As 2017 draws to a close, we caught up with our staff and trusty volunteers to find out what films stood out above all others in our cinema programme this year. If you’re looking for the perfect film to watch during the festive period, take our advice and select one of our favourites.
And the winner is… Loving Vincent!
This hand-painted biopic of the famed painter Vincent Van Gogh is reportedly the first fully painted animated film in history, and the seven-years-in-the-making effort is undeniably breathtakingly beautiful.
Our staff and volunteers said it was “a beautifully crafted labour of love for the artists work and life”… “beautifully made and very inspiring”… “It was such a great ‘who dunnit’ with a back drop of stunning animation and also very warming. It felt like Vincent Van Gogh was bought back to life, wonderful.”
If you didn’t see it in the cinema this year, we’ve added some extra screenings in early January! You can book your tickets now.
With over 100 films screening in the PAC cinema during 2017, showing a huge range of arthouse and mainstream movies, there are a whole host of runners-up for best film…
Call Me By Your Name was another firm favourite – “Great to see my LGBT community having more of a representation in cinema. Beautifully made, great soundtrack – a great escape.”… “a feast for the eyes”… “easily the most sensual, erotic, swooning love story of youthful heartbreak and an essential addition to Queer Cinema. I cried for an hour after it – both times I’ve seen it.”… “I just wanted to live in its sun drenched, languid world of truth, beauty, love and acceptance.”
Victoria and Abdul was also named as one to watch – “Laughter and tears in equal measure!”… “I didn’t expect it to be quite so funny, but laughed really quite a lot.”
Maudie was listed as another biopic which won people’s hearts – “A great introduction to an artist I hadn’t heard of, and I love biopics!”… “A gorgeous film worth anyone’s time”…
The Party – “The very definition of black comedy: nasty, dark, and piercing the tension in exactly the right places. It was greeted with a round of applause from the audience.”
Aquarius – “A stunning performance from the lead actress”
Berlin Syndrome – “Fantastic visual lighting, photography, concept and narrative”
Back to Burgundy – “I loved the acting, scenery and intensity of the characters”… “Drama amongst the grapevines. Lovely scenery and likeable characters even with their problems.”
Burn Burn Burn – “A funny, touching, quirky British road trip”
A Street Cat Named Bob – ” I love cats and although it was sad, it ended happily for James”
Prevenge – “Alice Lowe can do no wrong and because it was hilariously deranged. What a brilliant way to explode the myth of the nurturing ‘earth-mother’ crap that gets spoon-fed to women. A feminist dream.”
The Florida Project – “It is magical, heart-breaking, essential filmmaking which gives me hope for US cinema and also because I had a 1-hour stand up row with an usher who complained it wasn’t political. I politely explained that the politics of the soured American Dream was woven into every frame. I won.”
Christine – “Rebecca Hall was outstanding in making a complex, angry, clever, frustrated woman utterly compelling.”
Blade Runner 2049 – “Villeneuve’s patient direction in concert with Deakins’ cinematography not only made it an equal to its landmark predecessor, but three hours of footage that could be paused at any point to leave an image so beautiful it could be framed on any wall in a museum.”
20th Century Women – “Impressed me right to the hilt”
The Birth of a Nation – “representing slavery in a different way, giving the slaves an interior life and agency, although of course doomed to failure. I was moved more than by any other film this year, and shamed. A far more impressive film than Twelve Years a Slave, which was garlanded with praise.”
Mother! – “Darren Aronofsky the director described it as something like ‘a snapshot of the world as it is now’, or words to that effect, and I definitely felt that, yet there’s plenty of allegory and symbolism to explore, plus open enough to place your own interpretations on it, a very thought provoking film”
Votes were cast and quotes provided by the team at Plymouth Arts Centre – with thanks to Anna Navas, Manon Le Tual, Charlotte McGuinness, Kat Peberdy, Mason Craig, Sue Fisher, Flora, Lesley, Kathy Wray, Ildiko, Brian Toole, Sam, Lolita, Maria Gammon, Dan Sealey, Pete Rozycki, Siobhan Breslin, Jane, Helen Tope, Kieran Rae and Ieuan Jones.