Buxton Festival of World Cinema Returns
The Third Buxton Festival of World Cinema runs from 23-29 March 2015. Twenty films will be screened over the seven days using two venues. Alongside some of the best films of the last 12 months a clutch of acclaimed films from cinema’s history will also be featured.
Among the recent British successes on offer are Mr. Turner, Pride, What We Did On Our Holiday and Northern Soul. Timothy Spall’s compelling portrayal of JMW Turner – commonly called ‘Britain’s greatest artist’ – has already won awards in Cannes and New York. Pride celebrates what seemed, at the time (1984), an unlikely alliance between striking Welsh miners and London-based gay activists.
If past Buxton festivals are anything to go by many will be keen to see the golden nuggets from cinematic history. Ingrid Bergman’s centenary falls in 2015 and in Hitchcock’s Notorious she plays Alicia who is asked to spy on Nazis in Brazil. Cary Grant is her co-star in a film which includes a (in)famous scene which got around the American restrictions on what was regarded as an acceptable length for a kiss.
The French classic, Le Jour Se Leve, begins with a murder – but who is the dead man and why was he killed? Made on the eve of World War Two some felt Marcel Carne’s film reflected the political anxieties in France at the time – and it was banned by the Vichy government in 1940 because it was judged to be ‘demoralising’. Brilliantly filmed in black-and-white and screened in a sparkling re-issue Le Jour Se Leve makes for compelling viewing on a Saturday afternoon.
Classic French film-making of a different generation is represented by Francois Truffaut’s La Sirene du Mississippi. Louis (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a wealthy tobacco planter. He arranges to marry Julie (Catherine Deneuve) who he knows only through letters. On meeting her she isn’t quite what he expected. But the marriage goes ahead. This thriller has been likened to Hitchcock by some.
Over the weekend at the end of the Festival two double bills aimed specifically at families are included. The Fox and the Child is a French film that traces the relationship between a 10-year-old girl and a fox. Stunningly filmed amidst beautiful countryside this film will grip any that have a passion for wildlife. Extracts from Michel Ocelot’s animation Tales of the Night will accompany The Fox and the Child.
The other family programme features White Mane – another simple story, beautifully filmed in black-and-white in the Camargue. A young boy is in competition with a group of ranchers to ‘capture’ ‘White Mane’, a wild horse. Who will win? An animation set to Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf completes the programme.
Among the recent international films included in the Festival is the Polish film Ida which is set in 1962. Anna is set to take her vows and become a nun but Wanda, her only surviving relative, tells her that she is Jewish. Anna and Wanda set off to uncover the family story. Ida is beautifully filmed in black-and-white and is on many ‘Best film’ lists.
The Belgian Dardenne brothers have many, many fans. Their latest film – Two Days, One Night - stars Marion Cotillard who has a weekend to save her job by persuading her co-workers to give up a bonus they have been offered.
Jonas Jonasson’s novel The 100 year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared was a word-of-mouth best-seller. Allan Karlsson has had an extraordinary life – involved in many defining events in the 20th century – and as he escapes his birthday party he gets involved with a criminal gang on the run from the law.
The Japanese master-animator Hayao Miyazaki says that The Wind Rises is to be his last film. If that is the case he ends on a high. Jiro wants to design beautiful planes. His career begins in the late 1920s. Inevitably some of Jiro’s beautiful planes become efficient weapons of war.
The Golden Dream went down very well with the staff at Manchester’s Cornerhouse last year. It tells the story of three young Guatemalans (later joined by a Mexican-Indian) who make the often difficult journey to the US. The trip may be slow and painful – but they are confident about their dream.
All this, plus the latest Woody Allen (with Colin Firth), Lilting (featuring Ben Wishaw) and an exciting opening to the Festival with a screening of Pretty Village. This documentary tells the harrowing story of massacres in a Bosnian village in 1992. We will be joined for the screening by the film’s director and producer for a post-screening discussion.
For full details of the Buxton Festival of World Cinema please see: http://www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/buxton-festival-of-world-film Tickets are just £4 (£3 concessions) from the Opera House Box Office. The Festival is presented is by the Opera House in association with Buxton Film (www.buxtonfilm.org.uk)