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Can we ever really capture a life on film? This collection offers a wide range of portraits, both in close up and from the widest perspective, of historical figures. What emerges is less an accurate history of each subject than an interpretation of their life, aiming for a truth that embodies their struggle, work or how they related to others. From royalty, in Alberto Serra's intimate account of the dying days of the great French monarch in 'The Death of Louis XIV' (coming to cinemas and Curzon Home Cinema on 14th July), to artists, writers and first ladies, this collection presents a compelling tapestry of past lives.
Like Road Movies? Meet the master – Wim Wenders. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Wenders directed a body of films that rank amongst the greats of contemporary cinema. They include the loose German road movie trilogy 'Alice in the Cities', 'Wrong Move' and the epic 'Kings of the Road' (The finest European Road movie ever made? We think so). Then there's 'The American Friend', the scintillating adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 'Ripley's Game', and 'State of Things', in which the obsession of the filmmaking process, a sci-fi drama and a moving homage to legendary American filmmaker Nicolas Ray are all wrapped up into one striking film. There are masterpieces too. 'Buena Vista Social Club' is both a musical road movie across Cuba and a riveting history of a legendary band. 'Wings of Desire' finds angels watching over the citizens of pre-unified Berlin, just as one of their flock falls in love with a trapeze artist and comes crashing down to earth. And finally 'Paris, Texas', co-written by the late, great Sam Shepard. A wonderful evocation of Americana – both fictional and real – it's a haunting and profound mediation on relationships, individuality and the pain of separation, all set to a haunting, magisterial score by Ry Cooder.
In Cinema at least, the road has always been the mankind's great leveller. Synonymous with virtually all styles and genres, the Road Movie never ceases to reinvent itself, often powerfully reflecting the times in which it was made.
To all new customers, welcome to Curzon Home Cinema! We're really pleased that you've taken the time to register, so we'd like to offer you your first film for free. This curated selection of films showcases what we're all about and we're confident you'll enjoy what we have to offer. Choose a film from this collection and then apply the voucher code linked to your welcome email to enjoy a film for free. For more info please visit: welcome.curzonhomecinema.com
The New Black Film Collective is pleased to be partnering with Curzon Home Cinema in delving into titles from around the African Diaspora. The selection reflects the variety and complexity of the black experience but also demonstrates the common humanity that should unite us rather than divide, especially in these politically uncertain times. We take a historic journey from an Oscar-winning dramatisation of bonded oppression in '12 Years A Slave' to the present day premature death of a young black man by police that has sparked the rise of Black Lives Matter in 'Fruitvale Station'. Different flavours of Africa are beautifully and touchingly brought to screen through 'Timbuktu' and 'B is for Boy'. We are also blessed with the home grown 'fish out of water' tale of 'Gone Too Far', written and directed by British Nigerian women, which is in itself, a major leap forward for authentic storytelling, and a standout aspect of this collection. Whether it's a documentary on romance or a bio-pic on the godfather of soul, these titles will bust through the stereotypes to honour the familiar everyday lives of black people.
Ever the hotbed for innovative and uncompromising film making, we celebrate the independent spirit of American Cinema with this eclectic selection of films.
Is any other art form more potent than cinema in exploring pleasures of the flesh? 'Tom of Finland' is the pseudonym of Touko Valio Laaksonen, whose highly eroticised drawings – somewhere between high art and software pornography – allowed its creator to escape into a world of the physical ideal. It's a concept cinema is familiar with, often reflecting the desires of the viewer. To accompany the release of 'Tom of Finland' on Curzon Home Cinema on Friday 11th August, we have curated a selection of films that find people either escaping the confines of their world through some kind of physical intimacy, as in 'The Handmaiden', or who push their bodies to extremes in order to challenge the order of things.
A special selection of brave, fearless tales from some of the LGBT community's best loved, funniest and most provocative filmmakers. This collection explores the blood, sweat and substance of modern gay life, as well as looking back at the weirdos and outcasts who fought fabulously for the freedom that queer people, and queer cinema, enjoy today. Exclusively curated by Peccadillo Pictures.
