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Thread: Mostly British 2022 San Francisco

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    Mostly British 2022 San Francisco



    MOSTLY BRITISH 2022
    NEW FILMS FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM, IRELAND, AUSTRALIA AND INDIA




    FILMLEAF FESTIVAL COVERAGE REVIEWS

    VOGUE THEATRE 3290 Sacramento Street
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    MARCH 10-17, 2022

    The series ran for ten years starting in 2009 and now is resuming after a break with 26 films.

    FOR PHOTOS AND TICKET INFORMATION GO TO THE FESTIVAL'S WEBSITE: HERE

    LIST OF THE FILMS:

    MOTHERING SUNDAY
    The Mostly British Film Festival is thrilled to add a festival preview. The stunning drama Mothering Sunday will screen in advance of the festival. A series pass includes this film, and individual tickets will be sold at the same price as the rest of the festival films.
    Adapted from Graham Swift’s 2016 novel, the movie dramatizes the secret affair between a young housemaid Jane who knows her place and the well-heeled son of the family’s neighbor, who doesn’t. It is 1924, Berkshire and this is their final fling; he is to marry within his class, as is right and proper. Both families are grieving, having lost sons in the War, but gather on the British holiday Mothering Sunday to celebrate the engagement. Narrated by the elderly Jane (Glenda Jackson, no less!) replaying memories in hindsight, her powerful emotions suffuse the lavishly filmed period detail. Star-studded with Josh O’Connor and Odessa Young as the lovers and Colin Firth and Olivia Colman as the neighbors. There has been kind of a fuss in the media about the nudity in the film so be warned and come and judge for yourself.
    UK 2021 (110 minutes)
    7:30 PM
    TUESDAY, MARCH 08, 2022
    Opening Night

    THE DUKE
    5 p.m. Reception Laureate Bar and Lounge 444 Presidio Avenue
    7:30 p.m. Screening, The Duke.
    Critics are comparing the whimsy displayed in The Duke to the spirit and buoyancy of Frank Capra comedies. This new British entry falls into the category of life as stranger than fiction. It recounts an incredible true event from 1961 when a taxi driver climbs through a bathroom window at London’s National Gallery in the early hours and swipes Goya’s prized portrait of the Duke of Wellington. A kind of Robin Hood, he promises to return the painting if the government invests more in caring for the elderly. The film boasts crisp performances by Academy Award winners Jim Broadbent as the thief with charitable intentions and Helen Mirren as his shrewish wife. Roger Michell directs with the panache he brought to Notting Hill. UK 2020 (96 minutes)
    Sponsor: British Consulate General San Francisco
    7:30 PM
    THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2022

    PERFECT 10
    Almost perfect social realist drama and debut feature from Eva Riley about a lonely, but determined teenage gymnast, who having lost her mother is abandoned by her useless father. Everything changes one evening when she meets her half-brother, a cocky ne’er-do-well, who arrives home on his motorbike and somehow draws Frankie into his rather exciting underworld of small-time theft. There is real warmth and tenderness between them and these newbies are magnetic to watch – Frankie Box, a real-life gymnast, and Alfie Deegan, a trainee carpenter. Winner The Discovery Award, British Independent Film Awards. UK 2019 (84 minutes)
    3:30 PM
    FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2022

    THE DRY
    Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) is a strong silent type. A good guy. He is a city detective who returns to his hometown, Kiewarra (Australia’s Victoria) a parched, soulless place, for the funeral of his school friend who it appears shot his wife and kid and then himself. Investigating this crime unlocks dark memories of a crime from decades earlier which implicated Aaron, forcing his family to leave town. Haunted by guilt, told through flashbacks, Aaron delves into the crimes while the sinister, hostile bunch of locals, seethe with secrets and lies heightening the murky mood of the film. Excellent performances all around make this murder mystery totally absorbing. Australia 2020 (117 minutes)
    Co-Presented by SFFILM
    Sponsor: Australian Consulate General San Francisco
    5:30 PM
    FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2022

