August: Summer Smiles
This month features humorous and warm-hearted stories, but with a different twist. It being summer, they all originate in northern climes.
All films are free and are shown Fridays at 7 PM in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library.
The Lady in the Van (2015) A fictional version of an episode in the life of playwright Alan Bennett, who allowed an eccentric homeless woman to park her van in his driveway “for a few weeks.” She stayed for 15 years. Starring Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent and Alex Jennings as Bennett. 104 minutes. Rated PG-13. In English, with subtitles.
– O'Horten (2007) A buttoned-down locomotive conductor is forced into retirement at the still-healthy age of 67. After a boisterous retirement party by his colleagues (complete with a song!) he allows himself to be drawn into uncertain circumstances, with a series of strangers and former friends, on the way to making sense of his new life. 90min. Rated PG-13. In Norwegian with subtitles.
Lost in Paris (2016) This is a light-hearted romp through Paris with a Canadian librarian who rushes to Paris to rescue her artist aunt from being taken to a nursing home (Emmanuelle Riva in one of her final roles) and encounters a homeless man who wins her heart. Both stars Gordon and Abel are gifted mimes and their scenes together make this a film not to be missed. 83 min. in French and English, with subtitles. Unrated.
The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (2013) Follows the progress of a simple man with a predilection for blowing things up. Following his 100th birthday party, he runs away from his nursing home. Through flashbacks we trace his explosive career involving many famous figures and events of the 20th century. 114 min. In Swedish, German, English, Spanish, French, Russian, with subtitles. Rated R (moderate violence) with subtitles.
Sunset Boulevard (1950) Norma Desmond is a washed up silent film star. Joe Gillis is an obscure screenwriter who staggers into her decaying Hollywood mansion. He agrees to write a script for her, unaware of how delusional and dangerous she’s become. Nominated for 11 Oscars, it stars Gloria Swanson and William Holden, and directed by Billy Wilder.