Monday, 19 August 2019

September - Stalker - Connaught Cinema, Tuesday 10th 

September's film from Russian director And Tarkovsky is Stalker (1979).

Doors open: 8.15pm
Tickets: free to members / £7.50 for adults £6.50 for seniors and students

Connaught Cinema on Tuesday 10th September

WFC are very proud to be screening Russian auteur and visionary Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 masterpiece Stalker, on this the film’s 40th anniversary. Patrick Nabarro of pnabarro wordpress states that the film is ‘One of the most mesmeric visual and sonic scapes ever committed to celluloid, Andrei Tarkovsky’s stunning Stalker is a true existential parable – with its huge maguffin of ‘The Zone’ nothing more than a genius dramaturgical blank canvas around which Tarkovsky wraps another of his epic musings on what it means to be human.’

Even in a career as distinguished as Tarkovsky’s Stalker still remains one of the highlights. Born in the Soviet Union to a noted poet father, Arseniy Tarkovsky, Andrei Tarkovsky studied music and Arabic before finding his true calling and enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He quickly distinguished himself as a rare and gifted director with his calling card film Ivan’s Childhood (1962), an audacious, poetic and visually stunning study of the mysteries of childhood. His trade mark slow, long takes (he famously described filmmaking as "sculpting in time") and the mysterious magic of imagery which is hard to match for sheer beauty and a stunning use of colour, are all correct and present in Stalker, his 5th feature film. It is a slow and meditative film, the audience is invited to contemplate more than to watch, to let go of an urge to figure out a concrete meaning, but to individually interpret. As Ingmar Bergman once famously said: “Tarkovsky is the greatest of them all. He moves with such naturalness in the room of dreams. He doesn’t explain. What should he explain anyhow?”

Stalker is a complex, oblique parable that draws unforgettable images and philosophical musings from its sci-fi/thriller setting. Sci-fi it may be but not as we are used to. Stalker has little use for the broader hallmarks of the genre: robots, spaceships, lavish totalitarian dystopias, and other stock scenarios imagined as empirical extrapolations of a given society. Here Tarkovsky forges a future vision all of his own, stuck in a hinterland of familiar yet unfamiliar landscapes which allows it to evoke the uncanny, the unknowable, and the fundamental mysteriousness of existence. Very loosely adapted from Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s novella “Roadside Picnic,” “Stalker” is set in an unnamed country in a vague near-future, where there is an area called the Zone. It is apparently inhabited by aliens and contains the Room, where in it is believed wishes are granted. In the Zone, nothing is what it seems. Objects change places, the landscape shifts and rearranges itself. It seems as if an unknown intelligence is actively thwarting any attempt to penetrate its borders. The Stalker is the hired guide for the Professor and the Writer who wish to enter the Zone and ultimately the Room. But as with the rearranging landscape all is not what it seems with the three characters. Geoff Dyer states ‘one of the film’s most remarkable qualities is its resistance to interpretation. Archetypal characters reveal themselves as unique individuals; established facts waver and evaporate; desperately sought goals become objects of dread. Stalker, Zone, Room—none escapes ambiguity or interrogation. We may well leave the film knowing less than we did when we entered.’

'The plot is a coat hanger on which the director hangs oblique, open-ended philosophical, psychological, and existential ruminations about the nature of art and the essence of the human soul.’ ‘Nonetheless, it remains a dense, complex, often-contradictory, and endlessly pliable allegory about human consciousness, the necessity for faith in an increasingly secular, rational world, and the ugly, unpleasant dreams and desires that reside in the hearts of men.’  Patrick Nabarro - pnabarro wordpress In aggregate, however, what these various artifacts, objects, and narrative events do ultimately capture is something akin to the essence of what man is made of: a tangled knot of memories, fears, fantasies, nightmares, paradoxical impulses, and a yearning for something that’s simultaneously beyond our reach and yet intrinsic to every one of us. Is that thing hope? Faith? Or, as implied by the masterful climactic monologue from Stalker’s wife, is it simply devotion? Perhaps Tarkovsky summed it up best when he wrote about Stalker, “In the end, everything can be reduced to the one simple element which is all a person can count upon in his existence: the capacity to love."

So WFC invite you to journey with us through the Zone and ultimately to the Room guided by the Stalker. Please don’t miss this screening, it is really is Event Cinema and what a treat to be watching it at the lovely Connaught!

