So, what are we showing this month?
The film I’m looking forward to most is ‘The Father’; for which Anthony Hopkins won his recent Oscar and BAFTA awards for Best Actor. It’s a serious drama about the titular father, Anthony, and his family dealing with his progressive dementia.
In an empathetic take, the director Florian Zeller lets us see the story unfold from Anthony’s point of view: the uncertainty of his memory and time ‘jumps’ from the present, the past, and to a future he can’t understand. This film could be seen as quite upsetting, but I feel that it gives an interesting perspective on the constant shifting of reality for anyone suffering from this horrible disease.
On a lighter note, we have the new musical from the creator of ‘Hamilton’, Lin-Manuel Miranda, with ‘In The Heights’, based on the Broadway musical of the same name.
This bright, energetic, adaptation from the director of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, is about Usnavi, a small bodega owner in Washington Heights, New York, and his dream of saving up enough money to live a better life. Then it’s discovered that someone bought a winning lottery ticket from his shop…
Of course, this isn’t the only musical feature that we’re screening in July. We’re also showing ‘Don’t Go Gentle: A Film About IDLES’ – a documentary about the band’s 10-year journey to becoming one of the best political voices in music today.
Not only about the band, but the community of fans, the AF Gang, that respect and relate to their messages about mental health, openness, and dealing with traumas. And amazing music.
For something a bit gentler, I would recommend ‘Dream Horse’. Based on a true story about a small-town community who chip in together and buy a horse that goes on to compete in the Welsh Grand National, this comedy-drama stars Toni Colette and Damian Lewis, who are always excellent in what they do.
We’re also showing the first cinematic released documentary entirely in Gaelic, ‘Iorram’. It mixes historical recordings from here in the Western Isles, with contemporary images of locals doing similar things to their past counterparts, alongside a score from musician Aidan O’Rourke which weaves together the sound and images of the fishing community on the big screen.
And for our younger viewers we have a couple of animated films: ‘Felix and the Hidden Treasure’ and ‘The Croods 2: A New Age’.
‘Felix’ is about an adventurous boy who goes out to sea to find his missing father, but stumbles upon a secret society and the treasure that they’re protecting; while ‘The Croods 2’ takes us back to the life of the caveman family as they discover that they live next to another family, The Bettermans, whose name may be quite apt.
Finally, we have the ninth film from the Fast and the Furious franchise. These films have definitely evolved from their smallish, speed-racing, original. Now a motor stunt spectacular, this addition is guaranteed to push the limits to what you can do with a car. Almost unbelievable, you might say!
But if these aren’t enough for you, we’re also hosting the Hebridean International Film Festival throughout July, so stay alert for what we will be screening there!
– Kevin Smith, Cinema Programmer