis on the event’s political significance as the music. That means a lot of talking-head recollections and a limited amount of concert footage, and then it’s mainly of unfamiliar songs. Perhaps there were music licensing problems. Nonetheless, it has received rave reviews. It’s on Saturday (28/8) at 16:00. If you miss it, it is coming up at The Roses soon. 

On Tuesday (31/8) at 19:30 and Wednesday (1/9) at 14:00 there is Nowhere Special (2020). On Tuesday (31/8) at 14:00 and Thursday (2/9) at 16:00, there is Limbo (2020). Both are very good. I wrote about them last week

On Friday (3/9) at 16:00, there is The Last Bus (2021), in which Timothy Spall plays a wise old pensioner making a sentimental journey from John O’Groats to Lands End using only his free bus pass. Spall is apparently pretty good, but the film, setting out to be winning, has not succeeded in winning many friends. ‘Contrived and two-dimensional,’ according to Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, who particularly disliked a desperate sub-plot about the widower becoming a social-media celebrity. 

This Film Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us

The Sparks Brothers (2021) is on Friday (3/9) at 19:30. A first documentary by Edgar Wright, who made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz with Brockworth-born superstar Simon Pegg, it covers the career of Ron and Russell Mael. As Sparks, they were a chart fixture in the 1970s, not least on account of their bizarre visual image. Wright’s film is composed of archive footage, celebrity endorsements and album-by-album coverage of a career lasting 50 years. It probably helps to be a fan.  

The Roses 

Flame-haired temptress Vanessa Kirby

The Roses has Jungle Cruise, mostly, but on Thursday (2/9) at 11.15 and 7.30, there’s The World to Come (2020). This is an acclaimed period drama by the Norwegian director Mona Fastvold, telling of a forbidden love between two frontier wives in 1850s New York state. Spectacular photography of a harsh and beautiful landscape (in reality, Romania), intense erotic tension, an excellent score and winning performances by Katherine Waterston and Britain’s Vanessa Kirby, who was so good as Princess Margaret in Netflix’s Royal soap-opera The Crown. Her mane of red hair gets a special award from me.  

The Multiplexes

Only three notable new films this week across both Cineworlds and Vue in Stroud

Candyman (2021): a sort of sequel to the slasher classic Candyman of 1992, about a supernatural murderer with a hook for a hand who appears when people say his name five times into a mirror. The new version is written by Jordan Peele of Get Out and Us fame, and has been recast as an anti-racism parable in the light of Black Lives Matter. Not seen it, but I hear it is extremely violent. 

The Nest (2020) is a cautionary tale starring Jude Law as an English trader in New York who brings his American wife (Carrie Coon) and children to a crumbling pile in Surrey and sets her up in the equestrian business. But their glamorous lifestyle proves to be built on false foundations, with the Law character increasingly revealed to be a greedy chancer. Than God there are none of those in the Cotswolds. ‘One of the best films of the year,’ according to Vanity Fair

The Wheels on the Bus

Scottish director Michael Caton-Jones, whose biggest hit was probably Scandal (1989), about the Christine Keeler affair of 1963, claims to have spent 20 years getting Our Ladies (2019) on to the screen. It’s a raucous account of Catholic schoolgirls taking a trip to Edinburgh for a choir competition and behaving extremely badly. Well-received at the London Film Festival that year and very much liked by some on the Cheltenham Film Society screening panel, though it didn’t make it through to selection for the forthcoming season, on the grounds that it would probably be coming to Cineworld. Which it has. 

The Tivoli

Meanwhile, what is going on with the projected Tivoli Cinema, at the back of the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham? You’ll recall that it is supposed to be opening next month, just in time to show the James Bond film No Time to Die, along with everybody else. It’s billed as a luxury boutique experience, with sumptuous seating, fancy projection in four auditoria, a private screening room and a cafe and bar offering what are described as ‘luxury versions of classic cinema dishes’: these include ‘gourmet burgers’, which is the very definition of an oxymoron. On the website of the only other Tivoli cinema, in Bath, they are advertising for staff for the Cheltenham operation. 

Oddly, though, the boxes of seats being installed inside bear a label saying ‘Property of Empire Cinemas’. When I contacted Empire Cinemas, a chain of 14 multiplexes offloaded by Cineworld and Odeon, it said that it would be operating The Tivoli. Empire shows the usual Hollywood fare plus a bit of Bollywood and martial arts. And its tickets are cheaper than Cineworld’s, which is good: what it doesn’t seem to do is run ‘luxury’ cinemas in spa towns. All very odd. I’d like to know more, but neither Tivoli Cinemas nor Empire Cinemas is proving very communicative. 

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