Soundtracks

Part of this year’s film festival focuses on soundtracks so it seemed like a good idea to talk about music. Over the last few years I’ve found myself paying much more attention to what I’m hearing in the cinema as well as seeing. One of my  favourite recent soundtracks is Disasterpeace’s work for It Follows (2015) and it’s great to get the opportunity to hear it performed live at the Picture House at the end of the month (limited tickets available here).  There’s a similar electronic ambient sound to Cliff Martinez’s score for The Neon Demon (2016). Both soundtracks are influenced by John Carpenter’s music and I was hoping we might get a gig from the horror master at this year’s festival, alas it doesn’t look like we will.

A completely different sound can be heard in Carter Burwell’s score for Carol (2015), it’s such a beautiful piece of work and for me it may even be better than the already great film.

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If you are interested in film music it’s worth listening to Saturday Night At The Movies on Classic FM (5pm Saturdays), presented by Radio Times film critic Andrew Collins each week they play two hours of music around a certain theme. It was a TV special this week but recently they’ve focussed on Hitchcock, animation and westerns. It’s available to listen to for 7 days online and is also on Freeview 731.

BBC Radio 3 also have a weekly film music programme Sound Of The Cinema (3pm Saturdays, also on iPlayer and available as a podcast) which centres each week around a current new release but play music from a wide range of films. Soundtracking is another podcast but slightly different because each week Edith Bowman talks to a film director about how they use music in film.

Back to the festival, focussing on soundtracks is an interesting idea and it has thrown up some great opportunities to revisit some films with wonderful soundtracks: Jurassic Park, Jaws, Drive, Pulp Fiction, Under The Skin, Blue Velvet, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Lost In Translation, The Virgin Suicides are all favourites of mine and there are many more featured in the retrospective.

3 Reasons To See…The Girl With All The Gifts

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1. The cast: Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close and newcomer Sennia Nanua make up a strong female cast. Paddy Considine also stars; remember when he came to the Picture House to show Tyrannosaur?

2. Mark Kermode is another Hyde Park visitor who loves the film:

3. Director Colm McCarthy previously directed the entire second series of BBC’s Peaky Blinders

The Girl With All The Gifts is showing daily at Hyde Park Picture House from Friday 30th September.

 

3 Reasons To See…Hunt For The Wilderpeople

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  1. What We Do In The Shadows was writer/director Taika Waititi’s previous film and the winner of the Audience Award at LIFF28. Unusually for me, it was a film I saw three times in the cinema and thought it got better each time.
  2. Everybody loves it. Until very recently Wilderpeople had 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning it hadn’t received a negative review from any critics. It’s now dropped to 98% but that’s still ‘Certified Fresh‘.  On Letterboxd (“a social network for sharing your taste in film”) it has been one of the highest rated films of the year.
  3. Taika Waititi is also directing Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and found time to make this short film, possibly the best entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet:

Hunt For The Wilderpeople is screening daily at Hyde Park Picture House from Friday 23rd September.

Heritage Open Days

This weekend the Picture House is taking part in the Heritage Open Days. This is  a great opportunity to explore the building and find out why it’s so important that we are working hard to maintain the cinema’s legacy.

There will be both self-guided tours, where guests will be free to explore all of the building and learn about it’s long history, as well as guided tours of the projection room.

On Sunday at 3pm there is also a special FREE screening of This Sporting Life (1963) in conjunction with the exhibition ‘A Tender Tumult: The Art of David Storey’ which is currently on show at The Hepworth Wakefield from the 11th June – 05th October.

Saturday 10th September
Self-guided tour: 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Projection room tour: 2.45pm

Sunday 11th September
Self-guided tour: 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Projection room tour: 12.45pm, 1.15pm, 1.45pm

For projection room tours, booking ahead is required and can be done by emailing: admin@hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk or calling 0113 275 2045.

New Programme Chat & Drinks

Join us on Monday 5th September from 7pm at the Brudenell Social Club for a get-together to chat about the new cinema programme starting on September 9th.

