Lumière Open Air Film Festival

From July 28 to August 28, the second edition of the Lumière Open Air Film Festival will take place. No less than 25 sultry summer evenings under the stars with amazing premieres, classics, specials, good vibes - and hopefully good weather.

Open Air Film Festival
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Practical information


Tickets

> It is only possible to buy tickets online (no reservations). Sold out screening? 75 tickets are available in advance, and 25 extra tickets will go on sale if we are sure the weather will be good.

Location
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Richie Backfireplein (the square behind Lumière)

Start event
> You reach the event area through the normal main entrance of Lumière. The event site opens half an hour before the start of the film. This way you have more than enough time to find a nice spot and get yourselves a drink.

Bar

> There won't be a bar outside. Drinks can be ordered in advance at the bar in Lumière's restaurant.

Beach chairs

> We'll take care of the chair, so no need to bring your own

Headphones

> Headphones are handed out at some screenings, so we can ensure that you can optimally enjoy our intimate films under all circumstances.

Bad weather?

> The screening always goes on. Of course we hope for good weather, but with heavy rain or thunderstorms we will move the movie night inside. In that case you will receive an email in advance. With a few raindrops we just start the film in the open air (in that case bring an extra (rain) jacket). The screening will not be cancelled and refunds will not be issued because it rains.

Intimate and corona proof
> A maximum of 100 tickets are available for each evening this year. With a small, intimate setting it is possible to keep more than enough distance and to move the film screening indoors in case of bad weather.

Programme

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Open Air | Jamón Jamón - English subtitled

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Delightful black comedy in which Bigas Luna ridicules Spanish machismo and sexual morals. Breakthrough film for Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Conchita is determined to break her son’s engagement to Silvia, the daughter of the local brothel keeper. She therefore decides to hire the potent Raul – the local stallion, underwear model, ham seller and bullfighter – to separate Silvia from her lover. The plan seems successful, but Silvia is not the only one who is sensitive to the charms of the walking penis Raul. And Conchita’s son also turns out to be less neat than he seems at first glance.

In Bigas Luna’s film, all characters have only one urge: the sexual one. Everything is subordinated to it. It leads to wonderfully farcical developments in a film that gave the careers of Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem a strong boost.

Bigas Luna, Spain, 1992, 95 min. Spanish spoken, English subtitles. With Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Jordi Mollà, Stefania Sandrelli, Anna Galiena.

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Open Air | Lady Bird

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Coming-of-age film about a rebellious young woman navigating the pressures and constraints of Catholic school and life in Sacremento.

In her directorial debut LADY BIRD, actress Greta Gerwig (FRANCES HA) reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice, excavating both the humour and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter. Christine McPherson – affectionately known and self-proclaimed as Lady Bird – is an ambitious, bright, and precocious high school senior. Longing to break free of suburban Sacramento, she dreams of a different life full of east coast skyscrapers, Ivy League universities, and cosmopolitan culture. With her dad recently laid off, her mom working double shifts as a nurse, and her brother and his girlfriend – Berkeley grads – working at the supermarket, she is keenly aware that post-high school life is no walk in the park.

With her solo directorial debut, Greta Gerwig continues the charm and wit of her previous screenwriting work, but with a more sophisticated approach to character and interpersonal relationships. Incredibly personal and immensely relatable, LADY BIRD is sure to be one of the defining coming-of-age films of its generation.

Greta Gerwig, USA, 2017, 94 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet.

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Open Air | Y Tu Mamá También - English subtitled

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In Mexico, two teenage boys and an attractive older woman embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, sex, and each other.

This smash road comedy from Alfonso Cuarón (ROMA, GRAVITY) is that rare movie to combine raunchy subject matter and emotional warmth. Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna shot to international stardom as a pair of horny Mexico City teenagers from different classes who, after their girlfriends jet off to Italy for the summer, are bewitched by a gorgeous older Spanish woman they meet at a wedding. When she agrees to accompany them on a trip to a faraway beach, the three form an increasingly intense and sensual alliance that ultimately strips them both physically and emotionally bare.

