Soho Film Club: LOTR and all the biggest movie news from Asia

Soho Film Club: LOTR and all the biggest movie news from Asia | Soho House

Our crack team of global movie programmers on what’s happening in the cinematic world. Plus, an Asia special

Wednesday 31 August     by Jo Addy

We take film incredibly seriously here at Soho House. Each and every day, we host screenings of the biggest and most important releases, as well as talks with some of the biggest names in the industry at Houses across the world. As Soho House’s Global Film and Entertainment Director, consider me your personal guide to everything that’s happening in the celluloid world.

Every week I’ll be here – along with a programmer from my team – to reveal the best of what we’re seeing in the world of film from a Soho House-lensed perspective. And to provide you with the most up-to-date information on all things cinema that are happening across our Houses.

It probably comes as no surprise to say that this week, once again, Warner Bros is dominating the headlines with House of the Dragon. The series premiere was the biggest in HBO’s history, with just shy of 10 million viewers – a figure that went up to 20 million even before episode two aired. It’s fair to say the $100 million marketing campaign paid off – even I tuned in and I’m not a Game of Thrones fan.
Soho Film Club: LOTR and all the biggest movie news from Asia | Soho House
That said, the franchise might be in for some serious competition this week. In 2017 Warner Bros and the estate of JRR Tolkien went out to Amazon, Netflix and HBO to sell the television rights to The Lord of the Rings; Jezz Bezos snapped them up for $250 million and created the most expensive television show ever made. The trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power aired in a prime-time Super Bowl ad spot back in February – now the wait for LOTR fans is over. From Thursday 1 September, the first two episodes will be available to Prime Video subscribers across 240 countries time zones, starting with North America.
What has me most excited this week, however, is a tennis documentary. Showtime’s McEnroe – an insightful look into the life both on and off the court of, you guessed it, John McEnroe – is streaming from Friday. Good timing, as Labor Day weekend always brings lots of tennis from the US Open, with the man himself running commentary.
I, on the other hand, will be heading to Telluride Film Festival this week. What I miss in watching tennis, I’ll more than make up for in seeing a lot of great films. The line-up isn’t announced till Friday, but film critics have spent the summer piecing together the puzzle of which films will be heading to Colorado after the Venice and TIFF festival line-ups were announced. 
Our UK cinema programmer, Toby King, is off to Venice where, I’m sure, one of the most anticipated releases of the year will be on his watch-list (and not just because it stars Harry Styles) – psychological thriller, Don’t Worry Darling. More headlines for Warner Bros.
Soho Film Club: LOTR and all the biggest movie news from Asia | Soho House
The programmer’s picks: Paloma Joseph, Mumbai Cinema Programmer
It’s been a good year for Indian films overseas. With North American theatrical releases of some fantastic member-made films, such as Ajitpal Singh’s Fire in the Mountains and Pan Nalin’s Last Film Show – the latter of which was pre-released to our Mumbai members in February, along with a Q&A. And how could we forget the action-packed Tollywood film RRR (Rise.Roar.Revolt)? One of India’s highest grossers that has taken the world by storm, reaching Netflix’s top-five streamed films globally in early June after its theatrical run across North America and the UK. It’s gained more popularity since, as YouTube has become flooded with reaction videos to the larger-than-life dramatisation of two real-life freedom fighters. 
The world also seems to be recognising real-life stories of a different kind coming out of the country, as an Indian documentary won the Golden Eye at Cannes for the second consecutive year. Fresh off the festival circuit, I’m typing this during a break while meeting Shaunak Sen, director of All That Breathes, about two brothers who run a bird hospital in Delhi dedicated to protecting the black kite, in our warmly lit cinema. Barely five minutes in, he informed me his film has just won the Best Documentary Prize at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. He’s now doing a quick live digital Q&A – for which our quiet cinema proves to be the perfect venue – before we pick up where we left off. 
It’s just the most recent of the many accolades for All The Breathes, including The Grand Jury Prize for Best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Sen informs me the film is expected to release in selected theatres across USA and the UK in October. We look forward to screening the documentary for Mumbai members followed, of course, by a Q&A with its director.
Soho Film Club: LOTR and all the biggest movie news from Asia | Soho House
Our upcoming programme in September includes a screening of Memoria, the latest film from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It's always wonderful to screen documentaries and art-house films that wouldn’t usually get a theatrical release in the competitive Indian markets – and one of the many things that makes watching films at our Houses so special.
Explore all upcoming Soho House screenings here
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