Above: Fire at Sea
This month, Pro Moviemaker magazine’s Zena Toscani gives you the low-down on where to get a cinematic reality check
Summer’s coming! Expect ice creams on Midsummer Common, supersized floppy hats and a deluge of massive budget blockbusters to fill those inevitable rainy days. While I personally am quite excited that Finding Dory and Independence Day: Resurgence will be gracing our screens in July, this month I’m prescribing the perfect antidote to the forthcoming special-effects overload in the form of some documentaries.
Though not officially the month for documentary screenings (you’ll have to wait until Doctober for that), June brings some of the world’s most renowned documentarians to the UK for Sheffield Doc/Fest, which has an inevitable trickle-down effect on the rest of the country. One of the festival’s headline events; a screening of Michael Moore’s latest film Where to Invade Next will be simultaneously screened at the Arts Picturehouse on 10 June with the following Q&A with Mr Moore himself also screened via live satellite broadcast. Also on the roster is the Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear-winning Fire at Sea, this powerful Italian documentary by Gianfranco Rosi focuses on how the migrant crisis is affecting the small island of Lampedusa.
If provocative political commentary isn’t really your bag, don’t worry, the Arts Picturehouse is doing its name proud with a line-up of artsy documentaries too. Early in the month, Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach is being screened, making the affectionate retrospective of this revered and socially principled director (pictured right) more accessible than ever in the year that he turns 80.
Continuing the archive theme, A Cine-Tour of Norfolk does exactly what it says on the tin, collating content from the East Anglian Film Archives.
Elsewhere in the month, the Arts Picturehouse has two showings of Leonardo Da Vinci: The Genius in Milan, the tributary documentary about last year’s celebratory exhibition at the Palazzo Reale, Milan and this all-round prolific human.
Slightly left-of-field in a documentary and geographical sense (alright, south of field), Saffron Screen in Saffron Walden has a few reality-based fiction features worth a look. The Man Who Knew Infinity is bound to have local appeal being set in First World War Cambridge, while Miles Ahead and I Saw the Light tick the boxes for music lovers interested in biopics of their jazz and country heroes, respectively. Rounding out the month in a musical sense is the comedic documentary Where You’re Meant to Be, a Scottish auditory road trip exploring the country’s musical heritage. Director Paul Fegan will be at the Arts Picturehouse for a Q&A, while star of the film Aidan Moffat will perform a live acoustic set.
Truth and Movies: June at a glance
When, where and what
w/c 3 June (TBC) Arts Picturehouse, Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach
5 June Saffron Screen, Miles Ahead
8 June, 1pm Arts Picturehouse, A Cine-Tour of Norfolk
10 June, 6.15pm Arts Picturehouse, Where to Invade Next + satellite Q&A
10 June, 8pm Saffron Screen, Miles Ahead
11 June, 8pm Saffron Screen, The Man Who Knew Infinity (below)
16 June, 6.30pm Arts Picturehouse, Leonardo Da Vinci: The Genius in Milan
w/c 17 June (TBC) Arts Picturehouse, Fire at Sea
24 June, 8pm Saffron Screen, I Saw the Light
26 June, 6.30pm Arts Picturehouse, Where You’re Meant to Be + Q&A + Live music
28 June, 1.45pm Arts Picturehouse, Leonardo Da Vinci: The Genius in Milan