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The Screening Room

Supported by Wiltshire Council’s Future High Streets Fund

The Best in Classic & Independent Cinema

Programme

Friday 1st March

Doors open 6pm for 8pm start 

THE SERVANT (1963) Cert 12
Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig, James Fox. Directed by Joseph Losey. (1hr 56m)


The Servant is the ultimate subversive classic of British cinema of the early 1960s. American director Joseph Losey teamed with celebrated playwright Harold Pinter (writing for the first time for film) for a compelling psychological drama that offers a biting critique of the British class system. Considered shocking at the time, it was one of the first films to illustrate the revolutionary social shifts taking place in the newly Swinging Sixties. The result is a masterclass in power game-playing set against a backdrop of bristling sexual tension. The film's star Dirk Bogarde cast aside his former matinee idol persona once and for all to play the devious manservant Barrett, who gradually insinuates himself into the life of a wealthy Chelsea bachelor, played by James Fox. Using his "sister" played by Sarah Miles as a lure, Barrett systematically dismantles all his employer's ties to friends and family, slowly reversing their respective roles until the master becomes the servant and the servant is the master. Beautifully shot in crisp black and white, it's a captivating examination of corruption and control that still maintains its eerie power today.

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Why not join us for dinner before the movie? Ushers Bar is open for drinks and dinner from 6pm. 

Thursday 14th March

Doors open 6pm for 8pm start 

THE END WE START FROM (2023) Cert 15 

Jodie Comer, Joel Fry, Katherine Waterston. Directed by Mahalia Belo. (1hr 91m)

How do you cope when the end of the world coincides with the birth of your first child? Motherhood is a challenge at the best of times, but even more so when the world around you is falling apart. It's hard to believe it's only six years since Jodie Comer's explosive breakthrough in Killing Eve. Here she delivers yet another spell-binding performance as a new mother struggling to adapt when environmental catastrophe overwhelms Britain just as she goes into labour. Rather than dwell on the apocalyptic chaos, though, screenwriter Alice Birch and director Mahalia Belo (adapting Megan Hunter's novel) focus with calm, even poetic detachment on the human face of the disaster. With London submerged by floodwaters, Comer and her newborn baby make a lonely odyssey across the country towards hoped-for safety, encountering a succession of people whose lives have been similarly uprooted - there are powerful cameo appearances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Gina McKee and Mark Strong among others. It all feels shockingly close to home, not least in the wake of our own recent floods. This could be us, suggests the film. Not now perhaps, but very soon. 

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Why not join us for dinner before the movie? Ushers Bar is open for drinks and dinner from 6pm. 

Friday 15th March

Doors open 6pm for 8pm start 

EILEEN (2023) Cert 15 

Thomasin McKenzie, Anne Hathaway, Shea Whigham. Directed by William Oldroyd. (1hr 38m).

Anne Hathaway gets in touch with her dark side once again for this pitch-black thriller set in wintry Massachusetts in 1964. It's adapted by Ottessa Moshfegh from her own award-winning novel, and helmed by British director William  Oldroyd whose Lady Macbeth in 2016 first catapulted actress Florence Pugh onto the global stage. Eileen's star Thomasin Mckenzie needs no such launch, having already earned plaudits for extraordinary performances in Leave No Trace, Jojo Rabbit and Last Night in Soho among others. Here she plays the shy and repressed title character, alternating a dreary day job as junior secretary in a juvenile prison with an equally dismal role caring for her alcoholic, bullying father. Into this monotonous existence walks glamorous new prison psychologist Rebecca, played by Hathaway, who overturns Eileen's drab life, introducing her to a succession of minor vices and encouraging her to give vent to her deeply buried frustrations. This leads to an obsessive cat and mouse game of dare and double dare as the two women push each other into ever darker and more sinister behaviour. Yet Rebecca soon learns that, once awakened, Eileen's rage is too all-consuming to be contained or controlled. 

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Why not join us for dinner before the movie? Ushers Bar is open for drinks and dinner from 6pm. 

Sunday 17th March

Doors open 6pm for 8pm start 

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (2022) Cert 15

Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon. Directed by Martin McDonagh. (1h 39m)

Come and celebrate St Patrick's Day at Parade House, with the film which launched The Screening Room in February last year. The Times called it “Simply perfect”. It's a work of pure genius from writer-director Martin McDonagh, reuniting the two stars of his previous masterpiece In Bruges in another humorous but dark-toned tale of friendship and obsession. Set this time in the incomparably beautiful landscape of rural Ireland in the 1920s, it manages somehow to be laugh-out-loud funny and heart-wrenchingly sad both at the same time. The film collected a shelf-full of awards in 2023 (though sadly no Oscars). Colin Farrell in particular delivers a career-best performance as a small-time farmer struggling to come to terms with the fact his philosophically minded drinking buddy Gleeson has abruptly ended their years-long friendship for no apparent reason. “A flawless tragicomedy of male friendship gone sour” said Mark Kermode in The Observer. Raise a glass of Guinness to St Patrick in Ushers Bar and then settle down to laugh and cry with a group of Ireland's finest actors and filmmakers.

