Diss Corn Hall

The DCH Blog

Suffragette - a pre-screening review - Monday 8th February 2016
Whether the militant actions of Suffragettes helped or hindered the rights of women at the turn of the last century is a debate that has gone on for the last 100 years, and was never going to be settled by a single movie. Abi Morgan’s script cleverly avoids the debate by focusing on the single point of view of a working class woman committed to the cause.
Carey Mulligan’s nuanced and subtle performance is at the heart of this film, and whatever reservations one might have about the conclusions she draws, there’s no doubting her motives. By conflating the right to vote with the broader issues of social inequality, Morgan directs our sympathies with precision, though it’s telling that some of the more interesting scenes feature the excellent Brendan Gleeson as Inspector Steed, warning of the dangers of being seduced by a cause. Counterpointing Gleeson is Helena Bohnam Carter’s eccentric, jiu jitsu trained chemist – a fascinating character and based on a real person, she deserved a film of her own.
Some of the finer detail will have history pedants bristling, but this is a sincerely constructed and briskly paced primer for those seeking an entry point to the complex issues that dogged Britain immediately before the war. For that reason alone, it deserves the attention it has received.
By David Vass

Corn Hall Comedy @ Diss Rugby Club - a review - Thursday 4th February 2016
Corn Hall comedy looks to be settling in nicely at the Rugby Club. Ria Lina made the tricky job of compère look effortless, and with a winning mix of charm and razor sharp wit offered up the perfect balance of sassy routine and sweet-natured interaction.
Sy Thomas, a gangly, bearded oddball, won laughs more usually associated with a headline slot with his toe curling anecdotes of relationship failure and pathological insecurity, and should have been a hard act to follow. Fortunately, Leo Kearse, another gangly, bearded oddball, rose to the challenge.
From out of Kearse’s mouth came a torrent of scabrous, scatological filth, which also happened to be gasping-for-air, tears-down-the-face funny. Reminiscent of early Frank Skinner, much of Kearse’s act only makes sense if his audience know about things they really shouldn’t, which of course only added the naughty, conspiratorial fun.
The Corn Hall Comedy crowd can sometimes appear a tad diffident but when presented with acts as good as these, it quickly becomes apparent that they are just discerning. Polite titters were quickly transformed into roars of laughter, courteous applause morphed into cheers of approval, and a riotous, hugely entertaining, night was had by all.
David Vass

Theeb - Weds 3rd February - a pre-screening review - Wednesday 27th January 2016
Naji Abu Nowar’s first full length feature as director is an assured and entertaining debut. Set in deserts of Jordan at the turn of the century, it’s a compact, tightly plotted adventure that has already garnered two BAFTA nominations, and is in line to win an Oscar.

The director’s use of non-professional actors brings authenticity and warmth to the relationship between real life brothers, their naturalism highlighting how alien they find Jack Fox’s upright soldier (his blond hair and blue eyes surely a nod to Lawrence of Arabia). Notionally set during the First World War, there is a diffuse, timeless quality to Theeb, which unfolds entirely from the boy’s perspective. Though something very specific is clearly going on, it is frequently just beyond our field of vision. Pleasingly, Naji Abu Nowar is brave enough to leave some of our questions unanswered, and much of the intriguing mystery intact.

Despite the exotic location (handsomely shot by Wolfgang Thaler) and its art house credentials, Theeb is fundamentally a thumping good yarn. Swap the Hijaz desert for Monument Valley, and the camels for horses, and we would have something akin to an old fashioned Western.
Attending the showing of the film, and discussing the challenges of a Jordanian/UK co- production will be Rupert Lloyd, who was both producer and editor of the film.
By David Vass