The 27th of March will see the re-opening of the Renoir cinema in the Brunswick, under the new name of Curzon Bloomsbury. To celebrate the state-of-the-art new facility – equipped with its own dedicated-to-documentary screen – Curzon are holding a weeklong film festival in honour of the greatest directors in world cinema. Choosing just a handful of films that best represent what it means to be an ‘auteur’ is a daunting task, but the Curzon have curated a line-up that is both extraordinarily diverse and peppered with unusual choices.
Some of the films on offer are true classics of world cinema; we aren’t surprised to find Renoir’s The Rules of the Game on the billing, nor de Sica’s The Bicycle Thieves, but The Auteur Film Festival looks set to intrigue most in some of its more unexpected selections. In giving its nod to the road-movie genre, for instance, Curzon have included not only Two Lane Blacktop, a classic American Route-66 journey, but the rarer specimen of Christopher Petit’s Radio On, one of very few British road-movies.
There are also some loose thematic links between films on offer. The festival will showcase a clutch of seminal coming-of-age films, including the gloriously angsty Mouchette, and Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. Cinematography buffs will have plenty to fawn over, with a number of selections demonstrating pioneering film techniques; we’re thinking particularly of the dizzying dolly-zoom in Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Yasujiro Ozu’s signature ‘tatami mat’ low-angle shots in Tokyo Story.
Our personal highlights include Days of Heaven, starring a very young Richard Gere – a good chance to catch some early Malick ahead of the general release of his latest feature, Knight of Cups. We also don’t think it’s possible to see Spirited Away too many times, and if you have yet to enter the weird and wonderful world of Miyazaki, this is a great opportunity to see it on the big screen. Also not to be missed are David Lynch's surreal, career defining Mulholland Drive, and Sofia Coppola's stunningly shot Lost in Translation. There will also be a preview screening of Roy Andersson's bizarre new comedy-drama A Pigeon Sat on A Branch Reflecting on Existence which reaches UK cinemas 24 April (read our full preview here).
'Hardened film fans and casual cinema-goers alike'
On the whole, The Auteur Film Festival has avoided too rigid an adherence to any particular theme, beyond a celebration of greatness in cinema – whatever form that may take. There will be enough on offer here to pique the interest of hardened film fans and casual cinema-goers alike, and come the 27th of March you might just find us hunkered down for a marathon session at the Curzon Bloomsbury.
|What||Auteur Film Festival, Curzon Bloomsbury|
|Where||Bertha Dochouse, The Brunswick, London, WC1N 1AW | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Russell Square (underground)|
27 Mar 15 – 02 Apr 15, Various dates and times from 27 March – 2 April
|Price||£7.50 - or £6.50 members|
|Website||Click here to book via the Curzon’s website.|