Dog film season set for Picturehouse Central from 5 May
Dogs and owners are invited to a special preview of Heart Of A Dog plus Q&A with Laurie Anderson on Wednesday 11 May
From 5 May, Picturehouse Central will host Dog Gone Crazy!, a season of iconic films that focus on Man’s best friend, including the first ever West End screening for dogs and their well-behaved owners.
The season will include a special dog-friendly preview screening of Laurie Anderson’s festival smash Heart Of A Dog. Dogs are encouraged to bring their owners to see this moving documentary about Laurie Anderson’s relationship with her beloved rat terrier Lolabelle, a powerful meditation on life, death and what it might mean to be a human animal. The film will open across the UK on 20 May through Dogwoof.
Dog Gone Crazy’s eclectic selection explores a range of playful, serious, spiritual and political takes on the relationships we form with our four-legged friends. Films in the season will include Christopher Guest’s Best In Show, John Henderson’s Greyfriars Bobby, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, Andrea Zimmerman’s Taskafa, Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy And Lucy, Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s My Dog Tulip and Kornél Mundruczó’s White God.
Clare Binns, Programming And Acquisitions Director at Picturehouse, said: “I want a dog. I love dogs, and seeing Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story Of A Dog in the cinema when I was seven had a profound effect on my life. I knew cinema was for me. The films in this season, including Laurie Anderson’s beautiful and tender Heart Of A Dog, are some of my favourite movies of the last few years. Dogs are complex – friend, foe, symbolic of many things for us mere simple humans. Expect dogtastic moments ahead.”
Tickets are on sale now. Ask at the Box Office, visit the Picturehouse Central website, or call the booking line on 0871 902 5755 (calls cost 13p a minute plus your telephone company’s access charge).
More information on Heart Of A Dog.
Full film information and screening dates. Tickets are available now.
Thursday 5 May, 6.40
Director: Christopher Guest. Starring: Christopher Guest, Parker Posey. USA 2000. 90 mins.
Picturehouse Central! This mockumentary from the legendary Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap) follows an idiosyncratic group preparing their pooches for the annual competition. It also features several Christopher Guest regulars, including the wonderful Parker Posey.
Saturday 7 May, 1.00
Director: John Henderson. Starring: James Cosmo, Gina McKee, Christopher Lee, Greg Wise. UK 2005. 105 mins.
The myth of Bobby, the loyal Skye terrier who stood guard over his master’s grave in Edinburgh for 14 years, was recently debunked by historian Dr Jan Bondeson: “Bobby would go out hunting rats in the church and was kept well fed by the locals. He was not a mourning dog at all – he was a happy little dog.” It appears there were two Bobbys, both apparently fed in return for playing their part in the perpetuation of a shaggy dog story many came to love (especially the Scottish Tourist Board, no doubt!). Nonetheless, this family-friendly film – with an emotional performance from Christopher Lee – offers a chance to speculate on the imaginative and pragmatic forces that turned Greyfriars Bobby into an icon.
Sunday 8 May, 3.00
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu. Starring: Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo. Mexico 2000. 154 mins. Spanish with English subtitles.
Those who marvelled at the realistic depiction of the bear fight in Iñárritu’s recent Oscar winner The Revenant will relish this opportunity to see his first feature, which introduced him to UK audiences in 2000. His intention was to make a film about the relationships between dogs and people, inspired by true stories. The film features three narratives linked by a car crash. In the first, a group of poor kids get involved in the illicit world of dog-fighting; the second is a macabre tale about a supermodel, a luxury apartment and a lapdog; and the third features a hitman moving through different levels of city society. Justifying his filmmaking practices in this portmanteau film to the
RSPCA, Iñárritu explained that a lot had been achieved in shooting and editing, and that he had also worked with a well-respected animal trainer.
Monday 9 May, 7.00
Plus Q&A with Andrea Zimmerman. Director: Andrea Zimmerman. Turkey 2013. 66 mins.
Taskafa gathers the voices of diverse Istanbul residents, all of whom display a striking commitment to the well-being and future of the city’s dogs. From the rapidly gentrifying city centre district of Galata to the residential islands of the Sea Of Marmara and beyond, Taskafa navigates a history of empathy with, and threats against, this highly distinctive urban population. Despite several attempts by Istanbul’s rulers, politicians and planners over the last 400 years to erase them, the city’s street dogs have persisted thanks to an enduring alliance with widespread communities that recognise and defend their right to exist. This film by artist Andrea Zimmerman features readings by internationally acclaimed essayist and critic John Berger, a leading figure in the discipline of animal studies. “A work as profound as it is protesting.” – Sukhdev Sandhu.
Wednesday 11 May, 6.00
Heart Of A Dog (Cert TBC)
Director: Laurie Anderson. France/USA 2015. 76 mins.
Visually rich and poetic, Laurie Anderson’s Heart Of A Dog sees her reflect on love, language and death – inspired by the affection she had for pet rat terrier, Lolabelle, who died in 2011. Essayistic in style, and constructed as a collage of original musical compositions, contemporary footage, narration, animation and 8mm home movies, it deftly flits between the serious and the playful, the funny and the heartfelt.
Saturday 14 May, 7.00
Director: Kelly Reichardt. Starring: Michelle Williams, Will Patton. USA 2008. 80 mins.
This carefully composed film from acclaimed director Kelly Reichardt is generally acknowledged as one of her best works, and has been compared to the films of Robert Bresson and the Italian neorealists. Michelle Williams stars as Wendy, who is driving with her dog Lucy to Alaska in the hope of a summer of lucrative work at a fish cannery. When her car breaks down in Oregon, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes apart, and she faces a series of increasingly dire challenges. Caught shoplifting for a few basic items, she winds up on the wrong side of the law, and while she is in custody Lucy goes missing. Alone and short of funds, Wendy finds herself on the very periphery of American society, but remains stoical in her determination to find a better life. “It’s Reichardt’s third full-length feature, but only her first masterpiece.” – Time Out.
Sunday 15 May, 3.00
Sunday 15 May, 3.00
Directors: Paul Fierlinger, Sandra Fierlinger. Voices: Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave, Isabella Rossellini, Peter Gerety. USA 2009. 82 mins.
Ackerley (Christopher Plummer) and a rescued German shepherd dog. Exquisitely animated by Sandra Fierlinger, this is a genuinely touching film about abandoning your reservations and embracing true love in whatever form it may present itself. A labour of love in itself, it was the first animated feature ever to be entirely hand-drawn and painted. “My Dog Tulip has no stupid plot, no contrived suspense. Tulip grows old and dies, as must we all. J. R. Ackerley misses her and writes a book about his loss. Through this dog, he knew love. And through J. R., so did Tulip.” – Roger Ebert.
Wednesday 18 May, 6.45
Director: Kornél Mundruczó. Starring: Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth. Hungary/Germany/Sweden 2014. 121 mins. Hungarian with English subtitles.
Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes 2014, this cautionary tale follows Lili, a young woman on a mission to retrieve the pet dog her father has cast out onto the streets after a new tax on mixed breeds prompts owners to dump mongrels. She searches the streets for her dog Hagen, while he falls into a series of dangerous situations and eventually joins a pack of strays who come to revolt against humankind. Their revenge is merciless, and Lili may be the only person to halt this war between humans and dogs. Far from sentimental, the film is an allegorical tale of humans’ abuse of superiority and privilege, inspired by the literature of J. M. Coetzee. “My intention was to demonstrate that mankind and beasts share the same universe. Only if we are able to position ourselves in the place of different species do we have the chance to lay down our arms.” – Kornél Mundruczó.