Off the Shelf film screenings

By Martin Carter, Principal Lecturer, Film Studies, Sheffield Hallam University

This year's festival has three broad thematic strands running throughout: crime, radicalism and India. To complement these threads, we will be screening films in Sheffield Hallam University's cinema, The Void, on Sunday afternoons throughout the festival.

The first film to be shown on Sunday 8 October is Year Zero – Black Country, a documentary about Sikh communities in Smethwick directed by Billy Dosanjh. Combining archive footage and interviews shot for the film, Dosanjh tells the story of how a community arrived and established itself in the UK. The film is a fascinating document showing that immigration has always been a part of British life and how each group of newcomers add aspects of their heritage to the ever-changing national culture of Britain. The film’s director, Billy Dosanjh, will be appearing at Off the Shelf event in conversation with Sunjeev Sahota on 9 October and this screening will give a perfect introduction to his work.

Our second film, which is linked to the festival’s radicalism thread, could not be more different. Reds is an all-star big-budget Hollywood epic that won multiple Oscars and Golden Globes in 1980. Surprisingly, the film is the story of radical socialist thinkers and writers in the USA of the early 20th century – not a subject often tackled by Tinsel Town. Directed by and starring Warren Beatty, the film is the story of the combative romance between John Reed and Louise Bryant (played by Beatty and Diane Keaton respectively) but set against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of the Russian Revolution. By happy coincidence we will be screening the film during the centenary of those ten days that shook the world.

To finish this short season, on Sunday 22 October we will be showing Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity. Released in 1944, it is celebrated as one of the first and best films of the film noir cycle. The film is based on a novel by the great crime writer James M Cain, and Wilder collaborated with Raymond Chandler on the script which, still to this day, is so sharp you can cut yourself on it. Dripping with deception and betrayal the film features cinema’s most fatale of all femmes in Phyllis Dietrichson (played with murderous malevolence by Barbara Stanwyck) drawing fall-guy insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) into a deadly web of infidelity and murder.

Three movies to enhance the host of events taking place throughout the festival.

Entry to all screenings is free. Please check event entries on this website, to book tickets via Eventbrite.

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