Film Nights at Arthur’s Screen on the Green
Sunday 20 January 2008
Harold and Maude
1971, US, 92min, Cert 15.
Dir: Hal Ashby Cast: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, Ellen Geers.
They met at the funeral of a perfect stranger.
From then on, things got perfectly stranger and stranger.
A classic cult film that features one of the screen‟s most unlikely pairs. It will defy everything you‟ve ever seen or
known about screen lovers. Bud Cort is Harold, a young man bored with wealth but interested in death. And Ruth
Gordon is Maude, a wonderful old rascal who can see nothing but good intentions in the world. Hal Ashby ( Coming
Home, Being There) directed from Colin Higgins‟ (Foul Play) first script. An outrageously funny and affecting film
that proves love has no boundaries. Cat Stevens provides an uplifting musical score.
Friday 25th January 2008
(aka Tight Little Island)
1949, GB, 82min, b/w, Cert U.
Dir: Alexander Mackendrick Cast: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Jean Cadell, Gordon Jackson, James
Robertson Justice, Wylie Watson, John Gregson, Duncan Macrae, Catherine Lacey.
*‟Classic Ealing comedy about the no-holds-barred battle waged by a Hebridean island community, parched by
wartime shortages, determined to put a shipwrecked cargo of whisky to proper use before officialdom can lay claim
to it. Reminiscent of Passport to Pimlico in it‟s amiable puncturing of beaurocracy, but a good deal sharper as a
parable of colonialism, with the Scots contriving a humiliating double-edged comeuppance for their English laird and
master (Radford). Delightful characterizations, lovely locations on the island of Barra.‟
Sunday 27th January 2008
2007, USA/UK, 117min, Cert PG.
Dir: Adam Shankman Cast: John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky
It was a time of tradition, a time of values, and a time……to shake things up.
*‟Tracy Tumblad, an overweight teenager with all the right moves is obsessed with the Corny Collins Show. Every day
after school, she and her best friend Penny run home to watch the show and drool over the hot Link Larkin, much to
Tracy‟s mother Edna‟s dismay. After one of the stars of the show leaves, corny Collins holds auditions to see who will
be the next person on the Corny Collins Show. With all the help of her friend Seaweed, Tracy makes it on the show,
angering the evil dance queen Amber von Tussle and her mother Velma. Tracy then decides that it‟s not fair that the
black kids can only dance on the Corny Collins Show once a month, and with the help of Seaweed, Link, Penny,
Motormouth Maybelle, her father and Edna, she‟s going to integrate the show………without denting her „do!‟
Sunday 3rd February 2008
1960, USA, 109min, b/w, Cert 15.
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Patricia Hitchcock
See the version TV didn’t dare show!
*‟No introduction needed, surely, for Hitchcock‟s best film, a stunningly realised slice of Grand Guignol in which the
Bates Motel is the arena for much sly verbal sparring and several gruesome murders. Psycho was based on the novel
by Robert Bloch which was inspired by the crimes of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein.
But it‟s worth pointing out that Hitch was perfectly right to view it as fun; for all its scream of horror at the idea
(and consequences) of madness, it‟s actually a very black comedy, titillating the audience with its barely linear
narrative (the heroine disappears after two reels); with its constant shuffling of the audiences‟ sympathies, and with
its ironic dialogue („Mother‟s not quite herself today‟).
Add the fact that we never learn who‟s buried in Mrs Bates‟ coffin, and you‟ve got a stunning, if sadistic, two hour
joke. A masterpiece by anyone‟s standard.‟
Sunday 10th February 2008
1987, US, 100min, Cert 15.
Dir: Emile Ardolino Cast: Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston, Jane
Brucker, Kelly Bishop, Lonny Price, Max Cantor, Charles „Honi‟ Coles.
‘Dancing to the beat of their hearts’
*‟Set in the summer of 1963, mollycoddled teenager „Baby‟ goes to Catskills summer holiday camp with her parents,
and life couldn‟t have been more boring. She meets Johnny, the rebellious dance instructor and is mesmerised by him
and his dance style. She soon becomes Johnny‟s prize pupil, in dance and in love.