    NOBODY HAS TO KNOW
    A Belgian farmhand (Bouli Lanners) exiles himself to a remote Scottish island where he suffers a stroke causing loss of memory. Local islanders call him their Jason Bourne. One native, a farmer’s daughter (Game of Thrones’ Michelle Fairley), falsely describes to him their torrid affair preceding his amnesia. These unusual circumstances make for an odd but beguiling romance—sure to captivate with its tale of guilty secrets, regrets and longing, challenging the very roots of sexuality and love. Lanners (who also directs) and Fairley play off each other with a quietness belying their intense feelings. Little wonder they both took top acting honors at the Chicago International Film Festival. UK 2021 (99 minutes)
    8:00 PM
    FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2022

    JUNE AGAIN
    Alzheimer’s disease was memorably portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in The Father, for which he won an Oscar. This new poignant drama explores the bewildering fact that sufferers can experience momentary reprieves. In a deeply-felt performance, Noni Hazlehurst (the matriarch on the sophisticated Australian soap opera A Place to Call Home) plays June Wilton, a victim of dementia who was once the formidable mother of two adult children but now can no longer remember them. Family ties are explored when she unexpectedly inserts herself back into the lives of her estranged loved ones and attempts to make improvements. Australia 2019 (99 minutes)
    Sponsor: Australian Consulate General San Francisco
    1:00 PM
    SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2022

    TOGETHER
    Academy Award nominated director Stephen Daldry’s (The Hours, Billy Elliot) unique comedy is a hilarious and heartbreaking story that intimately shows two partners forced to reevaluate themselves and their relationship through the reality of the 2020 lockdown, while finding a way to survive as a family. A dream showcase for stars James McAvoy (X-Men, The Last King of Scotland) and Sharon Horgan (TV’s Catastrophe and This Way Up), each delivering performances that rank among their very best.
    "A tour de force of writing and acting” -The Guardian
    "Unflinching and very funny” – The Independent
    UK, 2021 (92 minutes)
    3:15 PM
    SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2022

    MY NAME IS GULPILIL
    David Gulpilil was Australia’s most acclaimed Indigenous actor, debuting in Walkabout in 1971 as a lone youth wandering the Outback as part of a tribal rite of passage. He gained a wide audience in Crocodile Dundee. It is an honor to present the U.S. premiere of the award-winning documentary of this actor’s extraordinary life, made more poignant by his death in November. For Gulpilil, who had inoperable lung cancer but lived for years past a dire diagnosis, the film – winner of Best Documentary from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts–is his fond farewell and valediction. The Sydney Morning Herald calls it “unbearably moving and utterly engaging,” and The Guardian says it is “sublime, humane and elegant” and “rises to the challenge of doing justice to the extraordinary.” Australia 2021 (101 minutes)
    Sponsor: Australian Consulate General San Francisco
    5:30 PM
    SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2022

    TRUE THINGS
    One of the hottest psycho-sexual thrillers you are likely to see, True Things succeeds in large part because of superlative casting. Ruth Wilson and Tom Burke make you believe that their characters fall under an instant erotic spell because the actors reenact familiar roles –Wilson in The Affair and Burke in the The Souvenir. In their latest outing here they meet across a government desk, where she doles out benefits to ex-cons like him. She risks her job and the life she’s made to plunge headlong into a carnal relationship with an obviously inappropriate lover. The film explores whether sexual gratification is worth it. UK 2021 (102 minutes)
    8:00 PM
    SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2022

    Irish Spotlight
    DEADLY CUTS
    A black comedy set in a working-class Dublin hair salon where the stylists become accidental vigilantes and community heroes as they take on the gang members and gentrifiers threatening their community, Deadly Cuts is ridiculously, deliciously over-the-top. It zips right along with zingy one-liners and features some outrageously camp performances that add to the infectious fun. Rachel Carey directs this brash, bold and boisterous comedy– the kind that’s hard to come by (and just what you may be looking for!). Ireland 2021 (90 minutes)
    Presented in partnership with Consulate General of Ireland, San Francisco and SF Irish Film
    1:30 PM
    SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2022

