HOUSEKEEPING (1988) dir: Bill Forsyth

In a land where the people are narrow and suspicious, where do they draw the line between madness and sweetness? Between those who are unable to conform to society’s norm and those who simply choose not to, because their dreamy private world is more alluring? That is one of the many questions asked, and not exactly answered, in Bill Forsyth’s HOUSEKEEPING.

Following the success of Gregory’s Girl and Local Hero, this is the director’s first American movie, and a somewhat forgotten one, despite 4 star reviews at the time. The Yanks just didn’t seem to know what to do with it, but we do – we’re showing it to you on Thursday!

Adolescent sisters Ruthie and Lucille  live by a threatening black lake; their mother lies at its bottom, and Aunt Sylvie flaunts death by rowing on it late at night. Sylvie rocks the boat in other ways too. Arriving out of the blue to care for her nieces, she has habits that challenge the small town’s conventions and eventually come between the girls: gentle humour stems from such idiosyncrasies, but Sylvie is irresponsible, dangerously so.

“one of the strangest and best films of the year.
At the end of the film, I was quietly astonished. I had seen a film that could perhaps be described as being about a madwoman, but I had seen a character who seemed closer to a mystic, or a saint.”

Roger Ebert

“HOUSEKEEPING the novel by Marilynne Robinson’s tale of orphaned sisters and their oddball aunt in a remote Idaho town is admired by everyone from Barack Obama to Bret Easton Ellis and was voted one of the 100 best novels of all time.”

“HOUSEKEEPING, Bill Forsyth’s fine adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s 1981 novel, is a clear-eyed, brow-furrowed, haunting comedy about impossible attachments and doomed affection in a world divided between two kinds of people.” NEW YORK TIMES

Thursday 27th October, bar opens at 7.30 with a short at 8pm followed by HOUSEKEEPING around 8.15pm.