A safe combination of laughs, tears and an improbably happy ending, but sensitive performances, a burning rock‟n‟soul
soundtrack and sleazy choreography carry the day.
One of the greatest dance movies ever made.‟
Sunday 17th February 2008
(aka Out of Rosenheim)
1987, WGer, 91min
Dir: Percy Adlon Cast: Marianne Sagebrecht, CCH Pounder, Jack Palance, Christine Kauffman, Monica Calhoun,
Darron Flagg, George Aquilar
Off Route 66, between Vegas and nowhere, a little magic’s going on……
*‟A radiant, oddball comedy-drama about the relationship between a fat Bavarian tourist (Sagebrecht), an irritable
black truckshop owner (Pounder), and a weirdo artist (Palance, smiling and delightful, in bandana and snakeskin boots),
set in the dusty Arizona desert land of lonesome motels beloved of Sam Shepard. Sagebrecht, her husband ditched
along the way, arrives sweatily out of the yellow haze, absurdly decked out in buttoned up suit, green felt hat and
feather, high heels and suitcase; gradually she transforms, and is transformed by, the lives of a motley band of
misfits who inhabit a dilapidated diner exotically named „The Bagdad Café‟. A wish-fulfilling fable about culture-clash
and the melting pot, it‟s also firmly grounded in telling and cinematically original observations. Adlon‟s method is at
once intimate, quirky and affirmative: precise evocation of place, expressive colours, and a slow build-up of
characters, allow him to raise the film effortlessly into realms of fantasy, shafted with magic and moments of
Sunday 24th February 2008
2007, USA, 111min, animation, Cert U
Dir: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava Voices: Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Brian Dehhehy, Peter Sohn, Peter
O‟Toole, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo, Will Arnett, Julius Callahan
Everyone can cook
*‟A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family‟s wishes and the obvious problem of
being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the sewers of Paris, he finds himself
ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau.
Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely – and certainly unwanted – visitor in the kitchen of a fine French
restaurant, Remy‟s passion for cooking soon sets into motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that turns the culinary
world of Paris upside down.‟
Sunday 2nd March 2008
Paris, je t’aime
(Paris, I love you)
2006, Fr, 115min, Cert 15.
20 directors, 20 short films, 20 vignettes about life and love in one of the greatest cities on earth. Each film is set
in a different arrondissement and featuring the directorial talents of, among others, Gus Van Sant, Joel and Ethan
Coen, Gerard Depardieu, Alfonso Cuaron and Walter Salles, as well as a dizzying array of international acting talent.
Paris, je t‟aime standouts undoubtedly include Gus Van Sant‟s characteristically elliptical Le Marais; the Coen
brothers‟ Metro-set comedy Tuilleries, in which a hapless American tourist (Steve Buscemi) gets unwittingly
embroiled in the bickering of a young couple; Walter Salles‟ moving, downbeat Loin de 16e; and Alphonso Cuaron‟s
excellent Parc Monceau, an extended plan sequence with a twist, starring Nick Nolte and Ludivine Saigner.
The film‟s final trio of episodes are quite wonderful; heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure. Tom Tykwer‟s
Fauberg Saint-Denis – one of the earliest films to be shot and the episode which sold the project to Joel and Ethan
Coen – tells of a young blind man who strikes up a friendship with a struggling actress. In Quartier Latin, Cassavetes
stalwarts Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands play an elderly couple reunited for one final drink before they finalise
their divorce. Both Gazzara and Rowlands (who also wrote the episode) are magnificent, exchanging glances heaving
with the passion they assume is dead. Without a doubt it is one of the finest cinematic moments of 2007, as is
Alexander Payne‟s tender, final episode in which a middle-aged American woman recounts her experiences of Paris.
Sunday 9th March 2008
Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
1994, Aust/GB, 102min, Cert 15.
