WHAT'S ON IN MARCH
Riding on the highs of the awards season, Free Solo is still hanging in there selling out all the evening shows and bringing in the crowds. We also have a few screenings of The Ponds a locally made film that’s making a splash with our audience featuring a hardy group of regulars at the Hampstead Heath ponds and sharing their enthusiasm for bracing winter swims.
The first new film of the month was Wall, an animated doc bringing to life a monologue originally performed onstage by playwright and screenwriter Sir David Hare. Speaking to friends in Israel and Palestine, Hare considers ramifications of the wall dividing Israel and Palestine. Following over from its Q&A screening in Feb we have Of Love & Law, an intimate portrait of Japanese lawyer couple Kazu and Fumi, who fight for the rights of the marginalised and the risk-takers, now screening until mid-March. We’ll also be showing Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me until mid-march – a totally absorbing music doc about the brilliant talent that was Teddy Pendergrass, from his time with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes to a devastating accident that happened just as he was on the cusp of super-stardom.
After a satellite Q&A preview on Thursday 7th March, Maiden begins its run on International Women’s Day; telling the against-all-odds story of sailor Tracy Edwards, who skippered the first all-female international crew in the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. It’s a fantastic insight into the risks she took, the dangers of the journey, and the rampant sexism her team faced every step of the way.
This month’s On Photography strand screening is Master and Tatyana on Sunday 10th March. The film tells the tale of Vitas Luckus, a larger than life photographer and his partner and muse Tatyana. From their pet lion cub to their legendary parties, they lived life on the edge, until mounting pressure from the KGB and a sudden tragedy ended everything.
From the 15th March we’ll be screening apocalyptic shocker Welcome to Sodom which introduces the people who live on the blazing, toxic electrical dump in Agbogbloshie, Ghana, working through the discarded waste that has been illegally shipped there. We also have a Q&A screening of Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, an insight into the history of the jazz scene in New York, the Blue Note record label, and its legacy that flows into many contemporary strands of music. The Q&A on Saturday 16th March will feature the director Sophie Huber, hosted by Jazz FM DJ Chris Philips, and will be followed by a week’s run at the cinema.
On Tuesday 19th March we're going off-site in a collaboration with Peckham Springs, a DIY space screening films on the South of the river. We're trialing a doc series with them and opening with Milford Graves Full Mantis. The documentary approaches the story behind the kaleidoscopic sound of internationally renowned percussionist Milford Graves. We had a sell-out Q&A screening hosted by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore back in the summer, and hoping to get a great music crowd in Peckham.
Oscar-nominated documentary Minding the Gap* is coming to our cinema from Friday 22nd March. Bing Liu started filming himself and his skater friends when they were teens; hanging out at skate parks, learning new tricks and mucking about. When one his friends becomes a young father, he begins to reflect on the father figures in their lives and the foundations we’re given during childhood. Also opening on Friday 22nd is Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood. The documentary follows Scotty Bowers, author of a salacious tell-all memoir about providing sex services to Hollywood stars in the late 1940s. Bowers is keen to share his sexcapades, regardless of the implications, while journalists and researchers give context to the cultural climate and historical attitudes around sexuality in Hollywood.
The Panama Papers is opening on 29th March. Alex Winter’s political thriller is an absorbing and shocking portrait the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism that broke the story of the widespread tax evasion committed by global leaders and celebrities. With waves of politicians resigning and the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana, The Panama Papers emphasises the huge level of personal risk at stake.
Our final film of the month is Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story. Chris Sievey became a legend as Frank Sidebottom, a bizarre enthusiastic figure with an over-sized papier-mâché head. Initially Sidebottom was supposed to be The Freshies’ number 1 fan, but he gathered an unexpected fanbase, propelling him into the spotlight, onto 80s kids TV shows and even the Wembley Arena stage to warm up the crowd for Bros. Beneath the head was a brilliant musician and comedy genius, remembered here by figures including former band member Mark Radcliffe and punk poet John Cooper Clarke.
*Films not underlined are not yet live on site.