u3a - Film


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Hello and welcome. If you are in u3a and love film, this page is for you.

Films in good company

Are you in an existing u3a film group, or maybe you're a film fan and are new to u3a? You’re in good company: there are over 180 u3a groups devoted to film.

Chances are that, for you, films are a fascinating window on to the world and human relationships. Or maybe you like movies that inspire, that inform, that entertain? ’Yes to all of those’, I hear you say?

At u3a, films are these things and more. Everyone can access film, and films bring us together. We talk about them with friends and in our u3a groups. And some u3as organise screenings, so members can watch films together and then move straight to refreshments and discussion.


 “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out” – Alfred Hitchcock


Join us

If you’d like to join a film group, why not see what your local u3a offers, or other u3as near you? You can always join more than one branch.

 Or why not start a film group?

If you’re pining to connect with other film lovers and your local u3as don’t have the group you want, you can start one yourself. It may sound scary, but believe me it isn’t! Talk to your local u3a committee about starting a new group. Chances are that, once it’s publicised, several other members will think ‘that’s a good idea, I’ll sign up for that’. If it helps, I’ll let you know how we did it, just drop me a line. Bearing in mind that each u3a may approach things differently.

Autumn film reviews 

Cinema is back! And I really hope many of you are managing to return to it - those who can. I am fortunate that my independent cinema offers a choice of socially distanced screenings or ‘normal’ screenings. So, recently I saw a German film, I’m Your Man, in which Dan Stevens plays a highly evolved robot, human-like and empathetic. A thought-provoking comedy directed by Maria Schräder.

Even quirkier was the film Annette. Most of the dialogue is sung, but don’t let that put you off! It totally works in the context of the film – in my opinion. You may see it differently. Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and their surprising baby drive a dark narrative, set to music by the duo Sparks and directed by Leos Carax.

Or from the island of Ireland comes the film Herself. It was in cinemas, and you may still catch it. I was glad to receive this review of Herself from Ralph of Havering u3a:

“It is a pity that this excellent Irish film will probably not receive a wider release. It is a harsh tale of social issues including domestic violence, housing shortages and the strain on local authority finance. Sandra, a young mother fleeing a violent husband and getting almost no support from the authorities, decides to build her own house. A small group of friends help with the physical work of building. A heartwarming story it may be - Sandra’s small daughters are touchingly and convincingly played, and the resourcefulness of Sandra, played by Clare Dunne who co-scripted the work, is impressive - but there are underlying feelings of dread throughout. Deftly directed by Phyllida Lloyd.

Meanwhile, the big cinema event for many this autumn has been the new James Bond film, No Time to Die. Whether or not you’re a Bond fan, these films are an icon of cinema. Daniel Craig plays James Bond for the last time in a film made more interesting by the greater respect it shows to women, the foregrounding of Bond’s emotions, and the increasing diversity of the cast. It’s an international rollercoaster that rollicks along, with starry performances from Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch and Remi Malek, while the usual suspects hold the fort back at MI6: Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q. Crazy stuff, but you may well find it worth a visit?

What do you think?

If you’re in a u3a film group, what do you all enjoy watching or doing? Are there successes of your group that you’d like to share with everyone?

Any questions? Just ask me. When I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you.

What have you seen recently?

If you’ve seen a film that intrigues you, why not send your mini-review and I’ll put it on this page? It’ll help if you say where others can see your film too. (For instance DVD, cinema, iPlayer, Netflix ... ) Please can I request that you don’t put any plot spoilers in your review – thank you.

I look forward to hearing from you, and meanwhile, happy film-watching!

Claire Salisbury 

Claire can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or use the link at the top of the page.