Presenting a simple, hot-blooded storyline with warmth and intelligence, it’s not hard to see why the film has been the biggest box office smash in Mexico’s history. It also hit a universal nerve – sweeping two awards at the Venice Film Festival.

Alfonso Cuaron, Mexico, 2001, 105 min. Spanish spoken, English subtitles. With Maribel Verdu, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna.

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Open Air | Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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A frustrated and grieving mother antagonizes her local police force to call attention to the lack of progress in the search for her daughter’s killer, in the latest from dark comedy master Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths).

Strong, brave, fed up with bullshit, and desperate for justice, Mildred makes a bold move, postering three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command, Officer Dixon – an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence – gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement escalates.

Martin McDonagh has created a darkly comic drama that is smart, narratively unpredictable, and filled with superb performances. On its surface, THREE BILLBOARDS… is a film about grief, forgiveness, anger, and resilience. Yet McDonagh layers in myriad observational moments about racism, war, sexism, and a deeply divided society, all captured in this fictional Missouri town.

Martin McDonagh, USA, UK, 2017, 115 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges.

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Open Air | La Virgen de Agosto (The August Virgin) - English subtitled

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Jonás Trueba pays tribute to his hometown of Madrid through the personal quest of a young woman during a hot summer in the Spanish capital.

Previously Unreleased (Eye)
For this screening we use headphones.

Eva, adrift and confused, is about to turn 33 and her decision to spend the August holiday in Madrid rather than in a sea resort will result in a journey of self-reflection. She goes through an emotional roller coaster of edifying revelations and unscheduled encounters that captures the subterranean vibe of daily city life. A highly immersive diary film that nails the minor and fleeing – almost inaccessible – moments, in order to soothe down the fear and anxiety of growing up. A mystical summer tale which makes our hearts beat to its colourful tone.

Jonás Trueba, Spain, 2019, 125 min. Spanish & English spoken, English subtitles. With Itsaso Arana, Vito Sanz, Isabelle Stoffel, Joe Manjón, María Herrador.

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Open Air | Stop Making Sense

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Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) rewrote concert film rules with this inventive recording of four rousing live shows from Talking Heads in 1983.

In 1983, legendary art rockers Talking Heads set out to make a concert film like no other. Independent of their record company, they hired Jonathan Demme, a then-relatively unknown filmmaker, to direct. Working closely with Byrne and the band, Demme counteracted the MTV style of the era, avoiding quick cuts or cutaways to the crowd in the certain knowledge that the more we see of what’s happening on stage, the more immersed and mesmerised we will be.

The dazzling set list aside, it’s their film’s formal inventiveness that is amazing, beginning with the conceptual crescendo of the concert’s construction. It starts with genius frontman David Byrne performing PSYCHO KILLER alone on stage with beat box and guitar, then adds instruments, stage machinery and musicians with each successive number. That’s to say nothing of Byrne's expanding white suit.

STOP MAKING SENSE was once dubbed ‘the CITIZEN KANE of concert movies’ and it’s easy to see why: this is a perfect concert movie, a pop cultural dispatch from 1983 that stays forever thrilling.

Jonathan Demme, USA, 1984, 88 min. English spoken, without subtitles.

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Open Air | Woman at War

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Halla declares a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry. She is prepared to risk everything to protect the pristine Icelandic Highlands she loves… until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life.

Please note that this film is in Icelandic, Spanish, English and Ukrainian, with Dutch subtitles

Behind the scenes of a quiet routine, fifty-year-old Halla leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. As her actions grow bolder, from petty vandalism to outright industrial sabotage, she succeeds in pausing the negotiations between the Icelandic government and the corporation building a new aluminium smelter in the mountains. But right as she begins planning her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives an unexpected letter that changes everything. Her application to adopt a child has finally been accepted and there is a little girl waiting for her in Ukraine. As Halla prepares to abandon her role as saboteur and saviour of the Highlands to fulfil her dream of becoming a mother, she decides to plot one final attack to deal the aluminium industry a crippling blow.

