Loro

Loro

LORO (18) The Great Beauty director, Paolo Sorrentino returns to the tumultuous sleaze of recent Italian politics last seen in Il Divo, with a no-holds-barred satire of the life and misfortunes of the corrupt, scandal-ridden Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his inner circle. Ambitious and salacious, Loro presents infamous events, both known and imagined, in a cynical, sharp-eyed portrayal of power and how to obtain it. Sorrentino regular Toni Servillo plays Berlusconi, in a thought provoking character study that doesn't glamorise the corruption and vulgarity we see on screen.

Thu 23 May (1 day only) 7.45pm

Italy/France (Italian dialogue with English subtitles), 2019, 151 mins


Red Joan

Red Joan

RED JOAN (12A) Renowned British theatre director Trevor Nunn casts Judi Dench as Joan Stanley, an unassuming retired physicist with a clandestine past. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Jennie Rooney and inspired by the life of British KGB agent Melita Norwood, the film finds Joan living quietly in suburban London in 2000 before she is charged with providing intelligence to Russia during the Cold War. Nunn's well crafted thriller flashes back to 1938 and Joan (Sophie Cookson) studying physics at Cambridge and falling for Leo, a young socialist firebrand. Inevitably she has to face an ideological dilemma.

Fri 24 & Sat 25 May (2 days) 7.45pm

UK, 2018, 101 mins


Rafiki

Rafiki

RAFIKI (12A) A cinematic cause célèbre that has been banned in Kenya and led to a high court challenge on the countries' constitution, Rafiki ('friend' in Swahili) is first and foremost a tender love story of forbidden romance. In Nairobi, Kena is helping her father campaign for a local election when she meets and befriends Ziki, the daughter of his political rival. As their relationship deepens, so do its stakes, forcing them to choose between openness and secrecy, happiness and safety. Rafiki is a confident and polished work, a brave and groundbreaking film with a fresh and unfussy chemistry between its two leads, Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva.

Thu 30 May (1 day only) 7.45pm

Kenya/South Africa/Germany (subtitled), 2018, 82 mins


Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade

EIGHTH GRADE (15) 13-year-old Kayla is in her last week of middle school and is unbearably awkward and riddled with anxiety, longing for a transformation into the confident online persona that she adopts for her YouTube advice videos that no one watches. As high school approaches, Kayla musters up all the positive thinking she can to turn her, thus far, disastrous year around. Bo Burnham's critically acclaimed feature film debut is a hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age comedy-drama following the trials and tribulations of adolescence, with a phenomenally good performance by Elsie Fisher as Kayla.

Sat 1 Jun (1 day only) 7.45pm

USA, 2018, 94 mins


High Life

High Life

HIGH LIFE (18) Claire Denis makes her English language debut with this strange science fiction tale that verges on the surreal. Robert Pattinson stars as Monte, one of a motley crew of convicts sent into deepest space to investigate black holes. On route, their medical officer (Juliette Binoche), dubbed the "shaman of semen", performs sexual experiments on the crew in a bid to see if conception is possible in the outskirts of space. Fearless, mind-bending and daring, this is not like any other sci-fi you know, a realignment of tropes to create a startlingly fresh and curious take on human fragility.

Fri 31 May (1 day only) 7.45pm

UK/France/Germany/Poland/USA, 2018, 113 mins


Donbass

Donbass

DONBASS (15) Sergei Loznitsa's new work examines the civil conflict in Ukraine through the prism of black humour and the absurd. A scathing political commentary on the war that has been raging in Eastern Ukraine for years, where propaganda is used as often as artillery. Impressively choreographed vignettes, sometimes deliberately theatrical or referencing the format of TV reports left open to interpretation for this post-truth media-age. Donbass is a grotesque tour de force, focussing on the human reactions and prejudices underlying political extremes.

Thu 6 Jun (1 day only) 7.45pm

Germany/Ukraine/France/Netherlands (subtitled), 2018, 122 mins


Tolkien

Tolkien

TOLKIEN (12A) Tolkien explores the formative years of the author J.R.R. Tolkien, from his early life with his brother in a Birmingham orphanage, to Oxford University and friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts before the outbreak of World War I that threatens to tear the "fellowship" apart. Nicholas Hoult plays Tolkien, giving a quietly assured performance, conveying fear and desperation in a glance or stance, in an enjoyable biopic that doesn't shirk from showing Tolkien's brutal experiences on the battlefields of the Somme.

Fri 7 & Sat 8 Jun (2 days) 7.45pm

USA, 2019, 112 mins


Women At War

Women At War

WOMAN AT WAR (12A) Halla leads a quiet, routine existence. But her upbeat exterior hides a secret double life as a committed environmental activist, waging a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry through guerilla tactics and creative use of her crossbow. Her campaign is approaching a crescendo when she discovers that her dreams of becoming a mother may be fulfilled sooner than she thinks. Benedikt Erlingsson follows up Of Horses and Men with this warm-hearted and utterly unique look at an Icelandic eco-warrior with mix of gentle satire, environmental insurrection and off-the-wall humour.

