Films around Greater Cheltonia from October 22, 2022

The Roses

It’s a lively week of films at The Roses, starting on Monday with My Old School, the bizarre but absolutely true story of ‘Brandon Lee’, who enrolled at Bearsden Academy in Glasgow as, ostensibly, a 17-year-old. He turned out to be 32-year-old Brian MacKinnon, a former student of the academy, who returned hoping to retake his Higher exams. How did he (almost) get away with it? Why did it take so long for people, including his former teachers, to realise what was going on? The film is directed by Jono McLeod, a contemporary of Lee at Bearsden Academy. and combines interviews and animated sequences to re-enact the situation. Brian/Brandon consented to be interviewed but not seen on screen, so Alan Cumming lip-syncs his words.

Later in the week, the Roses’ Future Film Programmers are let loose for some half-term pre-Halloween fun. Their first choice, on Wednesday at 20:00, is a screening of the 1996 cult classic The Craft, directed by Andrew Fleming, a coming-of-age film with a difference, featuring feminist spells and witchcraft. If you are feeling strong enough you can go along a bit early for spooky cocktails and a tarot reading.

Then, on Friday morning at 11:00, there is ParaNorman, directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, which is an animated comedy horror film about a boy who has the secret skill of talking to the dead as well as to zombies. Should you or any young people in your purview be so inclined you can join a family craft session from 10:00 to make a zombie mask. Have a care when you wear it, though:you might be mistaken for a member of the Cabinet. For more conventional half-term entertainment there are two more screenings of Tad the Lost Explorer and the Emerald Tablet.

For the grown-ups there is a screening of Moonage Daydream, the ‘cinematic odyssey’ exploring the life and work of David Bowie, directed by Brett Morgan. It will doubtless appeal to the ardent fans: nothing wrong with niche interest. On Thursday evening there is the first of two showings of the latest offering from Claire Denis: Both Sides of the Blade. It stars Juliet Binoche, agonising about her emotions, torn between her partner of 10 years (played by Vincent Lindon) and an old flame (Grégoire Colin). Expect plenty of lust and anguish.

A wide selection of films then – dare I say something for everyone? (PW)

[Both Sides of the Blade was the closing film of the Cheltenham International Film Festival this year. With my promotional hat on, I bigged it up outrageously – and it was as dull as lavasse. I wish The Roses would show Between Two Worlds, Emmanuel Carrère’s would-be Ken Loach, which had the virtue of being very funny and requiring Binoche to act, rather than merely lending out her considerable charms and star persona. JM.]

The Guildhall

At the Guildhall, Mrs Harris is still going to Paris and also continuing are The Lost King (the one about Richard III under the car park) and Don’t Worry, Darling (the one starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, who are described in the blurb as ‘icons’. Really?) Tad the Lost Explorer is on and as a Halloween special there is a screening of The Lost Boys, directed by Joel Schumacher in 1987. It stars Jason Patric and Corey Haim as all American teenagers who move with their mother to a peaceful town in California where All Is Not As It Seems. Zombies get everywhere. (PW)

The Sherborne

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodlle, Mrs Harris Goes To Paris, The Woman King and, from Friday, Emily. Nothing new to see here, move along. (JM)

The Tivoli

The Lost King, Mrs Harris, Don’t Worry Darling, Black Adam, Ticket To Leave, but also a couple of more promising films: The Banshees of Inisherin and Decision to Leave.

The dismal website for Cheltenham cinema’s most fragrant armpit unaccountably fails to mention that Banshees is directed by Martin McDonagh, who brought us Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and the superior In Bruges. He’s the more commercially successful of the McDonagh brothers, although I prefer the less overblown films of his brother, John Michael: Calvary and The Guard. Here’s an overview of their careers by the Irish Post. They were, of course, brought up and educated in England.

Decision to Leave, meanwhile, is a new ‘romantic thriller’ by Park Chan-wook, the director of The Handmaiden, who seems to be discovering his inner Hitchcock. A detective arrives at a murder scene and soon comes to believe that the dead man’s wife knows more than she lets on. He investigates and boundaries are crossed. Has anyone seen my scissors? (JM)

The Cineworlds

Nothing very new here, except Black Adam, which is a DC franchise film about a superhero no-one has ever heard of, starring Dwayne Johnson. There are also a couple of vaguely interesting cartoons.

I note in passing that the lifts at Cineworld are out of order. Good to see the chain doing its bit for inclusion and diversity.

Here’s its official advice to wheelchair users and others, reproduced verbatim: ‘For time being please use escalators to in order to have an access to concessions and screens. We apologise for any incoviencve this may cause.‘ (JM)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *