Curzon Home Cinema programmer Jade Turner spotlights the films to look out for this month in our recently launched strand.
Curzon Home Cinema Presents… continues this month in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema with a fantastic line-up of films. Join us each week as we celebrate the best new independent releases, whether in cinemas or from the comfort of your sofa. I’m excited to share these films with you and I hope these powerful dramas and documentaries, as well as a blisteringly dark comedy, open your eyes to new worlds and new ways of seeing.
May’s programme begins on Tuesday 2 May with Albert Serra’s intoxicating political thriller Pacifiction. Set on the island of Tahiti, the atmospheric epic is filled with mesmerising, vivid landscapes, capturing the idyllic surroundings of French Polynesia. When rumours of a mysterious submarine ripple around the island, High Commissioner De Roller (a beguiling Benoît Magimel) sets out to uncover the sinister threat lurking beneath the sparkling blue seas. As unease and paranoia slowly creep into De Roller’s lengthy conversations with islanders, military and enigmatic visitors, the suave politician descends into an obsessive labyrinth, where it’s seemingly impossible to escape the spectre of colonialism.
On Wednesday 10 May, we are delighted to present an exclusive preview of Curzon Film’s Plan 75. The sensitive debut from director Chie Hayakawa imagines a world where the Japanese government has launched a controversial plan to tackle their ageing population. Under the contentious ‘Plan 75’, everybody over the age of 75 is welcome to volunteer for the assisted-dying programme. Following three individuals involved – a lonely, financially struggling elderly woman; a young Filipina nurse sending money to her sick daughter at home; and a fresh-faced Plan 75 case officer who is forced to rethink his position – the profound and deeply empathetic film explores compassion, mortality and meaningful connection in a thought-provoking way.
On Wednesday 17 May, Curzon Home Cinema Presents… The Blue Caftan in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema. The critically acclaimed Moroccan drama tells the beautiful love story of a husband and wife, who tailor spectacular traditional caftans, and the young male apprentice who enters their lives during the wife’s illness. Among the bustling narrow alleys of the souk, the desires, dreams and heartbreaks of all three characters become as richly woven and intricately considered as the titular caftan’s sumptuous embroidery. Maryam Touzani’s achingly romantic film is a landmark for queer Moroccan cinema and a tender consideration of the joy and intimacy found in both long-term relationships and new loves.
On Thursday 25 May, we turn the lens on cinema itself with Nina Menkes’ explosive documentary Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power. Based on Menkes’ cinematic presentation, ‘Sex and Power, the Visual Language of Cinema’, the film tracks the pervasive cinematic techniques used by directors throughout history to objectify women, exalt their passivity and reaffirm patriarchal structures. The film features fascinating clips from Hollywood blockbusters and independent films from around the world, alongside enlightening interviews with influential pioneers desperate to fight the status quo including Julie Dash, Joey Soloway and film theorist Laura Mulvey. This is a provocative, yet entertaining, investigation into the heart of cinema, exposing its devastating impact on societal norms and expectations.
Finally, on Tuesday 30 May, join us for an exclusive preview of Curzon Film’s Amanda. The Italian dark comedy follows the eponymous heroine, Amanda (a magnetic Benedetta Porcaroli), an isolated and entitled 24-year-old who is desperate to make a friend. Amanda decides to reconnect with a childhood companion whose agoraphobia has kept her inside, but her own neuroses and sharp tongue will not make it easy. Slick, stylish and absurd, Carolina Cavalli’s directorial debut is a deadpan delight, dropping us into the gilded cage of a wealthy and aimless young woman. Recalling the films of Miranda July and Yorgos Lanthimos, Amanda is a great addition to the offbeat canon.
Join us from Tuesday 5 May for Curzon Home Cinema Presents… in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about June’s line-up.
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