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Those who teach shall also learn & those who learn shall also teach

Film Screenings

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




18 April           Full Metal Jacket                                                 Dir: Stanley Kubrick: (UK) 1987 (111 mins)

Stanley Kubrick’s penultimate film is a harrowing foul-mouthed and violent Vietnam war drama. It begins with a long training camp sequence in America before moving to a bombed-out Vietnamese city. The film’s message is simple – young Americans are taught to be machine-like killers. Superb acting performances, especially from Lee Ermey as the drill sergeant with a colourful vocabulary.


25 April           The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoise             Dir: Luis Buñuel: (France) 1977 (97 mins)

Brilliantly interweaving a sequence of disrupted dinners, three diversionary tales and a quartet of awakenings that alert us to the fact that we have been sharing a dream. This sharply satirical and teasingly structured film is one of Buñuel’s finest achievements as both film-maker and social commentator, touching on the director’s favourite themes: sexual repression, religious hypocrisy and patriarchal paranoia.


2 May              La Belle et la Bête                     Dir: Jean Cocteau/René Clément: (France) 1946 (89 mins)

Although Clément got a co-directing credit for his technical assistance, the adaptation of the timeless fairy tale is clearly the work of Cocteau. With interiors that owe much to the paintings of Doré and Vermeer,  this visual feast is enhanced by the magical realism of Henri Alekan’s photography, exquisite costumes and Georges Auric’s audacious score. Josette Day is a delight as Beauty, while Jean Marais in his dual role as the Beast and the Prince manages to be truly touching beneath the superb make-up.


 9 May              Barbara                                                   Dir: Christian Petzold: (Germany) 2012 (100 mins)

This film feels like a Douglas Sirk melodrama tinged with a bittersweet “ostalgia” for the repressions and privations of 1980s East Germany. Banished to a remote town for requesting a travel visa, Nina Hoss’s Berlin doctor hopes to escape to her boyfriend in the West, but is drawn to her supervisor who is torn between his affection and his official duties.


16 May            Hitchcock/Truffaut                                      Dir: Kent Jones: (France/USA) 2014 (108 mins)

Kent Jones’s documentary recalls the eight days that the fledgling French auteur Truffaut spent interviewing a remarkably forthcoming Alfred Hitchcock in 1962.The documentary features observations from many current directors including Martin Scorsese and David Fincher. Their comments are complemented by clips from Hitchcock crowd –pleasers as well as excerpts from the interview recordings made by two of cinema’s craftsmen.


23 May            SPECIAL EVENT !                                             Cinema Going in the Sixties Talk & Update

PLUS !            Psycho                                                             Dir: Alfred Hitchcock: (USA) 1960 (108 mins)

Containing the most famous montage sequence since “The Battleship Potemkin” this is easily the most shocking film that Hitchcock made yet he always maintained that it was a black comedy. The opening segment involving Janet Leigh and an envelope of stolen cash is the biggest “MacGuffin” in Hitchcock’s career.

“Psycho is probably one of the most cinematic pictures I’ve ever made.  Because there you had montage in the bathtub killing where the whole thing is purely an illusion.  No knife ever touched any woman’s body in that scene. Ever.  But the rapidity of the shots, it took a week to shoot .The little pieces of film were probably not more than four or five inches long. They were on the screen for a fraction of a second …” (Alfred Hitchcock)

Melvyn Stokes (University College London) will introduce the film at 12.45pm and, when the screening is over give a talk about some of the fascinating results of the research project he directed (2013-15) gathering memories of British cinema-going of the 1960’s. There will be time for questions and discussion and I hope that U3AC Film Group members and others interested in the subject will make this a MUST !

Please note the earlier start at 12.45 pm and try and be in your seats at that time !


30 May            Rams             Dir: Grimur Hákonarson: (Iceland/Denmark/Norway/Poland) 2015 (93mins)

The Brothers Gummi are dedicated sheep farmers living on neighbouring farms in rural Iceland – but they haven’t spoken to each other for 40 years. Following an outbreak of a potentially lethal disease among the country’s sheep the government insist that all flocks must be slaughtered and the brothers have to reunite to save their way of life. Writer-director Hákonarson balances charming wry comedy with poignant realist drama.


6 June             Bridge of Spies                                               Dir: Steven Spielberg: (USA) 2015 (141 mins)

This gripping film tells the story of Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks).He must negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers the pilot of an American U-2 spy plane shot down over the USSR in 1960.Donovan’s task involves organising the exchange of Powers for his own client, the British –born KGB agent Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance).


13 June           Victoria                                                Dir: Sebastian Schipper: (Germany) 2015 (138 mins)

Set in Berlin the film charts the preparation, execution, and fallout of a heist. Things start out innocently enough: Victoria, a Spanish girl living in the city, meets local boy Sonne at a club. The immediate chemistry between the two, and what they reveal to one another give the audience believable reason for the extremes they’ll go to for each other. The Director, Schipper, has pulled off a staggering feat with “Victoria”, shooting the entire film in one unbroken, exhilarating take, with much of the script improvised to make each movement feel real and each interaction natural.


20 June           Barry Lyndon                                                      Dir: Stanley Kubrick: (UK) 1975 (177 mins)

Stanley Kubrick provides this awesome work with an authentic 18th century look and a unique atmosphere, and ravishing photography, that totally convinces. It is the slow and utterly hypnotic tale of an Irish youth whose adventures and misfortunes take in the Seven Years’ War, the gambling clubs of Europe and marriage into the English aristocracy.


Please note that our first show of the Autumn Term 2017 will commence at 1.00pm on Tuesday 3 October, one week ahead of the start of the U3AC Term.


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