Monico Movies

Sinema Cymunedol Rhiwbina Community Cinema

January 2021 Newsletter

Happy New Year to you all

Here at Monico Movies HQ we are monitoring the lockdown situation, alas re-opening still seems some way off.

We all know that lockdown means we have to stay home and keep ourselves and others safe from the spread of this pernicious virus, but not being able to take off to the seaside or out into the wilds or travel to another town or city is of course very frustrating. But we need to find ways to keep our spirits up. The MM crew have been sharing their discoveries when going for local walks in and around Rhiwbina, such as locating the blue plaques that have been installed by The Rhiwbina Civic Society  or by taking a hike up The Wennalt.

However, if you’re like us when the wanderlust gets a hold we embrace the magic of the movies and take a celluloid journey further afield (for younger readers, celluloid is an old fashioned synonym for films).

A favourite of ours at Monico Movies is Mr Hulot’s Holiday (U) (aka Les Vacances de M. Hulot). Filming for this 1953 French comedy took place in the sleepy seaside resort, San Marc sur Mer on France’s north-western Atlantic Coast.

Mr Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

This was the setting for Jaques Tati to introduce us to Monsieur Hulot, one of cinema’s great comic creations. Drawing inspiration from the great masters of visual comedy, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy.
Monsieur Hulot has a distinctive lurching walk, he is clumsy and somewhat naive of the world around him, but he has a friendly, well-meaning and good-natured persona. His escapades usually involve clashes with technology. In Mr Hulot’s Holiday, he comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation and accidentally, but good-naturedly, causes havoc.
Jaques Tati made a further three Mr. Hulot films: Mon Oncle (1958), Playtime (1967) and Trafic (1971).

Mr Hulot’s Holiday promo poster

The DVD can be rented from Cinema ( link ) we have been unable to find a streaming rental.

In this next film, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013 PG), imagined journeys are at the very heart of the film. Based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber.

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), an employee at Life magazine, spends day after monotonous day developing photos for the publication. To escape the tedium, Walter inhabits a world of exciting daydreams in which he is the undeniable hero. Walter fancies a fellow employee named Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) and would love to date her, but he feels unworthy. However, he gets a chance to have a real adventure when Life’s new owners send him on a mission to obtain the perfect photo for the final print issue.

The cinematography is fabulous, frame after frame of perfectly composed scenes of the most spectacular landscapes. There are also wonderful cameo appearances from Shirley MacLaine and Sean Penn.

A lot of the scenes (even the ones from the Himalayas and Afghanistan) are filmed in Iceland and some in Greenland.

Available to rent from YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime and you can rent the DVD from Cinema

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)
au revoir à bientôt!

Nadolig Llawen typo

The eagle eyed among you will have seen a typo at the end of the Christmas 2020 post.

Whereas I would normally let a typo go I felt it was important to correct this time.

It should of course read:

Nadolig Llawen

a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda


Christmas 2020 at Monico Movies

It is that time of year again, but of course this year is not like a Christmas that any of us would have hoped for.

Like much of the preceding months of 2020 we face a challenge of our endeavour and spirit. The virus will not be wished away, we will have to all do our bit and wait it out and sooner or later we will begin to emerge into a post-COVID-19 world.

So, although we can’t physically be with our family and friends most of us are fortunate to have telephones and computers to see and speak to each other.

The Monico Movies crew did just that on Thursday evening, utilising the online technology we had an online Christmas party. We reminisced about our family Christmases past, our favourite games to play, what we plan to have for Christmas dinner (it turns out we are all very trad when it comes to Christmas dinner).

But it wouldn’t be a proper MM get together without a, good natured, disagreement about the best Christmas movie.

Since we started MM in 2015, we’ve had 5 Christmas movies. Starting with Scrooged, followed by Get Santa (2016), Nativity (2017) the classic White Christmas in 2018 and last year we changed tack and instead of a Christmas themed movie we showed the brilliant and surprisingly emotional, Stan & Ollie.

“Yes, yes but what were you planning for 2020?” I hear you cry…

Well on the short list we had:

It’s a Wonderful Life

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

The Bishop’s Wife

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

…to name but a few.

