Welcome to The Bigger Picture. Your local film club now based at The Ivy House community pub in Nunhead.
We show a film at 8pm on the fourth Thursday of every month. It is a non-profit making venture run by volunteers, and any money we make is donated to support local charities; with a special emphasis on smaller charities that have difficulty finding funding from other sources.
The Bigger Picture is different to many other film clubs. Yes, we offer you the opportunity to kick back and watch a film on the big screen from the comfort of a deep leather sofa with a drink in one hand and food from a mouthwatering menu in the other, but we also offer a very diverse programme of films.
The Bigger Picture shows a wide variety of films from around the world, many of which are rarely screened or were given limited screening when first released but which have achieved critical acclaim over the years. Some are masterpieces by great directors, some broke boundaries in their day, some are quirky originals and others are included for no other reason that we want to share our enjoyment of them.
THE BIGGER PICTURE is affiliated to the British Federation of Film Societies and part of the SE London Film Club Network.
We have now moved from EDT to the Ivy House community pub on the other side of Peckham Rye. Join us!
20 September at 8pm
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"As an evening at the flicks, it was about as perfect as you could get: relaxed, informal, but still achieving the buzz and excitement of a communal experience."
Dulwch on View
"Going to the cinema is great with it's comfy seats, and superior projection/audio. But the film club at the EDT feels somehow more sociable, and with an interesting (less mainstream) selection of films."
"It's what comunity film clubs should be about: good food and drink, great atmosphere and excellent programming."
"Everything about the experience is inviting; something the swankier cinemas try so hard to manufacture. I've been to nearly every film they've shown."
"I liked the mini fish and chips and the peas best.
The film was OK."
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (2016)
Thursday 22 February 2018, 8pm
Inspired by Jane Austen’s epistolary novel 'Lady Susan' (c1794), Kate Beckinsale stars as the still relatively young, but widowed, Lady Susan Vernon, attempting to arrange ‘good’ (in terms of status and finance) marriages for both herself and her teenage daughter Frederica, currently at a boarding school that Lady Susan cannot afford. Here, at least, we are on familiar Austen territory but we soon cross out of that as Lady Susan’s forward manner and disregard of convention leaves her a racy and scandalous heroine very different from the staid and constrained heroines of the wider-read Austen cannon. Lady Susan is excluded from the Manwaring estate (her affair with her host precipitating this) and descends on Churchill, the house of her somewhat disapproving brother-in-law.
There she takes up with the brother of her brother-in-law’s wife, to the dismay of his parents, who are well aware of her (lack of) reputation. Meanwhile her daughter runs away from school, is expelled and appears with a follower of her own.
After that things become complex, with more deceit, exposure, near escapes and strange coincidences.
A strong cast who can handle period comedy and farce includes Stephen Fry as the dreary husband of Lady Susan’s almost equally racy friend and confident, James Fleet and Gemma Redgrave. Whit Stillman manages to place a modern knowingness into a well handled period setting, and despite a plot which is tissue thin, this film manages to delight. Filmed mainly in Ireland (you can’t find the late eighteen century in England nowadays at the price).
Director: Whit Stillman
Ireland, France, Netherlands
Running time: 90 minutes.
We say: It is the Austen for people who don’t think they like Austen, but also for those who do. Whit Stillman has only made 5 feature films in 26 years, Why?
WAGES OF FEAR (1953)
Thursday 22 March 2018, 8pm
Classed in many ‘top 10 of all time’ action films, and unique in winning the Golden Bear in Berlin and the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 1953, this is the story of four desperate men who take on an almost impossible challenge. Set in a South American backwater, where a possibly exploitative (US) oil company ‘owns’ the community, an oil well-head fire can only be extinguished by explosives. The four are eventually hired (the job is too dangerous for regular company employees) to drive unstable nitro-glycerine (which should be kept refrigerated for stability) in unrefrigerated trucks across impossible roads. For once the ‘antagonist’ is nature, circumstances and fate (and the men themselves, not exactly saints) rather than some wicked opponent. This is a seat-clenching film, and, despite the unattractiveness of the protagonists (even Yves Montand, playing Mario, a Corsican playboy who treats his lover badly cannot be said to be a good guy), you cannot help but care for their fates.
