The Cluny presents…. CLUNYMA. A new community event aiming to enrich people’s lives with the magic of film that we are hoping to make regular. Lockdown has taught us all what it feels like to be isolated but for many this loneliness and isolation is part of every-day life and we believe a community cinema is one of the best ways to engage everybody together! Films have played an important role for many during the pandemic as they offer an experience different from your own, allowing us to escape from our personal struggles and anxieties. Cinema attendance has shown to have amazing effects on mental well-being because of its mental simulation visually and the collective nature of the experience. All of this is the cherry-on-top to film’s importance as one of the most accessible forms of culture and its power to educate, move and connect us in an age where we are arguably disconnected more than ever. At the Cluny, we want CLUNYMA to be an accessible platform of this art form that will give everyone a chance to step through the looking glass of imagination and strengthen our community ties at the same time.
Tickets are £5 and doors will open at 6PM. Group seating is available up to 6. Since we will still be in a state of restriction there will be limited capacity. Interest in this initial event is vital for us to continue screening more films in your favourite Ouseburn venue! Questionnaires will be available to give your opinion on the type of films you want to see and what you would like to see incorporated into the event. This double bill is heavily male led so a future event focusing more on the work of women and non-binary folk relies on your community interest to make this happen. Have your say! Create the film event you want to go to! Be a part of your community!
KES (1969): KENNETH LOACH
From the director of I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You, Ken Loach’s second feature film Kes put him on the map as a socially critical filmmaker and a voice for the working class. The story follows Billy Casper, a Barnsley schoolboy, trying to survive his dysfunctional family life and the ruthless British school system amongst his village’s poverty. It is a story of hope appearing for Billy in the shape of a wild kestrel bird who he befriends and trains. Arguably a premonition of Billy Elliot but with a much bleaker and realistic world view, Kes remains relevant more than ever to the UK fifty years on with over 4 million children living beneath the poverty line. Personal highlights of the film are seeing the (very real) kestrel fly and interact with Billy as well as the prominent Barnsley accent – of which all are authentic as little of the cast are professional actors, including Billy – driving home Ken Loach’s motive to platform genuine working-class lives and experiences. Voted number 7 on the British Film Institute’s list of top British films, Kes is definitely not one to miss!
BILLY ELLIOT (2000): Stephen Daldry
Daldry’s screen debut is one of the most loved and well-known North East films that you are sure to have heard of. It follows the story of young Billy and his desire to be a ballet dancer despite the horror of his family. Set against the gritty backdrop of the 1984-5 miner’s strike in Durham, Billy pursues his dream within an environment of social turmoil and aggressive masculinity. The film hovers between a realistic working-class drama and the theatrical surrealness of a musical but it’s humour, heart and charm is sure to leave you with a feeling of emphatic humanity. Like Kes, the film encapsulates still-relevant themes and issues with modern debates about masculinity and sexuality and the former’s accountability for the mental well-being of men being rifer than ever. Billy Elliot brings a familiar story of class struggle and prejudice to the familiar context of the striking miners and in doing so Daldry is able to comment on gender and class issues without making the film overtly political. Get ready to laugh, get ready to cry, get ready to be moved by this timeless, ground-breaking masterpiece. Personal highlights are definitely Julie Walters’ colourful and wholesome performance as Billy’s dance teacher and Jamie Bell’s charm and talent playing Billy.