The Films

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. / Park Circus
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. / Park Circus

Film Hub Wales and Chapter as Film Hub Lead Organisation, have put together a major, UK-wide programme designed to celebrate the most magnificent Welsh storyteller, Roald Dahl. 

The programme will see an extraordinary array of film screenings and supporting activity delivered across the UK from the re-release of The BFG in July 2016, through to the centenary of his birth on the 13th September. Coming soon to a cinema near you.
 


The BFG

USA/2016/117mins/PG

Dir: Steven Spielberg With: Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader, Mark Rylance

A girl named Sophie has an encounter with a giant who collects dreams. Despite his scary appearance he is a kind hearted soul who refuses to eat little children like some of his people. Sophie is whisked away to the Big Friendly Giant’s land to help him stand up to the Giant Fleshlumpeater and bring peace between the two lands. 

Distributor: Entertainment One. 

 

Image courtesy of Sony_Park Circus_Matilda
Matilda

USA/1996/98mins/PG

Dir: Danny DeVito With: Mara Wilson, Pam Ferris, Danny DeVito

The grouchy no-hoper Wormwoods are parents to a very sweet girl, Matilda, who also happens to be a genius. Ignored at home and left to her own devices, she soon digests the entire contents of the local library before being sent to Crunchem Hall, a nightmarish school headed by the sadistic Miss Trunchbull. It’s here that her abilities come to the fore, her brain power and telekinetic powers attracting the attention of sweet and warm-natured rose amongst thorns Miss Honey.

Image courtesy of Sony / Park Circus. Distributor: Park Circus and Filmbank Media

 


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

USA/2005/115mins/PG

Dir: Tim Burton With: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter

Reclusive and barking mad confectioner Willy Wonka has taken it into his head to allow five lucky children a peek at the inside of his world famous chocolate factory after decades of never allowing anyone near his palace of sticky enchantments. One of the chosen few is poor but generous Charlie Bucket, who only has enough money to buy one chocolate bar a year, on his birthday.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. / Park Circus. Distributor: Park Circus and Filmbank Media



Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

USA/1971/100mins/U

Dir: Mel Stuart With: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum

The world is agog when Willy Wonka, for years a recluse in his factory, announces that five lucky people will be given a tour of the factory, shown all the secrets of his amazing candy and one will win a lifetime supply of chocolate. Nobody wants the prize more than young Charlie, but as his family is so poor that even one bar is a treat, his chances are unlikely in the extreme. But magic can happen as Charlie gets his chance, along with four other somewhat odious children.

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. / Park Circus. Distributor: Park Circus and Filmbank Media



Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

UK/1968/144mins/U

Dir. Ken Hughes With Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries

A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasty adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land. 

Distributor: Park Circus and Filmbank Media
 


James and the Giant Peach

UK/1996/89mins/U

Dir: Henry Selick Voices: Paul Terry, Joanna Lumley, Richard Dreyfuss

James’ happy life at the English seaside is abruptly ended when his parents are killed by a rogue rhinoceros and he goes to live with his two horrid aunts. Daringly saving the life of a spider he comes into possession of magic boiled crocodile tongues, after which an enormous peach starts growing in the garden. Venturing inside he meets not only the spider but a number of new friends including a lovely ladybird and sarcastic centipede who help him with his plan to try to get to New York City. A fond and fruitful tribute to the cranky genius of Dahl. 

Distributor: Fox and Filmbank Media, DCP available from Pathé.

The Witches 

US/1990/91mins/PG

Dir: Nicolas Roeg 

After his parents die in a car crash, Luke travels with his eccentric grandmother to a stark Cornish hotel. Also checking in is the annual ladies meeting of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Luke overhears a meeting only to discover they are actually a convocation of ghastly witches hell bent on turning every child in Britain into a mouse. With a deliciously wicked performance from Anjelica Huston and imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson’s creature shop, Roeg’s dark and witty retelling puts disturbing flesh on Dahl’s fancies like few other adaptation.

Distributor: Park Circus and Filmbank Media. Cinemas must contact Park Circus for rights to DCP for screenings from August 2016 onwards (date TBC). Screenings on DVD will only be granted by Filmbank for non-theatrical venues. 
 