Don't miss out. Watch the trailer here

‘Stalker is a movie to be watched as many times as physically possible, to be picked apart, discussed, argued over, written about, to inspire music, books, poetry, other movies, teachers, philosophers, historians, governments, even the way an individual might chose to live their life. It really is that astounding.’

David Jenkins - little white lies

‘Whatever its ultimate meaning, this is a complex, challenging work of rare beauty and power whose elusiveness is part of its fascination.’ David Parkinson - Empire

‘The film has a hypnotic pull, drawing the viewer deeper and deeper into its enigmatic adventure by crafting a world all its own.’ Mark Olsen - Los Angeles Times

The film is free to Worthing Film Club members (£30 a year - email Caroline at to join) or £5 for a ticket, cash on the door.  For more details on membership, see here

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

August's film from Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci is The Sheltering Sky (1990).

Doors open:8.00pm

Film: 8.30pm
Tickets: free to members / £5 for everyone else.

Back at St. Paul's on Monday 12th August

With the untimely death of the Italian film maestro Bernardo Bertolucci in 2018 WFC are proud to be screening The Sheltering Sky (1990) as a tribute to the great man. TimeOut said of the film  ‘As you would expect it’s a big, handsome film, rich and strange in psychological depths and eroticism.’

Starting out fittingly as a poet (his father was Attilio Bertolucci - a famous Italian poet) Bertolucci transformed his love of words into cinematic poetry to became one of the giants of Italian cinema, and indeed cinema itself. In a career that spanned over 50 years he directed luminescent and game changing gems such as The Conformist (1970), The Spider’s Stratagem (1970) and most (in)famously Last Tango in Paris (1972) and The Last Emperor (1987). All delivered labyrinthinely emotionally complex stories with audacious creativity, coupled with his trade mark vivid and sensual aesthetic style thus ensuring that his movies always had beauty, layers and uncommon depth. However some of his films were not without controversy, as Philip Concannon of the BFI stated ‘The legacy and reputation of Bernardo Bertolucci is brilliant and yet complex.’ 

Standing along side all of his other great works The Sheltering Sky ‘is about sliding over the edge into oblivion, but going in style.’ (Vincent Canby - The New York Times) Adapted  from the Paul Bowles’ (who also narrates and has a cameo in the film) novel of the same name, it tells the seemingly simple tale of a bored and disconnected American married couple Port (John Malkovich) and Kit (Debra winger) and their companion Tunner (Scott Campbell) who are ‘travellers but not tourists’ and their journey to North Africa in search of an emotional and intellectual reawakening, only for it to become a slow decent into hell. Working with his long term cinematographer Vittorio Storaro the film is ‘visually stunning to look at, but it is never simply picturesque. It mesmerizes, making the Sahara a metaphor for a universe that is overwhelming in its vastness but also as simple and finite as a grain of sand.’ (Vincent Canby - The New York Times) Bertolucci also does a fine job in opening up the interiorisation of the novel and bringing us into the isolations and motivations of the characters. He brings to life the the book’s metaphysical nightmare about two lost souls who fall into oblivion because, on some level, that’s what they’re seeking. It was about people collapsing into the abyss of their own minds. Add to this fine performances from the three leads and a classic is born.

Beautiful but dark and rich in its complexity it is a fine tribute to the late great Bertolucci and we at WFC really hope you will attend the screening. We can’t wait to share it with you.

Don’t miss it. Watch the trailer here

‘The Sheltering Sky, possibly Mr. Bertolucci's most seductive, most hypnotic movie.’ Vincent Canby - The New York Times

The film is free to Worthing Film Club members (£30 a year - email Caroline at to join) or £5 for a ticket, cash on the door.  For more details on membership, see here

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

July - Black Sun -St. Paul's, Monday 1st

July's film from British director Gary Tarn is Black Sun (2005).

Doors open:8.00pm
Film: 8.30pm
Tickets: free to members / £5 for everyone else.

Back at St. Paul's on Monday 1st July5

WFC’s July’s offering will be Black Sun (2005) by filmmaker Gary Tarn, a visually stunning and thoughtful meditation on the nature of seeing. It’s a documentary centring on artist Hugues de Montalembert who was tragically blinded in a random New York City mugging and his subsequent journey in adjusting to the loss of his sight. Taking its cinematic queue from other great Art documentaries such as Chris Marker’s masterly San Soleil (1983) Black Sun tells us a true tale but in a highly individual and poetic way, it is more cinematic essay or visual poem than traditional documentary. 

