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All films start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday 12 and Thursday 14 December

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (15)

Dogtooth and The Lobster director, Yorgos Lanthimos, weaves a complex tale very loosely based on the Greek myth of Iphigenia. Colin Farrell is Steven, a cardiac surgeon with a happy marriage and charming children; however, his picture-perfect life is set off-kilter when the behaviour of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

Lanthimos immerses us in a world both familiar and strange, blending Greek tragedy, surrealism and supernatural thriller as Steven descends deeper into a nightmare of Hitchcockian proportions.

UK/Ireland, 2017, 121 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 15 at 7.45pm and Saturday 16 December at 3.00pm & 7.45pm

THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (PG)

The Man Who Invented Christmas tells of the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol. Dan Steven’s plays Charles Dickens in a biographical portrait that reveals the celebrated author’s private life, as well as bringing his creations to life in the manner in which Dickin’s himself claims to have experienced inspiration: haunting his waking hours, popping up in the strangest of places and effectively telling him what to write. Christopher Plummer provides a memorable turn as Scrooge amid a terrific cast in a new take on the timeless festive favourite.

Ireland/Canada, 2017, 104 mins

Saturday 6 January - 3.00pm and 7.45pm

PADDINGTON 2 (PG)

Finding the right birthday present is never easy, but his Aunt Lucy is turning one hundred and Paddington is determined to get her the perfect gift. Happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community he decides to do odd jobs to raise the necessary funds.

This is a funny and sweet natured adventure that perfectly catches the tone of Michael Bond’s original books, with a stellar cast including Ben Whishaw, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Hugh Bonneville and Hugh Grant as the villainous Phoenix Buchanan.

UK/France, 2017, 95 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Monday 8 January

THE FLORIDA PROJECT (15)

Moonee is a precocious 6-year-old who lives in a motel in the shadows of Disney World with her rebellious mother, courting mischief, hustling change for ice cream and playing tricks on the motel’s staff (including Willem Dafoe). In parallel to Moonee’s madcap adventures, the adults around her struggle with hard times and a failed economy, in an ingenious and charming film with a captivating performance from Brooklynn Kimberly Prince at its heart. Sean Baker’s follow-up to Tangerines, is a lucid, brilliantly realised portrait that captures the joy childhood.

USA, 2017, 115 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Tuesday 9 and Thursday 11 January

FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL (15)

Annette Bening and Jamie Bell vividly bring to the screen the intense romance between Gloria Grahame, Hollywood star and film noir stalwart, and the charming and much younger actor Peter Turner. Adapted from Turner’s own memoir, Paul McGuigan’s consummate study of a truly extraordinary relationship is filled with humour, passion and insight, effortlessly capturing the connection, both emotional and physical, between them. It’s a beguiling story and Bell and Bening are tremendous as the star-crossed lovers in a cast including Julie Walters as Turner’s sympathetic mother.

UK, 2017, 105 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 12 and Saturday 13 January

BATTLE OF THE SEXES (12A)

The true story behind the 1973 tennis match between Women’s World number one Billie Jean King and former Men’s champion and serial hustler Bobby Riggs. Emma Stone and Steve Carell play the on-court protagonists, in a rousing, timely tennis drama, capturing the spirit, vulnerability and resilience of Billie Jean, who is playing for far higher stakes as she battles to bring about gender equality, whilst also coming to terms with her own sexuality.

UK/USA, 2017, 121 mins

Tuesday 16 and Thursday 18 January

HAPPY END (15)

Michael Haneke artfully addresses the enduring themes of his previous films in a bracingly intelligent portrait of a dysfunctional bourgeois family, whose members all seem frustrated, lonely or unfulfilled.

Characteristically sardonic, Happy End yet finds Haneke present a quietly compassionate picture of contemporary life as experienced by complacently well-off Europeans. Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant head a superb cast in a compelling drama leavened by bracing moments of absurdist humour.

France/Austria/Germany (French dialogue with English subtitles), 2017, 107 mins

Monday 15 January

LOVING VINCENT (12A)

Loving Vincent delves into the ambiguities of the life and last days of Vincent Van Gogh, through the travels of a young man tasked with delivering Vincent’s last letter to his brother Theo. Meeting the people Vincent knew in his final months, Armand’s curiosity is piqued and he begins to question the official version of events.

The first fully painted feature film, Loving Vincent brings Van Gogh’s work to life, including his techniques and the subjects of his paintings, in each of this extraordinary animation’s 65,000 hand painted frames.

UK/Poland, 2017, 91 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 19 and Saturday 20 January

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL (18)

Mugen no jûnin (original title)

After a legendary battle, and haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, the supremely skilled samurai Manji becomes cursed with immortality. Aware that only through fighting evil can he regain his soul, Manji promises to help a young girl avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu.

Takashi Miike adapts Hiroaki Samura’s manga story, creating an entertaining samurai epic, including graphic fantasy violence and a comic sensibility as Manji pursues his relentless and bloody mission of vengeance.

Japan/UK (Japanese dialogue with English subtitles), 2017, 141 mins

Further information regarding scenes used by the BBFC to determine the film's certification, may be found at the extended classification link - please note that this page contains spoilers.

Tuesday 23 January

THE LOST HONOUR OF KATHARINA BLUM (15)

Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (original title)

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum is a key political film of the New German Cinema, co-directed and adapted by Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta from the controversial novel by Heinrich Böll. Angela Winkler plays the eponymous young woman enveloped in a climate of fear and paranoia, whose life is scrutinized by the police and slowly destroyed by the media after she meets a young man suspected by the authorities of being a political activist.

West Germany (German dialogue with English subtitles), 1975, 106 mins

States of Danger and Deceit: European Political Thrillers in the 1970s, a touring season presented by HOME, Manchester, as part of BFI THRILLER. With the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

Thursday 25 January

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD (15)

Nothingwood (original title)

Sonia Kronlund’s touching and often hilarious debut is an entertaining documentary on the subject of Salim Shaheen, the Ed Wood of Afghanistan. A force of nature, Shaheen has managed to make and

self-distribute no fewer than 110 films despite the country’s

ongoing war and past conflicts, often employing innovative production techniques such as using real blood and real guns with real ammunition.

15 years of visiting and reporting from Afghanistan as a radio journalist inform Kronlund’s thoughtful voiceover, complementing an intriguing love letter to filmmaking.

France/Germany (French, Dari and English dialogue), 2017, 85 mins

Friday 26 January

INGRID GOES WEST (15)

The dark side of social media raises it head in this this jet-black stalker comedy, brilliantly skewering dangerous obsession and the sham of Instagrammed perfection. Ingrid is fresh out of the psychiatric ward and on the trail of Taylor Sloane, social media celebrity extraordinaire, whose online feeds overflow with sun-kissed, bohemian LA chic, a world away from Ingrid’s painful past. Flirting with psychological horror and tragedy, Ingrid Goes West is driven by a fearless lead performance from Aubrey Plaza, wittily questioning where sanity lies.

USA, 2017, 98 mins

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Stoke Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2EH Registered Charity no. 504600