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Why not join us for dinner before the movie? Ushers Bar is open for drinks and dinner from 6pm. 

Friday 22nd March

Doors open 6pm for 8pm start 

ANATOMY OF A FALL (2023) Cert 15 English, French with English subtitles

Sandra Hüller, Swann Arlaud, Milo Machado-Graner. Directed by Justine Triet. (2hrs 22m)

Justine Triet's riveting family drama was one of the very best films released last year 2023, and is currently sweeping up awards across the industry. Already named as Best Film at France's Lumière Awards, it's also one of the strongest contenders for multiple trophies at both the BAFTAs and the Oscars. Filmed in a mixture of English and French, it breathes new life into the courtroom thriller genre, featuring enthralling performances from lead actors Sandra Hüller and Milo Machado-Graner. It is above all a masterful examination of the dynamics of a troubled marriage: Hüller plays a successful novelist whose career has wholly eclipsed that of her husband, who now feels trapped in the role of carer for their son. The boy was almost blinded in an accident for which his father was partly responsible. But then the father is found dead outside their snowbound chalet, apparently the victim of a fall from a top floor window. Was it just a tragic accident? Did he jump? Or was he in fact pushed? The only witness to the incident is their son, whose own interpretation of events is confused at best. A brutal court case ensues in which all the messy truths about a failing relationship are dragged out into the open. Unmissable.

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Why not join us for dinner before the movie? Ushers Bar is open for drinks and dinner from 6pm. 

Good Friday 29th March

Doors open 6pm for 8pm start 

VERTIGO (1958) Cert PG 

James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. (2h 8m).

A classic for Easter! Over the past two decades, Vertigo has come to be considered as Alfred Hitchcock's dark masterpiece, and it now regularly tops critics' polls of the greatest films ever made. It's certainly the renowned director's most haunting work, a tale of murder and obsessive passion that was certainly ahead of its time when it was made and even now, 65 years later, retains a dream-like power. James Stewart is Scottie, an ex-cop who suffers from a paralysing fear of heights. Retired and at a loose end, he takes a private job following the wife of an old friend who fears for her safety. Scottie gradually falls in love with Madeleine, played by Kim Novak, and is horrified when she jumps to her death from a church tower and his fear of heights prevents him from stopping her. His torment becomes even greater a few months later when he happens to meet Judy, an almost identical version of the dead woman. They become lovers but Scottie's obsession is now overpowering as he tries to remake Judy as the dead Madeleine. The truth, when it finally emerges, is even more devastating. Stylistically, it's Hitchcock's most daring film, offering a succession of fabulous cinematic setpieces in a dizzying palette of over-saturated colours that serve to reflect Scottie's feverish imagination. The end result is an artistic triumph; a landmark not just in the movie industry but also of 20th century art as a whole.

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Why not join us for dinner before the movie? Ushers Bar is open for drinks and dinner from 6pm. 

Friday 5th April

Doors open 6pm for 8pm start 

THE ZONE OF INTEREST (2024) Cert 12A. German with English subtitles

Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel, Freya Kreutzkam. Directed by Jonathan Glazer. (1h 95m)

Jonathan Glazer's chilling drama was deserving winner of three BAFTA awards earlier this year including Best British Film and Best Film Not in the English Language, and it's a strong contender in both equivalent categories at the Oscars. Loosely based on the novel by Martin Amis, its portrayal of the sheer banality of evil makes for essential viewing in a modern age when it's all too easy for us to shield our eyes from the terrible things that may be taking place outside our own particular zone of interest. Middle-class German couple Rudolf and Hedwig Höss live an idyllic life with their five children in the countryside, enjoying picnics by the lake and tending to their beautiful garden. The only blot on their existence is the glowering presence, just the other side of their garden wall, of the Auschwitz concentration camp of which Rudolf Höss is commandant. There's also the inconvenience of the often unpleasant sounds and smells that drift across into the family compound. It's a heart-stopping examination of man's capacity for great evil in the most mundane of circumstances. All of the film's shocking impact comes not from anything actually seen on the screen - virtually nothing is shown of the world beyond the family villa - but from the Höss family's uncaring indifference to and complicity in the horrors taking place behind those walls. 

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Why not join us for dinner before the movie? Ushers Bar is open for drinks and dinner from 6pm. 

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