The narrative arc of the film was good enough to be re-made twice (by Howard W Koch in 1958 and William Friedkin (The Exorcist) in 1977) for the American market – but, because the original suggested that the US oil company was exploiting its workforce and the environment, this was never that popular in the US.
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot.
France & Italy
Running time: 131 minutes.
We say: This film may start slowly as it scene sets, but the pace accelerates as the tension and peril mount. Very obviously a European-made film, it takes no prisoners. One of the cinema greats.
THE PARTY (2017)
Thursday 26 April 2018, 8pm
Janet (Kristen Scott Thomas) hosts a party to celebrate her new promotion to Shadow Minister for Health, with a few close friends, many of them rather closer to each other than she knows. A (very) black comedy; as new twists in relationships are revealed or hinted at, it becomes clear that this celebration is far better watched than participated in. Timothy Spall (playing her husband, where still waters may, or may not, be running exceedingly deep) excels as usual, as does the remainder of the cast in a very theatrical film (good lines, fast dialogue, provokes thought).
Director (and writer): Sally Potter
Running time: 71 minutes.
We say: - the dialogue in this film positively crackles.
THE FENCER (2016)
Thursday 24 May 2018, 8pm
Set in 1950s Estonia (still under Soviet control), and based on a true story, this tells of a man arrived back from Leningrad, his wartime past an anathema to the Soviet secret police. He is on the run, and ‘hides’ in a school as a physical education instructor. A trained fencer, he admits in his interview to his skill, which is challenged as not being proletarian (enough). So he practises out of school hours, until he is noticed by one of his students, who persuades him to form a school team. Predictably the team becomes skilled enough to be qualified to compete in – yes, a contest in Leningrad. Should the team go? Should the teacher go with them? Are all the students and staff in his school out for his best interests?
This is a well-ploughed narrative arc, so it is the skill of the directing, and the acting, which will make this a compelling film. And they do.
Director: Klaus Härö
Finland, Estonia & Germany
Running time: 99 minutes.
We say: this is a period of recent history which is relatively unknown by many. Maybe the nostalgia of some of the shots isn’t quite reciprocated by those who actually lived through this period, but a Finnish co-production can look at this period with eyes very much different from ours.
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (2016)
Thursday 28 June 2018, 8pm
With Nocturnal Animals you get two films for the price of one. The first film (reality) tells of Los Angeles art dealer Susan, divorced and remarried, whose novelist first husband Edward sends her his new novel, together with an invitation to dinner. Susan is becoming estranged from her (brute of a) second husband, and as she reads the novel, elements remind her of her first marriage to Edward whose pet name for her, Nocturnal Animal, is also the book’s title.
The second film is the novel as it plays out in her head, with her real first husband as its chief protagonist. As the ‘second’ film – a western revenge tragedy - unfolds, so do her fond (and not so fond) memories of her first marriage and its downfall. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the first husband and novel ‘hero’, with Amy Adams the art-dealer wife.
Director: Tom Ford
Running time: 116 minutes.
We say: this is a modern, award-winning film with strong leads and direction, with a suitably enigmatic and post-modern conclusion.
THE BIG SICK (2017)
Thursday 26 July 2018, 8pm
Written by its (loosely-based) real life protagonists (Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani) and starring one of them (Kumail Nanjiani), this tells of a fledgling Pakistani stand-up in America who has a relationship with a white woman (Zoe Kazan plays Emily), who he meets through an audience heckle in Chicago. He does not tell his immigrant Muslim family, who wish him to have an arranged marriage. When he admits to Emily these pressures (and that he cannot see a permanent relationship evolving), she leaves him. However, she then falls very seriously ill (the Big Sick of the title), and Kumail finds himself working with (and frequently against) her parents (the excellent Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) to support her as her conditions worsens.
Director: Michael Showalter
Running time: 120 minutes.
We say: It’s a ‘Rom Com’ which is really romantic and really funny. Which so many actually aren’t.