New year, new decade! 2020 is here, ready or not. If you fall into that latter category, why not seek some escapism among the pages of the new Edinburgh Filmhouse or Glasgow Film Theatre programmes? Four of the five featured selections below are set in yesteryear, with three of them taking place against the backdrop of war. Worry not, though, as there are still plenty of laughs to be had among all that hardship. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s instore:
Taika Waititi / Czech Republic, New Zealand / 2019 / 108 mins
Cult Kiwi director Taika Waititi is back with his unique brand of zany humour, this time putting Nazi Germany firmly in his comedy crosshairs. Jojo is an imaginative but socially awkward young member of the Hitler Youth living out the final months of the war, with imaginary friend Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi himself) his closest confidante. However, when he discovers his mother has been secretly harbouring a Jewish girl in their house, he must square his preconceptions with what’s right.
@ Filmhouse from Fri 3 Jan
@ GFT from Fri 3 Jan
Sam Mendes / UK, USA / 2019 / 119 mins
Wartime appears to be the theme of January 2020, as acclaimed director Sam Mendes steps back in time to chart the endeavours of two young British soldiers as they attempt to save the lives of a whole battalion. Venturing across enemy lines, the pair must relay a vital message if they are to prevent hundreds of their companions marching straight into a trap. Filmed in a single shot, 1917 is a masterpiece of cinematography which sparkles with the talents of a lengthy list of British stars.
@ Filmhouse from Fri 10 Jan
Adam Sandler takes a break from goofball comedies with this darker, grittier affair from the Safdie brothers. Playing Howard Ratner, a New York jeweller and incorrigible gambler, Sandler gives a career-high performance as man who risks it all for a massive windfall – but will be lucky to escape with his life. An unravelling marriage, a failing business and uncompromising loan sharks mean that things quickly spiral out of control for the charismatic but hapless Ratner.
@ Filmhouse from Fri 17 Jan
@ GFT from Fri 10 Jan
Terrence Malick / Germany, USA / 2019 / 173 mins
Another film focusing on Nazi themes, A Hidden Life charts the real-life story of Franz Jägerstätter, an unassuming Austrian who refused to sign up to Hitler’s doctrine or swear allegiance to the man. After being called up for conscription, Jägerstätter takes up a position as a conscientious objector, endangering his own life and everything he holds dear. Malick brings his trademark nuance and exemplary filmography to this moving biopic about an unsung hero of WWII.
@ Filmhouse from Fri 17 Jan
@ GFT from Fri 17 Jan
Armando Iannucci / UK, USA / 2019 / 119 mins
A leading light in British satire, Armando Iannucci applies his renowned acerbic wit and off-the-wall style to one of Charles Dickens’ best-loved stories. Played ably by Dev Patel, the eponymous Copperfield is the picture of purity and good will, but finds himself beset on all sides by the extremes of Victorian society. Hilarious as ever, Iannucci successfully stays faithful to the antiquated setting of the score, all the while managing to imbue it with a thoroughly modern stamp.
@ Filmhouse from Fri 24 Jan
@ GFT from Fri 24 Jan