Thursday 2

The Bright Side of Death: Aces of British Black Comedy

Programmed by Shanice Casimiro

This series was supported by the Nicholson Center for British Studies

3/31/2016 @ 9:00 PM

Shaun of the Dead

(Edgar Wright, 2004) · Shaun (Simon Pegg) must now add fighting an apocalyptic zombie uprising to his growing list of problems, which already includes an unfulfilling job, a recent breakup, an unemployed flatmate (Nick Frost), and an estranged relationship with his stepfather (Bill Nighy). Shaun of the Dead expands the Spaced episode "Art," written by Pegg and directed by Wright, and many of the zombie extras are Spaced fans who responded to an open casting call.

runtime: 99 min format: 35mm


4/14/2016 @ 9:00 PM


(Danny Boyle, 1996) · Trainspotting just might be the quintessential film of 90's Cool Britannia. Adapted from Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name, the film follows Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), his underage girlfriend, and his idiosyncratic group of friends as they experience the highs and lows of heroin addiction and sobriety attempts in the "culturally rich" Edinburgh. The immaculate, fast-paced script earned John Hodge an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

runtime: 94 min format: Blu-ray


4/21/2016 @ 9:30 PM


(Terry Gilliam, 1985) · Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry regularly daydreams of saving a beautiful damsel. He comes face to face with her while investigating the case of Archibald Buttle, a man accidentally arrested because of a petty administrative error. The deeper Sam delves into the case and the closer he tries to get to his damsel, the more bureaucratic corruption he uncovers. But the Orwellian government at the center of Gilliam's world will do anything to stop him from exposing its flaws.

runtime: 132 min format: 35mm


4/28/2016 @ 9:45 PM

A Fish Called Wanda

(Charles Crichton, 1988) · A diamond heist is executed by London gangster George, his sidekick, an American con artist Wanda, and a weapons man. When George is betrayed to the authorities, the remaining members attempt to steal the loot for themselves, only to find out that George had hid the jewels. MGM advised John Cleese to co-direct because of Charles Crichton's old age, so Crichton wore a shirt on set that read "Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill."

runtime: 108 min format: 35mm


5/5/2016 @ 9:00 PM

Withnail & I

(Bruce Robinson, 1987) · In his first film, Richard E. Grant beat out Daniel Day-Lewis, Kenneth Branagh, and Bill Nighy for the role of Withnail, an alcoholic, unemployed actor in 1960's Camden. To recuperate from career misfortunes, he and his roommate "I" set off to a country cottage belonging to Withnail's eccentric uncle. The vacation does not go as expected. In a rare act, producer George Harrison allowed an original Beatles song to be included in the notable soundtrack.

runtime: 107 min format: 35mm


5/12/2016 @ 9:45 PM

The Ladykillers

(Alexander Mackendrick, 1955) · A classic Ealing Studios Comedy, The Ladykillers is the tale of five hardened criminals who pretend to be a string quintet and manage to fool sweet Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson, in her breakout role at age 76) into letting them rent rooms in her house. British acting royalty Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, and Jack Warner bring virtuosic flair to the script, which writer William Rose famously claimed he dreamt the entirety of and simply wrote down when he awoke.

runtime: 91 min format: DCP


5/19/2016 @ 10:00 PM

Four Lions

(Chris Morris, 2010) · A group of young jihadists conspire to bomb a London marathon, but as their general ineptitude proves, they may not be as great a threat to the Western World as they think they are. Poignant now even more so than at the time of its release, Four Lions attempts to demythologize the big, bad terrorist through slapstick and farce. It features excellent performances by a cast of underrated British talent, including Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, and Nigel Lindsay.

runtime: 97 min format: 35mm


5/26/2016 @ 7:00 PM

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

(Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, 1975) · Join Doc Films for our annual mega-screening, this time featuring a Monty Python double feature! In our first film, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table battle the Black Knight, encounter the dreaded Knights who say Ni, defeat the Rabbit of Caerbannog using the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, face off against The Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh, and attempt to enter the castle of the Franglais via Trojan Rabbit, all on their quest to find the Holy Grail.

runtime: 91 min format: 35mm


5/26/2016 @ 9:00 PM

Monty Python's Life of Brian

(Terry Jones, 1979) · Next in our double feature, Brian Cohen's life takes an unexpected turn when he unintentionally inspires a religious movement that believes him--not his fellow Galilean, Jesus--to be the Messiah. Nothing sacred is off limits in this sharply-written and masterfully-acted satire widely considered the "greatest comedy film of all time." Several English towns have banned it to this day for lampooning organized religion, especially in the final mass crucifixion scene.

runtime: 94 min format: 35mm


6/2/2016 @ 9:45 PM

In Bruges

(Martin McDonagh, 2008) · Martin McDonagh's debut is a neo-noir about Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson), two Irish hitmen who flee to Bruges after a job gone wrong. There they await orders from their merciless boss, Harry, played by the always-deft Ralph Fiennes. Ken finds peace in the medieval city, while Ray would rather be back in Dublin. It's with great effort that he ventures out of his hotel, only to meet a racist, drug-dealing dwarf and a beautiful production assistant.

runtime: 107 min format: 35mm


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