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COMING UP ROSES

UK, 1986 (MIFF 1987)

Director: Stephen Bayly

This funny, observant and charming film earned the distinction of being the first Welsh-language production selected for an official section at Cannes. It screened there last year in the Un Certain Regard section.

Shot in Aberdare, South Wales, the film chronicles the closure of The Rex, a rather tatty picture palace that is the only remaining cinema in a small town. Finding themselves redundant, the projectionist (Dafydd Hywel) and the ice cream lady (lola Gregory) conspire to work their way out of debt by utilising the darkened venue for a new enterprise - growing mushrooms. Their venture quickly earns support from a disparate variety of townsfolk unemployed teenagers, the elderly ladies accustomed to using The Rex for its conveniences, and the ex-usherette.

Their clandestine operation is depicted with the cheery tone of an Ealing comedy and the film's gentle humour has been favourably compared with the work of Bill Forsyth.

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