But we settled on what has become an absolute Christmas classic


All the movies we have mentioned above should be available to watch on one of the many streaming platforms available via your computer or Smart TV

The Monico Movies crew wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas and crossing fingers and toes for better 2021

Oh, and if you have some shopping to do please try and support our local Rhiwbina shops and businesses.

Nadloig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

November Newsletter

Annually in November our Rhiwbina community cinema ‘Monico Movies’ has screened a Welsh-made feature, but due to lockdown we can’t do this at the moment! The Monico is now sadly missed, a case of “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone”. Harley has kindly offered a treasured memory of a family trip to The Monico.

Monico Cinema Memories
by Harley Jones

I recall with affection taking my Mum and Dad along to the Monico, to a matinee sometime in 1996. The Monico was more than half empty as it wasn’t showing a blockbuster, just a comedy in which I had a special interest, as I had known the filmmaker from my days as tutor in the Newport Film School.

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
Written and directed by Taffs Well born Christopher Monger.

Based on Chris’s own novel, the film is set in 1917, with World War I in the background, and revolves around two English cartographers, the pompous George Garrad and his junior, Reginald Anson. Hugh Grant stars as a young mapmaker who offends an entire village by declaring their prized landmark not high enough to be called a “mountain” – and he soon finds the eccentric locals, led by an outspoken innkeeper (Colm Meaney), will stop at nothing to defend their honour.

The original story was based around the Garth mountain, though location filming was in Llanrhaedr Y Mochnant and Llansilin in Powys.

There are some lovely cameo performances, including a memorable one  from the late great Kenneth Griffith as an eccentric clergyman the Reverand Mr Jones. Nice roles also from the young Tara Fitzgerald and Hugh Grant. A film well worth tracking down!

It can be rented from Amazon Prime, or the DVD can be rented from Cinema
cert: PG

5th Anniversary Newsletter

This month Monico Movies would have been celebrating its 5th birthday. We had planned the usual party celebration for all of you, our loyal supporters.  Unfortunately, as you know, this is not possible due to current restrictions re. Coronavirus.  

To celebrate reaching the landmark, 5 years of Monico Movies, we made this little movie.

The crew continues to meet regularly, to monitor the situation and be assured, as soon as we can, WE WILL BE BACK!

The first film we screened on 17th October 2015 was The Grand Budapest Hotel.

click here for trailer

It can be rented from YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play or the DVD can be rented from Cinema

If you’re looking for a beautifully crafted film.
Mr. Turner is a 2014 biographical drama film based on the last 25 years of the life of artist J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851). Written and directed by Mike Leigh, the film stars Timothy Spall in the title role.
click here for trailer

It can be rented from YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play or the DVD can be rented from Cinema

September Newsletter

Whilst we would have been returning this month to Autumn activities, this year it is all different.
Monico Movies were looking forward to welcoming you to the beginning of our fifth year of screening wonderful movies for you, our local community in Rhiwbina.
Sadly this is not the case.
However, we can recommend the following film for you to watch this month, as we all wait for the time when we can be together again.

Amour, 2012 (Cert. 12)

Successful screenwriter Michael Haneke has a reputation for making hard hitting thrillers during his career; but in Amour, made in 2012, he made a delicate and tender story of a lifetime of love in this immensely touching movie.
Anne (Emanuelle Riva) and Georges Laurent (Jean-Louis Trintignant) live a life of affectionate retirement in an elegant, Paris apartment.
After attending a concert one evening, Anne suffers a stroke the following morning as they pour each other tea in their simple, cosy kitchenette.
The story continues as Anne’s health deteriorates, whilst Georges shows his undying love for his wife.
Haneke and Emanuelle Riva don’t shy away from showing Anna’s gradual deterioration as she descends into a terrible shell of her former self. Jean-Louis Trintignant plays a gentle, compassionate role as he patiently cares for Anne whilst living with his own frailty.

Though dealing with a difficult subject, this film is uplifting in its portrayal of true love. Amour won many awards including the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for the best foreign language film at its 85th awards. Emanuelle Riva became the oldest person to ever win a Bafta for best actress; she and Jean-Louis-Trintignant offer stunning performances in this film and we cannot recommend it highly enough.

