The Enchanted Screen: What’s On

Enter the magical world of folklore and fairy tales.

This Christmas, Picturehouse Cinemas invites you to enter the magical world of folklore and fairy tales – a land of joy and wonderment for adults and children alike. This major retrospective screens across all 23 Picturehouse cinemas and features a fantastic array of twenty classic and modern titles from around the world.


Sunday 12 November | Vintage Sundays

The Red Shoes (U)

The Red Shoes

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger.
Starring: Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring. UK 1948. 135 mins.

The ultimate ballet film returns to the big screen digitally restored, having been championed by Martin Scorsese, for whom it was a great inspiration after he saw it as a child. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s sinister fairy tale, The Red Shoes fuses glamour, back stage detail and stunning dance sequences into an audacious, intoxicating melodrama about the competing claims of life and art.

Kiri Bloom Walden, who teaches film at the University of Oxford and is the author of British Film Studios, looks back at Powell and Pressburger’s influential melodrama. Read

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Monday 13 November | Culture Shock

Labyrinth (U)

Labyrinth

Director: Jim Henson
Starring: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud. USA 1986. 101 mins.

Combining music, adventure, comedy and fantasy, this beloved family film boasts a cast of incredible creatures created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop, and stars the late, great David Bowie, who performs five original songs in the role of the Goblin King.

Ian Bird looks forward to Jim Henson’s cult favourite ahead of its Culture Shock screenings. Read

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 Sunday 19 November | Vintage Sundays

La Belle Et La Bête (PG)

Beauty Beast

Director: Jean Cocteau.
Starring: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély. France 1946. 95 mins. French with English subtitles.

Despite the stringent conditions of its making in post-liberation France, Cocteau’s exquisite version of the 18th-century fairy tale remains one of the greatest films of the fantasy genre. Beauty gives herself to the Beast who has held her father to ransom. Through love, and to her slight disappointment, he turns into a handsome prince. Romantic, erotic, hallucinatory and almost tragic, this is an intelligent, grown-up retelling of a ‘children’s’ tale.

Deborah Allison, Senior Programmer and Event Cinema Manager at Picturehouse, celebrates Jean Cocteau’s 1946 romantic fantasy. Read

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From Sunday 19 November | Special Event

Gingerella (RockaFela) Plus Director Q&A

Gingerella

Director: Alex Reuben.
Starring: Eleanor Sikorski, Professors Chris Frith, Natalie Sebanz. UK 2017. 65 mins.

Alex Reuben’s fascinating new essay film explores the meaning of dance and synchronisation, with a narrative thread that weaves together more than thirteen interpretations of the Cinderella story. It centres on the contemporary story of a dancer, Gingerella, who has lost the will to dance and her quest to recover her ability to move. The world of modern neuroscience is Gingerella’s map and her guides are two of its foremost practitioners: Professors Chris Frith and Natalie Sebanz.

Director Alex Reuben spoke to Jo Blair, Senior Programmer and Arts Manager for Picturehouse. Read

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Saturday 25 November | Kids’ Club

Frozen (U) + Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (U)

Frozen

Exclusively for children and their parents or carers. Unaccompanied adults are not admitted.

Frozen (U)

Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee.
Voices: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathon Groff, Idina Menzel. USA 2013. 108 mins.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, this delightful children’s animation goes one better by having not one but two beleaguered princesses.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (U)

Directors: Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers. USA 2017. 21 mins. 

Be one of the first to see this brilliant, brand new festive featurette starring everyone’s favourite snowman.

Tickets on sale from Monday 1 November.


Sunday 26 November | Vintage Sundays

The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya (PG)

Princess-Kaguya1

Director: Isao Takahata. Japan 2013. 137 mins. 

This timeless masterpiece from the legendary Studio Ghibli is based on a tenth–century Japanese fable. A peasant discovers a miniature girl growing inside a bamboo shoot and takes her home.

The haunting story is brought to the screen by Ghibli co-founder and genius animator Isao Takahata, and is undoubtedly one of the studio’s finest works. Exquisitely drawn in a style that recalls washed-out Japanese watercolours, the story is spellbinding and melancholic – an instant classic.

Discover the history behind Studio Ghibli’s contemporary masterpiece from Dr Rayna Denison, Senior Lecturer in film at the University of East Anglia. Read

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Please check in cinema whether the subtitled or English-language version is showing.


Tuesday 28 November | Culture Shock

Pan’s Labyrinth (15)

Pan's Labyrinth
Pan's Labyrinth

Director: Guillermo del Toro.
Starring: Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdú. Spain 2006. 118 mins. Spanish with English subtitles.

