From around the world come films that offer cinemagoers an insight into the lives of a diverse range of characters, while also reminding us that we all share common hopes and fears.
The Salesman (Curzon Artificial Eye)
Winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Writer/Director Asghar Faradi’s “The Salesman” is a study on the potent power of pride, guilt and shame that treads the line between arresting drama and revenge thriller with masterful ease. The future looks promising for amateur actors Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) as they prepare for opening night on their production of Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’. However, when dangerous work on a neighbouring building forces the couple to leave their home and move into a new apartment, a case of mistaken identity sees a shocking and violent incident throw their lives into turmoil. What follows is a series of wrong turns that threaten to destroy their relationship irreparably.
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Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story building, built in the 1940s, in the upper-class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. All the neighbouring apartments have already been acquired by a company which has other plans for that plot. Clara has pledged to only leave her place upon her death, and will engage in a cold war of sorts with the company. This tension both disturbs Clara and gives her that edge on her daily routine. It also gets her thinking about her loved ones, her past and her future.
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In this story of a persecuted poet and his obsessive adversary, the former recognizes his own heroic possibilities: a chance to become a symbol for liberty, as well as a literary legend.
Beloved poet Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) is also the most famous communist in post-WWII Chile. When the political tides shift he is forced underground, with a perseverant police inspector (Gael García Bernal) hot on his trail. Neruda sees the struggle with his police inspector nemesis as an opportunity to reinvent himself. He cunningly plays with the inspector, leaving clues designed to make their game of cat-and-mouse ever more perilous.
See it in cinemas from April 07th
The Handmaiden (Curzon Artificial Eye)
Director Park Chan-wook's sensual drama follows the handmaiden to a Japanese heiress who is secretly involved in a plot to defraud her.
1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help seduce the Lady to elope from him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions.
See it in cinemas from April 14th
The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Maki (Mubi)
The true story of Olli Mäki, the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title.
Immensely talented and equally modest, Olli’s small town life is transformed when he is swept into national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country. There’s only one problem: Olli has just fallen in love.
See it in cinemas from April 21th
I Am Not Madame Bovary (Soda)
Li Xuelian and her husband Qin Yuhe stage a fake divorce to secure a second apartment. Six months later, Qin marries another woman. Furious, Li files a lawsuit, only to lose because the divorce complied fully with legal procedure. And then Qin accuses of her of having been “impure” at the time of their wedding… Over the following decade, Li travels every year to Beijing, confronting numerous absurdities on a quest to reclaim her reputation for the sake of her unborn child...
See it in cinemas from May 26th