Fantastic Mr Fox

US/2009/97mins/PG

Dir: Wes Anderson Voices: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray

Wily and audacious Mr. Fox loses his tail to the loathsome trio of exploitative farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, one fat, one short, one lean. Mr. Fox is no saint himself, having been a flourishing chicken thief until times grew risky, a secret kept from upright Mrs. Fox. Facing subterranean incarceration, he mobilises his fellow creatures under siege to rise up against the brutish farmers. Wes Anderson’s retelling visualises Dahl’s classic tale with wicked panache and psychedelic dazzle through idiosyncratic stop-animation and set design. 

Distributor: Fox and Filmbank Media, DCP available from Pathé.
 

Tales of the Unexpected

UK/1979-1988/25mins/12

A selection of episodes from the classic macabre British television series, often told with sinister and wryly comedic undertones, based on the short stories by Roald Dahl. Episodes to be select through an audience vote. 

Distributor: Park Circus. Only non-theatrical bookings taken, no admission to be charged.


The Night Digger

UK/1971/110mins/adv18

Dir: Alastair Reid With: Patricia Neal, Pamela Brown, Nicholas Clay

The dreary existence of middle-aged spinster Maura takes an unexpected turn with the arrival of young handyman Billy Jarvis, but there is more to Billy than meets the eye. Finding herself fascinated by his nocturnal forays, she learns to her horror why he spends so much time outdoors at night. An eerie Bernard Herrmann score ups the tension as Patricia Neal, then Dahl’s wife, provides sexual tension and a certain Gothic flavour.

Distributor: Hollywood Classics. This film must only show on a screen 4m diagonal or smaller.
 

36 Hours

USA/1965/115mins/adv12A    

Dir: George Seaton With: James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Taylor

Just days prior to the launch of D-Day, the Nazis kidnap Major Jefferson Pike in Lisbon and transport him to Germany. They establish an elaborate ruse to convince him that it is actually 1950 and that the war is long over, telling him that he’s suffering from periodic memory loss in order to gain access to plans for the Normandy invasion. Once he realizes what is happening, he not only has to convince them that he was lying the first time round but also find a way to escape. A taut and suspenseful thriller based on Dahl’s 1944 short story “Beware of the Dog”.

Distributor: Hollywood Classics. This film must only show on a screen 4m diagonal or smaller.
 

Gremlins

USA/1984/106mins/15

Dir: Joe Dante With: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton

Seeking a unique gift for his son, an erstwhile inventor purchases a cute, fuzzy little Mogwai from a Chinatown shopkeeper’s grandson, warning him to never let it get wet, exposed to sunlight or feed it after midnight. Naturally, things don’t go to plan and the loveable critter mutates, unleashing an army of devilish monsters and panic in the streets. Loosely inspired by the creatures from Dahl’s story “The Gremlins”, this is an homage to B-movie monsters and both a Christmas and all year round classic.

Distributor: Park Circus and Filmbank Media.
 


Alfred Hitcock Presents

USA/1962-1965/25mins approx./NC

Registered trademark of The Alfred Hitchcock Trust

A selection of invariably surprising episodes written by Dahl for the classic anthology presented by master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock:


 

  1. Mrs Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat
    USA/1960/25mins/NC
    Dir: Alfred Hitchcock With: Audrey Meadows, Les Tremayne

    A married woman receives a glamourous mink coat from a man with whom she had an affair. Hoping to sneak the coat into her home without arousing suspicions, she soon discovers her husband has plans of his own.
     
  2. The Landlady
    USA/1961/25mins/NC

    Dir: Paul Henreid With: Dean Stockwell
    Young Billy Weaver takes refuge in a seemingly cosy B&B whilst travelling, greeted by a talkative landlady. Slightly perplexed by the lack of guests in the guest book and her fondness for taxidermy, he begins to realise the tea tastes a little suspicious.
     
  3. Lamb to the Slaughter
    USA/1958/30mins/NC
    Dir: Alfred Hitchcock With Barbara Bel Geddes, Harold J. Stone, Allan Lane

    When Mary Maloney's police chief husband is found murdered, the police investigate and have a hard time trying to find the murder weapon.
     
  4. A Dip in the Pool
    USA/1958/26mins/NC
    Dir: Alfred Hitchcock With Keenan Wynn, Fay Wray

    William Botibol is a compulsive gambler. While on a cruise he enters a betting pool to guess the number of miles the ship will travel in the course of twenty four hours. He deduces he’ll win if the ship is delayed a little – if, for instance, it has to turn back to collect a man overboard.
     
