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Now showing at BFI Southbank Belvedere Road,South Bank,London,London SE1 8XT 020 7928 3232

  • Four Of The Apocalypse
  • Maidan
  • Something Different + The World Cafeteria
  • The Lady And The Duke
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • The Tales Of Hoffmann
  • Whiplash

Four Of The Apocalypse 3 stars

Western.

  • GenreWestern
  • CastMichael J. Pollard, Fabio Testi, Lynne Frederick.
  • DirectorLucio Fulci.
  • WriterEnnio De Concini, Bret Harte.
  • CountryIta
  • Duration104 mins
  • Official site

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Thursday 5th March 2015

Maidan 3 stars

movie title

In winter 2013, Ukrainian citizens gathered in Maidan Square in Kiev to openly demonstrate against President Viktor Yanukovych's regime. Over the next three months, defiance ballooned into a full-scale rebellion of the people and this documentary captures the uprising in detail, including speeches, songs and prayers that galvanised the masses and brought to worldwide attention a nation's cry from the heart for freedom.

  • GenreDocumentary, World
  • DirectorSergei Loznitsa.
  • WriterSergei Loznitsa.
  • CountryUkr/Neth
  • Duration135 mins
  • Official site
  • Release20/02/2015 (selected cinemas)

Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa returns to his documentary roots for this epic feature captured almost entirely in static shots over 90 tumultuous days. The film begins in winter 2013 when citizens gathered in Maidan Square in Kiev to openly demonstrate against President Viktor Yanukovych's regime. Over the next three months, defiance ballooned into a full-scale rebellion of the people and Loznitsa's camera captures this remarkable uprising in exquisite detail, documenting impassioned speeches as well as songs and prayers that galvanised the masses and brought to worldwide attention a nation's cry from the heart for freedom.

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Thursday 5th March 2015

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Something Different + The World Cafeteria 3 stars

Drama.

  • GenreAdaptation, Drama
  • CastEva Bosakova, Jiri Kodet, Vladimir Bosak.
  • DirectorVera Chytilova.
  • WriterVera Chytilova.
  • CountryCze
  • Duration102 mins
  • Official site

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Thursday 5th March 2015

The Lady And The Duke 3 stars

British gentlewoman Grace Elliott and her maidservant find themselves caught up in the riots and revolution of late 18th century Paris. Many of her sponsors are under threat of execution from the angry citizens, and Grace must be careful to avoid the Mob. She seeks comfort from her cousin and lover, Philipe, the Duc d'Orleans, and together they manoeuvre through the political and social minefields of the day.

  • GenreDrama
  • CastLucy Russell, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Francois Marthouret.
  • DirectorEric Rohmer.
  • CountryFr
  • Duration129 mins
  • Official site
  • Release15/02/2002 (selected cinemas)

British gentlewoman Grace Elliott (Lucy Russell) and her maidservant find themselves caught up in the riots and revolution of late 18th century Paris. Many of her sponsors are under threat of execution from the angry citizens, and Grace must be careful to avoid the Mob. She seeks comfort from her cousin and lover, Philippe, the Duc d'Orleans (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), and together they manoeuvre through the political and social minefields of the day, eventually bearing witness to the death of King Louis XVI in 1793. Based loosely on Grace Elliott's memoir Journal Of My Life During The French Revolution, and adapted for the screen by writer-director Eric Rohmer, The Lady And The Duke is a visually arresting recreation of history. Rohmer shoots his cast against watercolour backdrops which create a surreal through aesthetically pleasing vision of 1790s Paris. Performances are strong, although both leads are poorly served by the screenplay which hastily sketches the relationship between Elliott and the duke, and steeps much of political in-fighting and intrigue in mystery.

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Thursday 5th March 2015

The Philadelphia Story 5 stars

Embittered heiress Tracy Lord is poised to say "I do" to nice guy George Kittredge at a high society wedding in Philadelphia. The impending nuptials are thrown into disarray by the arrival of Tracy's first husband, charmer CK Dexter Haven, and reporter Mike Connor, who intends to cover the event for Spy magazine.

  • GenreAdaptation, Classic, Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • CastKatharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey.
  • DirectorGeorge Cukor.
  • WriterDonald Ogden Stewart.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration110 mins
  • Official site
  • Release27/11/1998 (selected cinemas); 13/02/2015 (selected cinemas)

A re-release of one of the classic screwball comedies of the 1940s, which boasts the near-perfect casting of Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart. Based on the Broadway play of the same name by Philip Barry, George Cukor's sparkling film centres on embittered heiress Tracy Lord (Hepburn), who is poised to say "I do" to George Kittredge (John Howard) at a high society wedding in Philadelphia. The impending nuptials are thrown into disarray by the arrival of Tracy's first husband, charmer CK Dexter Haven (Grant), and reporter Mike Connor (Stewart), who intends to cover the event for Spy magazine. They don't make 'em like this any more.

