The Best of the Big Screen

Storyhouse is Chester’s local, independent and not-for-profit cinema. Nicky Beaumont, Storyhouse’s Film and Digital Programme Manager picks out the very best films from the UK and around the world, just for Storyhouse audiences – with the help of the friendly Storyhouse cinema team and local communities. Here’s Nicky’s round-up of what films to look out for this summer.

As we move into high summer we have picked out the best family entertainment and independent feature films to fill the holiday period. Starting off with a heavy dose of nostalgia, The Railway Children Return arrives on 15 July for inter-generational holiday viewing. Jenny Agutter reprises her role as Bobby – but this time as a grown up looking after a family of World War II evacuees who embark on their own adventure.

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Other don’t-miss summer holiday viewing includes Minions origin story – Minions The Rise of Gru – which goes back to the 1970s to explore the beginnings of Gru’s super-villainy, whilst reminding us that we all sometimes need a little help from our friends. Thor: Love And Thunder, Taika Waititi’s follow up to the frequently hilarious Thor: Ragnarock will be on our biggest screen in the Movie Theatre from 29 July, and there will be more super-hero action – this time in animated form – in August with DC League of Super-Pets.

The Young Programmers are putting on a season to celebrate the work of the Sherman brothers

The Storyhouse Young Programmers have curated a season for August aimed at family audiences,  dedicated to the Sherman Brothers who wrote some of the most unforgettable songs in cinema history including Mary PoppinsA Spoon Full Of Sugar, and the themes for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. The Young Programmers said “There are very few film seasons dedicated to those who were musically involved in film, the songs are just as memorable as the actors and the films themselves, highlighting this is a celebration of the hard work of the Sherman brothers”. The films in the season will be accompanied by free arts and crafts activities and are a perfect way to entertain the kids during the school holidays.

David Earl in Brian and Charles

Rural Wales is the backdrop to two distinct and highly original British films this summer. First up on 8 July is Brian & Charles is a quirky, British sweet-natured comedy filmed in mockumentary style and starring David Earl (Netflix’s After Life), about facing up to bullies, finding friendship and letting go. From comedy to horror, The Feast (Gwledd) is a Welsh language folk-horror set in Snowdonia. A local girl arrives at a wealthy family’s home to help them prepare for an important dinner party, but her behaviour is unsettling and things begin to slowly unravel. First time director Lee Haven Jones and writer Roger Williams draw on myth and folklore in this story that has echoes of traditional Welsh storytelling and reminded me of the classic Alan Garner book and ‘60s TV series The Owl Service.

Daisy Edgar Jones in Where the Crawdads Sing

The adaptation of Delia Owen’s best-seller Where The Crawdads Sing will be at Storyhouse from 29 July,  starring Daisy Edgar Jones (Normal People) as the marsh girl fighting to clear her name. One of the most anticipated films of the summer is Jordan Peele’s follow up as writer, director, producer to Get Out and Us Nope. Reuniting Peele with Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya Nope is a sci-fi horror in which workers at a Californian horse ranch bear witness to a strange force that seemingly affects both animal and human behaviour.

Daniel Kaluuya in Nope, written and directed by Jordan Peele.

Alongside the blockbusters and family entertainment, you’ll also find some of the best stories from around the world. Hit The Road, the debut feature of Panah Panahi (son of acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi)  tells the story of a family on a road trip across the Iranian countryside. The unspoken reason for the trip hints at a personal or political danger for the eldest child, yet the film also depicts humour and the warmth of a loving family, and the end is imbued with a moment of magical realism.

August will also feature a retrospective of film by German auteur Wim Wenders, one of the key figures in the1970s New German Cinema movement. Kino Dreams is the first UK retrospective of Wenders’ films in 15 years and a chance for UK audiences to experience the 4K restorations of Wings of Desire, The American Friend and Kings of The Road in cinemas.

Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire