The films to see in York this month – October 2017

Ryan Gosling stars in the much anticipated Blade Runner 2049. Photograph: Columbia Pictures
29 Sep 2017 @ 8.16 pm
| Entertainment

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…”

Words uttered by many a shell-shocked punter as they stumbled out of The Willow at 3am on a Saturday morning – but more famously spoken by Rutger Hauer at the end of Blade Runner.

The release of the sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic inevitably overshadows all else this month – but if stylish sets and shimmering synths aren’t your thing, we’ve also got Michael Fassbender hunting down a serial killer, rom-com hijinks with Reece Witherspoon, and laughs aplenty in Stalin’s Russia…

Family films

The Lego Ninjago Movie

Cert TBC, 100 mins

Vue York

From Fri Oct 13

Movie website

More self-aware thrills and spills from the acceptable face of content marketing here, this time based on the popular Ninjago range.

The film focusses on young Master Builder Lloyd and his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Under the guidance of wise Master Wu, they must defend Ninjago City from evil warlord Garmadon – who, to Lloyd’s embarrassment, is also his dad…

Like the previous Lego movies, this looks likely to prove almost as entertaining for parents as for kids. Dave Franco voices Lloyd, while Jackie Chan is Master Wu.


Home Again

Cert 12A, 97 mins

Vue York

From Fri Sep 29

Movie website

Reese Witherspoon stars as Alice, a mum of two relocating from New York to LA after her divorce from Austen (Michael Sheen).

A meeting in a bar with Harry (Pico Alexander) leads to her letting him and his film-maker pals move into her guest house, causing her life to take an unexpected turn.

Director Hallie Meyers-Shyer is the daughter of rom-com royalty Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, who between them have been responsible for the likes of It’s Complicated and Father of the Bride. That said, reviews have been pretty mixed for this one, so maybe set your expectations to This Means War level rather than Legally Blonde.

The Party

Cert TBC, 71 mins

City Screen

From Fri Oct 13

Movie website

Described as ‘a comedy wrapped around a tragedy’, this much praised film sees a couple (Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall) hosting a little get-together that doesn’t go quite as planned.

Janet (Scott Thomas) is celebrating her appointment to the shadow cabinet, but Bill (Spall) makes a shock revelation that sours the evening, and leads others to drop bombshells of their own.

The ensuing evening of bickering and recrimination takes place in real time, with Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer and Cillian Murphy among the guests.

The Death of Stalin

Cert 15, 107 mins

Vue York, City Screen

From Fri Oct 20

Movie Facebook page

Definitely one to put in the diary for fans of Alan Partridge and The Thick Of It, this is the new film from comedy genius Armando Iannucci.

Set in the aftermath of Stalin’s death from a heart attack in 1953, it details the panic, scheming and powergrabs that take place among his inner circle and his family.

A mix of UK and US acting talent – including Paddy Considine, Paul Whitehouse, Andrea Riseborough and Steve Buscemi – are on hand to deliver Iannucci’s trademark blend of political satire and memorably inventive swearing.


Blade Runner 2049

Cert TBC, 163 mins

Vue York, City Screen

From Fri Oct 6

Movie website

A sequel probably awaited by fans with equal parts excitement and dread, Blade Runner 2049 sees Ryan Gosling take over the lead from Harrison Ford.

Set thirty years on from the original, the film sees LAPD Officer K (Gosling) discover a long-buried secret that may plunge the world into chaos. Looking for answers, he sets out to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Ford).

Taking over directing duties from Ridley Scott is Denis Villeneuve, who proved his chops as a maker of intelligent sci-fi with last year’s Arrival.

Thor: Ragnarok

Cert TBC, TBC mins

Vue York, City Screen

From Tues Oct 24

Movie website

The Avenger you really don’t want to play a game of Mallet’s Mallet with is back for a third solo outing.

This time round, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his trusty hammer. He must race to get back to his home of Asgard to stop the evil Hela (Cate Blanchett) from bringing about Ragnarok – the doom of all Asgardian civilization.

First though, there’s the small matter of a superhero smackdown with his old friend the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)…

With an interesting choice of director (Taiko Waititi, maker of acclaimed vampire houseshare comedy What We Do in the Shadows), this looks like being a more light-hearted and colourful adventure than the previous Thor films.



