Finding The American Dream

The American Dream has long held significance for filmmakers around the world. The notion that any citizen can work their way to affluence or success is an intoxicating one, and, some might say, addictive. It's the framework behind seven of the films we're showing over the next two months.

Lee Isaac Chung's Minari follows a Korean family in search of personal security; Chloé Zhao's Nomadland sees a widow finding roots on the road; Kelly Reichardt's First Cow explores the beginnings of US capitalism; and in a quadruplet of American classics Paul Newman fights for freedom at every turn in Stuart Rosenberg's Cool Hand Luke; Robert Altman's Nashville celebrates a new 4K reissue; and the American Dream is blown wide open in our double feature with Paul Schrader's Blue Collar and Michael Mann's Thief.

The American Dream is as complex as the storied and - so far - brief history of the United States. The country's long march to its specific brand of democratic capitalism has seen many lives lost and an equal number of stories told.

Authors James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, John Steinbeck and Harper Lee are just four of the nation's most insightful storytellers to have traversed the rocky themes and ideas of American ideals in literature. It seems an endless reservoir for writers for the page, stage and screen and we're proud to present such a varied collection of old and new films in our season.

Minari (12A)

Thursday 10 Jun

Minari eceived six Oscar and BAFTA nominations, walking away with Best Supporting Actress for Youn Yuh-jung at both ceremonies. The film had its World Premiere at 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award and…

Nomadland (12A)

Friday 18 Jun

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director…

Cool Hand Luke (15)

Saturday 19 Jun

We’re celebrating the birthday of composer Lalo Schifrin, who turns 89 on 21 June. Schifrin was Oscar-nominated for his score to Stuart Rosenberg’s Cool Hand Luke. Composed in between his work on the Mission: Impossible TV series and…

First Cow (12A)

Friday 25 Jun

Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and…

Nashville (4K Reissue) (15)

Thursday 8 Jul

As part of its celebration of Robert Altman the BFI have restored the director’s opus, Nashville, in a new 4K remaster which we have pleasure in presenting this July. This cornerstone of 1970s American moviemaking from Robert Altman is a…

Thief & Blue Collar (18)

Saturday 31 Jul

Thief … Becoming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the mafia. Michael Mann’s super influential minimalist neo-noir looks as authentic and original today as the day it did in 1981.

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