A fairy tale for adults inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya and rooted, like The Devil’s Backbone, in the context of war, this is del Toro’s most accomplished work in his own opinion.

In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. Del Toro’s startling vision rests on a profoundly moving story with universal appeal.

Rob Daniel previews Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical masterpiece. Read

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Saturday 2 December | Kids’ Club

The Princess And The Frog (U)

Princess And The Frog

Exclusively for children and their parents or carers. Unaccompanied adults are not admitted.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker.
Voices: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Oprah Winfrey, John Goodman, Terence Howard. USA 2009. 97 mins.

Loosely based on E. D. Baker’s story The Frog Princess, Disney’s 49th animated feature harked back to the studio’s traditional hand-drawn animation and the golden age of its fairy tales, but starred an African-American princess for the first time. This joyous Broadway-style musical, set in the French Quarter of 1920s New Orleans and the bayous of Louisiana, rekindled cinemagoers’ love affair with classic Disney animation.

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Saturday 2 December | Special Event

The Box Of Delights (U)

The Box Of Delights

Director: Renny Rye.
Starring: Devin Stanfield, Robert Stephens, Patrick Troughton. UK 1984. 180 mins + intermission.

The wolves are running in Picturehouse cinemas this Yuletide. Open The Box of Delights and take a wondrous step back in time to Christmas 1984 with Kay Harker, the Punch and Judy Man, Herne the Hunter, Mouse, and co. for a vintage television marathon of the complete six-episode BBC children’s series. Splendiferous!

The wolves are running in Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Norwich and Central London this Yuletide. Take a look at Deborah Allison’s verdict. Read

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Sunday 3 December | Vintage Sundays

The Company Of Wolves (18)

The Company Of Wolves

Director: Neil Jordan.
Starring: Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Sarah Patterson, Brian Glover. UK 1984. 95 mins.

Adapted from short stories drawn from Angela Carter’s revisionist fairytale collection The Bloody Chamber, director Neil Jordan’s second feature was one of the most surprising and startling British films of the early eighties.

Jane Giles let’s us know why Neil Jordan’s second feature is an endless delight ahead of its Vintage Sundays presentation. Read

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Sunday 3 December | Special Event at The Gate, Notting Hill

Three Wishes For Cinderella (PG)

Three-Wishes-Cinderella

Director: Václav Vorlícek.
Starring: Libuse Safránková, Pavel Trávnícek, Carola Braunbock.
Czechoslovakia 1973. 84 minutes. Czech with English subtitles. 

This charming and colourful version of the Cinderella story contains all the expected ingredients – and a whole load more besides. Long before the belated absorption of feminism into Hollywood’s modern fairy tale adaptations brought a new generation of feisty young women to cinema screens, Three Wishes For Cinderella imagined a smart and sassy heroine.

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Monday 4 December | Special Event

Blancanieves (12A)

Blancanieves

Director: Pablo Berger.
Starring: Macarena García, Maribel Verdú, Daniel Giménez Cacho. Spain/France 2012. 105 mins. Silent.

Berger’s take on the Grimms’ tale of Snow White is one of  the darkest, but also perhaps the most imaginative.

Snow White is now Carmen, born in 1920s Seville to a badly gored bullfighter whose wife dies in childbirth. Initially raised by her grandmother, she’s eventually enslaved by her wicked stepmother, who now tends to her crippled father. But having inherited her father’s skills, Carmen joins a troupe of bullfighting dwarfs – yes, bullfighting dwarfs – leading to fame, if not fortune. Until, that is, her stepmother decides to deal decisively with this threat to her inheritance.

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Tuesday 5 December | Screen Arts

Royal Opera House Live: The Nutcracker

ROH Live: The Nutcracker

Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of ‘The Nutcracker’.

With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognizable of all ballet scores.

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Saturday 9 December | Kids’ Club

Shrek (U)

Shrek

Exclusively for children and their parents or carers. Unaccompanied adults are not admitted.

Director: Andrew Adamsons, Vicky Jenson.
Voices: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz. USA 2001. 90 mins.

Sixteen years after Shrek quite literally ripped up the fairy book, this sharply scripted, irreverent comedy remains as boisterously hilarious as ever. Finding his swamp overrun by hordes of annoyingly jovial fairytale characters, grumpy green ogre Shrek (Myers) strikes a deal with the wicked Lord Farquaad. If he will undertake a perilous mission to rescue the princess of Farquaad’s dreams from the clutches of a fire-breathing dragon, he can have his swamp back. Accompanied by a donkey who never stops talking (Murphy) he sets out on his quest…

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Sunday 10 December | Vintage Sundays

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (U)

Snow White

Supervising Director: David Hand.
Voices: Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Pinto Colvig. USA 1937. 83 mins.