As we've just passed the half-way point of the year, we decided to pick some of the cinematic highlights to date. They include award-winners, box office successes and the odd critics' darling. And their range highlights how exciting and diverse cinema has been in 2017. From their surprising encounter at the Oscars this year, 'Moonlight' and 'La La Land' each offer their own rewards, while Best Foreign Language Film winner 'The Salesman' once again shows master Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi on top form with his forensic examination of human relationships. Three of the year's best female performances come from Paula Beer in François Ozon's monochrome mystery 'Frantz', Sandra Hüller in the hilarious 'Toni Erdmann' and Natalie Portman in the immaculate 'Jackie', which features a striking score by nascent British film composer Mica Levi. And if wunderkind Xavier Dolan's excoriating melodrama 'It's Only the End of the World' and the Sergei Polunin portrait 'Dancer' focus on extreme personalities, the stunning documentary 'City of Ghosts' offers a sobering meditation on those seeking peace, in the heart of danger, amidst the Syrian conflict. The actions of the peace group 'Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently', documented by exemplary filmmaker Matthew Heineman, highlight the importance of film as a platform for understanding as much as it is a captivating and often thrilling form of entertainment.
When it comes to sex, nothing is conventional... Let us take you on a journey to the more explicit side of intimacy. Sure, there's more than a little romance here, but in their portrayal of unbridled desire these films pull no punches. Danger lurks around the corner, but lust can be all consuming. Just be careful who you watch these with. Most importantly, turn down the lights, sit back and 'chill'.
Since Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' showed that documentary could compete with blockbusters, a rich array of documentary films have passed across our screens. We've picked a selection of the very best that entertain, provoke and open a window on worlds far and near. From mountaintops to high-wire acts, a life in photographs to the fashion bible, the thrill of the stage to the various stages of religious induction and corrupt cops to soldiers on the edge, this selection offers some of the best documentary features from around the world.
To accompany the release of 'City of Ghosts', a remarkable portrait of peaceful opposition to ISIS in the Syrian city of Raqqa, this collection focuses on films that have explored political, military and social resistance, from the Second World War to the present day. Some ('Lore', 'Nostalgia for the Light', 'Incendies', 'The Look of Silence') focus on survivors and how they cope with the past. 'The Battle of Algiers', 'Ivan's Childhood', 'The Last Metro' and 'No' unfold as the specific events that affect the characters are taking place. While 'Fire at Sea', 'How to Survive a Plague' and 'The House I live In' both look at a larger picture and in themselves are a form of protest.
Louis Malle is one of the greatest French directors. Never recognised officially as a member of the French New Wave, Louis Malle’s feature career began at the same time and with a similar level of exuberance. After co-directing the Oscar-winning documentary 'The Silent World' with Jacques Cousteau, Louis Malle made his debut with the Miles Davis-scored 'Lift to the Scaffold'. An electric jolt of a thriller, it made a star of Jeanne Moreau, who also appeared in the director’s second film 'The Lovers' which caused major controversy because of the film's sexual nature. Malle caught the craziness of the 1960s with the delightful 'Zazie dans le Metro' and made one of his most intense films of that decade with 'The Fire Within'. Over the next 30 years, he produced an eclectic body of work that spanned youth angst and the rise of the feminist movement in the 1970s ('Black Moon'), social drama ('Milou en Mai') and a frequently hilarious deconstruction of the art of drama ('My Dinner with Andre'). Above all, Malle is likely to be best remembered for two of the most powerful films about occupied France. 'Lacombe, Lucien' was shocking in its time for the way it challenged assumptions about the role of the Resistance during the Second World War. While the semi-autobiographical 'Au Revoir les Enfants' is a moving tale of two boys’ – one Jewish, the other gentile – experiences under Nazi rule. This collection is the perfect place to begin a journey into this extraordinary director’s work.
This selection of films all take unique perspectives on the process of filmmaking and most compellingly give an insight into the people who make them.
Lurking in the shadows of mainstream cinema, this collection of films have acquired fame and influence thanks to their ultra-committed cinephile followers, revelling in their genre-bending, boundary-pushing and explicit content. Whether you are eager to experience the thrill of watching a long-lost favourite or making your first underground discovery, you’ll experience the same strange and wonderful feeling after hitting the play button.
The inimitable French actress Isabelle Huppert has appeared in more than a hundred films over the past four decades, honing an unparalleled talent. As well as gathering numerous accolades including a BAFTA and Best Actress Awards in Cannes, she has worked with an astonishing array of directors including Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Michael Haneke, and Claire Denis. Huppert has a unique flair for bringing to life complex, interesting, and three-dimensional women characters. Her onscreen intensity and strength have firmly cemented her as one of the most beguiling actors of her generation.