Benedikt Erlingsson, Iceland, France, Ukraine, 2018, 101 min. Icelandic, Spanish, English & Ukrainian spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Jóhann Sigurðarson, Davíð Þór Jónsson, Magnús Trygvason Eliasen, Ómar Guðjónsson.

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Open Air | Fargo (25th Anniversary – Tribute to Frances McDormand)

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Black comic masterpiece by the Coen brothers about a staged kidnapping that ends in a bloodbath. The film earned Frances McDormand her first Oscar.

In this seven-time Oscar-nominated film, things go terribly awry when small-time Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard hires two thugs to kidnap his wife so he can collect the ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. Once people start dying, the very chipper and very pregnant Police Chief Marge Gunderson takes the case. Is she up for this challenge? You betcha.

FARGO is one of the highlights in the tremendous filmography of the Coen brothers and a perfect showcase for Frances McDormand’s gifts as a performer.

Joel & Ethan Coen, USA, UK, 1996, 98 min. English spoken, without subtitles. With William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, John Carroll Lynch.

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Open Air | The Father | Sold out

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How do you support your father if he has dementia and doesn’t want help? Touching drama with Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar for his beautiful lead role.

For this screening we use headphones

Anthony is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her? THE FATHER warmly embraces real life, through loving reflection upon the vibrant human condition; heart-breaking and uncompromisingly poignant – a movie that nestles in the truth of our own lives.

Florian Zeller, France, 2020, 97 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Olivia Colman, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Williams, Imogen Poots.

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Open Air | The Florida Project

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Warm, winning, and gloriously alive, The Florida Project is a deeply moving and unforgettably poignant look at childhood.

Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, THE FLORIDA PROJECT follows six-year-old Moonee and her rebellious mother Halley over the course of a single summer. The two live week to week at ‘The Magic Castle’, a budget motel managed by Bobby, whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion.

Despite her harsh surroundings, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life, her endless afternoons overflowing with mischief and grand adventure as she and her ragtag playmates – including Jancey, a new arrival to the area who quickly becomes Moonee’s best friend – fearlessly explore the utterly unique world into which they’ve been thrown. Unbeknownst to Moonee, however, her delicate fantasy is supported by the toil and sacrifice of Halley, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in order to provide for her daughter.

Sean Baker, USA, 2017, 123 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, Christopher Rivera, Willem Dafoe, Aiden Malik, Josie Olivo.

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Open Air | La Haine - English subtitled

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Modern classic by Matthieu Kassovitz – as relevant now as upon its release in 1995 – about police violence in the Parisian suburbs.

Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with LA HAINE, a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz, Hubert, and Saïd – a Jew, an African, and an Arab – give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their marginalization slowly simmering until it reaches a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, LA HAINE is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.

Matthieu Kassovitz, France, 1995, 98 min. French spoken, English subtitles. With Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, Abdel Ahmed Ghili.

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Open Air | The Man Who Sold His Skin

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Tunisian drama about a Syrian refugee who is given the opportunity by a famous artist to travel to Europe, but in return is forced to exhibit himself as a living work of art.

Please note that this film is in Arabic, English, French and Dutch, with Dutch subtitles.

Sam Ali, a young sensitive and impulsive Syrian, fled to Lebanon to escape the Syrian war. Without legal status, he is unable to get a visa to go to Europe where his beloved Abeer lives. While living off opening cocktails in art galleries in Beirut, he meets Jeffrey Godefroi, one of the world’s best known contemporary artists, with whom he concludes a strange deal that will forever change his life. The artist suggests to turn Sam Ali into his artwork by tattooing a Schengen visa on his back. Obsessed by the opportunity to see his love, Sam Ali agrees and passes from the status of a vulgar ‘undocumented refugee’ to a prestigious piece of art. Sam will however come to realize that his decision might actually mean anything but freedom.