    Irish Spotlight
    END OF SENTENCE
    A wayward young man and his estranged father rebuild their bond as they journey to Ireland to scatter the ashes of their mother and wife. Frank (Oscar and Golden Globe nominee John Hawkes) isn’t the father he should have been. Sean (Logan Lerman) isn’t the son he should have been. With plenty of unresolved issues, the journey becomes a lot more than father and son had bargained for. A beautifully observed story from director Elfar Adalsteins; emotionally raw and rich with deeply affecting moments. End of Sentence is much more than a traditional road film. Ireland/Iceland/USA. 2019 (96 minutes)
    Presented in partnership with Consulate General of Ireland, San Francisco and SF Irish Film
    3:30 PM
    SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2022

    Irish Spotlight
    HERSELF
    A Dublin-set drama from director Phyllida Lloyd (Mama Mia!, The Iron Lady), Herself is the empowering story of a battered wife (actor/screenwriter Claire Dunne) who finds the grit to leave her husband, navigate the realities of homelessness and reclaim a stable life for herself and her children. An inspiring portrait of a determined survivor who, against the odds, literally builds her own house, finding a true home among the decent folks who come to her aid along the way. Ireland/UK 2020 (97 minutes)
    Presented in partnership with Consulate General of Ireland, San Francisco and SF Irish Film
    6:00 PM
    SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2022

    Irish Spotlight
    WILDFIRE
    This forceful debut feature from Cathy Brady frames a raw domestic drama against the backdrop of an Irish community bearing the scars of The Troubles. The story of two sisters who grew up on the fractious border, inseparable as children then torn apart after family tragedy set them on wildly different paths. When one of them, missing for years, suddenly returns home, frayed at the edges, their intense bond is re-ignited. Together, they unearth their late mother’s past and their family’s generational trauma, uncovering deeply buried secrets and reaffirming an inalienable bond as sisters never to be broken again. Winner Best Debut Screenwriter Cathy Brady, British Independent Film Awards. Ireland/UK 2020 (85 minutes)
    Presented in partnership with Consulate General of Ireland, San Francisco and SF Irish Film
    8:15 PM
    SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2022

    Tales of Romance
    NEVER TOO LATE
    Hollywood quickly learned that grumpy old men can be funny onscreen. Now the Australians have taken this knowledge a step further in the touching comedy Never Too Late. A group of former Vietnam POWs who escaped their captors now find themselves unhappily contained in the Hogan Hills Retirement Home for Returned Veterans. Known as the Chain Breakers for their exploits in the war, the men figure breaking out of a nursing home should be a walk in the park by comparison. Only then can they fulfill their unrealized dreams. For James Cromwell’s character that means reconnecting with the love of his life (Jacki Weaver). 2020 Australia (95 minutes)
    Sponsor: Australian Consulate General San Francisco
    3:30 PM
    MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2022

    Tales of Romance
    AMMONITE
    Mary Anning was a famous 19th century paleontologist. Director James Lee reimagines her life as the stuff of romantic fiction with Mary (wondrous Kate Winslet) living a harsh existence, scouring the seashore (at the Undercliff in Lyme Regis, Dorset)for fossils and selling seashells to tourists for a living. She is locked away. Nothing to say. This changes when an overbearing fellow paleontologist visits. Unexpectedly called away, he hires Mary to care for his melancholic wife (winsome Saoirse Ronan). Slowly the film heats up, becoming super steamy as two of cinema’s finest fall in love—or is it lust? Mary Anning must be blushing in her grave! UK/Australia/US 2020 (117 minutes)
    Co-Presented by Frameline
    5:30 PM
    MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2022

    Tales of Romance
    FALLING FOR FIGARO
    Whether you’re an opera lover, a fan of romantic comedies or just in the mood for a feel-good movie, you will fall for the gentle charm of Falling for Figaro. It’s the irresistible story of a young American financial whiz, who passes up a promotion with a London firm to pursue her impossible dream of studying opera in the Scottish Highlands, captured in all their glory. Her teacher is an eccentric diva played with hilarious abandon by Ab Fab’s Joanna Lumley. Competing in a national contest, the American novice finds herself up against a dashing fellow student. Romantic juices stir when the two are instructed to rehearse together. UK 2020 (104 minutes)
    Joanna Lumley will introduce the film on Zoom
    Sponsor: Bruce Lymburn
    8:00 PM
    MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2022

