Film From All The World

Bridport Film Society has announced details of its programme for the 2016-17 season. It comprises a selection of contemporary films from all over the world, including Chile, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, France, Germany, Italy, UK and Belgium.

“Each year, our programming committee spends many hours watching and debating the merits of more than 60 films in pursuit of thought-provoking and inspiring choices,” said Chris Pike, BFS’s chairman. “This year’s selection is richly diverse and full of hidden gems.”

The season kicks off on Tues 27 Sept with Victoria, a thriller about two hours in the life of an immigrant worker in Germany, which develops intense suspense over an amazingly unedited single take. Other season highlights are Palio, which looks at Siena’s famous bareback horse race; Alejandro Jodorowsky’s surreal coming of age tale, The Dance of Reality; and Tangerines, a story of gentle reconciliation bridging the ethnic divide in a Georgian village.

The BFS will also host a special event on Tuesday Dec 13 as a fund-raiser for Bridport Arts Centre.

Full details available at www.bridportfilmsociety. Printed brochures available from the Bookshop, Fruits of the Earth and from the BFS stall outside the Arts Centre on Saturday Aug 27 from 10am to 1pm. Full season membership costs £35, and typically reaches capacity well before the start of the season.

By |August 26th, 2016|Film|0 Comments

Wide Screen, Wider World

Leviathan 1 Film Society launches new season

Be bold, go global and start with a big bang seem to be the precepts of the estimable Bridport Film Society, which has just announced its programme for the forthcoming 2015-16 season.

As nights draw in, the Society’s members will congregate at the Arts Centre on certain Tuesday evenings to watch a selection of the 80 films plus that their programming committee has chosen after much viewing and debate.

First up, the big one, is Leviathan on 22 September. This epic from the ‘new Russia’ has won a shoal of awards and was given five stars by the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, who reckoned the work “a movie with real grandeur… acted and directed with unflinching ambition.”

Many other notable films from around the world have been lined up and the Society, in its 51st season, will also host a special event on 15 December as a fund-raiser for their venue, the Arts Centre.

  • See for full details. Screenings are for society members and guests only. Membership is limited to 200 and full season membership costs £35. (Act quickly if you want to join.) Printed brochures are available in the Arts Centre and Fruits of the Earth. Or you can download a copy by clicking here.
By |August 27th, 2015|Film|0 Comments

Woman in Gold

Woman in gold filmBridport Arts Centre

Thursday 20 August 7.30pm

Tickets: £6/£5

Preview by Lawrence Hansen

Woman in Gold gives a potted history of an out-of-the-ordinary art crime in which the thieves are not people but countries – Germany and Austria.

The story starts in a Vienna enthralled by Secessionist art and architecture. Its first three players were Gustav Klimt (painter); Adele Bloch-Bauer (patroness of the avant-garde); and Adele’s husband Ferdinand (sugar magnate and supplier of the money). Klimt’s 1907 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I was to become an icon of that time and place; she is the Woman in Gold.

The next player was Maria Bloch (the Bloch-Bauers’ niece and pet) who arrived in 1917. Although Austrian society was greatly reduced by the consequences of the First World War, the Bloch-Bauer family continued to keep its gilded place among Vienna’s haute bourgeoisie despite being Jewish. This situation changed abruptly with the Anschluss of 1938. Maria, her husband Fritz Altmann and her brother-in-law Bernard escaped penniless to America. The Germans then helped themselves to the family’s assets, including the famous portrait.

After the war Austria recovered most of the stolen artworks and returned them to their owners, but not the Woman in Gold and four other paintings which Ferdinand had bequeathed to Maria. The Austrian state claimed ownership of them as national treasures.

How the impecunious refugee took on the state and won is a sort of David and Goliath story, except that the only casualty was Austria’s reputation. The country’s intransigence had delayed justice for so long that the victim of the crime, Maria Altmann, might have died before restitution came. She was 89 when she got her paintings back but lived on for a further five years in terrific wealth: by the time they were handed over they were worth $325m. Helen Mirren plays Maria Altmann in the film, a fact that speaks for itself.

My night with Maria
Having read about Maria’s amazing success, I sent her a letter with a fond memory of her late husband Fritz whom I’d met in 1945. Her response was to invite me to “a Viennese dinner which I will cook for you”. This she did in 2008 in her home in the Cheviot Hills district of Los Angeles. I had been looking forward to her descriptions of society in pre-war Austria but she preferred to complain about Fritz’s philanderings in and around L.A. She ignored my wife, flirted outrageously and asked me to take her to the opera. LH

By |August 14th, 2015|Film, Lawrence Hansen|0 Comments

Slow West

slow westElectric Palace Friday 17 July 2015
BR Rating ***

By Alfie Golding

Slow West is a Western no doubt but there were strong elements of comedy and romance so that it strayed from the genre. There was a nice balance of humour and tension through the first half, but towards the end there were less prominent boundaries between the two: scenes that were established as sad or serious were suddenly broken by a character cracking a joke or some other faux pas.

Some otherwise powerful moments were spoiled, which made one question the director’s judgement: was this just a failed attempt to reboot the western genre, or was it an intentional attempt to represent the wild and unlawful nature of 1800s America? Nevertheless, Slow West has many subtleties that were not obvious at first but which should become more evident in future viewings.

By |July 18th, 2015|Alfie Golding, Film|0 Comments

We Are Many

We are manyBridport Arts Centre 18 June 2015

BR Rating ****

By Caitlin Appleton-Scott



My first utterance on leaving the Bridport Arts Centre.

We Are Many is a documentary film about the largest protest event in human history, when people from 789 cities, in 72 different countries, protested that the choice to go to war in Iraq would not be in their names.

One of the most upsetting but powerful moments was when George W Bush banters with a delighted and laughing audience, about not finding weapons of mass destruction. Throughout the clip, the film cuts to videos of the injured, the dead, and the children; some of whom are likely to be among 1.25 million who were made orphans.

At first I was in awe…refreshed…willing to have confidence in humankind’s ability to act humanely. Watching footage of the crowds, you can’t help but feel delighted; one-and-a-half million people marched in London, three million in Spain; there were protests in France, South Korea, Italy, Russia, Japan, even Antarctica; it seemed impossible that so many voices could be ignored.

So I repeat, “How?” How did they choose to go to war? And why wasn’t the entire population of Britain on the streets?

Now we hit the second stage: hopelessness, self-pity, pity for everyone (although not pity for Blair and Bush.) We call ourselves a democracy, and yet with so many people protesting, we still went to war in Iraq.

Fortunately, I felt slightly more motivated by the end. Although slightly annoyed that the documentary finished with ocean-polluting, turtle-killing balloons being let go, I left feeling slightly more hopeful than devastated. For the first time in 231 years, the government chose not to pass a policy to go to war (in Syria). Maybe we are capable of learning from the past, and not prioritising monetary gains, although that seems unlikely.

As many people as possible should see this film, whatever their purpose – for self-development or for the marvellous Mark Rylance, as long as they are reminded of the fact that “ye are many – they are few”.

By |June 19th, 2015|Caitlin Appleton-Scott, Film, Review|0 Comments