Dir: Stephan Elliott Cast: Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter, Sarah Chadwick, Mark Holmes,
*‟This brash, liberating and poignant road movie follows three drag queens as they travel in a silver bus – „Priscilla‟ –
from Sidney to a gig in Alice Springs. „Les Girls‟ are Bernadette, an ageing transsexual (Stamp), sharp-tongued
Felicia (Pearce) and sensitive flower Mitzi (Weaver), and this celebration of camp takes them where no lip-synching
queens have ever been before. Unlike the bus, the film never gets bogged down, driven forward inexorably by naff
disco tunes and crackling dialogue. Most impressive is the Fellini-esque panache writer/director Elliott brings to the
visuals, isolating the extravagantly dressed figures in astonishing, orange-tinted landscapes and staging the
production numbers like a frustrated director of musicals. Excellent, anchoring performances – it‟s haard not to be
Sunday 16th March 2008
(Quand J’etais Chanteur)
2006, Fr, 112min, Cert 12A
Dir: Xavier Giannoli Cast: Gerard Depardieu, Cecile de France, Mathieu Amalric, Christine Citti, Patrick Pineau,
Depardieu…he rattles your senses with a performance so simple and understated that you realise all over again
what a profoundly brilliant and charismatic actor he is…………
*‟Gerard Depardieu has at last returned to his true form in The Singer, which was a huge hit in France. Xavier
Giannoli has created a genuinely touching love story which displays humour and a sense of compassion for it‟s
Depardieu plays the part of Alain Moreau, a nightclub crooner in Clermont-Ferrand.
One night, Alain sees young, beautiful blonde, Marion in the audience and decides to engineer a meeting through one
of his friends, estate agent, Bruno.
Estate agent Marion, a single mother with an unhappy story, is cautious and untrusting, but before too long, a
tentative relationship begins to develop. However Bruno soon becomes a rival for Marion‟s affections…
The on-screen chemistry between Depardieu and de France is remarkable and the film is further enhanced by
emotionally fluid performances by all the actors and some clever plot twists.
Whilst Alexandre Desplat‟s excellent score gives an added depth to the proceedings.‟
Sunday 23rd March 2008
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
1961, US, 115min. Cert PG.
Dir: Blake Edwards Cast: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Mickey Rooney, John
McGiver, Martin Balsam.
*‟The names Audrey Hepburn and Holly Golightly have become synonymous since this dazzling romantic comedy was
translated to the screen from Truman Capote‟s best-selling novella. Holly is a deliciously eccentric New York City
playgirl determined to marry a Brazilian millionaire. George Peppard plays her next-door neighbour, a writer who is
“sponsored” by wealthy Patricia Neal. Guessing who‟s the right man for Holly is easy. Seeing just how that romance
blossoms is one of the enduring delights of this gem-like treat set to Henry Mancini‟s Oscar-winning score and the
Oscar-winning Mancini-Johnny Mercer song “Moon River”.‟ Time Out
Sunday 30th March 2008
1970, GB, 105min.
Dir: Nicolas Roeg, Donald Cammell Cast: James Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, Michele Breton, Ann Sidney,
Johnny Shannon, Anthony Valentine.
*‟Roeg‟s debut as a director is a virtuoso juggling act which manipulates its visual and verbal imagery so cunningly that
the borderline between reality and fantasy is gradually eliminated. The first half hour is straight thriller enough to
suggest a Kray Bros documentary as Fox, enforcer for a London protection racket, goes about his work with such
relish that he involves the gang in a murder and has to hide from retribution in a Notting Hill basement. There,
waiting to escape abroad, he becomes involved with a fading pop star (Jagger) brooding in exile over the loss of his
powers of incantation. In what might be described (to borrow from Kenneth Anger) as an invocation to his demon
brother, the pop star recognises his lost power lurking in the blind impulse to violence of his visitor, and so teases
and torments him with drug-induced, psychedelics that the latter responds in the only way he knows how: by
rewarding one mind-blowing with another, at gunpoint. Ideas in profusion here about power and persuasion and
performance. („The only performance that makes it all the way, is one that achieves madness‟); and the latter half
becomes one of Roeg‟s most complex visual kaleidoscopes as pop star and enforcer coalesce in a marriage of heaven
and hell (or underworld and underground) where the common denominator is Big Business.‟ Time Out
Sunday 6th April 2008
The Bicycle Thieves
(Ladri di Biciclette)
1948, Italy, 87min, b/w, Cert U.
