This Week & Coming Soon to the RIO

Now Showing
A QUIET PASSION (12A)  BOOK TICKETSNow recognized as a genius who wrote some of the most brilliant poetry in American literature, the 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson was virtually unknown in her lifetime, with fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems published. A recluse for much of her life, Dickinson explored her inner self in great detail. In A QUIET PASSION, Terence Davies creates an extraordinarily beautiful and moving account of the inner workings of the sensitive mind that produced a very particular greatness.

Born in 1803, Dickinson was seen a gifted child, but an emotional trauma compels her to give up her studies. She withdraws from society and most of her life is spent on her parents’ estate in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her mother, father, and sister and it is family relationships, scrutinised and redefined, which are once again at the heart of a Terence Davies film.

Cynthia Nixon brings Emily Dickinson to ferocious life in a heartbreaking, sensitive but often acerbically funny portrayal in a film which seamlessly, luminously and joyfully integrates the poet’s work. A QUIET PASSION is also the story of a woman’s desperate struggle for recognition in a world dominated by men. It’s a film as great as its subject and a stunning achievement.

Now Showing
LADY MACBETH (15)  BOOK TICKETSAdapted from Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 Russian novel and transposed to Victorian rural England, theatre director William Oldroyd and writer Alice Birch’s debut feature is a sensual and seductive mix of Gothic melodrama, fabulous frocks and a subtext that subtly touches on contemporary race and gender issues.

The marriage of Katherine to the older Alexander is more of a business opportunity than a love match. At the mercy of an oppressive male household, Katherine finds an ally in her maid Anna and the possibility of escape in a passionate affair with stable hand Sebastian, and that could be the spark that ignites a maelstrom of murder and mayhem.

The luminous Florence Pugh as the defiant and passionate Katherine offers a powerful revision of the Gothic heroine, leading a faultless cast with a performance that is all sly glances and subversive innuendo. An exciting and exceptional treat.

“a brilliantly chilling subversion of a classic”
5/5 The Guardian

Now showing
A MOVING IMAGE (15) BOOK TICKETSAre you part of the problem or part of the solution? When the ‘problem’ is ‘gentrification’, responses range from righteous anger (‘Peckham doesn’t need another Costa Fucking Coffee!’) to writer-director Shola Amoo’s award-winning mix of fact and fiction in which documentary, animation and archive footage succinctly merge.

Artist Nina (Tanya Fear) returns home to South London’s rapidly gentrifying Brixton, where communities are slowly being destroyed. Her answer to the changing face of one of London’s most richly diverse areas – an art project – inevitably leads to suggestions that Nina herself is actually part of the problem.


CHECHNYA LGBT FUNDRAISER Sunday 21 May at 2.30pm
PARAGRAPH 175 (15) BOOK TICKETSAll profits from this special screening will be donated to the Russian LGBT network who are currently helping to get Gay men out of danger in Chechnya.

Paragraph 175 was a provision of the German Criminal Code which made homosexual acts a crime. Between 1933-1945 approximately 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality in Nazi Germany, half of whom were imprisoned. An estimated 10,000 – 15,000 were sent to concentration camps, and by 1945 only 4,000 survived.

72 years later and hundreds of gay men are being imprisoned today right now in Chechnya, suffering forced detention, torture and even murder by the Chechen state, all on the basis of their sexuality.

Oscar winners for THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK, Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman’s multi award-winning film reveals the lasting consequences of this hidden chapter of 20th century history. The stories of the handful of Holocaust survivors, tortured by their memories, yet infused with a powerful will to go on living, are sometimes bitter, but just as often filled with irony and humour. Their moving testimonies, rendered with evocative images of their lives and times, tell a haunting, compelling story of human resistance. Intimate in its portrayals, sweeping in its implications, PARAGRAPH 175 raises provocative questions about memory, history and identity.

The People’s Film Club is a network of activists from across the UK that uses cinema and film to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights around the world.

For more information:

The Peoples Film Club

From Friday 12 May
ALIEN : COVENANT (15)  BOOK TICKETSThe return of the Xenomorph as director Ridley Scott adds another chapter to the saga he began light years ago with a now landmark combination of sci-fi and chills, ALIEN. Maybe on this new journey beyond imagination, there will be nobody left to hear you scream…

Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the colony ship Covenant is embarking on the first large-scale colonisation of a brave new world. When the sole inhabitant of this planned unearthly paradise is discovered to be the android from the doomed Prometheus expedition of a decade earlier, Eden could quickly turn into a dark and dangerous Hell… Having sown the seeds of its own demise, is humanity now about to be destroyed by its own creations…?

“Scott’s Alien: Covenant is a mad scientist film – arguably, one of the maddest. It’s grandiose, exhilarating, vertiginously cynical and symphonically perverse”
5/5 stars – The Telegraph


Sun 14 May
AAAAAAAAH! + Q&A  (18) BOOK TICKETSThe directorial debut of Steve Oram, co-writer and co-star of Ben Wheatley’s SIGHTSEERS, is an anarchic, bold, surreal look at the human condition that is funny and disturbing in equal measure. Whether cooking, eating, having sex, arguing or fighting, punk goddess Toyah Wilcox and some familiar faces from The Mighty Boosh whoop, holler and indulge brilliantly and there’s some original tracks by Robert Fripp on the soundtrack. The cinematic depths of John Waters and Edward D. Wood are invoked, but, but love it or hate it, AAAAAAAAH! is all bold and unique original.

