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Preview: Shots in the Dark Film Festival at Broadway Cinema

17 May 19 words: Ashley Carter

Broadway's crime, mystery and thriller season returns with retrospectives, previews, rare classics and visits from legendary film VIPs....

Following on from its revival in 2018, Broadway Cinema's crime, mystery and thriller festival, Shots in the Dark, is returning for four days of film screenings, discussions and Q&A's. This year's edition, which runs from Thursday 30 May until Sunday 2 June, focusses on the theme of obsession, from erotic fixations to meticulous precision of the perfect crime. 

Here's a rundown of what's on show this year... 

Unnatural Causes with Dr Richard Shepherd

The dead do not hide the truth and they never lie. Through me the dead can speak ...

Thursday 30 May - 6pm

Running time: 120 mins

A forensic pathologist, Richard Shepherd solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden deaths. His evidence has put killers behind bars, freed the innocent and turned open-and-shut cases on their heads. He'll bring us a unique insight into an extraodinary life and a remarkable profession and, above all, a powerful testament to lives cut short.

Dr. Shephed will discuss his book with DCI Stuart Gibbon, which will be followed by a book signing after the event.

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Sometimes Always Never (2019)

Whenever you make a decision, whatever you choose, there's another universe somewhere where you made the opposite choice

Thursday 30 May - 8.30pm

Director: Carl Hunter

Starring: Bill Nighy, Jenny Agutter, Sam Riley

Running time: 87 mins

Sharp of both suit and vocabulary, Bill Nighy is winningly deadpan as Scrabble-obsessed Merseyside tailor Alan, whose eldest son Michael stormed out of the house after a particularly heated round of the popular board game, never to return. Years later, with a body to identify and his family torn apart, Alan must repair the relationship with his youngest son and solve the mystery of an online player who he thinks could be Michael, so he can finally move on and reunite the family.

Did you know? Sometimes Always Never is based on a short story called Triple Word Score, written by the script writer Frank Cottrrel Boyce.

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Gun Crazy (1950)

I've been kicked around all my life, and from now on, I'm gonna start kicking back.

Friday 31 May - 1.45pm

Director: Joseph H. Lewis

Starring: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger

Running time: 87 mins

Joseph H Lewis's noir classic turns pulp into pure gold. This is a small but perfectly formed black-and-white masterpiece of flash and trash, unwholesome obsession and criminal daring. The masters of the Nouvelle Vague adored it, not least for the bold and brilliant camerawork: there's a tremendous continuous take of a bank job, filmed from one camera position in the back seat of the getaway car.

Did you know? The screen credits indicate that the script was written by MacKinlay Kantor and Millard Kaufman. However, it was revealed in 1992 that Kaufman had acted as a front for blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo.

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Dogman (2018)

Am I your friend? Yes or no?

Friday 31 May - 4pm

Director: Matteo Garrone

Starring: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Nunzia Schiano

Running time: 103 mins

A timid dog groomer living in a poor suburb sells cocaine on the side and stays out of trouble, while trying to deal with his unstable, violent acquaintance who is a menace to the whole neighborhood.

Did you know? Roberto Benigni was offered the role of Marcello but turned it down.

Trailer

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Jeremy Thomas Career Overview & Lifetime Achievement Award

Cinema is a global endeavour. My roots are in England but my endeavours are worldwide

Friday 31 May - 6.30pm

Running time: 120 mins

Broadway are proud to welcome renowned Oscar-winning film producer Jeremy Thomas CBE to receive the Shots in the Dark - Lifetime Achievement Award. Described as the man behind the country's greatest independent films, Jeremy has produced over fifty features from The Great Rock 'N Roll Swindle through to The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Sexy Beast, Crash, Young Adam, High-Rise and more recently, Dogman. Jeremy will discuss over forty years of filmmaking with Adrian Wootton OBE (Shots founding director and CEO of Film London) and share his memories of working with filmmakers such as Bernardo Bertolucci, David Cronenberg, Jonathan Glazer and Terry Gilliam.

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Sexy Beast (2000)

Bloody hell. I'm sweating in here. Roasting. Boiling. Baking. Sweltering. It's like a sauna. Furnace. You can fry an egg on my stomach. Who wouldn't lap this up? It's ridiculous. Tremendous. Fantastic. Fan-dabby-dozy-tastic.

Friday 31 May - 8.45pm

Director: Jonathan Glazer

Starring: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane

Running time: 103 mins

After the plethora of good, bad and just indifferent gangster movies comes this astonishing edgy and original thriller to breathe new life into the genre. Ray Winstone gives arguably his best performance to date as Gary, sexy beast of the title. An ex-villain living in contented retirement in Spain with his wife, Gary finds his peace and quiet abruptly terminated by the arrival of his old partner, Don Logan. Logan (Ben Kingsley) is a psychopathic criminal who will use any means of violence or intimidation necessary to get Gary to return to England for one last massive heist.

Did you know? Sir Ben Kingsley claims the character of Don Logan is largely based on his grandmother.

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High-Rise (2015)

There's no food left. Only the dogs. And Mrs. Hillman is refusing to clean unless I pay her what I apparently owe her. Like all poor people, she's obsessed with money.

Friday 31 May - 10.30pm

Director: Ben Wheatley

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller

Running time: 116 mins

A project originally developed by producer Jeremy Thomas with Nicolas Roeg scheduled to direct, based on James Ballard's classic sci-fi thriller novel (who Thomas knew and he produced David Cronenberg's adaptation of Ballard's Crash) but it was never made. Nevertheless, Thomas kept the flame alive over a thirty-odd year period and it finally came to fruition under Ben Wheatley's direction. He delivers a visceral, startling and audacious take on fragmentation, tribalism and class injustice in a brilliantly retro, future world tower block environment.

