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What's On

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Now showing at Bussey Building/The CLF Art Cafe 133,Rye Lane,Peckham,London,London SE15 4ST 020 7732 5275

  • Amy
  • Dirty Dancing
  • The Big Lebowski

Amy 3 stars

movie title

Asif Kapadia's controversial documentary about the life and times of singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse featuring contributions from her friends and family. The film details Winehouse's battle with drug and alcohol addiction as well as mental health issues, and charts events leading up to her death from alcohol poisoning at the age of just 27.

  • GenreBiography, Documentary, Musical
  • CastAmy Winehouse.
  • DirectorAsif Kapadia.
  • WriterAsif Kapadia.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration127 mins
  • Official site
  • Release03/07/2015

With her distinctive beehive hairdo, thick eyeliner and deep, soulful vocal delivery, Amy Winehouse became a defiantly outspoken icon for a generation. Born and raised in Southgate, north London, she drew inspiration from the music of Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett, and exorcised personal demons through her songwriting, encapsulating experiences of heartache, abandonment and despair in her emotionally raw lyrics.

"My destructive side has grown a mile wide/And I question myself again," she laments prophetically in the song What Is It About Men on her debut album, Frank. Scarred by the separation of her parents, Winehouse concealed an eating disorder from those closest to her and repeatedly sought personal oblivion in a heady cocktail of alcohol and drugs.

Her death in July 2011, at the same age as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, sparked a period of national soul-searching. Asif Kapadia's deeply moving documentary charts the turbulent life of the songbird, including contributions from many of her friends and family, and some of the people who worked with her and were touched by her fragility and candour.

Unfolding largely in chronological order, Amy begins with home video footage of a good friend's 14th birthday and meticulously charts her rise to celebrity, incorporating performances, interviews, rare photographs and reminiscences of the people who knew her well.

"If I really thought I was famous, I'd top myself," Winehouse tells one journalist early in the film, her words casting a shadow over subsequent scenes of triumph as Frank leaves critics reaching for superlatives and she storms America with the follow-up Back To Black, earning five Grammy awards including Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year.

The film doesn't pull punches with its depiction of her battles with drug and alcohol addiction, posing difficult questions about the culpability of the media and some of her inner circle in her tragic downfall.

Through Kapadia's lens, her father Mitchell shoulders some of that blame, firstly by advising Winehouse not to go into rehab - "I felt that's Amy's responsibility to get herself well," he offers by way of an explanation - and then by gatecrashing her recuperation on St Lucia with a reality TV crew in tow to bolster his media profile.

Her husband Blake Fielder-Civil is depicted as a similarly destructive influence, including footage of them together in the flat when she first tries crack cocaine. "I tried to sabotage myself and she tried to sabotage herself. Maybe that was our natures," he confesses.

Relationships with Alex Clare and Reg Traviss, which book-ended her roller coaster marriage, warrant only brief mentions but Kapadia would need considerably longer than 127 minutes to delve into every personal tie.

As it is, his elegantly composed memento mori leaves us with a deep sense of sadness and anger as we watch the singer totter towards oblivion, seemingly with no one to shepherd her away from the edge.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 3rd September 2015

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Dirty Dancing 4 stars

Two decades after Patrick Swayze's hip-swivelling hero uttered the immortal line "Nobody puts Baby in a corner", the feelgood musical returns to the big screen, revolving around the prim and proper Frances 'Baby' Houseman, who goes to summer camp with her parents and promptly falls in love with her dance instructor, Johnny Castle.

  • GenreDrama, Romance
  • CastJennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes.
  • DirectorEmile Ardolino.
  • WriterEleanor Bergstein.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration96 mins
  • Official site
  • Release09/02/2007

Two decades after Patrick Swayze's hip-swivelling hero uttered the immortal line "Nobody puts Baby in a corner", the feelgood musical returns to the big screen, casting Jennifer Grey as the prim and proper Frances 'Baby' Houseman, who goes to summer camp with her parents and promptly falls in love with her dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Swayze).

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 1st September 2015

The Big Lebowski 4 stars

Quirk comedy-drama of mistaken identities, fanatical ten-pin bowlers and amputated toes.

  • GenreComedy, Drama
  • CastJeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi.
  • DirectorJoel Coen.
  • WriterEthan Coen, Joel Coen.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration113 mins
  • Official site
  • Release24/04/1998

After the commercialism of Fargo, the Coens return to more quirky territory with a deliciously dark comedy about a ten-pin bowling layabout who is mistakenly kidnapped (by thugs believing him to be a millionaire philanthropist) and becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue, subterfuge and toe amputation. A stellar cast ambles through the Coens' surreal word of avant garde painters, rubber-clad German nihilist and Busby Berkeley-style musical dream sequences, gladly mining the script's rich vein of offbeat humour. One to savour.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 2nd September 2015