Premiering at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and produced by Mexico’s finest Alfonso Cuaron, Gary Tarn’s first feature is quite the calling card. A stunning mixture of images, textures, a lyrical treatment of de Montalembert’s narration and an original haunting score by Tarn himself, ensures that the film becomes as much a visual and emotional experience for the viewer as it is a recapitulation of de Montalembert’s own experiences. Black Sun never seeks easy illustration of its subject’s journey, physical or otherwise: rather it catches the luminous materiality of the seen as a means to the most searching spiritual enquiry. Never seeking to dwell mawkishly or sentimentally on the dreadful event, the film is rather ‘more interested in his [de Montalembert ] enduring artistic impulses than in any clichéd "testament to the human spirit”. Victoria Segal - New Statesman

For a film on blindness it is conversely incredibly visual, making the viewer really look and meditate on the gift of sight, on the actual and the abstract qualities of looking. It also manages to heighten our other senses. Ultimately though Black Sun is not just about blindness, but ways of seeing — anatomical, neurological, philosophical, spiritual, and cinematic. At once an excellent tribute to the extraordinary de Montalembert, as well as a sensory treat for the viewer and a moving portrait of the human experience and its extremities, it is a work for all places and times, for anyone who seeks to fully live, to engage, it is indeed essential viewing. It is simply a wonderful film; unique, dazzling and thought provoking; the film lingers on in the mind long after viewing and we can’t wait to screen it!

Don't miss it, watch the trailer

‘Narrated with moving simplicity and without a hint of bathos, this account of his struggle has been exquisitely illustrated by director-composer Gary Tarn, whose use of light, colour and shape challenges the subjective nature of reality and turns New York into a place that’s at once terrifying and wondrous. Rarely have the concepts of identity, memory, faith and hope been explored with such poetic courage.’ David Parkinson - Empire

The film is free to Worthing Film Club members (£30 a year - email Caroline at to join) or £5 for a ticket, cash on the door.  For more details on membership, see here

Sunday, 12 May 2019

June - Birds of Passage - Connaught Cinema, Monday 17th

June's film from Colombian directors Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra is Birds of Passage (2018).

Doors open: 8.15pm
Tickets: free to members / £7.50 for adults £6.50 for seniors and students

Connaught Cinema on Monday 17th June

WFC are proud to present Birds of Passage from the Oscar nominated team behind the genre-defying and brilliant Embrace of the Serpent. It is an equally audacious saga centered on the Wayúu indigenous people during a crucial period in recent Colombian history. Rotten Tomatoes called it ‘A sprawling epic about the erosion of tradition in pursuit of material wealth, Birds of Passage is a visually striking exploration of loyalty, greed, and the voracious nature of change.’

Based on real events and viewed through the lens of the Wayúu people Birds of Passage tells the tale of the origins of the Colombian drug trade. Torn between his desire to become a powerful man and his duty to uphold his culture's values, Rapayet (José Acosta) enters the drug trafficking business in the 1970s. Ignoring ancient omens, he and his family get caught up in a conflict where honour is the highest currency and debts are paid with blood.

Drawing on the traditions, history and tropes of the gangster movie, it nevertheless manages to render the familiarity of those things at once familiar yet unfamiliar and unique. The film eschews the violence of its Hollywood counterparts, instead choosing to broaden out the canvass and reflect on the devastating after effects both physically and spiritually on the tribe, rather than the actual violence.

Made by using many actors and extras of the actual Wayúu tribe (30% of the film team were from the same tribe also), it totally immerses us in the culture and traditions of the Wayúu, lending the film an authenticity and strange power. Cleverly and knowingly the film uses elements of magical realism and the the influence of Gabriel García Márquez, whose maternal family was Wayúu and his “One Hundred Years of Solitude” includes numerous Wayúu influences and weaves them seamlessly into the script. Helped no end by the ravishing cinematography of David Gallego whose vision lends a sense of the poetic and the grand to the proceedings, and beautifully complimented by the evocative score by Leonardo Heiblum it is a visual feast for the eyes and a thoughtful meditation on old versus new and modernity versus tradition and the nature of change. 

