Hurst Festival 2021
Film in the New Inn Garden
Rocket Man (15)
Wednesday 15 September
We are coming back with a bang, with this supremely entertaining biopic of Elton John in an outdoor screening in the New Inn Garden.
"When are you going to hug me?” That question echoes around Dexter Fletcher’s dazzling rock opera – a fantastical account of the highs and lows of Elton John’s wild-ride rise, told in frenetically full-blooded musical form. It’s the story of a little boy who became a big star while plaintively pleading “I want lurrve, but it’s impossible”; a shy kid (an “introverted extrovert”) who must learn to play-act confidence after enduring a childhood that would have struck a chord with Philip Larkin. Yet unlike the problematically rejigged chronology of Bohemian Rhapsody (which Fletcher rescued from disaster), this proudly nonlinear treat puts its jukebox soundtrack on shuffle, wittily deploying tunes to fit the mood rather than the timeline. The result is a riotous fact-meets-fiction swirl that combines the Brit-pic grit of That’ll Be the Day with the colourful ambition of Absolute Beginners and the surreal excesses of Lisztomania, all tied together by a barnstorming central performance from Taron Egerton."
50's Classic - Some Like It Hot (12A)
Tuesday 21 September
Come and celebrate our 10th birthday with us, with perhaps the funniest comedy ever made.
Billy Wilder's comic take on the 1928 St. Valentine's Day Massacre finds Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as musicians who witness a gangland killing in Chicago and need to get out of town fast. Disguised as women, they join an all-girl band headed for Miami, where Curtis doffs his wig and chases Monroe while millionaire Brown falls for Lemmon's alter ego, Daphne.
Created by Wilder and co-writer IAL Diamond, Some Like It Hot is effortlessly fluent, joyous and buoyant: a high-concept comedy that stays as high as a kite, while other comedies flag. “Nobody’s perfect” is the famous last line. Wilder, Lemmon, Curtis and Monroe come pretty close.
60s Classic - Breakfast at Tiffany's (PG)
Wednesday 22 September
Writer Paul Varjak moves into a New York apartment building and becomes captivated by his neighbour, Holly Golightly.
Holly's a fake. Someone who lies so well she believes her own spin. Paid to deliver "weather reports" by a mobster she visits in jail, collecting $50 a time to "go to the powder room", she acts with such dignity, it would seem impertinent to question her cover stories. But as Paul becomes drawn into her world, he realises he's going to have to knock her fantasy just a little bit if there's any future for them as a couple. But then, Paul is just as much a fake, a one-trick-pony writer, kept by a richer older woman while he struggles with his career.
In Blake Edwards' hands the story is lighter than the Truman Capote novel on which it was based, but he manages to add some trademark humour and keep the romance sweet. And it's the romantic scenes that stand out; Holly crooning Moon River to her cat, as Paul listens above; the day they decide to do things they've never done before and the rain-soaked climax. Breakfast at Tiffany's is actually one of the few films not to be greatly harmed by its flaws. Audrey Hepburn is delicious as Holly and the Henry Mancini score is in the class of elite soundtracks.
70s Classic - Alien (15)
Thursday 23 September
After more than 40 years, this sci-fi masterpiece still feels lethally contemporary.
Sigourney Weaver stars in the movie that was to make her name. She is Ripley, a crew member of a mining spaceship trudging back home, which is forced to make a detour on receiving a mysterious SOS signal from a deserted planet. Her colleagues include Parker, played by Yaphet Kotto, petulant and resentful Brett, played by Harry Dean Stanton, and Dallas, played by Tom Skerritt; John Hurt is Kane, an eager volunteer for the job of exploring the planet’s surface, and Ian Holm is superb as the scientific officer Ash. Their response to the distress call results in the appearance on board of an unwanted guest.
With screenwriters Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, Ridley Scott created an essay on the hell of other people, the vulnerability of our bodies, and the idea of space as a limitless new extension of human paranoia. Alien also functions as a nightmare parody of the biological weapons industry. But above all, it is visually stunning, utterly gripping, deeply suspenseful, superbly paced and brilliantly entertaining. A very dourly British sci-fi response to the gung ho positivity of Star Wars, which had been released the previous year.