Dir: Vittorio De Sica Cast: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Gino Saltamerenda, Vittorio
Antonucci, Giulio Chiari.
Winner of 1950 BAFTA, Academy and Golden Globe Awards – Best Foreign Film.
*‟Vittorio De Sica‟s masterpiece about a poor young father in post-war ravaged Rome who finally finds work putting
up Rita Hayworth posters around town, only to have his precious bicycle stolen the first day on the job. Too poor to
buy another, he and his son take to the streets in an impossible search for the bike.
Shot in the streets and alleys of Rome, De Sica uses the wandering pair to witness the lives of everyday folk whilst
ultimately depicting a story of love and hope between father and son.‟
Sunday 13th April 2008
The Hairdresser’s Husband
(Le Mari de la Coiffeuse)
1990, Fr, 80 min, subtitles, Cert 15.
Dir: Patrice Leconte Cast: Jean Rochefort, Anna Galiena, Roland Bertin, Maurice Chevit, Philippe Clevenot,
Jacques Mathou, Ticky Holgado
*‟Aged 12, Antoine has two passions; dancing to Arabic music, and having his hair cut by an ample Alsacienne who
unwittingly introduces him to the world of sex. In middle age, Antoine (Rochefort) has lost none of his ardour: when
he glimpses shy coiffeuse Mathilde (Galiena), he is so struck that he immediately proposes marriage. Amazingly she
accepts, and he moves into her salon, where their blissful romance remains barely touched by the outside world….
The film benefits from a genuinely scatty performance by Rochefort, and from a fine line in off-the-wall humour.
Eduardo Serra‟s elegant photography and Michael Nyman‟s score perfectly complement the blend of wit and
Sunday 20th April 2008
2001, Fr, 85min, Cert 15.
Dir: Francis Veber Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu, Thierry Lhermitte, Michele Laroque, Jean Rochefort,
Alexandra Vandernoot, Stanislas Crevillen, Michel Aumont.
He was about to lose his job, until a friend offered to start a rumour….
Now he’s about to come out of the closet he never went into.
*‟Francois Pignon (Auteuil) has hit the depths of dull despair. Not only do his estranged wife and teenage son find
him too boring for words, but he‟s overheard that his colleagues plan to sack him from the condom factory where he
works as an accountant, again on the grounds of tediousness. Whereupon his solicitous older neighbour (Aumont)
proposes a ruse: fake some evidence that he‟s a closeted gay rake, and watch the office rumour mill gear up to save
his bacon…………………….‟ Time Out
Sunday 27th April 2008
2006, Spain, 121min, cert15.
Dir: Pedro Almodovar Cast: Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, Chus
Lampreave, Antonio de la Torre, Carlos Blanco.
*‟Three generations of women survive easterly wind, fire, madness, superstition and even death through goodness,
lies and an unlimited vitality.
They are: Raimunda (Penelope Cruz), married to an unemployed worker, and her teenage daughter (Yohana Cobo).
Sole (Lola Duenas), her sister, who earns her living as a hairdresser. And their mother (Carmen Maura), dead in a
burning, with her husband. This character comes as an apparition first to her sister (Chus Lampreave) and then to
Sole, even though the ones she had unsettled affairs with were Raimunda, and her village neighbour Agustina (Blanca
Volver is not a surreal comedy, though it might seem so at times. The living and the dead live together without
problems, but provoking hilarious situations and others full of deep and genuine emotion. It is a movie about the
culture of death in my native region of La Mancha. My folks there live it in astonishing simplicity. The way in which
the dead are still present in their lives, the richness and humanity of their rites make it possible for the dead to
never really die.
Volver shatters all clichés of a dark Spain and shows a Spain that is as real as it is opposed. A white Spain,
spontaneous, fun, fearless, fair and with solidarity.‟ Pedro Almodovar