For Senior Selections in June we’re showing one of my favourite films of the past few years, probably my favourite film of 2019 – Pedro Almodovar’s Pain & Glory. It is a tender story, wonderfully acted by Antonio Banderas. His character, Salvador, struggles with his declining creative power, health, and relationships.  

The ending is tremendous and, to my memory, euphoric – an empowering literal reframing of his childhood, where he grew up in a white-washed cave house with his mother. A life renewed. A new beginning.  

Although it’s not a new beginning, Belmont Filmhouse will also be experiencing a long overdue renewal. Funding, secured through Aberdeen City Council, will allow us to replace our in-screen lighting through June. We’ll add screenwashes, BSL and intro spots and change over the house lighting. We’ll be more energy efficient and crucially, brighter. We hope the change will improve the overall experience of visiting the cinema, making the screens safer, more sustainable and more accessible.  

The downside is a slightly stripped back programme through June to allow for the work to happen. Screens 3, 2 and 1 will be closed for five days a piece, in the order, from 6th June. It’s a scunner, but ultimately a small price to pay for work that is long overdue. 

As well as Pain and Glory there’s still lots of fab stuff to see – Alex Garland returns with MEN, starring Rory Kinnear as the titular beasts and the always good Jessie Buckley as lead. Powerhouses of European cinema Mia Hansen Love and Gaspar Noe both return with new offerings, respectively Bergman Island, starring Tim Roth, and Vortex, with Noe drawing out Dario Argento to play the central role. 

We’ve also picked up reissues of Psycho, Get Carter and Dreyer’s Vampyr – none to be missed. Terence Davies comes back with Benediction, a biopic of Siegfried Sasson starring Jack Lowden. Multiverse madness with Everything Everywhere All At Once, with Michelle Yeoh. And The Drover’s Wife – Leah Purcell’s Australian Western, tackling misogyny and racism in the outback.  

Another of my ‘best of the year’ from much longer ago, 2010, is The Kids Are All Right, which is our Queer Film Club title this month – Ruffalo, Bening and Moore turn in incredible performances in what is an unmissable drama – tickets are £5 for all.  

Lastly, NUART Aberdeen is back again, with Martha: A Picture Story, Selina Miles’ doc on photographer Martha Cooper. It’s great to see NUART back to the city and we’re privileged to be able to host a Q&A with Martha Cooper and Evan Pricco after the film.  


Head of Cinema Operations