The feature film programme is now ready to be released with tickets now on sale via the venue. We have a great list of feature films programmed with some fantastic speakers.
Across four Wednesdays in November, Exeter Phoenix will be hosting the Cinema of Small Nations, a series celebrating film in a uniquely European context. Highlighting some of the very best and most exciting films around, join us as we journey through the cinematic landscapes of Belgium, Scotland, Wales, and Romania.
With introduction by Dr. Jamie Steele, Bath Spa University/ University of Bristol.
Short film premieres will also be screened prior to the feature length film.
Dir. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Belgium, 95 mins, 2015, subtitled.
This feature film by second-generation Moroccan-Belgian filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah looks at two rival gangs in the gritty Brussels suburb, Molenbeek. Black engages with diasporic communities that are often overlooked in French-language Belgian cinema, which has been dominated by filmmakers from the south of the country (such as the Dardennes). As a result, Black captures a unique picture of Belgium and its bilingual capital city.
A Romeo-and-Juliet style tragedy, the narrative is based on Flemish author Dirk Bracke’s two novels Back/Black. 15-year old Congolese girl Mavela (a member of the Black Bronx) falls in love with Marwan (a teenager of Moroccan heritage) of the rival gang 1080 – Molenbeek’s postcode. A clash between the rival gangs ensues with the two lovers given the ultimate dilemma – to choose either love or loyalty.
Steve Rose’s The Guardian film review labeled Black the ‘new La Haine’, teasing out comparisons with Kassovitz’s 1995 breakthrough masterpiece of youthful vibrancy and hip-hop music set on the margins of a French-speaking capital city. Black has received awards at Toronto International Film Festival and Film Fest Gent as well as screening at festivals designed to celebrate ‘interculturality’.
Showcasing a typically unseen Belgium, Black has kick started the career of two exciting and promising filmmakers whose next destination is Hollywood.
Introduction by Dr. Kate Woodward, Lecturer in Film Studies, Aberystwyth University.
Dir. Euros Lyn, Wales, 87 mins, 2016, subtitled.
Supported by Film Hub Wales’ emerging talent scheme, Y Llyfrgell is an off-beat and gripping Welsh-language thriller based on Fflur Dafydd’s bestselling novel.
When great writer Elena Wdig commits suicide, her last words suggest that her biographer Eben Prydderch murdered her. Set against the backdrop of the iconic National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, twin librarians, Nan and Ana, start a murderous night shift to avenge the death of their mother. Bloody revenge stalks the labyrinthine corridors of the National Library.
Euros Lyn directs, following on from his TV work on Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sherlock, Broadchurch, Black Mirror, Happy Valley and Daredevil amongst others. An impressive body of work that has seen Lyn receive three BAFTA Cymru best director awards.
Dir. Simon Miller, Scotland, 100 mins, 2007, subtitled.
A poetic and lyrical ode to Scottish Gaelic storytelling, Seachd – The Inaccessible Pinnacle presents a young man’s quest for the truth behind the death of his parents and his grandfather’s stories.
Beautifully composed and crafted images of the Scottish landscape permeate the action that unfolds in the past, the present and the mythical. Shot with a HD camera, Seachd brilliantly captures a misty and mysterious lsle of Skye that has stories to tell. These ancient Scottish Gaelic stories recite a history of poisoned lovers, revenge, shipwrecked sailors, and Spanish Gold. The boyhood journey leads Angus to the peak of one of Scotland’s most treacherous mountains, the title’s Inaccessible Pinnacle. Seachd is the first Scottish Gaelic feature film, shining a light on Scottish Gaelic culture and local, amateur talent. The Herald Tribune noted a revival in Scottish Gaelic in schools, politics and sports broadcasting around the time of Seachd’s release in 2007. An intriguing and important film that showcases one of Great Britain’s minor languages.
‘A deep pride in Skye’s culture of storytelling […] at the heart of this well-rounded debut, the first contemporary film in Scots Gaelic’ THE GUARDIAN
‘The film continually surprises us with the range of its imagination and a unique structure that owes more to our oral storytelling than Hollywood scriptwriting sessions’ DAILY RECORD
Dir. Calin Peter Netzer, Romania, 112 mins, 2013, subtitled.
A winner of the Golden Bear at Berlinale in 2013 and an official selection for Romania at the Oscars, Child’s Pose wonderfully captures corruption in Romanian society post-Ceaușescu. As a result, this film follows in an engagingand revealing tradition of filmmaking that has emerged from Romania since at least The Death of Mr Lazarescu and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days in the mid-2000s.
A tragic car accident leads to a dramatic change in the disaffected relationship between mother and son. 60-year old Cornelia and her 34-year old son Barbu are rarely in contact until a car accident leads to the death of a child. A dominant and controlling mother, Cornelia strives to save her son from prison, thereby exposing the rotten core of the system. A stimulating and highly engaging family drama that reveals the seedy underbelly of bureaucracy and society.