Cert 12A, 117 mins

Vue York, City Screen

From Fri Oct 27

Movie website

Andy Serkis, best known for his celebrated motion capture performances in The Lord of the Rings and the Planet of the Apes series, makes his debut as a director with this biopic.

Breathe tells the story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, whose lives were changed forever when Robin was taken ill with polio at the age of 28.

The couple refused to accept the pessimistic medical prognosis given by doctors, and their determination led to the invention of a revolutionary new wheelchair which gave Robin back his mobility.

Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy star as the couple, with support from Hugh Bonneville and Tom Hollander.



Cert TBC, 108 mins

Vue York

From Fri Sep 29

Movie Facebook page

Apparently a sequel to the 1990 original rather than a remake, this again sees five medical students attempt a dangerous experiment to find out what lies on the other side.

Led by Courtney Holmes (Ellen Page), the group each triggers a near-death experience by stopping their hearts for short periods.

Kiefer Sutherland reprises his role from the first film alongside newbies Nina Dobrev (TV’s The Vampire Diaries) and Diego Luna (last seen nicking the Death Star plans in Rogue One)

The Snowman

Cert TBC, TBC mins

Vue York, City Screen

From Fri Oct 13

Movie website

Michael Fassbender leads the hunt for a serial killer in this Scandi-noir, adapted from the novel by king of the genre Jo Nesbø.

When a woman goes missing on the first snow of winter, detective Harry Hole links the disappearance to decades-old cold cases. With the help of a brilliant new recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), he must outwit the killer before the next snowfall.

The trailer suggests you might want to bring along your I-Spy book of serial killer movie dialogue – “He’s playing games with us”, “There’s something we’re not seeing” etc – but given that the director is Tomas Alfredson, who was responsible for the brilliant Let The Right One In, this ought to offer something beyond the usual genre clichés.


The Mountain Between Us

Cert TBC, 103 mins

Vue York

From Fri Oct 20

Movie website

Twenty years after Titanic, Kate Winslet’s once again fighting for her life in sub-zero conditions, this time with Idris Elba for company (but thankfully no sign of a Celine Dion soundtrack).

Photojournalist Alex (Winslet) meets Ben (Elba), a neurosurgeon, when their flight is cancelled due to stormy weather.

With both needing to reach their destination urgently, they charter a private plane – but disaster strikes when the plane crashes, leaving them stranded and injured in the freezing wilderness of Utah. Forced to rely on each other for survival, a bond starts to form between the two.

Following its recent premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, reviews suggest a solid if unspectacular action-romance, with likeable performances from the two leads.

Special Screenings

Loving Vincent Live Satellite Premiere

Cert 12A, run time 91 mins plus Q&A

City Screen

Mon Oct 9

Movie website

Vincent Van Gogh’s life story is told through animation based on his paintings here, in the world’s first fully painted feature film.

A team of 125 artists created 65,000 paintings in the style of Van Gogh for each frame of the film, which sees Van Gogh’s regular model Armand Roulin interview a series of people to try to get answers about his mysterious death.

Douglas Booth voices Roulin alongside a quality cast which includes Saoirse Ronan, Aidan Turner and Jerome Flynn.

The screening will include a Q&A with special guests broadcast live from the National Gallery.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami – Live with Friends

Cert 15, run time 115 mins plus Q&A

City Screen

Weds Oct 25

Movie Facebook page

The word ‘icon’ gets bandied about plenty enough, but few would argue it in the case of Grace Jones – and even fewer would dare argue it to her face.

The singer, supermodel, actress and scourge of chat show hosts is the subject of Sophie Fiennes’ new documentary, which moves between her public and private lives. It includes performances of some of her classic hits as well as more recent material.

The screening will be followed by a live satellite broadcast of Grace Jones in conversation with some of her closest collaborators from the worlds of music, art, fashion and film.

Seasons and one-offs

As ever, there’s plenty to catch at City Screen this month beyond the main releases.

Freeze-frame air punching, a jovial shower curtain ring salesman and a really pink dress – yep, Vintage Sundays is going back to the ‘80s with a celebration of teen movie maestro John Hughes.

