Hot Lists Tuesday, February 23rd , pictures by: Borderlines

10 films we're looking forward to seeing at Borderlines Film Festival 2016

Hot Lists Tuesday, February 23rd

10 films we're looking forward to seeing at Borderlines Film Festival 2016

Film fans, rejoice! Booking for the 2016 Borderlines Film Festival is now open.

With 24 films being screened ahead of their national cinema release, three UK premieres, Q&As with Oscar-winning cinematographer Billy Williams, an evening with respected director/screenwriter Terrance Davies, and a wealth of world cinema to be discovered, we're going to be busy.

"This year’s festival programme feels more than ever like a cultural adventure, filled with emotional and intellectual thrills," said programmers Jonny Courtney and David Sin. Quite right, chaps. 

Borderlines will run from February 26 to March 13 in 26 venues across Herefordshire, Shropshire and the Welsh Marches.

Here's a taste of what the Herefordshire Live team is looking forward to seeing:

The Brand New Testament (15)
Monday, March 7 at 5pm & Tuesday, March 8 at 1pm at The Courtyard, Hereford

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Belgian visionary Jaco Van Dormael’s (Toto the Hero) inventive, fantastical black comedy situates God in a drab flat in modern-day Brussels. Petty and vindictive, this God giggles as he forces toast to land jam-side down and ensures whichever queue his chosen victim is in lasts the longest. He lives with his docile wife and their children, perceptive 10-year-old daughter Ea and son 'JC', who together form a plan: they’ll acquire six new disciples and create a brand new testament. Their communications policy? A text message sent to everyone on earth to let them know. Flamboyant and defiantly outré, van Dormael’s film is a vastly entertaining religious satire, but one with room for humanity and optimism.

“God’s not dead, just useless, in a sweet and blasphemous satire” - Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

Crimson Peak (15)
Thursday, March 3 at 7.30pm, Leominster's Playhouse Cinema

From Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) comes the Crimson Peak, a gothic thriller with a top flight cast (Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston). Hailed by horror writer Stephen King after an early screening as “gorgeous and just f---ing terrifying”, it’s set in Cumbria in the 19th century, in a crumbling mansion where young author Edith Cushing (Wasikowska) falls in love with Sir Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) but discovers, after marrying him, that her new husband is not who he seems. A ghost story and a gothic romance, del Toro is riffing on other haunted house films here in this very scary, brilliantly atmospheric horror.

Dheepan (15)
Saturday, February 27 at 8.30pm, Sunday. February 28 at 5.30pm, The Courtyard, Hereford

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The latest from French auteur Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust & Bone, The Beat That My Heart Skipped) has an unexpected focus: Dheepan, a Tamil Tiger in Sri Lanka. As the Civil War ends and the Tigers face defeat he decides to flee to France - taking with him two strangers, a woman and a little girl. He hopes that, posing as a family, it’ll be easier for them all to claim asylum in France. Arriving in Paris, they move between homes until Dheepan finds work in a run-down housing estate outside the capital. Working hard to build a new life and home for his new, fake family, he nevertheless finds inescapable violence all around him.

Le Mepris (15)
Thursday, March 3 at 5.30pm, the Courtyard, Hereford
Sunday, March 6 at 2pm & 7.30pm, Ludlow Assembly Rooms

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Caught in the middle of a creative battle between an artistic director (Fritz Lang as himself) and a hard-headed producer (Palance), screenwriter Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli) finds himself embroiled in a battle of wills on the set of a new adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey. Siding with the producer and his cheque book, Paul’s decision-making incurs the displeasure of his wife, the beautiful Camille (Brigitte Bardot), whose increasing contempt for her husband results in a tragic conclusion. Voted 21st in Sight & Sound’s Greatest Film Poll, Le Mépris is shot by master cinematographer Raoul Coutard and stars one of cinema’s most iconic sex symbols.

The Here After (15)
Wednesday, March 2 at 7.45pm, the Courtyard Hereford

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Shot on film by Ida cinematographer Lucasz Zal, the first feature from Swedish filmmaker Magnus von Horn is a taut, chilly and morally complex drama. After being released from youth detention into his father’s custody, teenager John finds it difficult to rebuild his life. As he continues to be ostracised by his classmates and the wider community for his crime, von Horn drip-feeds information and slowly ratchets up the tension to a rewarding emotional payoff.
Aided by powerful performances (particularly from Ulrik Munther as the inscrutable, traumatised John) and rigorously controlled direction, The Here After is a
sophisticated debut from a new filmmaker to watch. 

