Films around Cheltenham from August 20, 2022

The Roses

On Thursday 25th there is an evening screening of The Good Boss, which we recommended with great enthusiasm in last week’s newsletter. It’s your only chance, so do try to see it. Javier Bardem’s performance restored my faith in screen acting. The new film of the week is McEnroe, a documentary about the sometime tennis player, art gallery owner and now esteemed commentator John McEnroe, directed by Barney Douglas. The man has never been known for his reticence and yet this is described as an intimate portrait, maybe because there are some home videos and he talks about his cocaine use. Other contributors include, as you might expect, Bjorn Borg and Billie Jean King; and also, intriguingly, Keith Richards. Perhaps he used to judge the lines. (PW)

The Guildhall

Closed for refurbishment ‘until early September’, according to its website, but the Film page remains stubbornly blank. You can try ringing them if you like. Let us know what you find out. 01452 503050 (JM)

The Sherborne

Minions, Fisherman’s Friends and, from Friday, The DC League of Super-Pets. I see Mark’s website now thanks the ludicrous DCMS, which really should be the DDCMS, for a ‘Cultural Recovery Fund’ handout. Would it be too much to ask for some programming of cultural interest? (JM)

The Cineworlds

An astonishing ragbag of films at Cineworld this week, presumably because it’s the school holidays. There are a couple of chances to see something called Star Trek The Motion Picture The Director’s Edition, presumably to avoid confusion with Star Trek The Tea-Towel. This is the original film, with Shatner, Nimoy, et al, which was not exactly greeted with delirium at the time of its first release. Possibly distance will lend enchantment. Cineworld’s website solemnly announces: ‘Additional language: Klingon’. I’d like to think someone is making a joke, while it’s still legal. Interestingly, quite a few people give Klingon as their language when completing the Official Census, as well as those who give their religion as Jedi.

Otherwise, there’s a nasty thing called Orphan: First Kill about a ‘psychotic’ adolescent who leaves a psychiatric hospital and attempts to kill people. The demonising (or, to use the modern jargon, ‘othering’) of people with psychological differences is one of Hollywood’s most repellent business tactics. I loathed Joker for that reason.

There is an anime, Dragon Ball Super, in both dubbed and subtitled versions. There are a couple of films that are only for ‘Unlimited’ cardholders, and I don’t want to encourage that, so you’ll have to find out about them from someone else. And there’s an sports film, in Telegu, called Liger. It boasts the debut appearance of the pugilist Mike Tyson in Indian cinema. Not recommended for vegetarians. (JM)

Otherwise, it’s all last week’s stuff, such as it is.

Tivoli censors: cut here.

The Tivoli

The only film of interest at The Tivoli this week is Eiffel, which we selected for our Cheltenham International Film Festival. Our little panel rather liked it. It’s a sort of engineering romance: quite a lot about how the tower came about, wrapped in a fanciful romance so the film could get funding. Here’s what my German friend Bastian, a lecturer in film studies in America, no less, and I wrote about it then:

‘Paris 1886. Romain Duris stars as Gustave Eiffel in this period piece, ‘freely inspired by real facts’, that uses a largely fictional love story to explain how the French star engineer, at the height of his fame, overcame his reluctance to build a ‘temporary’ tower for the upcoming Paris World Fair. Scandalising the bien pensants of the day, It was by far the tallest man-made structure in the world on completion, and held that title for more than 40 years. The A-shaped tower, or so the story goes in this lavishly decorated film, is a romantic tribute to Eiffel’s teenage sweetheart, Adrienne Bourgès, whom he meets again in a chance encounter. Bourgès is played by Anglo-French Emma Mackey, who had her breakthrough with Netflix’s Sex Education series (2019 to date) and recently starred in Branagh’s Death on the Nile (2022). Duris, as Eiffel in love, is a pleasure to watch in this glossy and exciting big-budget romance.

However, I won’t be paying The Tivoli’s absurd prices or tolerating its dismal service. It’s up to you. (JM)

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