Established in October 1999 with the much valued contribution of the Arts Picturehouse Cambridge management, the aim of the U3AC Film Group is to show a wide range of the best in both historic and contemporary world cinema from all countries, generations and genres, and our programmes take a robust and adventurous approach to the history of cinema. The Group’s shows take place at the Arts Picturehouse every Tuesday during term time, and our films are shown in Screen 2 or Screen 3. There are no ads or trailers which means that all of our films commence promptly at. 1.00 pm other than when an epic or exceptionally lengthy film is shown, and members are kindly requested to adhere to the start time of 1.00 pm as a dark cinema can be hazardous. Members are most welcome to attend our post screen discussions and to make suggestions for future showings.
Members are kindly requested to ensure that all electronic devices are switched off or in the case of mobile phones switched to silent mode.
Please note that our Autumn programme starts the week before the main U3AC term courses and that there will no U3AC Film Group show on 25 October because of the Cambridge Film Festival
SPRING TERM 2017
10 January The Deer Hunter Dir. Michael Cimino: USA/UK 1978 (176 mins)
This multi-Oscar winner remains one of the finest and most controversial films about the Vietnam War. The film can be seen as a modern version of the World War 2 drama “The Best Years of Our Lives” showing how men and America itself cope with the horrors of war and its aftermath. With its mournful guitar theme, this intense, violent and disturbing film lingers long in the memory.
17 January Our Little Sister Dir. Hirokazu Koreeda: Japan 2015 (127 mins)
Abandoned by both of their philandering parents, grown–up sisters Sachi, Yoshino, and Chika, lead a busy if somewhat uncertain life in their late grandmother’s suburban house. When they discover at their father’s funeral that they have a 13-year-old half-sister, Suzu, whose mother is now considered an unsuitable guardian, they’re so beguiled by her innocent charm that they invite her to move in with them. As we witness how smart, thoughtful Suzu brings new depth to her half-sister’s lives, and indeed vice versa, we better appreciate the subtleties of sibling dependency and emotional growth. The film won the Audience Award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
24 January Mustang Dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven: France/Germany/Turkey/Qatar (97 mins)
Five sisters are gradually cowed into submission by their grandmother and uncle in a remote Turkish village in this Cannes-winning debut by writer-director Ergüven. The girls’ innocent frisking on the beach with classmates is reported back to their guardians as lewd behaviour, prompting a beating by their uncle and increasingly harsh restrictions on their activities. The director builds narrative tension around the sisters’ growing defiance.
31 January Julieta Dir. Pedro Almodóvar: Spain 2016 (99 mins)
In Almodóvar’s richly seasoned and photographed film, Julieta is the middle-aged mother of Antia, whom she hasn’t seen for 12 years. Just as Julieta is about to leave Madrid for good, a chance meeting reveals that Antia, now a mother of three, is living happily in another country. The discovery prompts a radical change of plan, gradually explained in a series of flashbacks which explores Julieta’s emotional complexity. Adopted by the director from Nobel laureate Alice Munro’s short stories, this is a return to the dramatic female-centre form of ‘Volver’.
7 February Brooklyn Dir. John Crowley: Ireland/UK 2015 (112 mins)
Set in the 1950s, this good-hearted adaptation of Colm Tóibin’s best seller stars Saoirse Ronan as Ellis Lacey who leaves rural Wexford for a menial job in Brooklyn, taking digs in a rackety boarding house run by the sharp-tongued Mrs Kehoe. Ultimately Ellis has to choose between the life and loves she left in Ireland and those unfolding in the New World.
14 February The Taming of the Shrew Dir. Franco Zeffirelli: USA/Italy 1967 (116 mins)
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor at the height of their own violent love affairs, breath their personal life into Shakespeare’s not so politically correct tale of Petruchio subduing his shrewish wife. It’s a lush version in which the director opts for colourful action rather than well-wrought articulation. A feast for the eye-ravishing photography, impressive sets and costumes and benefits from the ebullient performances of one of cinema’s greatest couples.
21 February Marguerite Dir. Xavier Giannoli: France/Czech Republic/Belgium 2015 (129 mins)
1921: not far from Paris, a party is being held at Marguerite Dumont’s mansion. Nobody knows much about the mysterious Marguerite except that she has devoted her whole life to her passion: music. As she takes centre stage she sings enthusiastically – but terribly out of tune. When a provocative young journalist decides to write a rave review, she starts to believe even further in her own talent. Inspired by the real-life tale of Florence Foster Jenkins this is an original, funny and touching costume drama.
28 February The Wild Bunch Dir. Sam Peckinpah: USA 1969 (138 mins)
Arguably, one of the greatest westerns ever made. And argument is what Sam Peckinpah’s masterpiece has always caused with its slow-motion spurting of blood, its surrealistically choreographed gunfights and its portrayal of Pike Bishop’s amoral Texas outlaws as heroes. Yet William Holden’s laconic Bishop, however violent is of a truly romantic breed as he leads his bunch to their deaths. This brilliant, but most violent and bloody film reinvents the Western and almost 50 years after its release deserves to be reviewed and revisited again and again.
7 March Eddie The Eagle Dir. Dexter Fletcher: UK/USA 2016 (106 mins)
Director Fletcher tells the literally uplifting story of have-a go ski jumper, Eddie Edwards, one of the UK’s best known sporting figures – as famous for losing as he was for winning, but dearly loved for his tireless enthusiasm and eccentricities. An inspiring comedy drama not about being the best, but about overcoming adversity, having your moment in the spotlight an enjoying every minute of it.
14 March Alexander Nevsky Dir. Sergie Eisenstein: USSR 1938 (104 mins)
The Soviet equivalent to Laurence Olivier’s ‘Henry V’, Eisenstein’s historical epic was to serve as propaganda against Hitler’s Reich. However just as Eisenstein completed the story of the Teutonic invasion of Russia in the 13th century, Hitler & Stalin signed a non-aggression pact so the film was withdrawn. Then when Hitler broke the treaty, Stalin ordered the film’s release. The film is famous for two things, the battle at the frozen lake (filmed in high summer!), and Prokofiev’s superb score.
Our first show of the U3AC Summer Term 2017 will be immediately after the Easter Holiday at 1.00 pm on Tuesday 18 April 2017