October 6–8. LUCY
‘The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what she could do with 100%.’ Lucy, accidentally caught in a dark drug deal, avenges her captors by transforming herself into a merciless warrior using more brain power than is customary for humans. Luc Besson’s cool sci-fi action thriller works its captivating premise to the full. ‘It’s gleefully bold, visually adventurous, often funny, strikingly concise—the whole heart-pounding tale is over in 90 minutes—and 100% entertaining’ (Wall Street Journal). ‘Scarlett Johansson is ideally cast as a rapidly evolving kick-ass hero in Lucy, a stylish action thriller that is equal parts dazzling and ludicrous’ (USA Today). ‘Lucy plays more like a big dumb superhero flick than sci-fi’ (Hollywood Reporter).
October 13–15. MOMMY
The still incredibly young Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s fifth film. With the intervention of the girl across the street, a degree of sanity is restored to single mom and her ADHD adolescent son. ‘It’s uncanny how much Dolan’s style and overall solipsism have evolved in five years’ time, resulting in a funny, heartbreaking and, above all, original work—right down to its unusual 1:1 aspect ratio—that feels derivative of no one, not even himself’ (Variety). ‘Dolan’s energy and attack is thrilling; his movie is often brilliant and very funny in ways which smash through the barriers marked Incorrect and Inappropriate’ (Guardian).
October 16–19. THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY
Patricia Highsmith’s novels have to date made for a wealth of excellent suspense movies, and this one is no exception. An American couple in Greece encounter a young man and their allure takes all of them in odd directions. ‘It’s an elegantly pleasurable period thriller, a film of tidy precision and class’ (Telegraph). ‘There are many attractive parts to this thriller—handsome leads, a meaty Patricia Highsmith plot, Mediterranean sunlight on cream linen suits—but it’s no greater than the sum of them’ (Guardian).
piazza Strozzi 2, tel. 055/295051
Dates may be subject to change. For up-to-date details and show times, see the websites stated below.
October 15, 8pm. CLÉO DE 5 A 7
Cruising the streets of Paris, a singer awaits the result of a biopsy. Belgian director Agnes Varda’s almost-documentary film deals with her customary theme of mortality, but with the objectification of the female body. ‘On the surface, a pseudo-real-time odyssey around Paris in the company of a chanteuse awaiting some critical medical results. However, Corinne Marchand’s fate is just a pretext for Agnès Varda to challenge the rules of classical filmmaking, as she manipulates time, space, colour and genre in each ingenious sequence’ (Empire). ‘Quietly touching and profound, it epitomises the youthful delight Varda always shows for the tools at her disposal and her sensitive and easeful way of expressing the sways and shifts of life, love and desire’ (Time Out).
October 22, 8pm NIGHT PORTER (Il portiere di notte)
Italian director Liliana Cavani’s controversial film examines the sexual psychology of the master–servant relationship in the context of Nazi concentration camp perversity and its post-war persistence. Misunderstood in America. ‘The Night Porter is handsomely filmed in dark, rich tones. But the movie’s visual virtues are negated by infinite absurdities—particularly by the sentimentality with which the director views this luckless couple. Near the finish, we even catch a whiff of an old Hollywood formula, which asks us to regard these lovers as poignant — because the world won’t allow them to enjoy each other in peace’ (New York Times).
October 29, 8pm SEVEN BEAUTIES (Pasqualino Settebellezze)
With this film, Lina Wertmüller was the first woman director to be nominated for an Academy Award. Picaresque black comedy and Nazi depravity in a mordantly unsavoury mix as the Neapolitan hero offers degrading sexual favours. ‘The director is deeply committed to political action, which can alleviate intolerable social conditions, but her films are distinguished by an awareness that political action is always dependent upon the unpredictable human response. It’s her awareness and her appreciation of this mystery that give her films their particular life’ (New York Times).
BRITISH INSTITUTE of Florence
Lungarno Guicciardini 9