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Thursday 5th March 2015

The Tales Of Hoffmann 3 stars

Prima ballerina Stella sends a message to her paramour Hoffmann, who is in the audience to watch her perform. Jealous rival Councillor Lindorf intercepts the communication and during the interval, Hoffmann goes for a drink and begins to regale anyone who will listen with the stories of his three past loves: Olympia, Giulietta and Antonia. As each heady reminiscence unfolds, it becomes clear that the heroine in these fantastical tales is the beautiful Stella.

  • GenreAdaptation, Fantasy, Film, Musical, Romance
  • CastMoira Shearer, Robert Rounseville, Ludmilla Tcherina.
  • DirectorMichael Powell, Emeric Pressburger.
  • WriterDennis Arundell, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration138 mins
  • Official site
  • Release27/02/2015 (selected cinemas)

A re-release of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's visually sumptuous 1951 musical, adapted from Jacques Offenbach's opera of the same name and set to an orchestral score performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Prima ballerina Stella (Moira Shearer) sends a message to her paramour Hoffmann (Robert Rounseville), who is in the audience to watch her perform. Jealous rival Councillor Lindorf (Robert Helpmann) intercepts the communication and during the interval, Hoffmann goes for a drink and begins to regale anyone who will listen with the stories of his three past loves: Olympia, Giulietta and Antonia. As each heady reminiscence unfolds, it becomes clear that the heroine in these fantastical tales is the beautiful Stella.

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Thursday 5th March 2015

Whiplash 5 stars

movie title

Nineteen-year-old Andrew Neiman is determined to be the top drummer at his music conservatory. So he practices night and day and catches the eye of the school's most revered and feared teacher, Terence Fletcher, who is well known for terrorising students that don't meet his idea of perfection. Soon after, Fletcher requests that Andrew transfers into his class and he becomes the alternate drummer. When the opportunity arises for Andrew to prove himself, he rises to the occasion.

  • GenreDrama, Film, Musical, Romance
  • CastMelissa Benoist, Miles Teller, Paul Reiser, JK Simmons, Austin Stowell.
  • DirectorDamien Chazelle.
  • WriterDamien Chazelle.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration106 mins
  • Official sitewww.sonyclassics.com/whiplash/
  • Release16/01/2015

The fresh paint of 2015 has barely dried and already we have a strong contender for the film of the year. Inspired by writer-director Damien Chazelle's experiences in a fiercely competitive high school jazz band, Whiplash is an electrifying tale of a 19-year-old drummer's bruising battle of wits with his monstrous college tutor.

As the title intimates, pain is acute in Chazelle's lean script that pulls no punches in its depiction of the pursuit of musical excellence, which propels the self-destructive student to the brink of a mental and physical breakdown.

Drumming sequences are edited at a frenetic pace, spattered with the real sweat of lead actor Miles Teller, who performs all of the energy-sapping solos as if his life depended on it. It's a bravura performance complemented by JK Simmons' jaw-dropping portrayal of the foul-mouthed, bullying conductor, who verbally abuses students that fall short of his impossible demands for metronomic and percussive perfection.

Staring at his terrified charges, Simmons' musician-turned-mentor preys upon teenage fears and insecurities, kindling intense rivalry between band members for his own sadistic pleasure. Early in the film, he picks on one nervous trombonist's weight and snarls, "I will not let you cost us a competition because your mind's on a Happy Meal and not on pitch." He's just getting warmed up.

Nineteen-year-old Andrew Neiman (Teller) is determined to excel at his Manhattan music conservatory and avoid the regrets which haunt his writer father (Paul Reiser). So he practises night and day and catches the eye of the school's most revered teacher, Terence Fletcher (Simmons).

Soon after, Andrew transfers to Fletcher's class and becomes the alternate drummer in the band behind lead player Carl (Nate Lang). When the opportunity arises for Andrew to impress, he rises to the occasion but alienates himself from the rest of the band.

A fledgling romance with Nicole (Melissa Benoist), who works at Andrew's local cinema, is sacrificed in a cold, cruel fashion that would have Fletcher smacking his lips with glee. The game of one-upmanship between teacher and pupil spirals out of control as Andrew struggles to meet the lofty expectations of his maniacal mentor and earn the right to play at a concert in the rarefied surroundings of Carnegie Hall.

Whiplash delivers one emotional wallop after another as Andrew practises until his hands bleed and Simmons belittles those herculean efforts by growling, "Is that the fastest you can go? It is no wonder Mommy ran out on you!"

We root for the beleaguered 19-year-old with every display of frenzied stick-work, urging Andrew to wipe the smug grin off Fletcher's face. Our investment in the characters is immense and Chazelle rewards us with an astounding denouement that saps every ounce of energy from our bodies. We're delirious, euphoric and physically spent.

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