  5. The Man from the South
    USA/1960/30mins/NC
    Dir: Norman Lloyd With Steve McQueen, Peter Lorre

    In a Las Vegas casino, an unpleasant little man hopes to use a young man's wish to impress the young woman he has just met to pressure the young fellow into accepting a macabre bet.

      6. Poison
          USA/1958/26mins/NC
          Dir: Alfred Hitchcock With Wendell Corey, James Donald
         
Harry Pope is lying in bed and discovers that there is a sleeping snake on his stomach.          

Distributor: Universal. 
 

Porco Rosso

Japan/1992/94mins/PG

Dir: Hayao Miyazaki Voices: Michael Keaton, Susan Egan

In early 1930s Italy air pirates, bounty hunters and high fliers of all sorts rule the skies. The most cunning and skilled of these is Porco Rosso, a former ace cursed to look like a pig after his squadron was mysteriously wiped out. Defeated in a dogfight he takes refuge in a hangar near Milan, preparing to battle his rival once and for all. This Studio Ghibli classic has parallels to Dahl’s short story “They Shall Not Grow Old”.

Distributor: Studio Canal


Four Rooms

USA/1995/138mins/18

Dir: Alisson Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino With: Sammi Davis, Madonna, Antonio Banderas

It’s New Year’s Eve at a former grand old Hollywood hotel and things are awry. On his first night on the job, the bellhop is asked to help out a coven of witches, agrees to watch a gangster’s kids for him and referees a ghastly wager. Four interlocking tales in segments, in its entirety loosely based on many of Dahl’s adult short fiction writings.

Distributor: Park Circus and Filmbank Media.


You Only Live Twice

UK/1967/117mins/adv12A

Dir: Lewis Gilbert With: Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama

When an American space capsule is swallowed up by what they believe to be a Russian spaceship, suspicions mount and the world superpowers are hurled to the brink of war. The British government however suspect that other powers are at work. Bond must investigate the shady SPECTRE organisation with the aid of Japanese agent Kissy Suzuki in a race against the doomsday clock in this seminal 007 adventure with a screenplay by Dahl himself.

Distributor: Park Circus and Filmbank Media.
 

The Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

USA/1963/25mins/NC

Dir: Richard Donner With: William Shatner, Christine White

While travelling by airliner, Bob thinks he sees a gremlin on the wing. He tries to alert his wife and the flight crew to its presence but every time someone else looks out of the window, they see nothing. Growing desperate, he steals a sleeping police officer’s revolver and takes matters into his own hands. Loosely inspired by Dahl’s short story “The Gremlins”, this is a seminal Twilight Zone tale referenced in popular culture for the past 50 years.

CBS/Freemantle - no rights clearance on this title currently. 


Merrie Melodies

USA/1943-1944/7mins approx./NC

A selection of classic Bugs Bunny cartoons largely inspired by Roald Dahl’s short story “The Gremlins”. Dahl is widely credited for making gremlins known worldwide, utilising eye witness testimonies of strange creatures tinkering with aircrafts in the air forces:

  1. Falling Hare
    USA/1943/8mins/NC
    Dir: Bob Clampett Voice: Mel Blanc

    Bugs is reclining on a piece of ordnance next to a bomber plane, idly reading Victory Thru Hare Power and laughing at the book’s claim that gremlins wreck American planes through diabolical sabotage. He then spots a gremlin experimentally striking the unfused nose of a bomb that he’s sitting on.

  2. Russian Rhapsody
    USA/1943/7mins/NC
    Dir: Bob Clampett Voice: Mel Blanc

    As Adolf Hitler personally flies a bomber on a mission to the Soviet Union, the gremlins from the Kremlin set about the stop him.

No rights clearance on these titles currently. 


Esio Trot

UK/2015/88mins/PG

Dir: Dearblha Walsh With: Dustin Hoffman, Judi Dench, James Corden, Salo Gardner

Lonely bachelor Mr Hoppy lives in a London flat and has two loves in his life – his balcony garden and Mrs Silver, the widow in the flat below. Mrs Silver is too fond of her tortoise Alfie to respond. Noticing that she’s concerned about Alfie’s lack of growth, he hatches a plan to show how much he cares.

Distibutor: Endor Productions