All the Molly Ringwald films are present and correct, with The Breakfast Club on 1st October, Hughes’ directing debut Sixteen Candles on 8th and Pretty in Pink on 22nd – the last one also featuring the late Harry Dean Stanton as Ringwald’s dad.

Fellow Breakfast Clubber Anthony Michael Hall stars as one of a pair of nerds who ‘create the perfect woman’ in the acceptable-in-the-‘80s Weird Science on 29th, while Steve Martin and John Candy try to make it home for Thanksgiving in Planes, Trains and Automobiles on 15th.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a John Hughes season without Matthew Broderick’s loveable scamp/slappable git in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which closes things on November 5th.

(On which note, if you’re a fan of the Hughes films, I’d heartily recommend Hadley Freeman’s book Life Moves Pretty Fast. If there’s anyone who loves ‘80s movies more than this woman, they probably need professional help.)

If the very notion of a John Hughes season has you weeping into your copy of Sight and Sound, then you can seek solace in the 90th anniversary screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on Monday 16th. A story of class conflict in a dystopian future, it’s regarded as one of the greatest silent movies of all time.

Elsewhere, there’s a chance to see Michael Caine in one of his most famous roles in crime thriller Get Carter on Monday 2nd, screening as part of Explore York’s Big City Read 2017.

If you missed the recent Vintage Sundays screening of fantasy adventure The Princess Bride, it’s showing again this month on Monday 23rd as part of the Culture Shock strand, which also has highly rated 1997 Japanese anime Perfect Blue on Tuesday 31st.

Films playing in the Discover Tuesdays slot include Hungarian drama On Body and Soul (3rd), an unusual love story in which two slaughterhouse workers find they are having the same dreams every night, and Bushwick (17th), a New York-set exploitation thriller which sees the titular Brooklyn neighbourhood invaded by a Texas military force.

Nestled between those two on 10th (and scheduled to screen throughout the week too) is Pecking Order, a New Zealand documentary set in the surprisingly competitive world of chicken breeding, described in one review as ‘a feathered, real-life tribute to Best In Show’.

The charming trailer makes full use of the potential for poultry-themed punnage, and if you were hoping I’d rise above such frippery I’m afraid you’re out of cluck.

Trick or Treat

A quick round up of some Halloween-themed offerings at Vue – with the caveat that all these are currently only listed in the ‘Coming Soon’ section of their website, so I’m not able to confirm whether they’ll definitely be showing.

Two to mention on the new releases front: from the US, Happy Death Day (from Thurs 19th) is a slasher take on Groundhog Day which sees a college student endlessly relive the same day as she tries to work out who is trying to kill her at her birthday party.

Meanwhile, in the “Will they never learn?” camp, UK production The Ritual (from Thurs 12th) sees Rafe Spall and Downton Abbey’s Rob James-Collier among a gang of university friends reuniting for a trip to the forest, which takes a nightmarish turn when they get lost and stumble across an ancient shack in the middle of the woods…

There are also tried and tested shocks from two hardy horror perennials: the Overlook Hotel opens its doors again in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining on Tues 31st, while a 30th anniversary reissue of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser goes on release on Thurs 12th.

Community Cinema

There are also spine-tingling Halloween offerings in both New Earswick and South Bank towards the end of the month.

Film at the Folk Hall are showing Hitchcock classic Psycho on Friday 27th. Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins star in this chilling tale of the perils of life before TripAdvisor, which screens at the Folk Hall, New Earswick at 7pm. Tickets are £4 per adult, £2 per child or £8 for a family ticket.

Also on 27th, South Bank Community Cinema have a movie which apparently slipped through Hitchcock’s fingers – he was keen to make Les Diaboliques himself, but was pipped to the post by French director Henri-Georges Clouzot.

The plot concerns the wife and mistress of a cruel headmaster who conspire to kill him – but after the murder, his corpse disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.

Earlier in the month, SBCC’s other screening is The Epic of Everest, a 1924 documentary about the third attempt to climb Everest. A rare and valuable historical document, the film remained largely unseen until it was restored by the BFI National Archive in 2013. You can catch it on Friday 13th.

SBCC screenings take place in Clement’s Hall on Nunthorpe Road. Tickets are £3 for members or £4 for guests.