The Lobster (15)
Friday, February 26 at 7.30pm, Garway Village Hall
Sunday, March 6 at 7pm, Wem Town Hall
Sunday, March 6 at 7.30pm, Leominster, Playhouse Cinema
Wednesday, March 9 at 7.30pm Leintwardine Community Centre
Thursday, March 10 at 8pm Ledbury, The Market Theatre
Friday, March 11 at 7pm, Hay Parish Hall

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In Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos’ English-language debut, we’re plunged into a not-too-distant future in which the law is that single people must go to a hotel in order to find a romantic partner amongst the other ‘guests’. If they do not succeed within 45 days they face an unusual transformation. Similar
to Dogtooth in its dark, absurdist humour and its construction of a rigid, dysfunctional and alienating world that offers a provocative mirror to our own, The Lobster is a surreal, hilarious and brilliantly entertaining satire – with an outstanding cast - that recalls British comedies like Black Mirror and Brass Eye.

“Colin Farrell excels in this hilarious and bracingly weird story about love, loneliness and animals” - Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

High Rise 
Saturday, March 12 at 8.15pm & Sunday, March 13 at 8pm, The Courtyard, Hereford

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Ben Wheatley’s (Kill List, Sightseers) much-anticipated adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s savage, brilliant 1975 novel, a satire of Thatcherite excess and consumerist values, stars Tom Hiddleston as Dr. Robert Laing. Moving into a luxurious new apartment block, a shining beacon of modernism, he’s quickly seduced by its social scene, going to glamorous cocktail parties where the conversation always leads back to Royal (Jeremy Irons), the architect who designed it. But flaws begin to emerge in the building and in parallel, cracks in the strict social hierarchy start to show. Eventually nihilism, in the form of drugs and alcohol, extreme sex and violence and acts of depravity and destructiveness prevail, as Ballard’s dystopian parable reaches its climax. Adapted by screenwriter Amy Jump (Wheatley’s wife), Wheatley’s film is brave, daring and true to Ballard’s anarchic vision.

Lamb (12A)
Friday 4 March 12.30pm, Sunday 6 5.45pm The Courtyard Hereford

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Set in the fabulous Ethiopian Highlands this delightful film gives us a multi-layered portrait of village life amongst subsistence farmers. It’s the story of young Ephraim who is left with his tyrannical uncle while his father looks for work. Alone in an unfamiliar world, Ephraim’s constant companion is his pet sheep, apparently destined for the pot. Simply told through the eyes of the boy, there’s rather more going on than initially appears. Though it’s a fiercely patriarchal
society, it’s Ephraim’s lively grandmother Emama who reigns over the household. This charming story about growing up in a land where everyone is short of food has an undeniable ring of authenticity.

“It’s bittersweet, to be sure, but Lamb would also work as a film to show your children – it might allow them an emotional connection to ways of life so rarely explored on film.” - The Guardian

The Passing (15)
Sunday, March 13 at 2pm at Hay, Screen Mobile

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When two young lovers crash their car into a ravine in the remote mountains of Wales, they are plunged into a lost world. Helped from the river by a mysterious figure, they are taken to a ramshackle farm, a place untouched by time. As events unfold we learn the explosive secret kept by the young couple and, just as unsettling, discover the ghostly truth about their new host Stanley, and the tragedy of his past. Acclaimed TV director Gareth Bryn’s (Hinterland) debut feature is filmed entirely in Welsh language. Taut and beautifully shot, it entwines a gritty realism with striking supernatural elements in a tale of isolation and loss. Preview courtesy of Miracle Films.

When Marnie Was There (PG)
Wednesday, March 9 at 10am (INTOFILM Schools screening only)
Thursday, March 10 at 5.15pm, The Courtyard Hereford

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The very last of the renowned Studio Ghibli films begins with a familiar scenario: a young girl in an unfamiliar place. Anna is a timid, asthmatic 12-year-old
sent by her foster parents to the seaside for the summer to draw her out of her shell. Spotting a fairy tale tumbledown mansion near marshland, she glimpses
a mysterious blonde girl her own age. A friendship develops between Anna and Marnie that is not quite of this world.

“[Studio Ghibli Films] sweep over you like summer showers, and leave the world seeming brighter and refreshed” - The Telegraph

One more for luck - too good to miss.

Q&A with Oscar winning cinematographer Billy Williams

There will be a post film talk following Sunday Bloody Sunday on Sunday, March 13 at 2pm at Booth's Bookshop Cinema (Women in Love will be screened on December 12). Williams, recent recipient of a special BAFTA Tribute, won an Oscar in 1982 for his work with Ronnie Taylor on Richard Attenborough’s epic Gandhi and BAFTA nominations for Gandi, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Women in Love and The Magus. His credits also include the opening sequence of The Exorcist (1973), shot in Iraq, and the Academy Award nominated On Golden Pond (1982). 

*****

Borderlines Film Festival programmer Jonny Courtney on how to picks films for the UK's biggest rural film festival

Featured film descriptions from the Borderlines Film Festival programme. Request your brochure direct from www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk

In March, Herefordshire Live will celebrating celluloid with #FilmWeek. Want to know more? Email darrell.james@herefordshirelive.co.uk 

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