It can be rented from YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play or the DVD can be rented from Cinema

August Newsletter

To the Monico Movies audience, a big hello.
At this time of year we would ordinarily be about to embark on our holidays packing up the car or boarding a plane to travel to a far off location, but like many of you we will be staying close to home and maybe taking the chance to enjoy our fabulous Welsh landscape.

The Monico Movies crew have been getting together online for Zoom meetings, like so many people during this pandemic.

We desperately miss being able to bring you Monico Movies. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any news on when we will be able to return, but we are exploring a few options.

In the meantime we just wanted to stay in touch and let you know we’re still here and as soon as we can we’ll crank up the projector, dust off the chairs and retrieve the Ice creams from the freezer.

The crew have, as usual, enjoyed watching many movies, of all kinds, over the past few months.

Can we recommend, for those of you who enjoy a good laugh Lost in Paris from two little known French writer-directors Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon. Lost in Paris is very much an homage to films like Jaques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday

Lost In Paris (2017)

The movie they jointly devised, and in which they star, is a clever, funny and distinctly unworldly comedy with a clever line in visual humour.

The goofy Fiona (Fiona Gordon) travels from Canada to Paris to visit her similarly away-with-the-fairies aunt Marthe (Emanuelle Riva). A mishap on the banks of the River Seine leads to an encounter with a romantic tramp called Dom (Dominique Abel).

This is a sweet-natured movie that includes some serious tango moves too. It’s classic French entertainment, a little gem.

Lost in Paris

It can be rented from YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play or the DVD can be rented from Cinema

Extra: a short interview with Lost in Paris creators Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel

July Newsletter

Old Cardiff Cinemas

left to right: The Odeon, Queen Street, 1967. The Monico, 1979. The Ninian, 1962. The Olympia, Queen Street, 1967. The Coliseum, Cowbridge Road East, 1972. The Monico, 1993.

The Monico Movies crew had an online meeting last week, where we discussed plans for the future of Rhiwbina’s Community Cinema.

Due to the Coronavirus we have had to accept that it is most unlikely we will be able to re-open this year, not least due to the logistical difficulties with our venue. However, should circumstances change you can be assured we will be keen to get the projector rolling as soon as possible.

The first movie to be screened will be Pavarotti, postponed from March. If you have tickets for Pavarotti they will, of course, be valid for the future screening. If you would like to return your ticket and be reimbursed, please visit one of our ticket outlets.
In the meantime, stay safe. We can’t wait to welcome you back to a Saturday night at Monico Movies.

Previously at Monico Movies

Sunshine on Leith

July 2016
available to rent from YouTubeGoogle Play and Amazon Prime and Cinema Paradiso

The Artist

July 2017
available to rent from YouTubeGoogle Play and Amazon Prime and Cinema Paradiso

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

July 2018
available to rent from YouTubeGoogle Play and Amazon Prime and Cinema Paradiso

The Dish

July 2019
available to rent from Amazon Prime and Cinema Paradiso

June Newsletter

Il Posto (1961)

We are still in lockdown and it may be a long way off until we can all meet again for a Monico Movies evening.
In the meantime, we would like to recommend a film for you to view at home.
Il Posto, is a 1961 Italian film directed by Ermanno Olmi, it is one of our favourites; a touching and hilarious tale of a young man’s adventures into adulthood. The director, Ermanno Olmi, says “my purpose was to portray the courage it takes to live through the colourless grey days which are in anyone’s life the majority, the rare opportunities, too precious to be lost, for finding love – the subtle distinction between acceptance and resignation”.
This award winning film was chosen to be screened in the Venice Classics section of the 2018 Venice International Festival.
The film is available to rent on DVD from Cinema Paradiso

Untill we meet up again for a Saturday evening of movie fun, the Monico Movies crew send you our very best wishes.

Ciao for now

Previously at Monico Movies

The Martian

June 2016
available to rent from YouTube, Google Play and Amazon Prime and Cinema Paradiso

click for trailer

Eye in the Sky

June 2017
available to rent from BFI Player, You Tube, Google Play and Amazon Prime and Cinema Paradiso

click for trailer


June 2018
available to rent from BFI Player, You Tube, Google Play and Amazon Prime and Cinema Paradiso

click for trailer


June 2019
available to rent from BFI Player, You Tube, Google Play and Amazon Prime and Cinema Paradiso

click for trailer

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