From Scrapper to In the Mood for Live: What’s on at Cambridge Arts Picturehouse
Mark Walsh takes a look at what’s coming up at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse in this sponsored feature.
It’s always exciting to see new talent develop on screen, both in front of and behind the camera, and Charlotte Regan’s debut feature as writer and director showcases a variety of promising individuals at various early stages in their career.
She’s taken what might, at face value, sound like a very British kitchen sink-style drama and elevated it with colour and humour. Having cut her teeth on music videos for the likes of Mumford And Sons and Stereophonics, she brings a playful tone to the story of a father and daughter working through a reconciliation.
Harris Dickinson, who made his debut in Beach Rats before roles from The King’s Man and Triangle Of Sadness and a nomination for the EE Rising Star Award at the BAFTSs. He plays Jason, who’s long disappeared out of the life of his family, but simply strolls in through the back door one day and casually reintroduces himself.
He returns to a daughter, Georgie, who’s lost her mother to illness and is surviving by playing clips of a local shopkeeper she’s recorded to social services over the phone, while she hangs out on the local estate with her mate Ali.
Making their mark on screen in their debuts are Lola Campbell and Alin Uzun as Georgie and Ali respectively. Georgie initially isn’t sure what to make of her absentee father, her active imagination casting him in a variety of roles, but soon they discover they both have a fondness for petty crime, if not anything approaching a talent for it.
Regan’s film is shot in pastel shades by cinematographer Molly Manning Walker, but her lightness of touch with both words and direction helped the film pick up the Grand Jury Prize for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Festival.
Scrapper opens on Friday, August 25.
Another writer/director making a hugely acclaimed debut is South Korean-Canadian playwright Celine Song, whose earlier career ranges from more conventional theatre to a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull using The Sims 4 on streaming service Twitch.
She calls on some of her own experience and background to craft a story of two childhood friends who end up being separated but are then reunited for a week, two decades later.
Greta Lee is best known for her roles in streaming TV series Russian Doll and The Morning Show. She’s Nora, who is relocated from South Korea to Toronto by her family. Teo Yoo is Hae Sung, who walked her home from school each day when they were children.
Twelve years after they’re separated by circumstance, they discover each other online but aren’t initially able to meet again in person. When Nora goes on a writing retreat, she meets Arthur (John Magaro). Twelve years later again, the lives of Nora, Hae Sung and Arthur become intertwined once again.
While at the retreat, Nora tells Arther about the Korean concept of in-yeon, the idea that if you meet someone, even briefly, in this life, then you’ve also interacted in a past life, and if you are lovers then you’ve had a significant number of these interactions.
By spanning the generations of her lead characters, Song develops a story that taps into ideas about how we develop as people and how our perspectives on romance and emotions change over the course of our lives. She’s supported by her three leads, who convincingly play roles in both their twenties and thirties, in crafting a touching, delicate drama that’s certain to be in the awards conversation come year end.
Past Lives opens on Friday, September 8, with a preview the day before.
Blue Monday: Blue Velvet
The series of monthly Monday late-night screenings continues with the film that cemented David Lynch’s reputation as a significant talent.
After making his breakthrough with cult success Eraserhead, Lynch had been Oscar nominated for The Elephant Man before the critical and commercial failure of his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune.
He was committed to make another project with producer Dino De Laurentiis, and was able to make a more personal script which originally divided critics but is regarded much greater in hindsight and earned Lynch his second Academy Award nomination.
It was the first real expression of the style that Lynch later refined in both his film career and the various Twin Peaks projects, and also marks his first collaboration with composer Angelo Badalamenti.
It’s a neo-noir thriller with elements of psychological horror that follows college student Jeffrey (another Lynch regular Kyle MacLachlan) as he attempts with detective’s daughter Sandy (Laura Dern) to uncover the mystery of a severed human ear found in a field.
They are gradually drawn into the world of both lounge singer Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini) and the psychopathic Frank (Dennis Hopper). Dark, twisted and typically elusive, it’s a great chance to re-evaluate a defining film in Lynch’s early career.
Blue Velvet is screening on Monday, August 21 in a 4K version, with no ads or trailers.
Sight and Sound Top 10: In the Mood for Love
On the Picturehouse’s continued journey through the films picked by critics last year as the greatest of all time, we’re now at the film they voted the fifth best and the first of two films in the top 10 by Asian directors.
Wong Kar-Wai’s masterpiece placed only 24th in the previous poll in 2012, but acclaim for the Hong Kong director has catapulted his film into the list’s upper echelons, as well as making the top 10 for the poll of directors this time around.
Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are the neighbours in Sixties Hong Kong who grow close after regularly being left alone by their hard-working spouses, before discovering that their respective partners are involved in extramarital affairs.
The film marks Wong’s sixth film with cinematographer Christopher Doyle, and it’s the combination of layered, subtle storytelling and gorgeous, vibrant visuals which capture night time Hong Kong perfectly, which mark out Wong’s style and In The Mood For Love sees Wong and his crew working at the peak of their talents.
In The Mood For Love is screening on Sunday, August 27.