Set in post-war Britain, 1921, The Awakening sets out to tackle a sensitive issue through a genre not usually accused of subtlety. Following the First World War, and influenza pandemic of 1918, more than a million people had lost their lives. Society had changed forever and British families were left wrestling their grief in silence. Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) lost her fiancé to the war, and is haunted by the thought that his ghost might be trapped in after-life. Aching with guilt, she sets out to discredit anyone who claims they can contact the dead, hoping she can employ scientific method to prove no one can survive death, and her lover is really gone.
For this week’s double feature it’s two modern classics by one of America’s hottest directorial prospects, Darren Aronofsky. The 43 year old New Yorker made waves with his debut movie Pi, a psychological thriller which focused on a fraught maths genius who is obsessed with proving his theory that everything in the world can be explained through numbers. It was with this movie that Aronofsky set the framework for a lot of his subsequent work as he presented a dangerously obsessed central character who is willing to sacrifice their own health and sanity in order to achieve their goals. In Pi it was proving a complex theory and then, in follow up Requiem for a Dream, that obsession took the far more destructive form of drug abuse.