Any questions? There’s a chance to ask writer-director-actor Steve Oram at a post-screening Q&A.

The directorial feature debut of Alice Lowe, co-writer and co-star of Ben Wheatley’s SIGHTSEERS, is a pitch black comedy about maternity, morning sickness and murder. Lowe wrote, directed and acted in the film during her own real-life pregnancy or ”hostile takeover” as central character Ruth describes it. With some wonderful set pieces and a collection of memorably eccentric characters PREVENGE is a magnificently macabre, devilishly funny exploration of life, death, and the bits in between.

No need to be afraid- questions welcome as Alice Lowe joins us for a Q&A after the screening.

Friday 19 May
WILD AT HEART (15)  BOOK TICKETSWhile the world awaits the return of TWIN PEAKS, there’s still time to hit the road with another entertainingly surreal David Lynch journey through the darkest depths. Inspired by THE WIZARD OF OZ, but this is no fairy tale.

WILD AT HEART is the story of madly in love Lula (Laura Dern) and reckless Sailor (Nicolas Cage) He breaks his parole and the two go on the run, much to the concern of her mother Marietta (Dianne Ladd) – who does indeed closely resemble a nightmarish Wicked Witch – who despatches her boyfriend, private detective Johnnie Farragut (Harry Dean Stanton) with instructions to kill Sailor and bring Lula back home to mommy dearest…

With appearances from Isabella Rossellini and Willem Dafoe, a superb soundtrack and many dark and haunting moments, this twisted not-Romeo and Juliet love story is pure Lynchian brilliance.

Sat 20 May at 6.45pm
SPACE SHIP (15) + Q&A BOOK TICKETSAlien abduction, unicorns, teenage BDSM role-play and an archaeologist dad into heavy metal amidst the affluent Surrey commuter belt are just some of the ingredients to be found in award-winning short film maker Alex Taylor’s defiantly fresh and audacious debut feature. SPACESHIP is a transcendent blend of the of the metaphysical and the psychedelic which centres around Lucidia (the ethereal and bewitching Alexa Davies), a teenage cyber-goth whose mother died mysteriously seven years ago in the family swimming pool. Her Finnish father Gabriel can’t move on but when his daughter disappears in an apparent alien abduction, Gabriel is forced to confront her strange defiantly rebellious friends and meets Tegan (the electrifying Tallulah Haddon), a girl obsessed with unicorns and black holes…

We are delighted to welcome Alex Taylor, the director of SPACESHIP for a post-screening Q&A.

RIO Cafe Bar News

One of the defining features of the Rio Cinema is its independence, and we don’t want to stop at just independent films, we strive to promote the best of the country’s independent Food and Drink makers.

You know about our locally made Vegan Samosas, but we have a few more treats up our sleeves.

Our trained baristas serve Climpson and Son coffee.
Cookies are made by the wonderful Hackney Pirates of Kingsland High Street’s very own Ship Of Adventures.
Fairtrade fizz is courtesy of Karma Cola.
Lagers and Ales are brewed by Dalston’s very own 40 Feet Brewery.
Gin cocktails and Vodka specials are made with local distillery Sacred Spirits.
Borough Wines supply the Red, the White, the Rosé and the Sparkles.
Mango Ice Tea and Chocolate Fruit and Nut snacks are made in-house by the House of O’Dwyer. Ice-Creams come in pot form from Marshfield Farm, and the world’s greatest Ice-Cream Sandwiches are supplied by East London beauties Happy Endings.
Our vegan cakes made just down the road – via heaven – by the very talented Manna Cakes.
Ciders are done by Kent makers Turners.
And for those with a European pallette, we bring you Club Mate all the way from Berlin.
Did I mention our Popcorn? Well let me reassure you, it’s delicious!

Our aim is to continue replacing all those dull, global brands with even more delights, made with love and care, from small business and farms around the country. And support the endeavours of our likeminded foodie friends.

Check out our Treat of the Week!

(You can also just have a glass of water if you like)


With great pleasure we can reveal that this June we will be launching our fund-raising to create a second state of the art screen and very sexy bar in the huge basement space, and restore the exterior of the RIO to its thirties deco splendour.
A lot of you have been asking how you can get involved – there will be a whole range of events, screenings, tours, premieres, auctions and exciting RIO-tastic stuff starting very soon, details will be added as events are confirmed.

Watch our short film about the campaign here

NEW membership options !

As a RIO member you’ll be supporting Hackney’s only independent community cinema and you’ll save money with up to £2 off tickets, and 10% off food and drinks at the café bar.

CLASSIC RIO – only £30 for an annual membership (+ 2 free tickets) and £50 for joint annual membership (+ 4 free tickets) plus 10% saving at the cafe bar.

RIO BRAVO – only £60 for an annual membership (+4 free tickets) and £100 for joint annual membership (+8 free tickets) plus ( 15% saving at the cafe/bar, and you can also bring a non-member friend who will get the same ticket discount as yours, every Wednesday!)

Click here for more information

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