It’s been 10 years since CineCity first launched. Of course, Brighton’s film festival may not be one of the biggest, but it is one of the best and this year’s line-up is as exciting as ever. What I really love about CineCity is the diversity in the work you can see; you have the opportunity to see some of the biggest independent films to be released in the coming months, as well as the chance to sample the work of the local filmmakers from the Brighton community.
Kicking off this year’s lineup is Seven Psychopaths, the eagerly awaited new film from Martin McDonough, whose previous film In Bruges is one of my favorites of the last 10 years. His new film is another black comedy, this time set stateside. We follow Marty (Colin Farrell), an aspiring script-writer who, along with his best friend Billy, are caught up in a world of violence when Billy accidently kidnaps a dog belonging to local gangster Charlie (Woody Harrelson). Promising to be both bizarre and brilliant, Seven Psychopaths kicks off what is sure to be another fantastic film festival in Brighton.
My personal highlight from the line-up this year though, is the opportunity to see the directorial debut of screen legend Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman may be a yank, but his film Quartet has a very British feel. Starring Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly, Quartet follows a group of friends living at a retirement home for opera singers, as they prepare for their yearly celebration to Mark Verdi’s birthday. A thoughtful drama with laughs along the way, Quartet looks to be a beautiful piece of filmmaking from one of Hollywood’s finest.
One of the biggest must see’s for film fans this year though, is a celebration of Stanley Kubrick’s sumptuous and timeless classic Barry Lyndon. What better place to show this masterpiece then in The Music Room of Brighton’s beautiful Pavilion. The main problem with Barry Lyndon is that it’s lost amongst the better-known work in Kubrick’s filmography. Few films are as beautiful to take in as Lyndon; the sweeping countryside long shots and the richly realized world of 18th century aristocracy hold your gaze effortlessly during the lengthy but fast-moving running time. Whether you know and love the film or have never experienced it before, this is an opportunity that really isn’t to be missed.
If you’re looking to experience something a little different though, then take a trip to the North Gallery of the University of Brighton and take a look at The Cine-Novella Film Loop. A fantastic initiative to broadcast films that fall through the cracks, Cine-Novella is dedicated to showing films that range from 40-70 minutes in running length and contain a full narrative. Acclaimed works from across the globe are due to be shown at The Cine-Novella this November, including Cowards Bend the Knee (Guy Maddin, Canada, 2003) & Inside (Rolf van Eijk, Netherlands, 2011). It is events such as these that must be embraced more by the film world, championing superb talent whose pieces are undeservedly ignored due to their running time.
But, if you want to experience the work of truly local work, the Nightingale Theatre shall be hosting a series of evenings that showcase the work of Brighton filmmakers. These evenings allow aspiring filmmakers to present their work to a critical audience and should be attended by as many as possible. Along with the evening that shows a wide-range of locally made documentaries, these evenings, like Cine-Novella, are integral to the future of cinema.
Other highlights that caught my eye include a showing of The Hunt, the new Mads Mikkelsen film that won thunderous praise at Cannes. If you can, also be sure to check out Robot & Frank, a heist comedy with an all-star cast that includes Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon.
For full details of all the films and evenings available at CineCity this year, just click here. From the much-anticipated main features, to the little known movie shorts, the 10th annual CineCity has something for everyone.