Films at Picture House Social

On 13 September, local film groups Magic Lantern and Cafe #9's Film/Coffee/Music present an afternoon of movies at Picture House Social’s mini cinema.

To get to PHS’s mini cinema, walk through the bar and diner, and turn left into the table tennis room. The doors to the cinema are just beyond.

Starting at 2pm, we’re screening Optical Jukebox’s documentary, Sheffield Steel, Yemeni Dreams (Dir. Emma Vickers, Prod. Cathy Soreny, 31 mins). The film tells of the lives of young men recruited from rural Yemen in the aftermath of World War Two to take jobs in the then-ailing steel industry, ruminating on the dreams and realities that arose from this sudden transplanting of men into a culture very alien to them.

Filmmaker Cathy Soreny will introduce the film and take questions. Members of Sheffield’s Yemeni community, including stars of the film, have been invited to come along and participate.

From around 3.30pm, Film/Coffee/Music will present a set of short films to give a taste of what we've been screening at Café #9 over the last year or so. First, we present two pieces by local filmmaker, João Paulo Simões (who will introduce his work if he’s in Sheffield on the day). Uma Curta de Amor (2014), his recent short film about his home country, Portugal, echoes themes of migration if from a very different perspective to that of Sheffield Steel, Yemeni Dreams. The dark narrative of a music video he created for local musician Sieben combines with the stylistics of Uma Curta de Amor to provide thematic and stylistic segues between our opening screening and later film noir.

Working further with themes of migration, and with the stylistic and cultural milieu of 1940s film noir, several short films – ranging in length from 30 seconds to 15 minutes – will then be screened as a prelude to the main feature.

At 5pm, Magic Lantern presents The Killers (Dir. Robert Siodmak, 1946, 105 mins). Tickets are £5, with no advance booking. We’ve been wanting to show a film noir for ages, and what better way than with the flickering shadows and gentle whirr of a 16mm projector? Regular collaborator Christopher Wibberley suggested The Killers, one of the darkest and best examples of the genre, and we’re proud to be showing it at an appropriately retro venue.

With its expressionistic lighting and menacing shadows, hardboiled characters and 'what the heck' plot twists, The Killers is classic film noir. After a nail-biting opening scene, the film unfolds one flashback after another until it’s hard to know who’s double-crossing who.

Ava Gardner plays a luminous femme fatale, while Burt Lancaster debuts as the hunted man. Based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway, The Killers is said to be the only one of many cinematic adaptations the writer admired - an “unforgettably virile” version according to its distributors.

The 16mm format Magic Lantern is using for The Killers, and the mix of avant-garde and documentary presented by Film/Coffee/Music, was planned to coincide with the Scalarama Festival of independent cinema. Scalarama is a month-long celebration of independent cinema, running nationally throughout September. Look out for the Scalarama newspaper or see their website for more info.

This one-day event at Picture House Social is very much part of Scalarama’s celebration of weird and wonderful movies beyond the multiplex. It’s also a taste of an ‘alternative formats’ event to be presented at a later date, showcasing Sheffield’s growing range of independent film exhibitors, using screening formats from 8mm and VHS to modern-day streaming.

Samantha Holland (Film/Coffee/Music at #9) & Melanie Pearson (Magic Lantern Film Club)

facebook.com/filmsatnumber9
magiclanternfilmclub.org
scalarama.com

Film Listings

Legend
Brian Helgeland, UK, 2015
9-24 September | Showroom | £7.10
Tom Hardy pulls double acting duty in the story of twins Ronald and Reginald Kray, the notorious gangsters who basically ruled London in the 60s. With a script by Helgeland (LA Confidential) and a cast including Emily Browning, Colin Morgan, Taron Egerton and Christopher Eccleston, Legend could be one to watch come next year’s awards season.

Around the World with Orson Welles
Orson Welles, UK, 1955
Sun 13 September | 2.45pm | Showroom | £5
Showing as part of the Showroom’s Eye Openers programme, which you can see for a fiver with the Now Then Discounts App, this series of travelogues by legendary filmmaker Orson Welles offers a fascinating insight into Europe, just ten years after the end of World War Two.

The Rocky Horror Show Live
Richard O’Brien, UK, 2015
Thurs 17 September | 6.45pm | Showroom | £16
Even after 40 years, The Rocky Horror Show still has an indescribable hold on audiences. For one night only, O’Brien returns to the stage for a special live broadcast of the show, culminating in “the biggest worldwide Time Warp in Rocky Horror history”. It’s just a jump to the left…

B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989
Heiko Lange, Germany, 2015
Fri 25 September | 6pm | Showroom | £8.10
Showing as part of Sensoria 2015, this documentary captures the music, art and chaos of West Berlin before the Wall came down. Manchester-born music promoter Mark Reeder narrates this collage of unreleased film and TV footage from a time in which everyone was “in one massive band”. Includes a Q&A with Mark Reeder.

Collated by Phil Bayles