A closer look at… ‘A Quiet Place’

The Scoop

The world has fallen silent. A year after the arrival of an extraterrestrial threat, a few survivors cling on by adhering to a simple rule: don’t make a sound. The aliens hunt using their super-sensitive hearing, and even a whisper could be fatal.

On their remote farm, Lee (John Krasinski) and Evelyn (Emily Blunt) have adapted to this harsh existence, along with their two children – fearful Marcus (Noah Jupe), and teenaged Regan (Millicent Simmonds), whose deafness makes her even more vulnerable.

Haunted by the losses they’ve already faced, the family must prepare for an impending arrival which could bring hope or tragedy.

Continue reading A closer look at… ‘A Quiet Place’

Bringing ‘Mary’ to the masses

We could not be happier to have been brought on board by Universal Pictures for Mary Magdalene. Our team caught an early preview of the film and were completely knocked out by it: and we knew that our many contacts in the UK church community would find it captivating too.

In a way, the film is quite an unusual proposition. It’s a biblical drama which makes a serious engagement with the person of Jesus and the Gospel accounts – but it’s more concerned with the spirit than the letter. It’s not a ‘Christian’ film, but people of faith who come to it with an open mind will find a rich and rewarding experience. For those who don’t believe, it’s a reminder of the fertile ground that biblical stories can still offer for creative exploration.

The A-List talent behind the film and the care and respect with which it’s been crafted make Mary Magdalene unmissable cinema.

Continue reading Bringing ‘Mary’ to the masses

Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 4

We’re thrilled to be working with event cinema experts CinemaLive in bringing Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic to cinemas across the UK and Ireland. This dramatised production, in cinemas for one night only (Wednesday 28th March 2018), retells the Easter story in a striking new way.

Tom Morris OBE is the Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and Associate Director of the UK’s National Theatre. His directing credits include War Horse and The Grinning Man.

We spoke to him about exploring the paradoxes of faith in this production of Messiah

Hi Tom, thanks for taking the time to chat. So obviously the music of Messiah is itself very dramatic, but you’ve chosen to also dramatise the action onstage. How did this decision develop?

TM: I think to a lot of people it isn’t obvious that the music is dramatic! Drama involves conflict and struggle – and one of the opportunities that excited me about this approach is that even though Handel was known to be a dramatist, people don’t tend to listen out for or think about the conflict which might exist in the music. Clearly what we’ve done isn’t the only way to do Messiah, but the decision to ask that question about what the struggle might be in the music – that got more and more exciting as we looked into it.

Continue reading Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 4

‘Mary Magdalene’ Companion Booklet

According to the Gospels, Mary of Magdala was present at both Jesus’ death and burial; and is identified as the first witness to the resurrected Jesus.

In 591, Pope Gregory claimed that Mary of Magdala was a prostitute, a misconception which remains to this day.

In 2016, Mary of Magdala was formally identified by the Vatican as Apostle of the Apostles – their equal – and the first messenger of the resurrected Jesus.

Download the Companion Booklet here

Mary Magdalene (in cinemas 16th March) is a powerfully imagined portrait of one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood spiritual figures in history. The biblical biopic tells the story of Mary (Rooney Mara), a young woman in search of a new way of living. Constricted by the hierarchies and gender inequalities of the day, Mary defies her traditional family to join a new movement led by the charismatic Jesus of Nazareth (Joaquin Phoenix). She soon finds a place for herself alongside Jesus and at the heart of a journey that will lead to Jerusalem.

Written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett, and directed by Garth Davis, Mary Magdalene also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tahar Rahim.

This companion booklet offers an insight into the making of the film, as well as questions and reflections for church groups wanting to engage with it more deeply.

More at marymagdalenefilm.co.uk

Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 3

We’re thrilled to be working with event cinema experts CinemaLive in bringing Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic to cinemas across the UK and Ireland. This dramatised production, in cinemas for one night only (Wednesday 28th March 2018), retells the Easter story in a striking new way.

John Travers is Head of Distribution at CinemaLive. He has over 17 years experience in the cinema industry, working both as an exhibitor and distributor of films and events. He was a founding board member of the Event Cinema Association.

We spoke to him about bringing Messiah to a cinema screen near you.

Hi John, thanks for speaking with us! Event cinema is something that really seems to have taken off in recent years. Can you tell me a bit about CinemaLive’s vision for what you do, and what you’ve got to offer?