    WHAT WILL BECOME OF US
    The name of this touching documentary derives from the anguished cry of refugees in a war-torn world. It makes an apt title for this immigrant success story of Sir Frank Lowy, a Czech Jew who became co-founder of the Westfield Corporation and one of Australia’s wealthiest men. At 80 he must decide whether to sell the global shopping company built with his three sons. The decision is especially emotional because his father’s death in a concentration camp forced Lowy to live as a refugee. Settling in Australia and becoming hugely successful was for him more about feeling safe than simply making money. US/Australia 2019 (96 minutes)
    Sponsor: Gerry and Fran Schall
    Sponsor: Australian Consulate General San Francisco
    1:00 PM
    TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2022

    FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS
    It’s hard to believe that Fisherman’s Friends is based on a true story, but yes, a group of rough and ready, cheery fishermen in Cornwall are spotted by a London music manager on a stag weekend and signed up to record their sea shanties. Originally the music exec’s snobbish friends are joking, goading him on to see the potential of folk music but the fishermen, the village and a fisherman’s daughter win him over for real. Beautifully shot in Port Isaac, a picturesque fishing village in Dorset, and around iconic scenes in London. In 2010 the ten singers did hit the charts in the UK!
    UK 2019 (112 minutes)
    3:00 PM
    TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2022

    THE LAST BUS
    The title alone distinguishes The Last Bus from a bevy of road movies involving cars, motorcycles or bikes. For some unclear reason Tom — an elderly gentleman on a mission to return his recently deceased wife’s ashes to Land’s End, Cornwall, chooses public transport to travel the 800 miles to the other end of Great Britain. With the always pleasing Timothy Spall as Tom, the reason scarcely matters. The protean actor excavates the joy in Tom’s journey via a daisy chain of local buses, including one with day-tripping sheep onboard. Travel jogs Tom’s memory, prompting flashbacks of his married life. UK 2021 (86 minutes)
    5:30 PM
    TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2022

    Centerpiece
    RAMS
    “The best Aussie sheep movie since Babe,” enthuses one film critic from Down Under. But Rams offers far more through the touching recreation of a contentious relationship between brothers. Many families may find familiar elements in the rivalry between the two. A grizzled-looking Sam Neill and Michael Caton play the alienated siblings who haven’t spoken in 40 years although their sheep farms are a mere 328 feet apart. A threat to their beloved flocks forces them to work together with tumultuous if life-affirming results. As a nod to the award-winning film from Iceland of which Rams is a remake, the co-stars are seen wearing Icelandic sweaters. Australia 2020 (118 minutes)
    Sponsor: Australian Consulate General San Francisco
    7:30 PM
    TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2022

    RONNIE’S
    All of us Londoners remember Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. It was the place to be and be seen. Oliver Murray’s documentary pays homage to the famous hot spot and its founder, Ronnie Scott, which opened in 1959 and is still swinging. The film includes vintage clips of Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and more – everyone was there. Opening with Oscar Peterson on the piano, Ronnie’s features vintage clips of the greats: Sarah Vaughan, Cleo Laine, Nina Simone, Eric Burdon and even Van Morrison singing Send in the Clowns. Come on down to sleazy Soho! UK 2020 (103 minutes)
    3:00 PM
    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2022

    MISS MARX
    Winning period drama based on the true story of Marx’s youngest daughter, Eleanor, played to perfection by Romola Garai, an intelligent, thoughtful woman imprisoned by the conventions of Victorian England. We feel those constraints motivating her drive for social reform and women’s rights. We also understand the illusions she had about her father, Karl Marx, the revolutionary she idolized. Sadly, following her heart she falls for a playwright and charismatic Marxist. We root for Eleanor, as do her wonderful array of bohemian friends, including Havelock Ellis and Olive Schreiner, but while fighting to save the world, she could not save herself. UK/Italy 2020 (107 minutes)
    5:30 PM
    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2022

