3 January

Yesterday still

Yesterday

UK/Russ/Chi  2019  116 mins  12A

Here’s a delightful surprise – a fantasy movie that slots into day-to-day life as we know it. A wannabe song writer discovers that he has somehow lucked into a parallel universe in which he is the only person on earth who has heard of the Beatles – or knows their songs. That’s quite a cache with which to launch your own career. Can Google shed any light on John, Paul, George or Ringo? Not a chance. The real joy of this delightful comedy from the pen of Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral , Love Actually) and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting), and starring Himesh Patel and Lily James, is watching how the entertaining possibilities play out. 

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17 January

Pain & Glory still

Pain and Glory

Spain/Fra  2019  113 mins  15

The latest from Pedro Almodovar – a more reflective film than we’ve been used to from Spain’s most celebrated living director. But that hasn’t stopped this semi-autobiographical treat from being his biggest UK hit since Volver (2006), or from making it into Sight & Sound’s top 10 movie list for 2019. On screen, the film is owned by Antonio Banderas who won the best actor award at Cannes this year for this deeply felt exploration of Salvador Mallo, Almodovar’s creatively blocked hero/director. Mallo finds plenty of time to brood on his past life and present ailments but, as ever with Almodovar, there’s lashings of wit and warmth to draw us in. (S)

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31 January

Bait still

Bait

UK  2019  89 mins  15

A real rarity – a modestly budgeted black and white film delivering a five-star punch. ‘Bait is a genuine modern masterpiece,’ enthuses Mark Kermode. ‘A film by, for, and about Cornwall, and I loved it!’ When two fishermen brothers fall out over their own futures and the fate of their village, the traditions they have always lived by start to fracture. Martin is now a fisherman without a boat because brother Steven has commandeered it to satisfy the tourist trade. And their family home, like so many others, has been bought up by rich London incomers. Director Mark Jenkin’s hugely authentic first feature digs deep into the changing times of a once-thriving village. 

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14 February

Amazing Grace still

Amazing Grace

USA  2019  89 mins  U

A glorious tribute to the late, great Aretha Franklin, recorded in 1972 but only released in 2019 in the wake of technical and legal difficulties. But it’s here now, so let’s celebrate the queen of gospel and soul’s two-night gig at the New Temple Missionary Baptist church in Los Angeles. The film was directed by Oscar-winner Sydney Pollack (whose inexperience with recording live music caused the technical problems) and the only disappointment now may be that this 89-minute edit isn’t a great deal longer. The intimacy of the church setting and the emotional power of Aretha’s performance, supported by the Southern California Community Choir, reduce one and all to tears.

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Borderlines logo

Borderlines Film Festival

Festival runs from 28th February to 15th March

Each year the Borderlines Film Festival, the largest rural film festival in the UK, centred on Hereford's Courtyard Arts Centre but also spread across numerous venues in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Powys, brings us a vast selection of new and old films. Presteigne Film Society has participated as a venue for many years and Presteigne Screen will feature three movies under the Borderlines umbrella (a bigger commitment to this excellent festival). See also the comprehensive website at www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk.

(When tickets are available the  Book Tickets Here  link for each participating film below will take you to the official Borderlines Box Office page for that event)

28 February

Animals still

Animals  (Borderlines) £5.50

Aus/UK/Ire  2019  109 mins  15

‘Animals’ about sums up the life and loves of a couple of boozy and drug-fuelled revellers in Dublin, who have spent most of their 20s letting the good times roll. It’s a female buddy movie adapted by Emma Jane Unsworth from her much-admired novel, and the two leads – Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat), indulged by Australian director Sophie Hyde – give it plenty of wellie. Which isn’t to suggest that the friendship isn’t also explored with care and delicacy, especially when Laura catches the eye of sober classical pianist Jim (Fra Fee), and the partying starts to pall. Will the friendship survive the change in mood – or the arrival of their 30s? 

    Book Tickets Here 

Click here for Animals programme notes (when available)

6 March

Photograph still

Photograph  (Borderlines) £5.50

India/Ger/USA  2019  110 mins  15

Love with a twist from the director of The Lunchbox – Mumbai street photographer Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) convinces a shy student Miloni (Sanya Malhotra) to pose for him, a pic he uses to keep Dadi, his pushy grandmother, at bay when she demands he find a wife. A touching slow-burn relationship develops after Dadi insists on seeing more than a photograph, and Rafi is forced to find the girl again and beg her to continue the deceit. A distinctly Indian resonance adds savour to developments as working-class Rafi and middle-class Miloni must also deal with the caste prejudices of friends and relatives, a problem that widens and enriches the narrative. (S)

Book Tickets Here

Click here for Photograph programme notes (when available)

13 March

Honeyland still

Honeyland  (Borderlines) £5.50

Macedonia  2019  89 mins  12

It took three years to shoot the 400 hours of film from which the producers distilled this moving 89-minute exploration of an ancient way of life in rural Macedonia. Hatidze and her elderly mother are, we learn, the last remaining keepers of wild bees in Europe. They tend their remote hives and sell their wares in the city market as we grow ever closer to the rhythms of their life in a heart-stoppingly beautiful landscape. It’s a rhythm that is disturbed by the arrival next door of a rowdy and chaotic farming family with little respect for nature, who try, but fail, to work their own hives. A mesmerising winner of three prizes at this year’s Sundance Festival. (S)

Book Tickets Here

Advance booking closes 24 hours before the screening

Click here for Honeyland programme notes (when available)

27 March

Monos still

Monos – Cancelled due to the Coronavirus emergency

Colombia  2019  102 mins  15

In this chilling and highly original film set in Colombia, ‘monos’ (monkeys) are a squad of ill-disciplined paramilitary teenagers whose real purpose is never fully explained, but whose noms-de-guerre (Wolf, Rambo, Dog, Boom Boom etc) suggest a frightening focus they never really live up to. They survive on both a mountain top above the cloud line, and in a dense jungle, and spend much of their time keeping teen anarchy at bay which is, of course, especially frightening for the adult prisoner they are guarding, a woman known simply as ‘Doctor’. Accidents and executions are only a heart-beat away in a film that draws inspiration from The Lord of the Flies. (S)

17 April

Transit still

Transit – Cancelled due to the Coronavirus emergency

Ger/Fra  2019  101 mins  12A

A World War Two escape drama. German fugitive Georg (Franz Rogowski) has escaped to Marseille at the time of the Nazi invasion of France, hoping that the papers he has taken from a dead author will enable him and the author’s wife to flee to Mexico. The disorientating feature of Christian Petzold’s (Barbara, Phoenix) remarkable film is that it is set, shockingly, in the present day, lending credibility to the thought that – as armed police stalk the streets – Europe is once again caught in the grip of populist ultra right-wing ideology. As George Santayana once put it: ‘Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them.’ (S)

Winter-Spring 2020

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