Oxford International Film Festival

Opening Night

Opening the 2nd Annual Oxford International Film Festival will be the feature Stanley a Man of Variety and the Short films The Last Laugh and The Wrong End of the Stick.

7pm Friday 5th May at the Phoenix Picturehouse

Stanley a Man of Variety

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DIRECTED BY STEPHEN COOKSON

UK

Starring - Timothy Spall (Mr Turner, Harry Potter, Enchanted, Sweeney Todd).

Runtime - 82 minutes

English Language

Timothy Spall is outstanding in this amusing and often moving story of Stanley, a middle-aged man who enjoys watching classic British films and TV shows from the 1960/70’s. He finds himself in prison for a crime that he believes that he didn’t commit and after many years in solitary confinement his quest to see his daughter for her 16th birthday becomes his obsession. He begins to talk to his comedy heroes from the past as each one tries to help him remember what he has done.

Co-written by Spall and Director Stephen Cookson this is the first time since Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets that one performer has played all the principle roles. It is a towering achievement from Spall, who moves from the flamboyant Noel Coward to the grotesque Max Wall via the ukulele playing of George Formby with ease.

Go see if you liked MOON and or SECRET HONOR.

The Last Laugh

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DIRECTED BY PAUL HENDY

UK

Staring - Bob Golding, Damian Williams, Simon Cartwright.

19 minutes

English language

'The Laugh Laugh' sees three iconic, British comedians, Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecambe and Bob Monkhouse sitting in a dressing room discussing the secret of comedy. 

We see the lightening wit and quick-fire quips which made these comedians great. But as the film scratches a little deeper, we catch a glimpse of their insecurities: the niggling doubt of whether a joke is funny enough and how the fear of ‘dying’ drives them on a never-ending quest for that next big laugh. 

Warm, funny, affectionate and moving, ‘The Last Laugh’ explores what it means to be funny and what happens when the laughter stops…

The Wrong End of the Stick

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DIRECTED BY TERRI MATTHEWS

9 mins UK SHORT – Animation/Comedy

Malcolm Fetcher is a neurotic, middle-aged teacher lost in a dull marriage with his wife of twenty years, Beverly. As he faces an all-consuming identity crisis, their marriage disintegrates and he is forced to express a deep, hidden desire...