With her film, Kaouther Ben Hania raises big ethical questions about freedom and exploitation, but she keeps the tone of the film surprisingly light and satirical. The film made history by becoming the first Tunisian film ever to be nominated for an Oscar.

Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, 2020, 104 min. Arabic, English, French & Dutch spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Yahya Mahayni, Dea Liane, Koen De Bouw, Monica Bellucci, Saad Lostan.

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Open Air | De Helaasheid Der Dingen

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The story of young Gunther Strobbe whose turbulent youth is spent in the company of his alcohol-saturated father and uncles. Based on the bestselling novel by Dimitri Verhulst.


Please note that this film is in Dutch, without subtitles.

Years later, the adult Gunther, who now writes for a living, looks back over this early period. Not with nostalgia, but with something more akin to bitterness and sadness, since young Gunther gradually comes to the realisation that he doesn’t want simply to follow in the footsteps of the older and, frankly, lost generation. But this choice will be a painful one and, without the affections of the tribe, the big, wide world can be lonely and cold. Benefitting from naturalistic performances and from an energetic narrative style driven by dynamic camera work, director Felix van Groeningen succeeds remarkably well in capturing that paradoxical balance between wanton euphoria and quiet despair, vulgarity and tenderness.

Felix Van Groeningen, Belgium, 2009, 108 min. Vlaams spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Kenneth Vanbaeden, Valentijn Dhaenens, Koen de Graeve, Wouter Hendrickx, Johan Heldenbergh.

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Open Air | Druk | Sold out

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Oscar-winning tragicomedy by Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) about four exhausted teachers who embark on an experiment to maintain a constant blood-alcohol level of 0.05%.

Please note that this film is in Danish and Swedish, with Dutch subtitles.

In their first collaboration since THE HUNT, Thomas Vinterberg reunites with actor Mads Mikkelsen for ANOTHER ROUND. Once the brightest teacher at his high school, Martin has fallen into a seemingly permanent funk. He’s barely present in his classes – the students and their parents even attempt an intervention – and his marriage is slowly dissolving. At a birthday celebration, his three closest colleagues (all men), cajole teetotaller Martin into boozing along with them. They get progressively drunker and the shit-disturber of the group, Nikolaj tells them about an obscure philosopher who argued humans aren’t born with enough alcohol in their blood. As an ‘experiment’, he proposes they all drink constantly throughout the day to maintain the ‘proper’ blood-alcohol level of 0.05%.

Initially the boozing seems enormously beneficial. A reinvigorated Martin begins to engage with his students and shocks his long-suffering wife, Trine, with his new-found zest. But as the gang pushes their experiment further, issues that have been simmering for years come to the fore.

ANOTHER ROUND is a boisterous and sobering comedy about how men deal (and don’t deal) with aging – though underlying it all is a shared, unnerving suspicion they may never have actually grown up in the first place.

Thomas Vinterberg, Denemark, 2020, 116 min. Danish spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, Lars Ranthe, Maria Bonnevie.

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Mandy

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In the primal wilderness, Red Miller, a broken and haunted man seeks vengeance against a biker gang who slaughtered the love of his life.

Bubbling up from somewhere in the realm of madness and chaos comes the latest film from grandiose filmmaker Panos Cosmatos. Somewhere in the primal wilderness near the Shadow Mountains in the year 1983, Red Miller (Nicolas Cage, in an adrenaline-inducing performance) has fallen deeply for the beguiling Mandy Bloom. But the life he has made for himself comes suddenly and horrifyingly crashing down when a vile band of ravaging idolaters and supernatural creatures penetrate his idyllic paradise with vicious fury. A broken man, Red now lives for one thing only – to hunt down these maniacal villains and exact swift vengeance.

Panos Cosmatos, USA, Belgium, 2018, 121 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouéré.