Bold, beautiful and striking we can’t wait to screen it! Watch the trailer

'Colombia’s entry in the Best Foreign-Language Film category at the Oscars, has a sweeping, epic-like quality despite its rustic setting. It ruminates on larger issues about the role in fate in our lives and the clash between tradition and modernity. The result is a mystical, sorrowful and well-executed tale.' Bruce DeMara Toronto Star

The film is free to Worthing Film Club members (£30 a year - email Caroline at to join) or £5 for a ticket, cash on the door.  For more details on membership, see here

Sunday, 7 April 2019

May - Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story - Connaught Cinema, Monday 6th

May's film from British director Steve Sullivan is Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (2018).

Doors open: 8.15pm
Tickets: free to members / £7.50 for adults £6.50 for seniors and students

Connaught Cinema on Monday 6th May

WFC are very pleased to present Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story, a lovingly created documentary about the man Chris Sievey and his big papier mâché headed creation Frank Sidebottom. As the director states ‘Being Frank tells a twisted tale of split personalities - a suburban creative superhero with a fanatical desire to preserve the myth he created, and eventually having to battle against being consumed by his alter ego.’ 

The ‘court jester of the of the Manchester music scene’ Frank Sidebottom occupies a pretty unique position in British culture. He was an artist, comedian, musician and prankster, that ironically achieved the fame that eluded his creator. As the title suggests this heartfelt film sets out to explore the distinction and duality of Chris Sievey and his all consuming creation Frank Sidebottom, and the complexity of the relationship between the two entities. ‘It is the story of two men: one real, one made-up; one frustrated by lack of artistic recognition, the other the strangest pop-cultural success story of the ’80s and ’90s. Inextricably bound (by being the same person), yet starkly distinct and, to some degree, mutually antagonistic.’ Don Jolin - Empire

Driven by a devoted and loyal fanbase, this tender and absorbing posthumous (Sievey died in 2010) documentary was funded by a grassroots KickStarter campaign and spearheaded by award winning film maker Steve Sullivan (Heap of Trouble 2001). 7 years in the making, the film was a labour of love for Sullivan. He was given unparalleled access to an archive of material found rotting in the late Sievey’s brother’s cellar, from which he has managed to fashion order from the the chaos of found VHS tapes, cardboard cutouts, notebooks, costumes, memorabilia and inspired zine artwork. Peppered with affectionate and penetrating interviews from friends and family, it provides a frank insight into the invisible creator and his larger than life highly visible creation. It dares to take a peek at the man behind the mask, albeit a papier mâché one, and attempts to pin down the allusive creator, his motivations and his creative process. But ultimately ‘it’s a celebration of a uniquely hilarious and brilliant person, an artist driven by creativity and playfulness’ (Dan Stubbs - NME) and even frustration, and his need for some sort of recognition and an audience, even if that fame belonged to his creation and was at the expense of the creators’s own and very different ambitions.

We at WFC headquarters can’t wait to screen this wonderful, thoughtful and thought provoking film. 
Don’t miss it. Watch the trailer 

Fans will delight in seeing sides of Chris and Frank they never have before. Those who’ve never even heard of Frank Sidebottom will find the inspiring, touching life story of a man touched with genius. As Frank himself might say, it’s fantastic… it really is. Dan Stubbs - NME

'This is a meticulously crafted tribute about a frustrated, frustrating man who made a huge mess of things – much of it intentionally. One of a kind, to say the least.' Alex Godfrey - Timeout

The film is free to Worthing Film Club members (£30 a year - email Caroline at to join) or £5 for a ticket, cash on the door.  For more details on membership, see here

Thursday, 7 March 2019

April - The Colour of Pomegranates - St.Paul's, Tuesday 2nd

April's film from Armenian director Sergei Parajanov
is The Colour of Pomegranates (1969).

Doors open: 7.30pm

Film: 8pm

Tickets: free for members / £5 for everyone else.
Back at St. Paul's on Tuesday 2nd April.

WFC are very happy to be able to screen the restored version of the unique and stunning screen gem The Colour of Pomegranates (1969) from influential Armenian director Sergei Parajanov. Voted the 84th best film of all-time in the most recent Sight & Sound magazine greatest movies poll, and hailed as a 'cinematic holy grail', Martin Scorsese aptly said of The Colour of Pomegranates that it was “pretty much unlike anything in cinema history”. 

A breathtaking fusion of poetry, ethnography, and cinema, Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork overflows with unforgettable images and sounds. In a series of tableaux that blend the tactile with the abstract, The Colour of Pomegranates revives the splendours of Armenian culture through the story of the eighteenth-century troubadour Sayat-Nova, charting his intellectual, artistic, and spiritual growth through iconographic compositions rather than traditional narrative. It deems to show and not tell - Pomegranates bleed their juice into the shape off a map of the old region of Armenia, the poet changes sex at least once in the course of his career, angels descend: the result is a stream of religious, poetic and local iconography which has an arcane and astonishing beauty, creating a unique cinematic language of its own. 

