Curzon Home Cinema programmer Jade Turner spotlights the films to look out for this month in our curated strand.
We are very excited to bring you our Curzon Home Cinema Presents… programme this December, which focuses exclusively on documentaries. In honour of this stellar line-up of non-fiction films, we’re renaming the month DOCember and would love for you to join us. So whether you’re curling up on your sofa or watching in the cinema (perhaps with a mince pie or mulled wine), we are thrilled to present four thought-provoking films that will brighten up your December. This month’s handpicked programme not only includes our first encore screening in the strand, returning to screens due to popular demand, but also a fascinating reappraisal of an overlooked classical musician, this year’s Golden Bear winner from empathetic documentarian Nicolas Philibert, and a beautiful, meditative diary film tracking A Year in a Field in Cornwall.
We start DOCember with the revelatory Fanny: The Other Mendelssohn on Wednesday 6 December, including a live Q&A in Curzon Richmond with director Sheila Hayman and double bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku. This incredible film uncovers the truth behind renowned composer Felix Mendelssohn’s brilliant sister, Fanny. Until now, Fanny has been neglected by history, but as the film reveals, she was as technically brilliant and innovative as any of her contemporaries. The moving documentary charts the recent groundbreaking discovery of Fanny’s work and celebrates the joy of her music, as she begins to receive the recognition she rightfully deserves. Directed by the unheralded composer’s great-great-great-granddaughter, and starring award-winning pianist, Isata Kanneh-Mason, who brings Fanny’s compositions spectacularly to life, Fanny: The Other Mendelssohn is a must-see for fans of classical music.
On Wednesday 13 December, we are delighted to screen On the Adamant, in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema. Nicolas Philibert’s compassionate Golden Bear-winning documentary is a life-affirming portrait of a floating day-care centre for people with psychiatric problems. Moored in the heart of Paris on the banks of the Seine, the Adamant welcomes adults suffering from mental disorders. Using a variety of different approaches, the team offers care, grounding participants in time and space, and keeping their spirits high on the path to recovery. Their techniques attempt to resist the deterioration and dehumanisation of psychiatry as much as possible. On the Adamant invites us onboard to spend time with the patients and caregivers who spend time on the vessel everyday.
To mark the Winter Solstice on Thursday 21 December, Curzon Home Cinema Presents… A Year in a Field, the breathtaking and compelling story of a single Cornish field during one year of unprecedented global climate disasters. Spanning from Winter Solstice 2020 to the same day in 2021, BAFTA-winning documentarian Christopher Morris stages a quiet one-man vigil as he films the 4,000-year-old Longstone, an ancient monolith bearing witness to this elemental landscape as well as humanity’s increasing industrialisation. Capturing the stone and a crop of barley in the sunshine, moonlight, rain, snow and fog, A Year in a Field invites us to slow down, immerse ourselves in Cornwall’s natural beauty and consider the monumental impact of human’s brief existence on planet Earth. Accompanied by Morris’ melodic and gently amusing diary-like voiceover, this is a profound and unforgettable cinematic experience.
And finally, following our sold-out screenings in November, DOCember comes to a close with another opportunity to witness the bewitching magic of The Nettle Dress on Saturday 30 December (Sunday 31 December, Canterbury Westgate). A lyrical and meditative experience, The Nettle Dress follows textile artist Allan Brown over seven years as he creates a beautiful dress from nettle fibres foraged in nearby forests. As the seasons change and years go by, we join Allan as he sources, strips, spins and weaves the harsh stinging nettles into silky yarn and exquisite cloth. Allan’s dedication and patience is inspirational but this mesmerising process is elevated further as the project becomes an outlet for the craftsman’s emotion and grief, as he cares for, and sadly loses, loved ones while crafting the dress. The Nettle Dress is a must-see not only for those interested in slow fashion but for anyone longing to reconnect with the healing powers of nature. We are thrilled to present the encore screenings with a Pre-Recorded Q&A in cinemas and Curzon Home Cinema.
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