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Open Air | La Piscine

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This sexy psychological thriller stars Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, France’s hottest young stars of the 1960s, and shimmers with cool jazz and mid-summer menace.

Please note that this film is in French, with Dutch subtitles.

This superb French classic mingles sensuality and slow-burn suspense in a psychological thriller featuring two of France’s most ravishing stars, Alain Delon and Romy Schneider, whose past off-screen romance infused their performances with a palpable erotic charge. They are Jean-Paul and Marianne, lapping up the heat of southern France beside the pool of a luxurious villa, lent to them by a friend. Alone, the lovers can indulge in their passion for each other, although from the outset there is an edgy undertow to their amorous play.

Their idyll is interrupted by the impromptu arrival of their friend Harry, a garrulous, boozing record producer with his 18-year-old daughter, Pénélope, in tow. This visit triggers the eruption of latent rivalries and insecurities, leading events to take a sinister turn. LA PISCINE was remade in 2015 by Luca Guadagnino as A BIGGER SPLASH.

Jacques Deray, France, 1969, 120 min. French spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet, Jane Birkin, Paul Crauchet.

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Open Air | Monos - English subtitled

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On a faraway Colombian mountaintop, a group of child soldiers are on a mission: make sure that Doctora, a kidnapped American woman, stays alive.

Patagrande, Rambo, Leidi, Sueca, Pitufo, Lobo, Perro and Bum Bum. Eight stray teenagers, each bearing a code name, form a paramilitary squad on a remote hilltop. They are instinctively drawn towards hedonism and ferocity. A messenger delivers instructions from the Organisation: they are to look after a dairy cow called Shakira and an abducted woman from the USA known as Doctora. But their carefree time ends when death pays them a visit and their position is compromised, forcing them to relocate deeper into the jungle.
MONOS captivates us with its striking baroque aesthetic, otherworldly setting, and ingenious reframing of the war film – one that uses adolescence to insinuate a youthful but elusive dream of peace. Director Alejandro Landes constructs a stylized, deceptively surreal space that teeters between tedium and hedonism, made more unsettling by its disquieting soundscape and Mica Levi’s tense score. As they descend into a jungle, captors and captive alike find themselves in an increasingly anarchic, unhinged ‘nowhere world’ that echoes LORD OF THE FLIES and APOCALYPSE NOW.

Alejandro Landes, Colombia , Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Uruguay, 2019, 103 min. Spanish & English spoken, English subtitles. With Moisés Arias, Julianne Nicholson, Sofía Buenaventura, Karen Quintero, Laura Castrillón.

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Open Air | Roman Holiday

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Classic romantic comedy starring Gregory Peck as a journalist and Audrey Hepburn as a young princess who skips out on her royal duties to enjoy some time as an everyday girl.

Please note that this film is in English, Italian and German, with Dutch subtitles.

Audrey Hepburn shot to stardom with her Academy Award-winning performance in this romantic-comedy classic. While on an official visit to Rome, an adventure-seeking princess slips away from her chaperones to explore the city with a brash newspaperman, who believes he’s got the scoop of a lifetime – until love gets in the way. Hepburn’s enchanting presence and the picture-perfect location shooting – from the Spanish Steps to the Colosseum – make for a captivating modern fairy tale that has lost none of its lustre.

William Wyler, USA, 1953, 118 min. English, Italian & German spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Harcourt Williams.

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God's Own Country

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Francis Lee’s feature film debut is a contemporary tale of self-discovery and emotional-awakening set on the sheep farming hills of rural England.

Johnny Saxby works long hours in brutal isolation on his family’s remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. When a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. An intense relationship forms between the two which could change Johnny’s life forever.

Francis Lee, UK, 2017, 104 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Gemma Jones, Harry Lister Smith, Ian Hart.

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Open Air | Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain

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Charming, romantic and playful fairy tale about a lonely girl who decides to interfere positively in the lives of her fellow residents of Montmartre.

Please note that this film is in French, Russian and English, with Dutch subtitles.

