Showroom Cinema: Dropping a ‘Bombshell’

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“I wanted to sell my story … because it’s so unbelievable. It was the opposite of what people think. The brains of people are more interesting than the looks...Inventions are easy for me to do, I suppose I just came from a different planet.”

Today is International Women’s Day and we’re delighted to be celebrating at the Showroom with a special preview screening of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story - followed by a Satellite Q&A with Susan Sarandon, who produced the film. Born ‘Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler’ to a Jewish family in Vienna in 1913, Lamarr was a Hollywood star renowned for being ‘the most beautiful woman in the world’ who famously starred in the iconic MGM musical Ziegfeld Girl, as well as Paramount Pictures’ blockbusting epic Samson and Delilah.

Her legacy also lives on more broadly through the characters Snow White and Cat Woman who were both based on Lamarr’s iconic look. But behind the public gaze, Hedy Lamarr was a scientist of all things electrical and mechanical, an ingenious inventor whose pioneering work helped revolutionise modern communication. Mislabelled as “just another pretty face,” her true legacy is that of technological trailblazer. After fleeing Europe in the late 1930s, Lamarr invented a covert communication system to try and help the allies defeat the Nazis. She donated her patent to the Navy but was disregarded and dismissed largely for being a woman. This technology then formed the basis for technologies that we now firmly take for granted - such as secure WIFI, GPS and Bluetooth. Hedy never publicly talked about her life as an inventor, so this is a rare chance to hear it told by people who knew and worked with her. If you’re a movie buff, a science buff, a history buff or a lover of equal rights, then this is the film for you. An electric screen story!

Hot on the heels of Dark River: a study on family and childhood trauma from film giant Clio Barnard, comes another (albeit vastly different) dissociative drama of tangled up violence, damage and formative memories by another great British film-maker, Lynne Ramsey. Born in Glasgow, Ramsay makes films that are on the edges of things; that draw detailed unflinching portraits of people and places with character firmly at their heart.

Joaquin Phoenix is almost unrecognisable as Joe, a traumatised veteran who makes a living by going out on the hunt to save missing children. Jonny Greenwood is back again (following his Oscar nominated soundtrack to Phantom Thread) with a dreamy score of synths and drum machines that adds another layer of otherworldliness to the hardboiled action on screen. Inevitably compared to Taxi Driver, You Were Never Really Here is a conspiracy riddled and mind-bending New York thriller of flashbacks and moral uncertainties. Subversive, sophisticated, stylish and constantly gripping – it’s out at out at the Showroom on Friday. Have you managed to see all this year’s Oscar contenders and winners in action on the big screen yet? We’re delighted to still be showing Best Foreign Language Film – A Fantastic Woman, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress - 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Best film & director (nominated) Ladybird, Best Supporting Actress, I Tonya and Best director and Best Film, Shape of Water!