JT: Our goal is to provide audiences worldwide with access to premium events at their own local cinema. There are so many great events that for various reasons people can’t attend – some events sell out fast, like this production of Messiah. Sometimes people can’t make performance dates, or afford the cost of tickets or travel.

We feel there’s an audience out there that wants to experience these things, and we choose events – regardless of genre – that appeal beyond the confines of the venue.

Continue reading Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 3

A closer look at… The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water is rated 15 for strong violence, language, sex, nudity

The Scoop

It’s the height of the Cold War, and Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works as a cleaner at a military facility in Baltimore. She’s isolated by her disability – she’s mute – but has two true friends in Giles (Richard Jenkins), her artist neighbour, and Zelda (Octavia Spencer), her warmhearted co-worker.

When a man called Strickland (Michael Shannon) arrives at the facility with a mysterious ‘asset’ in tow, Elisa is immediately intrigued. This scaly creature (Doug Jones), worshipped as a God by Amazon tribes, is in danger of being killed and dissected by a government only interested in gaining an advantage over the Russians.

Elisa vows to save him – and in the process her tentative bond with the creature becomes a strange and wonderful love affair.

Continue reading A closer look at… The Shape of Water

Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 2

We’re thrilled to be working with event cinema experts CinemaLive in bringing Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic to cinemas across the UK and Ireland. This dramatised production, in cinemas for one night only (Wednesday 28th March 2018), retells the Easter story in a striking new way. 

Alison Hargreaves is a freelance performing arts producer and filmmaker. I spoke to her about the challenges of staging Messiah.

Hi Alison, thanks for being part of our blog series. With so many productions of the Messiah happening every year, what makes this one special? 

AH: This piece of music is very familiar to lots of people – but it might be difficult to understand the human story. I felt the drama would help make sense of that story.

We’re trying to reveal the drama inside a piece of music people might assume they know, or assume is only relevant to people who already believe. Our production explores the question of why people might want to believe in the first place. That’s what drama is good for – to try and relate emotionally to people who have lived at a different time, had different lives.

Continue reading Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 2

Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema

We’re thrilled to be working with event cinema experts CinemaLive in bringing Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic to cinemas across the UK and Ireland. This dramatised production, in cinemas for one night only (Wednesday 28th March 2018), retells the Easter story in a striking new way. 

Book tickets at a cinema near you

About Messiah

Messiah is the most popular choral work ever written in English. The music was composed by George Frederic Handel in 1741, over a period of just 24 days. The words were put together from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer by Handel’s collaborator Charles Jennens, who wanted to create ‘a meditation of our Lord as Messiah in Christian thought and belief’.

Continue reading Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema

A closer look at… Coco

This is a child-friendly guide; some of the discussion questions are for younger viewers.  Coco is rated PG for mild threat, violence. 

The Scoop

Young Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming a musician, just like his departed icon Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). But Miguel’s family is set against his ambitions. Years ago, his great-great grandfather abandoned his wife and daughter to pursue his own musical career, and since then music has become a household taboo.

Desperate to enter a local Day of the Dead talent contest – and believing he’s discovered a secret connection between himself and his hero – Miguel steals a guitar from de la Cruz’s shrine. However, the theft curses Miguel and transports him to the Land of the Dead.

With the help of shambling skeleton Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), he has until sunrise to obtain a blessing from his dead ancestors – or risk never getting back to the Land of the Living.

Continue reading A closer look at… Coco

‘Tonight is an awakening’: #TimesUp at the Golden Globes

Monday morning this week found me getting a bit teary at my desk. (And no, not because it’s January and it’s cold and I wanted to be back in bed.) The news was full of inspiring women speaking up for themselves, amplifying the voices of others – and perhaps, finally, being heard.

At the 2018 Golden Globes, the #TimesUp movement was the talk of Hollywood. The black dresses on the red carpet were, as actress Amber Tamblyn explained, not a fashion statement. ‘It is a statement of action. It is a direct message of resistance. Black because we are powerful when we stand together with all women across industry lines. Black because we’re starting over, resetting the standard. Black because we’re done being silenced and we’re done with the silencers. Tonight is not a mourning. Tonight is an awakening.’

Continue reading ‘Tonight is an awakening’: #TimesUp at the Golden Globes