Amélie isn’t like the others. She has seen her goldfish disappear down a drain, her mother dying beside Notre-Dame and her father lavish love on a garden gnome. Now a grown woman, she works as a waitress in a Montmartre bar. She leads a simple life: she likes throwing stones into the St. Martin Canal, observing people and letting her imagination fly. Suddenly, at 22, Amélie discovers her mission in life: to straighten out the mess in other people’s lives without them noticing. But her vocation is transformed with the arrival of the mysterious unshod Nino. Captivated by the boy, Amélie prefers to tease him for a while before allowing herself to be discovered. Luckily, the brittle-boned neighbour whom Amélie has attempted to help pays her back in kind by pushing her into Nino’s arms.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France, Germany, 2001, 122 min. French, Russian & English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Lorella Cravotta, Serge Merlin.

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Open Air | Wolfwalkers - Cineville Summer Tour

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Tomm Moore (Song Of The Sea) dives into Irish folklore again for this animation film about an 11-year-old girl who has to wipe out the last pack of wolves with her father.

This film is screened in original English language version, with Dutch subtitles.

WOLFWALKERS opens during Oliver Cromwell’s brutal colonization of Ireland, in the county of Kilkenny, which has fallen to English settlers after a bloody siege. On Cromwell’s orders, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn, and her father, Bill, are sent from England to track and kill the last of the wolves that live in woods outside the city walls. Adventurous and rebellious, Robyn sneaks into the woods and discovers a world unlike any she’s ever known. There she meets Mebh, a wild girl who was raised by wolves, and through her unique new friend begins to realize it’s not the forest that should be feared, but the ‘townies’. But, as she grows closer to the forest world, her relationship with her father is put to the test.
The final instalment in directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart’s ‘Irish folklore trilogy’ is a stunning testament to their singular animation style and storytelling skills. With visual references to pre-Celtic imagery and Studio Ghibli alike – and some catchy songs – WOLFWALKERS is an instant classic for all ages. (source: www.tiff.net)

Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart, Ireland, Luxembourg, USA, 2020, 103 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles.

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Open Air | Titane - Engels ondertiteld

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Lumière Open Air Film Festival closes the festival month on Saturday 28 August with TITANE, the brand new winner of the Palme d'Or (Best Film) at the Cannes Film Festival. A unique opportunity to see this prize winner in the open air during its premiere weekend.

Julia Ducournau (Raw) won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for this wild, unpredictable and extreme film about love, gender identity and the relationship between parent and child. The official synopsis of TITANE in the catalogue of the Festival de Cannes was limited to one puzzling sentence: Titanium is a metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, giving very hard alloys, often used in the form of protheses due to its biocompatibility.

The androgynous Alexia has a fascination for metal and works as a stripper at a car show. After committing a series of violent crimes, she assumes the identity of a boy who has been missing for ten years. With a shaved head, taped down breasts and dressed in men’s clothes, she impersonates 19-year-old Adrien. His father – a troubled man addicted to anabolic steroids who leads a macho fire brigade – takes care of Alexia and accepts her as his prodigal son. A special relationship develops between the two broken souls.

Julia Ducournau debuted in 2016 with RAW, an intelligent story about sexual awakening, packaged as a gory horror film about cannibalism. She wrote film history with her second film TITANE: 28 years after the crowning of Jane Campion’s THE PIANO, Ducournau became the second female director to win the Golden Palm. A daring but also acclaimed choice by the festival jury led by Spike Lee, who had the audacity to award a young, taboo-breaking and subversive filmmaker. TITANE has often been compared to the body horror of David Cronenberg (CRASH, VIDEODROME) and the work of the Japanese cult director Tsukamoto Shinya (the TETSUO trilogy), but ultimately it is above all a rash trip to the inclusive and fluid world of Julia Ducournau.

Julia Ducournau, France, Belgium, 2021, 108 min. French spoken, English subtitles. With Vincent Lindon, Agathe Rousselle.

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