Fancy taking the ride of your life? What makes a good thriller? The fear of being immersed in an all-too-believable situation or a world that only exists in our nightmares? To celebrate the release of Cate Shortland's taut 'Berlin Syndrome', we have curated a selection of some of the finest thrillers. They include classics both old ('Lift to the Scaffold', featuring Jeanne Moreau and a timeless score by Miles Davis) and modern (Park Chan Wook's ('The Handmaiden') 'Old Boy'). There's something of the surreal in director Denis Villeneuve's ('Arrival') 'Enemy' and more than a pinch of the baroque in Nicolas Winding Refn's ('Drive') 'Only God Forgives'. Meanwhile, Jeremy Saulnier offers up terrifying visions of rural America in 'Blue Ruin' and 'Green Room'. And if perceptions of reality are warped in 'Disorder', 'The Gift' and 'The Girl on the Train', 'Stranger by the Lake' suggests that the cat isn't the only thing at risk when our curiosity is piqued. Finally, if you like your thrills in realtime, 'Victoria' takes you on a nighttime journey through the streets of Berlin – proving that 'chilling out' in the German capital can also have a sinister meaning.
Historically, Cinema has often done a poor job of portraying both the lives and characters of older people in an accurate and interesting way, often slipping into clichés. These films, however, are some of the exceptions; telling stories in which their central characters are often adventurous, energetic, strong, funny and, importantly, completely central to the narrative. As these films show, growing old can be as novel and perplexing as growing up, and equally as entertaining.
Take a summer holiday with Curzon Home Cinema. From a weekend break in Paris and a fraught road trip through Tuscany to busman's holidays in Florida and an American theme park, and mysterious journeys into the heart of the Amazon, Sahara and a Philippines jungle, these films follow their characters on trips away from home, often with surprising results. What they all share, from an anonymous American hotel to the Cornish and French coastline, are stunning portraits of their worlds – visually dazzling escapes.
From established auteurs to exciting up-and-comers, this collection showcases the boundary-pushing films made by cinema’s most talented women. With a variety of themes, a plethora of complex characters, and an assortment of technically outstanding cinematographic techniques, these female directors will rekindle your love for great on-screen stories. It's important to note that these are only a handful of the compelling films we have to offer from women directors in the Curzon Home Cinema catalogue.
A filmmaker whose strong visual style is as bold as is his engagement with society past and present, Pablo Larraín has rapidly risen to the top rank of world cinema. After attracting acclaim for his 2005 debut ‘Fuga’ - only on Curzon Home Cinema - about a classical composer driven to madness, ‘Tony Manero’ skilfully explored contemporary Chile life through the eyes of a man obsessed with John Travolta’s anti-hero from ‘Saturday Night Fever’, even down to his wearing that flared white suit. If his subsequent ‘Post-Mortem’ presented an intimate account of the 1973 coup that brought Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet to power, the Oscar-nominated ‘No’ detailed the movement that led to his being democratically deposed. Like all of his work, ‘No’ balanced drama with a satirical edge, shifting seamlessly between docudrama and outright farce. ‘The Club’, an account of what might happen to disgraced priests when they are removed from their diocese, is arguably Larraín’s most fully realised film to date – a searing indictment of corruption in the Catholic church and an extraordinarily beautiful drama. It as shot on the Southern Chile coastline, which exudes an eerie uneasiness. Returning once again to history, Larraín’s most recent films explore a more personal side to history. Shot back-to-back, ‘Jackie’ gives us a portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy’s coming to terms with her husband’s death and the wholesale upheaval of her world in the days following JFK’s assassination, while ‘Neruda’ is a playful exploration of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet’s escape from his country in the 1940s. Both films excel at imagining the interior lives of their characters – flawed human beings made immortal by the trappings of fame. As well as directing films, Larraín has producing credits on 'Nasty Baby' and 'Gloria'.
Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovsky is spoken of in the same sentence as Bergman, Antonioni and Dreyer. To Lars Von Trier, he is simply a God. For many others, he is cinema’s poet laureate – a filmmaker whose work transcends categorisation. He explored the essence of our being and grappled with the meaning of existence. His body of work is slim – just seven features - but they are key films in cinematic history. Now restored, the films of Andrei Tarkovsky are a must-see for anyone with an interest in cinema.
Although love - falling into and out of - is a cinema staple, marriage often doesn’t feature until just before the credits role. These films are some of the exceptions and although dramatically different in their portrayal of married life they all address head-on the wonderful complexities of sharing your life with another person. Like all great storytelling what is seemingly one thing at the start is, by the end, something else entirely.