Although much of its meaning must remain essentially specific to the culture from which the film springs, and no one could pretend that it's all readily accessible, it is utterly compelling in a way that's almost impossible to describe. It is a film to be felt and experienced rather than passively watched. As Scorsese said at the unveiling of the restored version 'I didn’t know any more about Sayat-Nova at the end of the picture than I knew at the beginning, but instead what Parajanov did was he opened a door into a timeless cinematic experience.'

The film’s tapestry of folklore and metaphor departed from the realism that dominated the Soviet cinema of its era, leading authorities to have the film re-editied by filmmaker Sergei Yutkevich in order to make the film easier to understand and more palatable to the authorities. Still distribution was blocked, with only rare underground screenings presenting it in its restructured form. In 2014 the film was digitally restored and re-edited to be as close as possible to the director’s original vision and world premiered at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, in a restoration that brings new life to one of cinema’s most breathtakingly beautiful and enigmatic meditations on art and beauty. We at WFC cannot wait to present this masterpiece to you in all its restored glory.

Don't miss it watch the trailer! Watch the trailer

"The movie is one of a kind — an exotic pageant executed with grace, gravity and a breathtaking modesty of means." J Hoberman NYTimes

"I think you have to live at least 15 miles away and feel the need to walk there on foot to see [The Colour of Pomegranates]. If you feel that need and give it that faith, the film can give you everything you could wish." Jean-Luc Godard

The film is free to Worthing Film Club members (£30 a year - email Caroline at to join) or £5 for a ticket, cash on the door.  For more details on membership, see here

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

March - SHOPLIFTERS - Connaught Cinema, Tuesday 5th 

March's film from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda

Film: 8.15pm
Tickets: free to members / £7.50 for adults £6.50 for seniors and students

Connaught Cinema on Tuesday 5th March

WFC are extremely pleased to be screening this gem of a film. Winner of the 2018’s Palme d’Or at Cannes and nominated in 2019 for an Oscar and BAFTA in the Best Foreign Language Film categories, Shoplifters is the Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda at his most delicate and devastating best. 

Described as ‘Dickens for a modern age’ Shoplifters tells the tale of a family living at the edges of destitution and having to operate and survive on the margins of Japanese society. Centring on a three generational family, living in a rundown part of Tokyo rarely seen on the screen, this ragtag bunch get by with marginal jobs, claiming pensions of dead partners and supplementing their meagre wages by shoplifting. One night while returning from a shoplifting session, father and son encounter a small girl on her own, and they decide to take her home to become part of their family. However this act will come at a devastating price.

Kore-eda has long been preoccupied with the various forces that do — or do not — hold a family together. Like the best of the director’s work (Still Walking, I Wish, Like Father Like Son) Shoplifters is all about the subtle complexities, strengths and frailties of the family unit, but here he is taking it one step further by questioning the very notion of what constitutes a family and the parameters of the term. Filled with subtle nuanced details, moments, looks and smiles, Leigh Singer writing for the BFI astutely notes that Kore-eda’s ‘films are intimate domestic dramas, languid in pace and muted in overt sentiment, but rich in quotidian detail and imbued with unexpectedly deep emotional resonance. They are mellow drama, not melodrama…’. 

Kore-eda has the ability to quietly and discreetly breaks one’s heart without ever seeming to yank on heartstrings, which makes Shoplifters all the more haunting and affecting. It’s a film that asks its audience to reflect on where they belong, and on what belongs to them. Prepare to have your heart stolen and broken. We at WFC just cannot recommend this little beauty highly enough.

Don't miss the screening. Watch the trailer

'Shoplifters lucidly vivisects the loneliness of not belonging to anyone, and the messiness of sticking together. “Shoplifters” is a masterpiece.' David Ehrlich Indiewire

‘Shoplifters is a complex, subtle, mysterious film that builds to the most extraordinary surprise ending, a twist-reveal worthy of psychological suspense noir…. A rich, satisfying and deeply intelligent film.’ Peter Bradshaw The Guardian

The film is free to Worthing Film Club members (£30 a year - email Caroline at to join) or £5 for a ticket, cash on the door.  For more details on membership, see here