SHOPLIFTERS - Tuesday 26th March 7.30pm at Grosvenor Museum
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102 mins
Director Hirokazu Kore-eda
Starring Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Mayu Matsuoka
Cert 15



Although Osamu Shibata (Lily Franky) works on a Tokyo building site and partner Nobuyo (Sakura Ando) toils in a laundry, they still have to resort to shoplifting to feed their ragtag brood, especially after they acquire another mouth to feed in the form of abused five-year-old Yuri (Miyu Sasaki).

Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda has spent over a decade examining the dynamics of family life, and he deservedly won the Palme d'or at Cannes for this intricately scripted and impeccably played saga, which centres on an even more unconventional unit than the one depicted in the masterly Nobody Knows. As usual, the influence of Yasujiro Ozu and Mikio Naruse can be felt in Kore-eda's flintily compassionate humanism. But, with its focus on female sacrifice and suffering, this also recalls the heartbreaking 1930s melodramas of Kenji Mizoguchi, in which women on the margins did whatever it took to provide for their loved ones.

Nothing is quite what it seems, as Kore-eda sets his scene in a ramshackle abode in an overlooked part of Tokyo. Indeed, there's an offbeat adult fairy tale feel to the waifs and strays gathered around labourer Osamu (Franky) and laundress Nobuyo (Ando), with grandmother Hatsue (Kirin Kiki) collecting the pension of her deceased husband, twentysomething Aki (Mayu Matsuoka) falling for a damaged soul at the peep show where she performs in a glass booth, tweenager Shota (Kairi Jyo) being educated in the school of life, and moppet Yuri (Sasaki) basking in the affection of her new family after being beaten by her parents. But, as Kore-eda cajoles the audience into becoming fond of this motley crew, he also starts leaving disquieting clues about each character's past.
Thanks to the brilliance of the cast (with Franky and Ando excelling in a poignant love-making sequence), these careless words, small gestures and tell-tale expressions acquire enormous emotional power, as Ryuto Kondo's camera insinuates itself into every nook and cranny of Keiko Mitsumatsu's cosily cluttered interiors. Yet there's never a hint of contrivance or cheap sentiment, as Kore-eda challenges societal convention and questions the priorities of those who wield power while being detached from reality.
The spirits of the old masters pervade this disquieting but deeply moving drama. But Kore-eda stands alone as the chronicler of family life in a country facing an identity crisis.

David Parkinson

Chester International Film Festival 2019

And we're done.

Thank you very much for coming along to support us, we hope you enjoyed the season and the introductions.

The 6th Animation Festival also concluded with a head to head of the two highest rated films. We are delighted to announce the Pilipka won the 2019 Audience Award. Congratulations to Tatiana Kublitskaya for her beautiful film.inner! Thanks to our runner up Apple of My Eye by Davide Benvenuti and to all our entrants.


Kenn Hodd

Sad news. Ken Hodd passed away 5th March 2019. Many of you will remember Kenn as a member of the Society who served on the Committee and as our Treasurer. He stepped down three years ago but we still saw him from time to time.Beforehand, Ken was a doctor of chemistry and worked for many years in this industry.  Our condolences go to his family and friends.
Wanna earn £30?

National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port are working alongside The Audience Agency to find out more about people's awareness and perceptions of the museum. As part of this research we will be holding a discussion group with local people. Even if you have never visited the museum before, we’d still really like to hear your opinions!


The discussion group will take place on Wednesday 3rd April in Ellesmere Port. It will be a relaxed and informal conversation with up to 10 people, and requires no preparation from you. The group will last for a maximum of 90 minutes, and you will receive £30 as a thank you for your time if you are selected to take part.


If you are interested in taking part, please complete and submit this short survey to let us know your preferred group time and to give us a bit of information about yourself. If you are chosen to participate, we will be in touch with further details and a confirmed time.


If you have any questions about the research, please contact:

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