Zena Toscani from Pro Moviemaker magazine takes a look at January’s cinema offerings
Back to the Future day, James Bond, Star Wars – there’s no denying that 2015 was a great year for movie buffs, but fear not, 2016 is looking pretty hot too, with a great January line-up to kick-off the action.
With awards season just around the corner, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with quality movies this month. Many studios hold back the release date of prominent films until December or January to make sure they’re fresh in the mind of those voting in the Academy Awards, BAFTAs and the like. The official Oscar nominees aren’t released until Thursday 14 January so until that point you’ll have to search for other avenues to help narrow down the vast array of choices. Last month’s Moët British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) are a good starting point, with films like Ex Machina, Brooklyn, Room and The Lobster among the winners – though you might have to venture out of the city to catch some of these.
“Saffron Screen often offers enhanced cinema-going experiences like industry Q & A sessions”
Smaller cinemas like Saffron Screen not only provide locals with a second chance to see some films six weeks or so after their mainstream release but also offer enhanced cinema-going experiences with industry Q&A sessions following many films. Last month local cinematographer Andy Hollis took to the stage to answer questions on his latest film Under Milk Wood, which is actually the UK’s bid for the foreign language Oscar (it was simultaneously filmed in English and Welsh). If you’re interested in finding out more about it check out my interview with Andy in the Spring issue of Pro Moviemaker magazine, out 4 February.
While we’re on the subject of enhanced cinema-going experiences, don’t miss the Arts Picturehouse’s Screen Arts line-up for January with highlights including the Bolshoi Ballet: The Taming of the Shrew on 24 January and NT Live: Les Liaisons Dangereuses on 28 January.
Top tip: If you’d like to get a steer on whether or not a film has been well received by the critics but don’t want to risk spoilers, check out www.metacritic.com. This site aggregates all critic reviews to give a film a mark out of 100 so you can quickly gauge whether or not something has bombed or is a runaway success. It’s worth searching for some of your favourite films first though, just to see how in-line your tastes are with the critics’!