We thought it would be a good idea to meet up and find out what everybody is looking forward to seeing. It would also be a good time to look back at the last few months and see how people think the year has been so far for film. We’re also looking for ideas for future posts on this blog and possibly even some new contributors.

We hope this can become a regular thing around each new programme. So come along and join us for drinks, chat and the opportunity to meet other Friends.

On Facebook? Join the event

Heritage Lottery Funding

We are delighted that the Picture House will get a £2.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund . This application involved a huge amount of work for cinema staff and supporters, aided by experienced consultants. The Friends financially supported the feasibility study work which started in 2015 and formed part of the application.

The Friends of the Hyde Park Picture House was officially formed in 1984 because of fears for the long term survival of the cinema. Now, in 2016, we are in the wonderful position of supporting the development phase to preserve this beautiful building, to better serve the existing community, and to reach out to new audiences. We will make sure that the views of our members are taken into account as plans develop.

It is hoped that the scheme will not only lead to restoration of the existing building but brand new accessible facilities. This includes fully accessible toilets, a second screen in the basement, a café-bar and a vibrant learning and heritage programme.

It was also heartwarming to see the response to the news on social media, click here to see a small selection of reactions.

Yorkshire Silent Film Festival

The first ever Yorkshire Silent Film Festival is taking place throughout July at various venues across the region. On Sunday there are four events at the Picture House with a day pass available for members for £15 (passes for non-members are £19/£17).

Harry Houdini Stars in The Grim Game (1919)

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Showing at 12:40pm

Escapologist and illusionist Harry Houdini plays a man framed and imprisoned who escapes his cell and ruthlessly pursues the criminals who set him up. Lost for many years, this film was rediscovered in 2014 in the Brooklyn apartment of a retired juggler. It’s full of outlandish, breathtaking sequences, including Houdini’s world famous escape from a straitjacket while suspended from a skyscraper and a real-life mid-air plane collision which was later incorporated into the plot.

Live musical accompaniment by Jonathan Best Continue reading

Mid Year Report

The Summer Solstice has passed which means the days will start getting shorter and we’re about to enter the second half of the year. It seems like a good time to look back over the last six months and remember how many great films there have been. The Guardian have already published an alphabetical list of their highest rated films including Arabian Nights, Dheepan, Hail, Caesar! and Our Little Sister. Over on Twitter Little White Lies counted down their top 30 films of #2016SoFar with Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! coming out on top and also mentioning Court, The Pearl Button and Mustang.

We’ve put together a list of all the films shown at the Picture House this year and would like to know what your highlights have been so far. The films from the first half of the year are often forgotten at the end of the year when award season madness takes over so it would be good to hear what people think at this point. Tell us what you’ve liked (or disliked) in the comments below.

My personal favourite so far is still Room which I saw the first half of at the film festival and had to wait until it was shown at the Picture House to see the ending. Bone Tomahawk was another festival film that I only saw on general release but shocked and delighted in equal measure and I rated it much higher than The Hateful Eight or The Revenant which received far more attention at the time. Chicken is a really impressive debut film and it was great to hear director Joe Stephenson talk about the film in the Q&A when he visited Hyde Park. I’m disappointed that I haven’t seen any foreign language films that have made my list yet, perhaps Mustang would’ve made it but I didn’t get chance to see it. And yes I really did like Joy that much although I doubt it will stay at number 2 on my list when I come to reshuffle it.

So, over to you, comment below and tell us what you make of 2016 so far.

May Poll

As May comes to a close we’ve added a new poll to ask about the films you enjoyed the most this month. Just selecting which films to have as options is hard enough (you can use the “other” option to vote for something else) so it will be interesting to see what comes out on top. Last month there were only a few votes separating Dheepan and Son Of Saul.

Are there better ways to spend a Bank Holiday than voting in an online poll? Actually there are because you could treat yourself to The Jungle Book and/or Love & Friendship this afternoon, perhaps two of the most enjoyable films of the year.