    Award Winner
    AFTER LOVE
    This intricate drama is in the admirable tradition of films that take off in unanticipated directions. After Love appears to track the peaceful life of a middle-aged Muslim couple in Dover, heavily invested in their faith. When the husband unexpectedly dies the film becomes an examination of his widow Mary’s strength after she discovers he’s shared a secret life with an independent Frenchwoman as different from Mary as can be. Be prepared for another twist when Mary infiltrates the life of her husband’s mistress. As the scorned wife, Joanna Scanlan elevates the movie with her sympathetic and riveting performance. Winner six British Independent Film Awards, including Best Film. Scanlan also is nominated for a BAFTA (the British Oscars) for best actress and her director Aleem Khan is up for best director. UK 2020 (89 minutes)
    Co-Presented by SFFILM
    8:00 PM
    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2022

    SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME
    Oscar-nominated director Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) shines a spotlight on Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood in this revealing documentary portrait. Still a gloriously photogenic interview subject at 72, with his cadaverously craggy features and perennially jet-black plume of crow-feather hair, the charming Wood muses on his career with the Stones, his passion as a painter and his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. A genuine, 24-carat rock star guitarist, Wood has played hard, lived fast and somehow survived to tell the tale. With terrific archive footage and appearances by Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, Rod Stewart, Damien Hirst and more. 2019 UK (82 minutes)
    Mike Figgis will introduce the film on Zoom
    3:00 PM
    THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2022

    LAST FILM SHOW
    Partly autobiographical, Last Film Show is a simple, yet rapturous, ode to the 35mm celluloid cinema era. Director and writer Pan Nalin traces the journey of a young boy in a remote Indian village and his relationship with cinema in a rapidly-changing world. This reverent and magical film is an East Indian Cinema Paradiso. Winner, World Cinema Award 2021 Mill Valley Film Festival India/France/USA 2021 (110 minutes)
    5:00 PM
    THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2022

    Closing Night
    THE BEATLES AND INDIA
    We are thrilled to bring you this historical chronicle of the love affair between the Fab Four and this exotic country that began over 50 years ago. The Beatles and India is the first serious exploration of how India shaped the development of the band and the Beatles own pioneering role bridging two vastly different cultures. Rare archival footage, recordings and photographs and eye-witness accounts along with location shoots across India, bring alive the fascinating journey of George, John, Paul and Ringo from their celebrity lives to a remote Himalayan ashram in search of spiritual bliss that inspired a burst of creative songwriting. This will be the only chance to watch it on a big screen in the U.S. Directed by Ajoy Bose and Peter Compton. UK 2021 (96 minutes)
    Mostly British thanks our new partner BritBox for supplying this joyful documentary to close our festival.
    7:30 p.m. The Beatles and India
    9:30 p.m. Party, Vogue Lobby
    7:30 PM
    THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2022
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 03-04-2022 at 12:49 AM.

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    First review.

    TOGETHER (Stephen Daldry 2021)

    A London couple (he, Scottish, she, English, with a small child, a boy) stuck together during lockdown who cordially hate each other, but begin to thaw a little under lockdown. The acting by James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan and the writing of Dennis Kelly are wonderfully fluent. There is a lot about everyone's experience of the pandemic and confinement. But it's very, very talky and goes around in circles. Ends with a sweet kiss, though.

    "A tour de force of writing and acting” -The Guardian
    "Unflinching and very funny” – The Independent
    UK, 2021 (92 minutes)
    3:15 PM
    SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2022

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    MY NAME IS GULPILIL (Molly Reynolds 2021)

    The late David Gulpilil was not only a leading Australian film actor but a visual artist and the most famous Aboriginal person in the country. His story is fascinating and complex but this film, which has a focus on his brave but hopeless struggle with lung cancer, is too downbeat to be a fair portrait.

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    WILDFIRE (Cathy Brady 2020)

    A handsome film about two troubled sisters riven by the aftershocks of The Troubles and their own personal demons has galvanic performances, some lacunae in the writing.

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    RONNIE'S (Oliver Murray 2020)

    For jazz fans or music fans or fans of the culture, this documentary about the iconic London club, Ronnie Scott's and its complex and sometimes troubled owner is absolutely essential viewing. It can also now be seen online in the US (Vudu, Amazon). But do not watch it at home unless you have good speakers!

    Jazz greats you will hear and glimpse here: Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Ben Webster, Van Morrison, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald.

    Showtime:
    3:00 PM VOGUE THEATER, SAN FRANCISCO
    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2022

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