Eighty years after release, Walt Disney’s first ground-breaking animated cartoon feature continues to captivate audiences young and old with its unique blend of fairy tale, fantasy, laughter, thrills and tears.

Boldly reworking the Brothers Grimm tale, this hand-crafted Technicolor masterpiece was the gorgeous result of the years of love bestowed upon it by perfectionist Disney and his dedicated studio team. By turns charming, creepy, cute and comical – and jam-packed with wonderful characters – this evergreen story of a beautiful princess, a wicked witch and those dauntless dwarfs took the world by storm, and remains a timeless treat for all the family.

Vic Pratt previews the fairest cartoon fairy tale of them all ahead of December’s Vintage Sundays presentation. Read

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Monday 11 December | Culture Shock

Edward Scissorhands (12A)

Edward Scissorhands

Director: Tim Burton.
Starring: . Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Vincent Price, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall. USA 1990. 105 mins.

Comedic and tragic in turns, this poignant celebration of a visionary spirit struggling to survive in an unforgiving world remains Burton’s most original and beguiling contemporary fairy story.

Dr. Brian Ray, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, on folklore and fairy tales in Tim Burton’s much-loved nineties classic. Read.

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Tuesday 12 December | Discover Tuesdays

Tale Of Tales (15)

Tale Of Tales

Director: Matteo Garrone.
Starring: Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones, Vincent Cassel. Italy/France/UK 2015. 134 mins.

Rooted in Italian folktales, director Matteo Garrone’s first English-language film is a gloriously Gothic story of obsession. Visually the film is stunning, but for every moment of beauty there is a glimpse of the grotesque: Tale Of Tales’ moments of horror are all the more effective for their scarcity.

Rob Daniel, editor of the film-themed website Electric Shadows, gets under the skin of Matteo Garonne’s mythical delight. Read

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From Friday 15 December | Toddler Time

The Gruffalo + The Gruffalo’s Child (U)

Gruffalo

Director: Jakob Schuh & Max Lang | Johannes Weiland & Uwe Heidschotter.
Voices: Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden. UK 2009 and 2011. 55 mins.

Join us for an enchanting double-bill of these all-star adaptations of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-selling picture books. The magical tale of a plucky mouse in search of a nut is followed by the adventure of The Gruffalo’s Child, who bravely tiptoes out into the snow in search of the fabled ‘big bad mouse.’

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Saturday 16 December | Kids’ Club

Enchanted (U)

Enchanted

Exclusively for children and their parents or carers. Unaccompanied adults are not admitted.

Director: Kevin Lima.
Starring: Amy Adams, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Dempsey. USA 2007. 107 mins.

Classic Disney animation meets contemporary urban chaos when a princess is banished from her magical animated homeland to modern-day New York.

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Sunday 17 December | Vintage Sundays

The Singing, Ringing Tree (U)

The Singing Ringing Tree
The Singing Ringing Tree

Director: Francesco Stefani.
Starring: Christel Bodenstein, Charles Hans Vogt, Eckart Dux, Richard Krüger.East Germany 1957. 71 mins. English narrated version.

Inspired by stories by the Brothers Grimm, this East German fairy tale enchanted a generation when broadcast as a three-part black-and-white miniseries under the BBC’s ‘Tales from Europe’ banner in the 1960s. Today’s viewers are in for an even greater treat; prepare to be bowled over by the original feature’s joyous riot of colour.

Deborah Allison tells us why Francesco Stefani’s 1957 classic remains the epitome of fairytale delight. Read

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Monday 18 December | Special Event

The Magic Flute (U)

The Magic Flute

Director: Ingmar Bergman.
Starring: Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila, Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Erikson. Sweden 1975. 135 mins. Swedish with English subtitles. 

A sparkling new restoration of Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-nominated screen adaptation of Mozart’s much-loved opera, in which the Queen of the Night tasks our hero Tamino with rescuing her beautiful daughter from a wicked sorcerer. The Magic Flute synthesises Bergman’s expertise as one of the finest European film directors of his generation and as an experienced and highly acclaimed stage director.

Deborah Allison anticipates a sparkling new digital restoration of Ingmar Bergman’s glorious take on Mozart’s opera. Read

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The Party – In Cinemas Friday 13 October

A witty, sharp and very funny new comedy that will be an unmissable date for everyone’s diary.

Watch the trailer