CFS Playhouse Theatre Film Reactions

The aptly named final film of our foreshortened 75th season, The Farewell, proved to be another success for the reduced number of members who ventured out to see it at The Playhouse rather than watch football on TV. The film received primarily A and B ratings, scoring 83.7% appreciation rating. Some of the comments received:

  • Very enjoyable. An excellent choice for the last film of the season.
  • An excellent choice of film to finish this extraordinary season. Just the right amount of pathos and humour – well done!
  • Sensitive portrayal, beautiful sentiment, acting and highlighting the tensions of different cultural characteristics. Thank you, an excellent film.
  • Really enjoyed this multi-layered film about family, migration and much more. Great cast. A few issues with audibility of English-spoken dialogue at beginning, but that improved.
  • Perfect end to the season. Uplifting and thought provoking in many ways. The sound mix was also very well used.
  • Superb acting and enjoyed the underlying humour and shifts in family dynamics.
  • Really enjoyed this film. Humour doesn’t always translate especially when mixed with a tricky subject but this worked so well. Perfect film to end the season.
  • Should have known it would have a happy ending. Thanks.
  • Well balanced between moments of comedy and sadness – very moving and laugh out loud funny.
  • Could have been morose and weepily emotional, but was saved by music and humour.
  • Well, it wasn’t the greatest film I’ve ever seen but it offered a quite different view of China and I feel as though I’ve learned something. Interesting the discussion about life in USA v life in China. I didn’t think Chinese censorship could be so indulgent.
  • Interesting exploration of different views on dying and life, culture and identity. Music was used atmospherically.
  • Bit ‘sulky’ and slow in places but a great insight into the difference between attitudes within the two cultures.
  • I couldn’t make a connection to any of the characters in the film & found it rather boring.

 

And Then We Danced the penultimate film of our foreshortened 75th season proved to be much more to the taste of our members than the previous one. The bulk of the ratings registered were As and Bs, with an overall appreciation score of 82.3%. Some of the comments received from members:

  • Absolutely beautiful – more films like this please.
  • Musicians, singers, dancers and plot all wonderful.
  • Beautifully filmed and with an amazing lead actor – we couldn’t take our eyes off him!
  • An excellent opportunity to gain an insight into Georgian dance and culture.
  • Really enjoyed the backdrop of dance as a metaphor for masculinity / self- expression
    A real insight into another world and culture. Fabulous acting and dancing.
  • Really enjoyed this film, while it was entertaining it was also a window into the gay scene in Georgia which isn’t somewhere you hear much about.
  • Strong performances on a controversial issue in Georgia and other countries.
  • Slightly too long, but a compelling story vividly showing the tensions of living in a culturally conservative country. Superb cinematography – great lighting and assured camera work in an unshowy way.
  • A little too long – could have done with 30 minutes less. Interesting about the Georgian folk dancing and their attitudes to it as a cultural reference to their identity.
  • Too long and rather predictable.
  • A cliche storyline. More interested in the dance than the relationships which in some ways were not necessary. The comparison between masculine traditional dance and the development of progressive creative interpretation could have been much more powerful treated in a more subtle and sensitive way.
  • The film reminded me of a really hopeless Eurovision song – nul points.

 

The first post-lockdown film Monos proved to be not quite to the taste of all members who got to see it at The Playhouse, in contrast to The CFS Viewing Panel who rated it the 4th highest film in the planned programme with all members scoring it 8 or more out of 1​0. It only achieved an overall score of 56.1%, the lowest since The Lobster – some comments:

  • Great acting, compelling and no doubt true to life unfortunately.
  • A cracking film. Atmospheric, tense and gorgeous landscapes. It’s great to get a chance to see films like this.
  • Very different! Loved the ‘open’ ending, hypnotic soundtrack & amazing scenery. A modern day Lord of the Flies – with extras.
  • It was hard to ‘enjoy’ this film but I have given it an A because it was a very powerful piece of film making, beautifully made and very gripping. Uncomfortable tense viewing.
  • I was reminded of both Oliver Twist and Lord of the Flies. Slightly disturbing but, unfortunately, probably realistic.
  • I found the film quite confusing. However, some of the photography was excellent.
  • Fabulous scenery and film quality. Subject matter fascinating but uncomfortable at times. Enjoyed it more than expected.
  • A very unusual storyline. Lots left to the imagination – particularly the ending. Stark brutal moments.
  • It was heavy but a very good film! Could not see this kind of films around Cheltenham so thank you!
  • Disturbing and upsetting.
  • It was a bit strange but ultimately worth watching.
  • Reminded me of ‘Lord of the Flies’ and was distressing as you know that juveniles are being forcibly recruited by terrorists. However, I thought the film was confusing and lacked direction but on balance, was probably worth watching to the end as the score was dramatic and the actors (or understudies) seemed to take amazing risks in the rapids!
  • Bit too violent & the story took a long time to work out. Even then it was not clear how & why the hostage was there. Well-acted & the music was good.
  • Disappointed in the first film show on CFS’s return to live screening at the Playhouse. Interesting, but bizarre and no idea as to what the context of the film was, apart from a hostage situation – but where did she come from, how did she get there, why was she kidnapped, what happened to her? A so-so, film that’s already forgotten – a bit like most of the awful streamed movies that were offered to the members during lock down!
  • I saw that this film was well-reviewed when it came out. The film was well shot. But it was relentlessly depressing, and although much was made by some film critics of the soldiers being teenagers (and behaving as such), in actual fact with one or two exceptions they seemed older – and certainly not children even though they were depicted playing childish (and dangerous) games. Inevitably it invites comparison with Lord of the Flies. It was a difficult film to watch, and that would be fine if it had a point to make. But it seemed to be endless horror, and we didn’t enjoy it at all.
  • Children playing war games to an eerie sound track. I thought I might go mad if I stayed any longer.
  • Could have been excellent but spoilt by weak narrative and ill-defined characters.
  • We left before the end, feeling a bad taste in our mouths.
  • Utterly depressing about the state of the human race. Some beautiful photography.
  • Utter incoherent rubbish. Perhaps a sadistic subnormal drug addicted boy scout could expand on the finer points. NIL POINTE. Glad to see that more people escaped from the Playhouse than escaped from the script.
  • Absolutely awful.