Monday, 1 May 2017

May 2017 – Film Director Jonathan Demme Passes Away, Disney Publishes 2017-2021 Release Schedule, Alien: Covenant, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, and Baywatch

Hi Everyone,

I confess I didn't know that much about American film director Jonathan Demme, whose death from oesophageal cancer (and complications from heart disease) was announced last week. But I was aware that he was the director of the brilliant and seminal horror thriller The Silence of the Lambs – in which Jodie Foster plays young FBI investigator Clarice Starling who is tasked with interviewing notorious cannibal Hannibal Lecter. Great stuff! 

Looking at Jonathan Demme's resume, it appears he also directed such classic films as Caged Heat (1974), Married to the Mob (1984), and Philadelphia (1993). Demme passed away on 26th April 2017 aged 73, and I'm sure all our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Jonathan Demme directing a scene from the movie Philadelphia. 

A lighter piece of news last week was Disney Studios' release of their slate of movies for the next few years. It includes, for example, three family movies: Coco, A Wrinkle in Time, and Magic Camp. Other highlights include:-

  • Cars 3 - 16th June 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarok - 3rd November 2017
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi - 15th December 2017
  • Black Panther - 16th February 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War - 4th May 2018
  • Currently untitled Han Solo movie - 25th May 2018
  • The Incredibles 2 - 15th June 2018
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp - 6th July 2018
  • Live-action Mulan - 2nd November 2018
  • Captain Marvel - 8th March 2019
  • Avengers sequel - 3rd May 2019
  • Star Wars: Episode IX - 24th May 2019
  • Live-action The Lion King - 19th July 2019
  • Frozen 2 - 27th November 2019
  • Currently untitled Indiana Jones movie - 10th July 2020


The big films released in the UK in May 2017 include Alien: Covenant, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Baywatch, and Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Here's a picture from each of those movies for you to enjoy:-

Alien: Covenant © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword © 2017 Warner Bros. Ent, Inc. Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Ltd, and Ratpac-Dune Ent, LLCA. All Rights Reserved.

Baywatch © 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Frank Masi.

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 [Dead Men Tell No Tales aka Salazar's Revenge] © 2016 Disney Enterprises. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Film Frame

Here's a comprehensive run down of the May 2017 new releases:-

The major films are: A Dog's Purpose, Alien: Covenant, Baywatch, Colossal, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Mindhorn, Miss Sloane, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Sleepless, Snatched, Spark (aka Spark: A Space Tail), and Unlocked.

Limited or “key cities” releases include: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, Harmonium, I Am Not Madame Bovary, Inversion, Lost in Lebanon, Machines, Sarkar 3, Spaceship, The Levelling, The Other Side of Hope, and Tomcat.

Other limited releases given their “own spot” in the newsletter are: Away, Detour, Frantz, Interlude in Prague, It Was Fifty Years Ago Today!, Jawbone, McLaren, The Journey, The Last Face, The Red Turtle, The Secret Scripture, and Whisky Galore! In addition to all of the above, the classic movies Manhattan (1979) and La Strada (1954) have also been showcased.

Since the May newsletter has gone to press, as it were, several other film releases have been announced. These include Woody Harrelson's Lost in London (5th May) - in fact this does briefly get a mention in the stop press section of the newsletter - and Bob the Builder: Mega Machines (27th May).

Also look out for such films as Hubble at the BFI Imax, Kolonya Cumhuriyeti at Lee Valley Odeon, The Marriage of Maria Braun at selected Picturehouse cinemas (8th May), The Kitchen: World Chef Battle (in various Odeon cinemas), plus Ishkq in Paris and Jatts In Golmaal on 24th May at the O2 Cineworld.

As usual, not included in the magazine are this month's “Event Cinema” entertainmentsmost of which are listed below. As usual, information sometimes differs when comparing various sources, so please take the following details with a pinch of salt and do some further investigation if you are interested in attending any of these events:-

  • 2nd May 2017 – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Encore) – starring Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire – from the Old Vic (Screen Arts/NT Live)

  • 5th May 2017 – Don Carlo - Maggio Musicale Fiorentino – Live Opera 2017 (Thunderbird Releasing)

  • 5th May 2017 – Exhibition on Screen – Hockney: Landscape, Portraits, & Still Life (Seventh Art Productions)

  • 11th May 2017 – Obsession – NT Live 2017 (NT Live/Picturehouse Entertainment)

  • 13th May 2017 – Der Rosenkavalier – Met Opera 2017 (By Experience)

  • 18th May 2017Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - starring Imelda Staunton and Imogen Poots(?) - NT Live Theatre (Trafalgar Releasing)
  • 24th May 2017 – Antony and Cleopatra - RSC Live Theatre 2017 (Trafalgar Releasing)

  • 28th May 2017 – The Hippopotamus - film Screening and Q&A with creator Stephen Fry and the Cast – from the Hay Literary Festival (Miracle Comms/Electric Shadow)
    Note: The film stars Roger Allam, Tim McInnerny, Fiona Shaw, Matthew Modine, Russell Tovey, and Emily Berrington

Here is the link to my latest newsletter (which is a download of approximately 48MB):-

It turns out that one of the films I was most looking forward to last month - Rules Don't Apply – played in so few cinemas that I didn't get to see it! This seems to be happening quite a lot these days. Smaller films are arguably being squeezed out. Sometimes, a film just isn't picked up at all by cinema chains. In other instances, there is a token showing in just one theatre – just so that the movie is eligible for Bafta consideration, methinks. (For a few other thoughts on the topic of limited releases, see the editorial in this month's magazine).

Anyhow, similarly, I hope to get a chance to watch Interlude in Prague in May 2017 – but so far, I haven't been able to track down a single screening in the UK. I hope, by contrast, you are able to locate accessible screenings of all the movies you wish to see this month. I therefore wish you a great time at the cinema. Happy viewing!

For trailers for most of the films mentioned above, please see below:-

A Dog's Purpose

Alien: Covenant



Citizen Jane: Battle for the City



Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry



I Am Not Madame Bovary

Interlude in Prague


It Was Fifty Years Ago Today!


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

La Strada

Lost in London





Miss Sloane

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge

Sarkar 3




Spark (aka Spark: A Space Tail)

The Journey

The Last Face

The Levelling

The Other Side of Hope

The Red Turtle

The Secret Scripture



Whisky Galore!