Ster-Kinekor will exclusively host the GREAT British Movie Week at its V&A Nouveau cinema complex at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town from February 6 to 11. This mini-film festival forms part of the GREAT Britain campaign taking place in Cape Town this month.
On offer during the week-long festival is the screening of a handful of great British film titles, some of which have previously been on circuit in South Africa, while others are pre-screenings of much-anticipated, upcoming releases. There will be one screening daily, at 8pm. Standard ticket prices apply and cinema audiences can also take advantage of the special ticket offers via the SK Club, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club.
The British film fest kicks off on February 6 with ‘W.E.’ (released in May 2012), co-written and directed by Madonna. This passionate tale about the search for true love in the modern world is viewed through the prism of one of history’s most fabled romances. The year is 1998, and Manhattan is abuzz with anticipation about the upcoming auction of the estate of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
But the auction is far more than a diversion for Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish), a transplanted Southerner trapped in an unhappy and abusive marriage. Transfixed by the exquisite artifacts of the Windsors’ lives, Wally becomes obsessed with the love story of Wallis Simpson. As she learns more about the sacrifices Wallis made in choosing to be with Edward, she finds the courage to follow her own heart.
The following evening’s title to be served up is ‘The Angel’s Share’ (released in November 2012), Ken Loach’s 27th feature film. Starring newcomer Paul Brannigan as Robbie, he plays an ex-offender and new father for whom a trip to a Scottish whisky distillery may point the way to a new career and, possibly, a rather less orthodox way out of poverty.
‘Anna Karenina’ (released on February 1) is the featured titled on February 8 at 8pm. Based on the classic novel by Russian author Leo Tolstoy, it stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Jude Law and Keira Knightly.
Set in the late 19th century against the backdrop of Russian high society, it centres on the title character, the demure and elegant socialite Anna Karenina (Knightly) who, at the age of 18, has been promised to marry senior statesman Count Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin (Law).
Anna’s new husband is 20 years her senior, but she bears him a son. Later, however, she finds herself attracted to a young, wealthy cavalry officer named Count Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson) who makes a passionate bid for her love, and soon Anna finds herself locked in a dilemma.
‘Quartet’ (releases on February 15) on February 9, is an ensemble comedy that marks the directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman. Three retired members of an opera quartet – Cissy (Pauline Collins), Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Reginald (Tom Courtenay) – live in Beecham House retirement home and perform a concert every year in honour of Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday.
When Reginald’s ex-wife Jean (Maggie Smith), who is the fourth and most famous member of the quartet, arrives at Beecham to reunite the quartet, old rivalries are reignited as temperaments clash.
Screening on February 10 is the hotly anticipated ‘Hitchcock’ (releases on April 5), starring Anthony Hopkins, Danny Huston, Helen Mirren and James D’Arcy. This Golden-Globe nominated bio pic tells the story of the relationship between Master of Suspense director Alfred Hitchcock (Hopkins) and his wife Alma Reville (Mirren) during the making of his seminal film ‘Psycho’.
The final screening in the GREAT British Movies Week on February 11, is ‘Shadow Dancer’ (also due for release at Cinema Nouveau on April 5), based on the novel of the same name by Tom Bradby.
This film takes us deep into the bitterly divided world of ‘90s Northern Ireland. During an aborted bomb attempt in London, Colette (Andrea Riseborough) falls into the hands of an M15 officer, Mac (Clive Owen), who offers her a deal: turn informant or go to prison. Fearing for her son’s welfare she returns to Belfast where, betraying family and beliefs, she becomes a reluctant mole for British Intelligence. As suspicion around Colette mounts and Mac takes more risks to protect her, both feel the net closing in.
British creativity has played a key role in the global film industry over the years. Ten of the top 20 global box-office successes of the last 11 years are based on novels by UK writers. And, more than half of the top 200 films released worldwide since 2001 have featured UK actors in lead or prominent supporting roles, while 24 have had UK directors.
* To book tickets and for more information on the GREAT British Movie Week, visit www.cinemanouveau.co.za, or the mobi-site at www.sterkinekor.mobi; call Ticketlin on 082 16789 (VAS rates apply); or find Ster-Kinekor on Facebook at CinemaNouvea, or on Twitter @nouveaubuzz.