EastEnders fans may have noticed that the denizens of Albert Square have been slowly but surely infiltrating the big screen in recent months.

First, Peter Beale swapped fruit and veg for drum and cymbal as Queen’s Roger Taylor in Bohemian Rhapsody; then gin-swilling matriarch Cora Cross popped up in Chicago-set thriller Widows (a nod to actress Ann Mitchell’s role in the ITV series it was based on).


Most bizarrely of all, Big Mo Slater was recently seen letting rip with a machine gun in the Hellboy reboot.

However, the unassuming Tamwar Masood has trumped the lot of them, as actor Himesh Patel this week takes the lead in one of the summer’s biggest British releases, the Beatles-inspired romcom Yesterday.

Where next for the Walford Cinematic Universe? My money’s on a musical re-telling of the life of Phil Mitchell: Underneath the Arches. Make it happen, BBC…

New Releases

Yesterday

  • Cert 12A, 116 mins
  • Vue York, City Screen, Everyman
  • From Fri Jun 28
  • More details

This new romantic comedy from Love Actually scribe Richard Curtis takes as its premise a simple idea (and one which, as some have pointed out, is essentially nicked from a running joke in ‘90s sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart): what if you were the only person in the world who remembered the Beatles?

That’s the scenario that budding songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) finds himself in, when he awakes after a road accident to find that the Fab Four have apparently never existed in anyone’s mind but his.

Inevitably, he can’t resist passing off their hits as his own work, and fame and fortune soon beckon – but could it be at the cost of true love with his childhood friend Ellie (Lily James)?

It’s a Richard Curtis film, so I think we all know the answer to that – and with Trainspotting’s Danny Boyle directing, plus a supporting turn from the great Kate McKinnon as Jack’s no-nonsense American agent, this fun-looking film has the potential to win over all but the most cynical of viewers.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

  • Cert 12A, 129 mins
  • Vue York, Everyman
  • From Weds Jul 3
  • More details

Tom Holland swings back into action in this second solo Spider-Man film, which picks up after the momentous events of Avengers: Endgame.

The story sees Peter Parker (Holland) and his classmates heading out on a school trip to Europe, during which new friends and foes reveal themselves – not least former SHIELD head honcho Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and enigmatic new ally (or is he?) Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming was a whole lot of fun, so it’s good to see director John Watts returning for this sequel, alongside many of the cast (including Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, and Zendaya and Jacob Batalon as Peter’s pals MJ and Ned).

Can Mysterio be trusted? Just who or what are the Elementals? And more importantly, after all that finger-snapping in Infinity War and Endgame, won’t half of Peter Parker’s class be five years older than him now? All will soon be revealed…

Apollo 11

50 years after the event, the moon landings are so embedded in the popular consciousness that – particularly for those of us who weren’t around at the time – it’s too easy to forget what an incredible achievement they represent.

This new documentary aims to recapture the magic and excitement of those days in July 1969, using thousands of hours of previously unseen archive audio recordings and visual footage from the Nasa vaults.

The painstakingly restored footage tells the story of the mission both from the perspective of the astronauts and the millions watching them at home.

Glowing reviews suggest that it’s a thrilling, immersive experience and definitely one to catch in the cinema if you can, with Matt Zoller Seitz of rogerebert.com claiming that “Any information that you happen to absorb while viewing “Apollo 11” is secondary to the visceral experience of looking at it and listening to it.”

One-off screenings

Apollo 11 isn’t the only treasure trove of archive material out this week – showing at all three York cinemas on Thurs 4th, World War II documentary The Cold Blue utilises restored colour footage from 1943 combat missions to put viewers 30,000 feet over Nazi Germany.

Director Erik Nelson pays tribute to the brave men who fought and risked their lives in the missions, mixing the footage (originally shot for contemporary documentary The Memphis Belle) with recollections of the veterans of the Eighth Air Force.

Meanwhile, there’s going to be plenty to tempt film fans down to City Screen over the next few weeks, as they run retrospectives of two legendary directors – meaning we get to see some absolute classics back up on the big screen.

First up, their Vintage Sundays strand will celebrate the work of Nicolas Roeg over the next four weeks, paying tribute to the visionary British director after his death in November last year.

Their first offering on Sunday 30th is 1973 chiller Don’t Look Now, starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland as a couple who move to Venice while reeling from the loss of their daughter – only to be told by a clairvoyant that she has been contacted by the girl’s spirit, warning them of grave danger…

Set amongst the eerily empty streets of out-of-season Venice, Roeg’s psychological horror is regarded by many as one of the best British films of the 20th century.

Starting on Monday 1st July, City Screen are preparing for the release of Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (out in August) with a retrospective featuring all his best-loved works.

It kicks off with his 1992 debut Reservoir Dogs, the tale of a heist gone very wrong for a gang of colour-coded diamond thieves.

The film that popularised both Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealer’s Wheel and “putting your shades on and pretending to walk in slo-mo” by Blokes At Weddings In The Mid-‘90s, Tarantino’s calling card remains one of the decade’s most iconic movies.

And finally, head on down to Everyman on Sunday 30th for more Studio Ghibli magic with Howl’s Moving Castle, in which a young girl befriends a powerful wizard with a particularly fancy mobile home.

Community Cinema

The ever-generous team behind Film at the Folk Hall are once again offering a chance to see a highly acclaimed film for free this week.

Together with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s LGBT+ network, they’re putting on a screening of one of 2017’s most talked-about films – the romantic coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name.

In time-honoured “Nothing was ever the same after that summer” style, the story sees bored 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet, in his breakthrough role) holidaying with his family in a 17th-century Italian villa during the summer of 1983 – only for his world to be turned upside down by a burgeoning romance with his father’s grad student assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer).

It shows free of charge at the Folk Hall, New Earswick at 7:30pm on Friday 28th (doors 7pm), and it’s recommended that you book in advance.

A clandestine romance is also at the heart of South Bank Community Cinema’s final offering of their summer season.

Set in 1950s France, From the Land of the Moon stars Marion Cotillard as Gabrielle, a free-spirited woman feeling trapped in an unhappy marriage.

When kidney stones put her in hospital, she begins to bond with the charming André (Louis Garrel), an injured veteran of the Indochinese War.

It’s on at Clement’s Hall at 8pm on Friday 28th (doors 7:30pm). Tickets are £3 for members and £4 for guests.