Green Book will be Exminster Film Club’s showing for December 2019. This Oscar-winning movie tells the story of a working-class Italian-American bouncer driving an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South
Shown: 4 December 2019
Date of release: 2018
Running time: 2h 10m
Director: Peter Farrelly
Writers: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie & Peter Farrelly
When Tony Lip , a bouncer from an Italian-American neighbourhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger as well as unexpected humanity and humour – they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.
Witty and warm as cashmere, Green Book is a two-hander in which both stars soar with humour and heart.
Green Book certainly paints a rosy picture of race relations, but ultimately I don’t think its little white lies are a bad thing. Like my father did with me, it’s telling us a story that makes our grandfathers seem better than they probably were. But it does so as an example of how we should be, as an aspirational ideal that maybe we’ll live up to one day even if we didn’t yesterday.
Yesterday was Exminster Film Club’s third screening. Struggling musician Jack, realises he’s become the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.
Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He’s about to become a very big deal. From Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life. Jack Malik is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie. Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed … and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them.
After the sombre “Peterloo” shown last month it was time for the sheer joy and escapism of “Yesterday”.
Our audience, ranging from 12 upwards, were treated to the uplifting and heartwarming story of a struggling singer-songwriter, Jack Malik (Himish Patel), who by sheer chance is the only person on earth who remembers the Beatles – or so he thinks.
In his debut film role Patel was endearing and convincing as Jack, doing all his own singing and giving his own twist to some of the most well-known and loved songs in the world. Lily James, as best friend and manager Ellie was as watchable as ever and with real-life husband and wife, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, playing Jack’s parents and a supporting appearance by Ed Sheeran, the film couldn’t fail.
Everyone left smiling!
A glowing tribute to The Beatles and their music, this is both a toe-tapping pleasure to watch and a smart, occasionally scathing look at how we get things wrong.
Peterloo was Exminster Film Club’s second film screening. This historical drama by acclaimed British director Mike Leigh takes us back to Manchester in 1819. Peterloo chronicles the events leading up to one of the bloodiest days in British history.
An epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history.
Well the Film Club Committee did agree that we should show films of various genres and Peterloo was certainly a bit different from our showing of Fishermen’s Friends!
Those looking for a happy ending were clearly always going to be disappointed. However, the escalating tensions between the impoverished Mancunians and the government (supported by debauched royalty and the viciously strong arm of the law) were graphically depicted and made this a compelling film to watch. As with all films of historic events, Peterloo had to end at some point in time, so we were left without information about whether those horrific events in Manchester actually achieved any lasting result. But perhaps that will be covered in some future film production?
Mike Leigh brings an overwhelming simplicity and severity to this historical epic, which begins with rhetoric and ends in violence. There is force, grit and, above all, a sense of purpose; a sense that the story he has to tell is important and real, and that it needs to be heard right now.
Leigh’s visceral staging, especially in the climactic moments — brilliantly shot by his longtime collaborator/cinematographer Dick Pope — brings home the significance of a 200-year-old bloodbath that still speaks urgently to the disenfranchised.
Fisherman’s friends was Exminster Film Club’s first screening and proved to be a great success. This film follows a ramshackle group of friendly Cornish fisherman as they are persuaded to sell their popular sea shanties to a record label.
Shown: 4 September 2019
Date of release: 2019
Running time: 1h 52m
Director: Chris Foggin
Writers: Piers Ashworth, Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft
A fast-living, cynical London music executive (Danny Mays) heads to a remote Cornish village on a stag weekend where he’s pranked by his boss (Noel Clarke) into trying to sign a group of shanty singing fishermen (led by James Purefoy). He becomes the ultimate ‘fish out of water’ as he struggles to gain the respect or enthusiasm of the unlikely boy band and their families (including Tuppence Middleton) who value friendship and community over fame and fortune. As he’s drawn deeper into the traditional way of life he’s forced to re-evaluate his own integrity and ultimately question what success really means.
Our first screening of Fisherman’s Friends proved very successful. In total 69 people attended the film based on a group of local fisherman from Port Isaac, Cornwall who specialise in singing Sea Shanties. The story line provided plenty of material including comedy, romance, the splendour of the Cornish landscape and, of course, plenty of music. It really was ‘feel good’ entertainment and an excellent start to the season.
Their singing is robustly and winningly performed, and the whole thing is heartfelt. Nice also to see Maggie Steed as the local pub’s landlady. It’s pretty goofy but fun.
Fisherman’s Friends is a somewhat tone-deaf comedy drama. With its by-the-numbers story line of a jaded London music industry exec (Daniel Mays) who finds romance and true meaning in his life in addition to an acapella group, plus a subplot about a village pub under threat from an out of town property developer, the film is wearisomely predictable and parochial in its outlook.