Did you know? Tom Hiddleston spent time with a forensic pathologist to prepare for his role since his character, Dr. Robert Laing, is a physiologist.

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The Collector (1965)

You could fall in love with me if you tried. I've done everything I could to make it easy. You just won't try!

Saturday 1 June - 12.15pm

Director: William Wyler

Starring: Terence Stamp, Samantha Eggar, Mona Washbourne

Running time: 119 mins

The great Hollywood director William Wyler took John Fowles' celebrated novel and turned it into one of the finest - and most controversial - psychological thrillers of the 1960s. It tells the story of a quiet London bank clerk whose butterfly collecting hobby takes a sinister twist when he kidnaps a most unusual specimen - a beautiful woman. Listen out for the haunting musical score by Maurice Jarre.

Did you know? The Collector was cited by notorious serial killer Bob Berdella as a key inspiration for his crimes.

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Behind Intrigo (2019)

Saturday 1 June - 1pm

Running time: 48 mins

Adapted for a trilogy of films, Intrigo is a collection of stories from the master of Nordic Noir, Håkan Nesser. Each is linked by the themes of secrets coming to light, lies being exposed and the past coming back to haunt people. Ahead of our special guested screening of the feature film Intrigo: Death of an Author, we’re delighted to screen two short documentaries which give an insight into the work of Håkan Nesser and the making of the Intrigo films. The first is a portrait of Håkan Nesser, featuring an in-depth interview with the author at his home in Sweden, the second is a documentary about the making of the three Intrigo films based on his novels. This is a free screening.

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Plein Soleil (1960) + Author Jill Dawson

Why bother having money when you can spend other people's?

Saturday 1 June - 3pm

Director: René Clément

Starring: Alain Delon, Marie Laforêt, Maurice Ronet

Running time: 118 mins

Tom Ripley is a talented mimic, moocher, forger and all-around criminal improviser; but there's more to Tom Ripley than even he can guess.

Did you know? Alain Delon's then girlfriend Romy Schneider appears in the very first scene as a friend of Freddie Miles.

Trailer

Talk with author Jill Dawson - 5.15pm

What really goes on in the heads of novelists who write about sociopaths and murderers? Much-loved author Jill Dawson will talk about her books The Crime Writer and The Language of Birds. The former was inspired by the life and work of Patricia Highsmith, whose books were adapted into the films Strangers On A Train, Plein Soleiland The Talented Mr. Ripley. An intriguing blend of fact and fiction, the book uses the facts of Highsmith's life as a starting point to re-imagine the author's life and clandestine love affairs with women in 1964 Suffolk. Her latest book The Language of Birds, a hypnotic novel about class, violence and friendship inspired by the shocking Lord Lucan case and the 'lovely young nanny' at its centre, who history has largely forgotten. Jill Dawson will discuss her work with Sandeep Mahal, director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Shots in the Dark founding director, Adrian Wootton OBE.

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Intrigo: Death of an Author (2019)

Saturday 1 June - 7.45pm

Director: Daniel Alfredson

Starring: Tuva Novotny, Ben Kingsley, Michael Byrne

Running time: 106 mins

In the Netherlands, a body plunges into the sea tied to a statue. At the same time, translator David is approached by his publisher in Stockholm. Would he translate the final manuscript of Germund Rein, a famous author who has just committed suicide at sea? Accepting the task, the book uncannily mirrors David's own life - and in particular, one deep, dark secret he has worked very hard to keep hidden...

Broadway are pleased to welcome director and co-screenwriter Daniel Alfredson, author Hakan Nesser and co-screenwriter Birgitta Bongenhielm for a post-screening Q&A.

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Rififi (1955)

Don't cry, he just learned some women have guts.

Sunday 2 June - 12pm

Director: Jules Dassin

Starring: Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel

Running time: 118 mins

The modern heist movie was invented in Paris in 1954 by Jules Dassin in Rififi. Dassin built his film around a 28-minute safe-cracking sequence that is the father of all later movies in which thieves carry out complicated robberies... Echoes can be found from Kubrick's The Killing to Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.

Did you know? Mexican authorities pulled the movie from theaters after multiple burglaries were committed employing methods similar to those shown.

Trailer

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Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

It is so difficult to make a neat job of killing people with whom one is not on friendly terms.

Sunday 2 June - 2.45pm

Director: Robert Hamer

Starring: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson

Running time: 106 mins

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Did you know? The original camera negative was saved from the Henderson's Film Laboratories fire of 1993, just before a massive nitrate explosion destroyed the negatives of many other movies, including several other Ealing comedies.

Trailer

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Ingrid Goes West (2017)

The couple that yogas together, stays together. Prayer hands emoji.

Sunday 2 June - 5.15pm

Director: Matt Spicer

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Aubrey Plaza, O'Shea Jackson Jr.

Running time: 98 mins

An unhinged social media stalker moves to LA and insinuates herself into the life of an Instagram star.

Did you know? The production was delayed when director Matt Spicer accidentally walked through a sliding glass door and gaffers had to remove fragments of glass from his arm with duct tape

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Rojo (2018)

In conclusion, you're not guilty of what happens to you

Sunday 2 June - 7.45pm

Director: Benjamin Naishtat

Starring: Dario Grandinetti, Alfredo Castro, Mara Bestelli

Running time: 109 mins

A chance encounter with a random man in a restaurant is the catalyst for respected lawyer Claudio to get himself mixed up in a web of bad decisions. And when a Columbo-esque Z-list celebrity detective comes into town to get to the bottom of a missing person case, Claudio finds himself under increasing scrutiny which has the potential to end disastrously. This 70s set tragicomic noir-like thriller is a compelling trip, full of intensity, superb performances, and gorgeous cinematography.

Trailer

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