Thu 13 Jun (1 day only) 7.45pm

Iceland/France/Ukraine (subtitled), 2018, 100 mins


Beats

Beats

BEATS (18) It's 1994 and the Tory government's clampdown on youth culture has reached West Lothian, where the local pirate radio station is planning one last hedonistic hurrah. Aware that their lives will diverge at the end of summer, teenage friends Jonno and Spanner pull out all the stops to attend the illegal protest rave, on a journey into an underworld of anarchy and freedom. Beats is a monochrome, universal story of friendship, rebellion and the irresistible power of gathered youth, set to an eclectic and electrifying soundtrack.

Fri 14 Jun (1 day only) 7.45pm

UK (B/W), 2019, 101 mins


Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

AMAZING GRACE (U) Almost 50 years after technical issues scuppered its original release, Sydney Pollack's concert film about Aretha Franklin's legendary gospel album Amazing Grace is finally on the big screen. Shot over two nights in January 1972, the film shows a then 30-year-old Franklin return to her gospel roots at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Amazing Grace is an extraordinary document of a truly remarkable figure in American music, in a transcendent film capturing the energy of Aretha's revelatory performance.

Sat 15 & Thu 20 Jun (2 days) 7.45pm

USA, 2018, 88 mins


Island

Island

ISLAND (15) What happens when we die? We tend to linger on the existential questions rather than the simple practical facts of death, which are explored with subtlety, imagination and unvarnished honesty in this searching documentary. At times necessarily harrowing, as it witnesses the final stages of peoples' lives, Island is also a work of great delicacy that evinces a tender respect for every one of the people involved. Director Steven Eastwood combines observational footage of rarely seen and intensely private moments, with contemplative shots of the changing seasons and the coastal landscapes of its Isle of Wight location.

Mon 17 Jun (1 day only) 7.45pm

UK, 2017, 90 mins An optional Q+A will follow the film, with a panel representing palliative care consultants and social workers, chaired by David Webster, CEO of the Douglas Macmilan Hospice.


Rocketman

Rocketman

ROCKETMAN (Cert TBC) The much anticipated musical biopic telling the story of Elton John's life, through his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music, his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin and the struggles encountered in his personal life. Taron Egerton stars as Elton John with support from a cast including Jamie Bell, Richard Madden as John Reid, Bryce Dallas Howard and Gemma Jones.

Fri 21 & Sat 22 Jun (2 days) 7.45pm

UK/USA, 2019, 121 mins


Birds Of Passage

Birds Of Passage

BIRDS OF PASSAGE (15) Birds of Passage charts the thrilling rise and fall of the indigenous Wayuu tribe of northern Colombia, beginning in the late 1960s when a strict code of familial tradition and sacred ritual governs. Outsider Rapayet has his sights set on marrying Zaida, the recently of-age daughter of the clan's formidable matriarch, but is unable to afford the extravagant dowry. Rapayet thinks that the solution may lie in different merchandise, and dealing drugs rather than selling coffee; triggering a chain of events that would forever change the lives of the once humble tribe. This is a breathtaking, epic crime thriller from Embrace of the Serpent creators Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, framed by an exploration of colonialism, tribalism and modernism.

Thu 27 Jun (1 day only) 7.45pm

Colombia/Denmark/Mexico/Germany (subtitled), 2018, 126 mins


Gloria Bell

Gloria Bell

GLORIA BELL (15) Sebastián Lelio's Gloria Bell is an English language remake of his own 2013 Film Gloria, starring Julianne Moore as a divorced mother rediscovering herself in later life. Lelio relocates the story from Santiago to Los Angeles, where Gloria is a free-spirited divorcée who spends her days at a strait-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor, joyfully letting loose at clubs around the city. When she finds herself thrust into an unexpected new romance with Arnold (John Turturro), the joys and complications of dating, identity and family prove to be daunting. Gloria Bell is a sophisticated, mature but uplifting romantic comedy that shows love can strike at any time, and nothing can get you down as long as you keep dancing.

Fri 28 & Sat 29 Jun (2 days) 7.45pm

Chile/USA, 2018, 102 mins


Expose 19 Films

Expose 19 Films

EXPOSE 19 Films 2019 Degree show exhibition - a programme of final degree films made by the Media Production students of Staffordshire University on display as part of the annual exhibition of work by graduating students in Art, Design, Ceramics and Media .

Wed 29 May 6.00pm-9.00pm

Screen Wednesday Staffordshire Film Archive


The Films Of Alan Williamson

The Films Of Alan Williamson

THE FILMS OF ALAN WILLIAMSON Alan is a noted farmer at Endon, and has been filming since the 1950s, capturing farming with horses, steam lorries, traction engines - and community events in Endon since 1955. Alan also took valuable colour film of steam trains between Stoke and Leek (the line was closed in 1956) and on into the Staffordshire Moorlands. All film sequences have been recently digitised and have personal commentaries by Alan himself.

Wed 19 Jun 7.45pm

Screen Wednesday Staffordshire Film Archive


Waiting For The Last Train To Budapest

Waiting For The Last Train To Budapest

WAITING FOR THE LAST TRAIN TO BUDAPEST An update on the Hungarian project to adapt Richard Pekar's book "Last Train to Budapest" into a feature film. Featuring recent filming sessions in Blackpool - which hosted the refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Hungary in 1956 - and locally, reports on activity in Budapest itself and a re-showing of the pilot film produced at the University to show the potential of a cinema dramatisation of this story of Richard's father in escaping his homeland to come to settle in Stoke-on-Trent.

Wed 26 Jun 7.45pm

Screen Wednesday Staffordshire Film Archive