With three film festivals and a clutch of exciting new releases on the horizon, the offerings at the Filmhouse this November are sure to be far hotter than the temperatures outdoors. In addition to the French Film Festival UK (already underway), there’s also Fokus: Films from Germany at the end of this month and the Edinburgh Greek Film Festival at the beginning of the next one… plus the following new releases, fresh from the box office:
Kenneth Branagh / Malta, Italy / 2017 / 114 mins
Kenneth Branagh steps into the sizable shoes and even bigger mustachios of Hercule Poirot as he attempts to solve a grisly murder onboard a stranded train. Will the Belgian sleuth solve the crime before the murderer strikes again? Before the snow clears and the train starts up again? Before the Pritt Stick on his enormous mouser comes unstuck again? You’ll just have to pop along to the Filmhouse to find out. Expect a glittering cast, endearing idiosyncrasies and plenty of Hollywood sheen.
Alexandre O. Phillippe / USA / 2017 / 92 mins
Using the most famous shower scene in cinematic history as its inspiration, 78/52 dissects the shooting of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and comments upon contemporary society, Hitchcock’s own inimitable shooting process and the furore that has followed the film. The title refers to the 78 camera positions and 52 cuts used to capture the iconic moment; don’t forget to refresh your memory with a re-watch of Psycho before you go.
Paul McGuigan / UK / 2017 / 105 mins
Based on the real-life memoirs of actor Peter Turner (30 years after their publication), Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool charts Turner’s relationship with much older actress Gloria Grahame. After scooping an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1952, Grahame found herself treading the unfamiliar boards of the Scouse theatre scene. Brought to life by Annette Bening and Jamie Bell, the pair’s romance spans the generations and timezones to tell a rare story of Hollywood love in Liverpool.
Midi Z / Myanmar, Taiwan / 2016 / 108 mins
In light of the current crisis with Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, this examination of two migrants escaping the country’s civil war in search of a better life in Thailand couldn’t be timelier. Unflinching and stylised in its approach, the film pulls no punches but lands plenty of hits as it explores how the fledgling couple discover each other, themselves and a new life across the border.
Armando Iannucci / UK, France / 2017 / 106 mins
Armando Iannucci is up to his old tricks again, this time expertly lambasting the political intrigues and atrocities of the Soviet Union in the days following the death of Stalin. Reminiscent of his previous work, The Death of Stalin is set against a backdrop of violence and persecution, which gives its black humour even darker undertones, but somehow the laughs keep coming regardless. If you don’t laugh, you’ll die.
Yorgos Lanthimos / UK, Ireland / 2017 / 121 mins
Yorgos Lanthimos has been pushing the boundaries of cinema for several years now, mixing surreal situations with macabre humour and a healthy dollop of human emotion, for good measure. His latest offering sees Greek tragedy collide with modern suburbia as the lines between reality and fantasy (and the various genres into which the film could fit) blur beyond recognition.