Posted on Picturehouse blog, 4th January 2017.

La La Land


New Year’s resolutions never pan out for me. That’s why I came up with a different list this year; a selection of ‘must see’ films that I will update each month. It’s the film fan’s alternative! I’ve selected five different films and events that are coming up this month at Picturehouses that I cannot wait to see…


The first is a film that I have been anticipating since its first teaser trailer was released in the summer; Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. The words ‘romantic’ and ‘musical’ put together are a match made in heaven for this West-End fan and the film is raking in award nominations. There are some big musical numbers to look forward to and some sizzling chemistry between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.


Another screening that enticed me through the promise of singing is the MET Opera’s performance of Romeo & Juliet. In this Gounod adaptation of the classic Shakespearean story, Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo are reunited following rave reviews of their 2015 performances. Music has the tremendous power to heighten the drama of a story, and what better subject than the tale of the famous star-crossed lovers?


I am also looking forward to attending the London Short Film Festival’s anniversary programme, David Bowie Sound & Vision, a series of five consecutive short documentaries that tracks Bowie’s career from the 1960s up until 2003. I enjoy music documentaries (Bob Dylan’s Don’t Look Back being a favourite) and the event seems a fitting way to pay tribute to Bowie’s life and work.


My fourth pick is another documentary that is also part of Picturehouses’ ‘Discover Tuesdays’ programme, The New Man, a film in which director Josh Appignanesi turns the camera on himself during the months of his wife’s pregnancy. The trailer is gripping and the documentary promises to be intimate, tragic and a comment on masculinity. I’m intrigued.


Finally, my list would not be complete without Pablo Larrain’s much anticipated Jackie. Natalie Portman stars as Jackie Kennedy with the spotlight focused on the most difficult chapter of the First Lady’s life; the assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy. We’ve seen the footage and heard about the resulting media frenzy, but what of the widow?


So there you have it, the film highlights for January 2017 from a music-loving, documentary-watching history fan! Now to get ticking them off the list…