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Rod White introduces the September 2015 brochure

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Tue 1 Sep 2015

Rod White introduces the September 2015 brochure

Comedy and theatre? Pah, that's so last month... Film's the thing!

A couple of months ago on these pages I had a bit of a go at film journos/reviewers about their annoying habit of writing positive reviews for 'bad' films (and vice versa), and the repercussions that has for us. I read it back recently and felt I'd been a bit mean. I even went as far as metaphorically beating myself up about it. But then I saw one or two of the UK reviews for Woody Allen's new film Irrational Man (that opens here on 11 September) and all the irritation that drove me to write it in the first place came flooding back! I'm not going to point you in the direction of these reviews (telling you they exist is daft enough!), suffice to say if you let these reviews get in the way of you seeing the film, I think you'll regret it. I greatly enjoyed this darkly humorous, "slinky, jazz-infused existential teaser", and Joaquin Phoenix (in a role not of the kind the director would have played himself as a younger man) makes a great vessel for Woody's words. One often finds there's a divide between the US and UK film critical establishments (in the US they tend to be rather more tolerant of sentimentality, amongst other things), and woe betide the UK cinema programmer who puts too much store by positive reviews from across the Atlantic. In this case, hell mend me, I'm with the major US critics who have (rightly!) written in full praise of the film. Jeez... lighten up, you Brits!

I've been watching a few of the films that will appear in the upcoming Take One Action Film Festival (check out takeoneaction.org.uk) and, boy oh boy, am I feeling righteously indignant about some of the injustice that's happening in the world today. (I guess that's exactly how the organisers of this marvellous festival want you to feel...) I say this with not a hint of sarcasm, for I think I may finally have come to the very obvious realisation that righteous indignation is, in itself, never likely to be enough, and perhaps I need to do as the fella says and Take One Action myself...

As if to confirm September as the month for activism and social justice, How to Change the World reveals the fascinating story behind the founding, early years, arguments, fallings out, legal wranglings etc etc of Greenpeace; as well as Ramin Bahrani's Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield-starring 99 Homes, a dark tale set in the ruthless, stealing, scamming, world of real estate in the US and a young man's moral disintegration within it. EIFF Michael Powell Award winner (for Best British Film) 45 Years, starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as a couple about to celebrate the appropriate anniversary, hits our screens from the 11th; and Palio tells, beautifully, the full story behind the famously bonkers horse race that takes place in the main square of Siena in Tuscany twice a year, and the associated corruption and politicking that runs alongside it.

There's some great restorations as well: Antonioni's seminal Monica Vitti and Alain Delon-starring L'eclisse; in beautiful widescreen monochrome, Richard Brooks' 1967 adaptation of Truman Capote's classic true crime novel, In Cold Blood; and Buster Keaton's completely ace silent classic Steamboat Bill, Jr..

[Sound of steam whistle, to fade...]

Rod White, Head of Filmhouse

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The Filmhouse is located at 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9BZ. You can book your tickets online, but the booking process is unfortunately requires javascript at present. Tickets can also be bought by phoning the box office on 01312282688.  Filmhouse location